(SPOILERS) So, Will They Start Over or . . .

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  • Dodge101Dodge101 Posts: 36MI6 Agent

    It is very obvious some of you guys can look past the issue of M being the same actor who was M when Brosnan was Bond and thus see Craig's Bond as a new timeline, I can not. The fact of the incident in CR where Craig get's his 00 status is being used as justification for Craig's iteration of Bond being a new timeline does not sit well with me due to the fact that the person who gave him his 00 status was in a movie with a Bond actor who was already a well established 00 agent. So how can one go from a well established 00 agent to a rookie who has just earned his 00 status given by the same actor playing M in both movies!! To me you can't. I know some of you can look past this mistake, i can not.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,374MI6 Agent

    It’s interesting, I’ve not seen someone have an issue with this before. To the extent that an actor’s face makes you disregard the entire plot of the movie.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,602MI6 Agent

    Dodge101 has a point, but one has to look past these things to get the continuation of the movies to work.

  • Dodge101Dodge101 Posts: 36MI6 Agent

    To @emtiem and @Number24 , why should movie goers and especially Bond fans be made to feel that way? why are we being expected to look past things or disregard things due to screw ups by the movie producers?, and yes, having Judi Dench as M in CR is a screw up in my opinion because it ruins the argument that Craig's time as Bond is meant to be a separate time line.

    Not wanting to go to personal into my life but all my working life I have had to work in a very clearly defined process, logical and procedural manner because if I didn't, very expensive costly errors could occur, meaning I had to be very careful of what I was doing and to follow a clear path on doing things. Everything had to be done in the right order, I couldn't just jump in where ever I wanted to try and limit time and get the job done faster because doing so could create errors and mistakes, everything had it's place and it had to be done right. Unfortunately this way of having to think and work finds it's way into my everyday life so naturally, when I read this thread about Craig's time as Bond being a separate timeline to the rest of the Bond movies it started to play with my mind and thus asking questions. The more I looked into it and the more questions I asked and reading the responses I got back, it has made question aspects of the Craig timeline thus making me look closer at Craig's movie and more importantly know, the use of using Judi Dench as M in CR.

    In life many things have to stand up to scrutiny to have any validation and for me, to validate Craig's time as Bond as being a new timeline, Judi Dench should not have been used as M due to the actors prior connection with Brosnan as Bond and the relationship M had with that Bond. Just that one small minor detail is enough to derail men from the argument of Craig's Bond being a new timeline. I wish I could get my head around it and see Craig's time as Bond as the rest of you do but I can't all because of that one error of having Judi Dench as M in CR.

    Don't get me wrong, I do very much like the Bond movies, all of them and I re-watch them regularly and I always thought each movie was a continuation of the next, regardless of the actual content in each movie and up until the days of reading this thread, I have never ever given any thought to looking deeper into the movies until I read this Craig timeline and in doing so it hit me like a freight train because I was like whoa..what!!! what am i reading here!!!, could it be true?? so naturally, it got me looking more deeply into it and asking the questions that I have.

    Basically, the conclusion of it all is that Eon dropped the ball by having Judi Dench play M in CR and as such I am unable to see past this error.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,602MI6 Agent

    The Bond movie plots were never planned decades ahead like the Marvel movies are, Even though they tried to make it look like it was for Craig's tenure. I actually suspect Marvel is the reason EON tried to tie his movies together. The fact is the Bond movies never took continuity from movie to movie very seriously. Blofeld meets Bond in YOLT, but doesn't recognize him in OHMSS. Q has a fear of flying in .... Skyfall (?), but has no problems working from the transport plane in NTTD. There are lots of examples. This works for most people who watch the movies. I'm not going to critizise you for not going along with this, but life as a Bond fan will be much easier for you if you do.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent
    edited November 12

    @Dodge101 I'm starting to suspect you are not genuine in your confusion, just winding up us nerds. But the questions are valid, and maybe someone else in the audience does not know, so I shall try to answer. Though maybe some of our professional film scholar buddies could explain this better, I think there are actual terms for some of these concepts.


    First we must understand what we see in the movies is just make-believe. None of what we perceive to be happening on screen is really happening. The car didn't really spray machine gun fire, the vials did not really carry a deadly virus, and James Bond is not dead (!!!) because there's actually no such person as James Bond. Like Santa Claus he is imaginary. But We in the audience suspend disbelief, choosing to take all this movie magic at face value, and all these scenes of overpaid actors on film studio lots reading corny dialog somehow adds up to a narrative with beginning middle and end. We may spot lots of anachronistic details if we watch too close that give away the artifice, eg a Roman soldier wearing a watch in a crowd scene or a modern plane flying overhead, but normally we must ignore these to immerse ourselves in the makebelief story. These bits of exposed artifice that get in the way are External factors.

    The dialog within telling us Bond has just been promoted is an In-Universe factor. This takes priority over the artifice, convincing or not. The story is the cumulation of In-Universe details. And so long as information is explicitly given within the story, thats what we are meant to believe. If something is not explicitly stated In-Universe, we have to make assumptions to fill in the gaps.

    When an actor shows up two films in a row, and the character is not named, its easiest to assume they're playing the same character. But so long as that's not explicitly stated, then its not necessarily true, it is ambiguous. In the case of M, we already know M is a codename, so simply because Judi dench plays a character with the same job and codename does not necessarily mean it is the same character. It is ambiguous.

    Folks here have done additional research, referring to sources such as the novelizations and video games, to find that Dench's M actually has a real name, in fact two, one given in the Brosnan era and the other in the Craig era. (Hopefully someone can remind us what those two real names are, and what the citation is). Others have also noted a subtle change in character (for example the Brosnan era M calls Bond a "relic of the cold War", implying she's glad those days are in the past, whereas Craig-era M says "Christ I miss the Cold War". Craig-era M is also a lot more mistake-prone than the Brosnan-era character). All that said however, novelizations and video games are not Canonical texts, only what is explicitly stated in the film is.

    Judi Dench is not the first actor in a Bond film to play two different characters. Charles Gray and Maud Adams are the most noteworthy examples, also Joe Don Baker. We can make up fan theories arguing Blofeld in Diamonds are Forever is in fact secretly Dikko Henderson and Donald Pleasance was therefor a fake Blofeld. But that's us in the audience overinterpreting the evidence on screen, other than the coincidence of actors there is nothing In-Universe to support that, in fact all the In-Universe dialog is telling us Donald Pleasance, Telly Savalas, and Charles Gray (in Daf) all were playing the same character. So on the basis of previous films in the series we already know we sometimes have to expect same actor to play different characters.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    Film theory concepts out of the way, lets have fun overanalysing the seeming paradox: @Dodge101 is not wrong, Given In-Universe information, Judi Dench does indeed seem to be playing the same character. What are some possible explanations?

    1: She is exactly the same character. She supervises both BrosnanBond and Craigbond. To accept this we also have to accept the theory that James Bond is a codename, and BrosnanBond and Craigbond are two different characters. There is actually some odd dialog in Casino Royale that supports this ("that's how I knew you were You"). On the other hand, the introduction of new versions of Leiter, Moneypenny, and Blofeld complicates this theory, unless they are all codenames too. But when we start trying to account for those new versions of old characters, assuming Dench's M is the same character becomes the overcomplicated explanation for observed facts: un-parsimonious as my science profs used to say. But I think this is the only theory that allows the Craig films to take place in the same Universe as the Brosnan films and earlier.

    2: The films take place in two different universes. CraigBond is not BrosnanBond, and M in Casino Royale is not the same M seen in Die Another Day, they are just coincidentally played by the same actor. This is supported by most InUniverse dialog, as well as the reintroduction of Leiter, Moneypenny, and Blofeld (Q most definitely is a codename, short for Quartermaster). This is also the standard theory accepted by most viewers, and the one I am quite sure the filmmakers want us to believe. There must be quotes from EON on this matter.

    3: There is a variation on theory 2 suggested by the new film: at one point when FiennesM is talking, we see a portrait of Judi Dench behind him. that makes sense according to Theory 2. Then there is another camera angle, and we see a portrait of Robert Brown. Insiders have told us there was also a portrait of Bernard Lee on the third wall, but they edited out the line of dialog that would have revealed it. So why do these two actors have portraits beside Judi Dench's? they were M in Connery through Dalton's films, this "other" original universe we've been arguing exists. How'd they slip through to Craig's universe?

    My theory, ahem, relies on the assumption that parallel universes are generally the same in almost all ways, except for very specific details. Life still evolved on Earth, whichever universe the story takes place in, and there is a still a country called Great Britain with an Intelligence service. That may seem too obvious to be worth noting, but is essential for our stories to take place. So perhaps in both universes, Bernard Lee, Robert Brown, and Judi Dench all served as M, in the same sequence, covering the same years. They're constant, just like life evolving on earth. the specific difference is James Bond is a much younger man. He starts his career decades later in his universe than ConneryBond did in the original universe, and thus only serves the last of those three M's. Leiter, Moneypenny, and Blofeld are also different, younger people, so far's we can tell its just M who is the same in either universe.

    (btw I like Robert Brown's portrait in this new film, because it confirms his M was a different character than Lee's M, a theory we've debated in the past but for which there was never any In-Universe supporting data. But... the fact Lee's portrait got edited out undermines that proof, as in fact on-screen (In-Universe) we only see portraits of two previous M's, and Brown could be meant to represent all the appearances of Lee as well as his own, suggesting that it was indeed one character played by two different actors)

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 6,996MI6 Agent
    edited November 12

    The M in the Brosnan films according to the official tie in novels, paperwork and props was Barbara Mawdsley. In Casino Royale onwards, she was Olivia Mansfield. Two different characters.

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  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent
    edited November 12

    actually I'm sorry, there is a fourth theory, precisely the one @Dodge101 is arguing:

    Not only is M the same character in Die Another Day and Casino Royale, but so is James Bond. So what about all the dialog stating M has just promoted Bond to double-oh? could In-Universe data be a mistake, like the Roman soldier wearing a watch? Sure, its possible, especially in these recent films we spot lots of sloppy dialog that doesn't add up (too many rewrites and topdown corporate interference).

    Is there precedent? most definitely, Exhibit A being On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The dialog tells us Blofeld does not recognise James Bond, despite the two characters having met in the film before, and Blofeld having assigned Rosa Klebb to assassinate Bond way back in From Russia with Love. (they even had photos of Bond). The tempting theory is that OHMSS also takes place in its own parallel universe (supported by the fact that Diamonds are Forever does not explicitly acknowledge its events, but rather seems to pick up where You Only Live Twice left off). But then later films do reference the events of OHMSS, in fact more than any other film, so it must take place in the same universe as the surrounding films, and therefor we have to accept be troublesome In-Universe dialog as a mistake. (Thunderball is also troublesome in the same way, as nobody in SPECTRE recognises the name of James Bond)

    So on that logic, and the precedent of OHMSS, I do have to concede Dodge's theory has arguable merit: troublesome dialog in Casino Royale could also be a mistake. But if it is, and CraigBond and BrosnanBond are somehow the same person, we still have to account for Leiter, Moneypenny, and Blofeld. This is where the scientific notion of parsimony comes in (aka Occam's Razor): the theory that most efficiently explains the observed facts is more likely to be true than the most complicated theory. Accepting Casino Royale takes place in a new universe is a more efficient explanation of seeming contradictions than assuming BrosnanBond and CraigBond are the same person.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    thanks @Asp9mm . What are the sources for the Olivia Mansfield name?

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 6,996MI6 Agent

    It’s on pieces of paperwork from her office and most notably on the box she bequeaths the bulldog to Bond in.


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  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    thanks @Asp9mm ! you gotta have good eyes to spot that, but there it is, and that box is indeed an In-Universe detail!

    so that proves it: Dench is playing two different characters.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,983Chief of Staff

    Olivia is Judi Dench's middle name, and Mansfield is part of the name of the first "M" (though he wasn't called that).

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    by the way, for folks who are easily confused by one actor playing different characters: don't ever watch Dr Strangelove or the Monty Python movies, or you head will explode!

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,374MI6 Agent
    edited November 12

    To @emtiem and @Number24 , why should movie goers and especially Bond fans be made to feel that way? why are we being expected to look past things or disregard things due to screw ups by the movie producers?

    I totally get that it would have made a clearer break, but Bond is being played by a different guy, which is exactly the thing you're asking for- why does that not give you the clue that he's different? We are clearly told that he's assigned the 007 number at the opening of the film, he meets Felix for what is clearly the first time etc.


    For me, although it's easy to miss, I do think there's an attempt to differentiate between the two Dench Ms from CR: she's not wearing those mumsy tunics and scarves anymore but she's suddenly in vampish plunging necklines, and her terrible drinking problem has cleared up! 😁

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,374MI6 Agent
    edited November 12

    Is this definitely right about the Mawdsley name? I've only ever heard of it via Raymond Benson's original novels, I've never seen anything that suggested it originated from Eon. Which Eon items did it feature on?

    It's certainly not true to say she was named as that in the tie-in novels: none of the film novelisations name her as that.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,374MI6 Agent
    edited November 12

    I've just had a look and found this old Tweet from Raymond Benson himself:


    Barbara Mawdsley was M's name in my novels. EON didn't use it.


  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 6,996MI6 Agent
    edited November 13

    That’s what I must have been thinking of, all of his novels seem like they are film Bond rather than Flemings Bond. Although it was on some Die Another day desk correspondence with the older MI6 letterhead. But it read Mawdsley M. Not Mawdsley B. Q was referred to as Robert Quentin too.

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  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,374MI6 Agent
    edited November 13

    That would be interesting to see. I guess that was the same batch of correspondence which mentioned Gala Brand rather than Miranda Frost? I remember seeing that on show in London.

    The Robert Quentin thing is interesting, I’ve never heard that before. Obviously he had his Quentin Quigley namebadge in TND but that was a jokey cover name of course (and he’d been named as Boothroyd in TSWLM); interesting to know they came up with a name for Cleese’s Q.

  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 189MI6 Agent
    edited November 15

    There are people here who overanalyse the thing, and that's the best way to make it unclear.

    The Craig era was built to be a reboot, and this is exactly what we got. Those who try to find links between the timelines are wasting their time. There are many references and easter eggs in NTTD, but they are NOT supposed to mean anything in terms of continuity. I also read comments saying Craig's Bond is the same as the one we have in the original series. I would go with the fact Tracy, who's probably the most important female character in the entire series and in Fleming's work, doesn't even exist in the Craig era, but let's play a little bit and let's suppose she actually exists.

    Vesper is supposed to be Bond's first love. On her tombstone in Matera, we can see the year of her death is 2006, which makes sense, not only because CR was produced that year, but also because M mentions September 11 during the briefing at the Ocean Club after Bond's heroic night at the airport. Furthermore, when Bond tries to identify the Ellipsis signal source thanks to the security camera of the club, we can see the date of the record tape he watches (which corresponds to the date Dimitrios sent Molllaka the text message) is July 6 2006.

    Given those elements, I would like to know how Craig's Bond could have met Vesper before Tracy while in the PTS of FYEO, we can clearly see the year of death of Tracy on her tombstone is...1969.

    It just doesn't match. And don't even try to sell me this shitty Marvel multiverse theory, unless your goal is to make my passion for Bond disappear forever.

  • LuisGuiLuisGui Posts: 3MI6 Agent
    edited November 24

    This how Bond franchise gets its entrance to the marvel´s multiverse concept! HaHaHa

  • LuisGuiLuisGui Posts: 3MI6 Agent


    Or they can do as Amazon Prime did with Jack Ryan´s character from Tom Clancy´s novels! The life of an international agent is not limited to the events told in the movies! They can have other missions in between the events of the movies (or novels)!

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,908MI6 Agent
    edited November 25

    The thing about On Her Majesty's Secret Service, though -- we're led to believe Bond is "in disguise" when he goes to Piz Gloria, having changed his physical appearance (if minimally) and altered his voice. Yes, it's thin, but later, when Blofeld says it will take more than a few props while snapping the glasses in two, he seemingly acknowledges that they more or less knew it was Bond all along. This jibes with the book in a lot of ways, as they're pretty much on to Bond the moment he arrives but just can't completely prove it until later -- when they know for sure, they pounce.

    I've read that the original script introduced Bond as having had plastic surgery to alter his appearance since he was too well known to continue to be a spy. That was later dropped, but there are remnants in the script, such as Lazenby's seeming to break the fourth wall with "This never happened to the other fellow" (though also a play on Prince Charming) and with the moment Blofeld reveals he knows it's actually James Bond.

    Diamonds are Forever, seeming to open in Japan, certainly could directly follow You Only Live Twice. Interestingly, if they'd just revered the first two sequences -- with Bond in the casino and then throwing the guy through the Shoji screen -- it could as easily be seen to follow OHMSS. The dubbing is so bad in both scenes, it would have been easy to flip "Marie" and replace "Cairo" with some other city, perhaps in Asia.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    @Gassy Man I agree. I always thought one of the reasons Blofeld didn't recognise Bond in OHMSS was because in YOLT he was disguised as a Japanese fisherman. It's his Walther PPK which constantly gives him away. Osato recognises his voice - I assume Japanese with a Scots accent? Now, of course, SPECTRE must know what OO7 looks like [don't they have a picture of him in FRWL?] at least following all the previous adventures, you'd think so, but as Bond isn't travelling to Piz Gloria as Bond, maybe the glasses, the voice and the hair style is enough to fool Blofeld temporarily. As you say, he isn't fooled for long anyway and he plays Bond along until the moment he - or Irma Bunt - can strike.

    Re: DAF, they should have retained the original beginning as written by Maibaum which had Bond hang gliding to Marie's island / beach / whatever and extracting the info about Blofeld's whereabouts. The first two scenes are completely pointless other than to reintroduce Connery's OO7 how Terence Young did in DN, from behind. unseen. I like DAF but it really isn't a very clever piece of filmmaking, it tends to constantly dumb down visually for nothing more than a few seconds of violence / humour. Of course, this would have meant deleting the hang gliding scene from LALD, but I could wear that.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    I cant remember if they had a photo in From Russia With Love. They did have a rubber mask that was close enough to fool us viewers in the audience.

    We've debated before SPECTRE had a photo from Annabell Chung in Dr No, but I think her first attempt doesnt come out, and her second attempt Quarrel destroys the film. even if she somehow took a third, it would have been destroyed in Crab Key

    (in the book, SMERSH has four photographs in Bonds zapiska, but then thats nothing to do with SPECTRE)


    I like the idea theres a reasonable explanation for Blofeld seemingly not recognising Bond in OHMSS, I'm just not convinced ever since someone first pointed out that plot hole. And did ConneryBond still look "Japanese" by the time he met Blofeld in the volcano? I dont really remember all that silly makeup in the later scenes after they went to the trouble of applying it

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    Amazing how the mind removes obvious pitfalls - how could I forget a whole PTS in FRWL ?

    😁

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,908MI6 Agent

    They seemed to want to have it both ways with Diamonds are Forever; that is, to loosely tie the film in with the previous one while also distancing it to cleanse the palette from Lazenby's brief foray with Bond. But I always wonder what it would have been like had Lazenby returned and, in keeping with the tone of OHMSS, they'd done a serious follow-up.

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,908MI6 Agent

    I think it would have worked better had they given Lazenby a mustache or beard to play Hillary Bray. On the one hand, that seems a little goofy, but on the other hand, it might have worked to convince us more that Blofeld either doesn't immediately recognize Bond or -- and this is closer to how the book suggests it, if I recall correctly -- he's on to Bond pretty much from the beginning but is waiting to see what Bond will do before the agent slips up and outs himself. It makes sense. Wouldn't Blofeld reason out the British might try something? But notice Bond also drops Bray's voice when the jig is up.

    Of course, though, we're overlooking the obvious, which is it doesn't matter how much Bond changes his appearance, his fingerprints must be on file somewhere. It would seem pretty easy for SPECTRE to simply compare Bond's prints to such (as well as to Hillary Bray's). I'd think this would be a problem for any secret agent. They slightly address this in Diamonds are Forever and then never really do again.

    As for Bond looking Japanese, he didn't look convincingly like a typical Japanese to begin with in that horrible, yellowface, Frankensteinian make up. If anything, it just emphasized his craggier, hairier western features. But by the time they storm the volcano, he's shed the "disguise."

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    thats right, Tiffany Case is somehow able to compare fingerprints isnt she? so SPECTRE must somehow have a database of fingerprints, Peter Franks' if not Bond's. And why would they have fingerprints for a smalltime crook like Peter Franks and not their greatest enemy?

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent
    edited November 28

    overanalysing this new film had got me so discombobulated I'm forgetting all I know about the old good films.

    Of course SPECTRE has a photo of Bond in From Russia With Love.

    Klebb shows it to Tatiana during their meeting scene. See 1:50 of this clip.

    "I was in love" "and if you were not in love?" "I suppose... it would depend on the man" "sensible answer. This man for instance?"


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