I'm tempted to write that one up as a full sketch, but the best bits are now already covered.
2021. Buckingham Palace. The Queen sits on her throne, casually feeding her Corgi Meghan-shaped cookies, as Charles and Camilla enter.
Charles: Hello, Mumsy.
The Queen: Ah, hello Charles. Kisses for Mumsy.
(Charles kisses her.)
Charles: Camilla is here too, Mumsy
The Queen: ….yes. So, you went to see the new James Bond film, then?
Charles: Yes, we went with Wills and Kate.
The Queen: I’m very glad it wasn’t with Harry and… what was her name, again?
Charles: Meghan. Her name’s Meghan. You will have to say it sooner or later, you know.
The Queen: (Darkly.) If your father was still here he’d have something to say about that.
Camilla: Kate was wearing the most beautif-
The Queen: What did you think of the film, then?
Charles: Well, I have to say it was very strange. People kept dying all over the place!
The Queen: One has seen James Bond films many, many times before. People dying is not very unusual in them.
Charles: But not like this- people one doesn’t expect to die did!
The Queen: Did you meet that nice Judi Dench? One has always appreciated her work.
Charles: No, Mumsy, she isn’t in this one- she died two films ago.
The Queen: But one distinctly recalls seeing her with that awful Kenneth Branagh playing Anne Hathaway just recently.
Camilla: Anne Hathaway? But she’s much younger than-
Charles: No, we mean William Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway. Mumsy, her character M was killed two films ago.
The Queen: Seems to me that they’re killing everybody off in these James Bond films.
Charles: You may have a point there.
The Queen: Perhaps one may have come to the right decision in not going to see this one, although it was always rather pleasant to see that nice young Broccoli girl and her husband taking over from her late father.
Charles: He’s her brother, Mumsy, not her husband.
The Queen: Then why do they have different names?
Camilla: Well, you see-
The Queen: Did Wills and Kate like it?
Charles: Well, they said they did.
The Queen: And there were children in this one? That is something one certainly does not recall seeing before.
Camilla: Ah yes, but-
The Queen: Well, one looks forward to seeing the delightful Mr Craig in more of these James Bond films. He was most charming that wonderful day he took me up in a helicopter to parachute out over Wembley Stadium.
1974. A gangster arrives in Hell, the James Bond version.
Satan: Hello, Rodney. I have been expecting you.
Rodney: What? Where am I?
Satan: (Grandly.) Take a look around- you are in Hell.
Rodney: Hell? Ya mean I’m dead?
Satan: Most certainly.
Rodney: I shoulda expected this.
Satan: Not so fast, Rodney. One does not simply walk into Mordor- or in this case, Hell. You have to show that you have done truly evil things in your time on Earth.
Rodney: I had my men shove a girl out a high window.
Satan: But she lived- she landed in a pool.
Rodney: I didn’t know there was a pool down there.
Satan: Anything else?
Rodney: I shot Al Capone!
Satan: (Tiredly.) You shot a mannequin of Al Capone.
Rodney: But I didn’t know that!
Satan: Petty stuff, Rodney, petty stuff. See that man over there- the one with an eyepatch, wearing a scuba suit?
Satan: See how he’s in a pool? Every morning he awakes, to find himself there… and then we let in the notorious Golden Grotto sharks. The most savage, the most dangerous. He tries to fight them off, then they eat him… piece by piece. He awakens the next morning and it all starts again for him.
Rodney: What did he do?
Satan: He was going to blow up Miami with a nuclear bomb. Now, see over there- that very tall Chinese man with the metal hooks for hands?
Satan: See how he’s up to his waist in some grey powder? That powder, Rodney, is bird guano. Every day he is slowly covered in it until he suffocates.
Rodney: Good God!
Satan: The very opposite, actually. See that man there, playing his golden harp?
Rodney: What did he do?
Satan: He nearly killed 60,000 people. Every day he’s trapped in a golden vault with a nuclear device- it’s small, but particularly dirty- until it explodes.
Rodney: What’s that seat for over there?
Satan: It’s reserved for the future, for… but that would be telling.
Rodney: So what happens now?
Satan: Now? I shall send you upstairs- you can argue with St Peter all you like.
Satan: Now to prepare for someone who is most definitely joining us....
Edit: I obviously know who I had in mind for the reserved chair, but decided it would be in terrible taste to include it. Barbel
This is for caractacus potts.
1965. A theatrical agent’s office in London. Michael Caine enters.
Agent: How are you, Michael?
Caine: Can’t complain. I’m hoping you’ve got something good for me what with “Zulu” being a big success.
Agent: I might have just the thing. Have you heard of a producer called Harry Saltzman?
Caine: Saltzman? You mean….
(Caine adopts the James Bond pose, holding a forefinger over his shoulder.)
Agent: You’ll be lucky! Seems he wants to have a word with you- I think he might be offering you a multi-film contract.
Caine: Ah! Do a lot of people know that?
Agent: I don’t think so. Shall I tell him you’ll be over?
Caine: Yes, definitely.
Harry Saltzman’s office. Michael Caine enters.
Caine: You wanted to see me, Mr Saltzman?
Saltzman: I did, yes. I’ve seen your movie “Zulu” and I think you might just be the man I’m looking for. I’d like you to be the lead in a series of spy movies.
Caine: ….spy movies?
(Unconsciously he adopts the Bond pose.)
Saltzman: You’ll be lucky! I’ve bought the rights to some books by a guy called Len Deighton. The first one’s called “The IPCRESS File”, heard of it?
Caine: Yes, I’ve heard of it, and yes, I’m interested.
Saltzman: I was thinking of signing you up to a five-film contract. Still interested?
Caine: Where do I sign?
Saltzman: One thing, though. Your character doesn’t have a name.
Saltzman: He tells the books in the first person. We have to think of a name- a really dull name to suit the character and the plot.
Caine: There was a boy I was at school with, he was really dull. He was called Palmer.
Saltzman: (Writing.) Palmer! That’ll do fine. Now, what’s the dullest first name you can think of?
Caine: (Blurts out.) Harry?
Saltzman: Oh, thank you very much! Still, that’ll do as well as anything.
1967. Harry Saltzman’s office. Michael Caine enters.
Caine: Hello, Harry.
Saltzman: What’s up, Michael?
Caine: Seems our film “Billion Dollar Brain” hasn’t done as well as we had hoped.
Saltzman: That’s true, unfortunately.
Caine: And to tell the truth I’ve got pretty fed up with making these movies.
Caine: I’d like you to release me from my five-film contract.
Saltzman: I see.
Caine: If you want to carry on making Harry Palmer movies, I hear that Nigel Davenport might be interested in taking over my part.
Saltzman: Is that public knowledge?
Caine: No, not a lot of people know that.
Saltzman: Well… all right, no point in carrying on if you’re unhappy.
Caine: Thanks, Harry.
Saltzman: Just one thing…. I might have a vacancy in a certain other film series I’m involved in….
(Unconsciously he adopts the Bond pose. Caine laughs.)
Caine: You’ll be lucky!
good to learn the behind-the-scenes story!
what if Harry Palmer had been the character in OHMSS? I think he's so jaded and blasé, he wouldn't have bothered about Tracy, he'd just passively watch her lose her money and walk away. The story never would of got started!
Well, then we wouldn't have the much discussed plot hole where Blofeld doesn't recognize Sir Hilary! 😄
I'm laughing at the idea of My Cocaine doing Sir HIlary Bray at Piz Gloria. 'It's just a slight stiffness, luv!'
Alas, the film of Sir Michael trying out the costume for Sir Hilary hasn't survived. Some stills do exist, but as a cost-cutting measure he had to share the test with another actor hopeful for the part.
Wonder what happened to him?
I haven’t looked at this thread for quite some time…good to see you keeping the standard high, Barbel, these are brilliant 😁😂
Thanks, CHB. There was a break but it seems to be back now.
1958. South Africa. Bob Holness visits his agent.
Agent: No, I’m sorry, Bob, there’s nothing again.
Bob: Are you sure, Robin?
Robin: I’m afraid so.
Bob: It’s been five weeks now. The landlord’s getting very impatient, and I could do with a good meal.
Robin: Well, there is a radio play…
Bob: Radio? You know I hate doing radio, Rob!
Robin: That’s all I have to offer, sorry.
Bob: I can’t see any alternative- so, what is it? A whodunnit? Maybe a love story? A period piece?
Robin: No, it’s a spy thriller. All about a rocket being aimed at London and you’re playing the only man who can stop it.
Bob: And what’s his name?
Robin: Bond. James Bond.
Bob: Well, ok, I’ll do it.
Robin: That’s great. I’ll phone them up and tell them. Would you like a cup of coffee while you’re waiting?
Bob: No, thanks- I’ll have a tea please, Rob.
Barbel Will Return ....
in the blockbuster
I hope that Bob Holness radio play shows up eventually, or at least a script. Its so frustrating to know there was another adaptation between Climax Mystery Theatre and Dr No and no-one alive remembers anything else about it.
Missing Dr Who episodes seem to show up regularly, and a third complete first season Avengers reappeared a couple years ago. A lot of BBC radio broadcasts of 60s rock bands were officially wiped but turn out to have been backed up in private collections. So there's hope yet.
maybe we should try to imagine Harry Palmer in OHMSS, even if we knows he's too cool and ironic to care about Tracy's problems the way Bond would.
He could at least say something like...
"Ah, see that's a shame now luv, it really is. I'd like to lend you a few bob to cover it, but the fact is I got this boss, see, an' 'e's lousy at compensatin' for me expenses in the field, so that's that, you know 'ow it is. Its tuff being a working class bloke an' your expected to go undercover in these posh casinos an' you gotta quibble over every glass of orange juice you order. But lissen, if you ever want a nice 'ome cooked meal and appreciate a good record collection, 'ere's me number in London."
(apologies for my attempt at a Cockney accent, I haven't attempted it since me days as a chimney sweep)
Thank you, N24!
caracactus, I certainly hope it does turn up though that's very unlikely after all this time. 😕
And you wanted Harry Palmer in OHMSS? Then this is all your doing, I'll have you know:
1969. London. Office of W.O.O.C.(P.). Colonel Ross goes to press the button on the intercom, then remembers it broke six months ago. He walks to the door to Jean’s office.
Ross: Bloody intercom’s still broken.
Jean: Yes, sir. We need a better system of repairs.
Ross: What we need is a location fix on Palmer. Number 10’s making ugly noises. Jean, did you check with Communications?
Jean: Replies to our Cairo and Madrid pigeons all negative, sir.
Ross: The PM wants to be informed personally when we find Palmer.
(A Morris Minor drives along a coast road. The driver attempts to roll a cigarette one-handed, fails dismally, and curses. A red Mercury Cougar overtakes, the female driver tooting her horn angrily. The Morris Minor driver puts his foot down, reaching the dizzy heights of 40mph in a fraction under five minutes, and comes across the Cougar abandoned beside a beach. He pulls in, and reaches into the rear seat. Under old newspapers, cornflake boxes, and empty bottles of Tizer he eventually finds a pair of binoculars. Looking through them, he sees the driver walking into the ocean. Instantly, he drives onto the beach and getting out of the car follows her into the water where she has become unconscious. He lifts her to the beach. Her eyes flicker open and she looks up at him.)
Palmer: ‘Allo. My name’s Harry Palmer.
(Two men with knives appear from nowhere.)
1st Man: Don’t move, Mr Palmer.
(One takes the girl away.)
1st Man: Now get up. Put your hands behind your head- move!
(Palmer is led to a boat. There, he manages to overcome both the men while armed with only a tin of supermarket mushrooms and his half-rolled cigarette. The girl takes the opportunity to take Palmer’s car and drive up the beach to her own, then drives off. Palmer stares at her, then is joined by the two men.)
Palmer: ‘Ang on a minute, lads- I’ve got a great idea. Er…..
I love it!
the idea of one 60s superspy stuck into another one's adventure is inherently funny to me, but the typical Michael Caine dialog and 'Arry Palmer eccentricities make him an especially funny character to use.
so we've got him as far as the Casino scene. but if he never goes back to Tracy's room with her, he never meets her father, and never learns Blofeld's location. so two months later there's this successful bioterror attack on British agriculture that nobody knows to prevent. Bit of a bummer ending thatd be.
EDIT: I bet Harry buys locally sourced meat and produce, he's a foodie. If he were alive today he'd be a regular at the Saturday farmers market scene. So, even if all the rest of the film had to be skipped because he didn't bother to go back to Tracy's room with her, he'd be inconvenienced by this disruption to the local food supply, and that'd make for a good final scene to the adventure.
"ah bollocks, it's all imported frozen foods in the supermarket again, and the prices 'ave gone way up since this bio-terrror thingie. I'm going to 'ave to talk to Ross about a rise in me paygrade again just to cover these grocery bills!"
I'll have a think about that. Meanwhile, glad you liked it and see the PM I've sent! 😁
Edit: Don't see why Palmer wouldn't still be alive today- Michael Caine is!
1971. Las Vegas. Plenty O’Toole sits morosely in a bar, waiting on her sister. Eventually Natalie enters.
Natalie: Plenty- you look dreadful.
Plenty: I know, I know. I’ve just about given up on this whole Las Vegas thing. I can’t get a job, the prices are extortionate. I think I’ll just have to give up and go back home.
Natalie: That’s nonsense and you know it. You’re just not making the best of yourself.
Plenty: What do you mean?
Natalie: Look at that outfit you’re wearing- it’s boring!
Natalie: Look, you have to take advantage of what nature has given you. Take this dress, go into the restrooms there and change.
(Five minutes later…)
Natalie: There! You see?
Plenty: I think I see what you mean….
Natalie: Now, let’s go to that casino across the road and we’ll see what we can do.
(In the casino.)
Plenty: So, I just wait for some guy to come up and-
Natalie: No, you can’t let the dress do all the work. You have to size up the guys, try and decide who’s worth the going after and who isn’t.
Plenty: What’d you mean?
Natalie: Well, have a look around. Now, you see him there? The one with the white dinner jacket, drinking a vodka martini shaken not stirred, and a dead rabbit on his head?
Plenty: Why a dead rabbit?
Natalie: It might be mistaken for hare. You got a look at him?
Plenty: Yes, and I think I like what I see.
Natalie: Yeah, but he’s trouble. You get mixed up with him and you might get in over your head! Try that guy Maxie over there first- see how you get on.
Plenty: Sounds okay- let’s give it a go!
1971. Las Vegas. Felix Leiter walks into a bar.
Barman: Good evening, sir, what’ll it be?
Felix: Er… four measures of… no, three measures of… gin, that’s right, and one measure of… er...
Barman: Three measures Gordon’s, one of vodka, half of Kina Lillet, shake it over ice, then add a thin slice of lemon peel?
Felix: Yes, that’s right. How did you know?
Barman: That’s what your friend had last night when you were in. You know, the tall handsome one wearing a tuxedo?
Barman: He talksh shomething like thish?
Felix: Yes, yes, all right, I know who he is.
(Felix sees a beautiful lady produce a cigarette. He goes over and offers a lighter. It catches fire on the third click.)
Beautiful Lady: Thank you.
Felix: No trouble, ma’am. The name’s Leiter, Felix Leiter.
(From the side, another lady whispers.)
Natalie: Hey, Plenty- not him, you can do much better than that!
Plenty: (Turning away from Felix.) Yeah, okay.
(Felix sighs, and sips his drink. He splutters a little at how strong it is.)
Waiter: Good evening, sir, would you care to see the menu?
(The waiter hands Felix a menu.)
Waiter: The chef recommends caviar to start, followed by underdone tournedos of beef with sauce Béarnaise then an artichoke heart and half an avacado pear with French dressing.
(Felix sadly examines the menu, fingering the coins in his pocket.)
Felix: I’ll, er, have a hamburger, thanks.
Waiter: (Snottily.) Will that be with fries or without, sir?
(Felix examines the menu again, teeth clamped together.)
Felix: Without. Thank you.
(Felix sadly eats his hamburger and drinks his Vesper. He looks around one last time, then heads for the door.)
Doorman: Your car, sir?
(He indicates a shiny Aston Martin.)
Felix: Ah… no, this one.
(He points to a Ford Pinto.)
Doorman: Certainly, sir.
(Felix rather unsteadily gets in and drives away.)
(Half a mile later the car goes on fire.)
spit laugh at the last line.
Then I'm glad I included it- nearly didn't.
In real life (at least financially) it's probably the other way around....
2021...or 2020… or possibly 2019. Pinewood Studios. Daniel Kleinman is directing Daniel Craig in the gunbarrel sequence for “No Time To Die”.
Kleinman: Thanks, Daniel, that was pretty good. Now, can we do it again and this time try a little harder to hide the gun?
Craig: I didn’t hide the gun at all on “Spectre”!
Kleinman: Yes…. exactly.
Craig: Well, all right then.
(They shoot the sequence again.)
Kleinman: That was better with hiding the gun, but do you think you could maybe do it a bit slower, perhaps?
Craig: I did it in half the time on “Quantum Of Solace” and nobody complained!
Kleinman: Oh yes, they did. Many of them.
Craig: I don’t see why I have to do it again- Sean Connery only did it once.
Kleinman: Yes, but that was because Bob Simmons had done it in the first three movies and then Cubby & Harry decided to shoot “Thunderball” in widescreen so it had to be done again.
Craig: And Roger Moore only did it twice!
Kleinman: Same reason- they had to put it into widescreen to accommodate the flares on the trousers he was wearing.
Craig: It seems to me I’ve done it in a different way on all the Bond films I’ve done.
Kleinman: Then this is hardly the time to break the tradition, wouldn’t you say?
Craig: I suppose you’re right.
Kleinman: Then… action!
Craig: Oh damn, I’ve forgotten what to do.
Kleinman: Oh, Daniel, this is… no time to dry.
2022. Madame Tussaud’s, London. Barbara and Michael wander around.
BB: Oh look, Michael, there’s the Queen.
MGW: Yes, very lifelike.
BB: And there’s Benedict Cumberbatch. See? He looks very elegant. Hmmm….
MGW: The answer’s still “No”, Barbara.
BB: Okay, okay. And there are the Bonds. James Bonds.
MGW: Yes, that’s a very good display.
BB: How young they all look!
MGW: We were all younger then, Barbara.
(They come across an attendant measuring the waxwork of Superman.)
MGW: I wonder what that guy’s doing?
BB: Let’s ask him. Excuse me, could you tell me what you’re doing there?
Attendant: The boss told me to measure up the Superman figure for a tuxedo. Seems to think we’ll be needing it shortly.
BB: Oh, right. Thank you.
(They walk on.)
MGW: (Whispers back to the attendant.) I wouldn’t bother if I were you.
Attendant: (Whispers back.) Thank you, sir. What about Loki?
(MGW shakes his head.)
Attendant: And what about-
MGW: Coming, Barbara.....
How did I miss this? It's hilarious!
😁 Glad you liked it!
It's been too long since we had a collaboration. This is by Gymkata, Charmed & Dangerous, and me.
2022. Eon HQ, under the College Of Arms.
MGW: ...so, then we have to-
BB: Michael, I’m worried.
MGW: Worried? What about?
BB: The “Mission Impossible” films are doing very well, possibly better than the Bond films are, and the Jason Bourne films have been very successful.
MGW: Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that.
BB: Why not?
MGW: Look, your father and I had a long talk about that many years ago. He remembered there being competition from the Matt Helm films, Harry Palmer, Derek Flint, and so on. They all faded away and Bond carried on.
BB: Yes, but-
MGW: These films, with Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne, are the same. They’ll fade away- I think the Bourne films already have- and we carry on making the Bond movies. The audience is still there, and if we do things right they always will be.
BB: But it’s different today, television is much more important.
MGW: And we’ll sell to television after we’ve had our theatrical run, just as we always have. It’s a bit sooner these days, of course.
BB: Are you sure?
MGW: All we have to do is make sure we release them regularly.
BB: Define “regularly”.
MGW: Well I'm thinking we need to go back to one every two years.
BB: If we want to release one in two years, we'd need to be in pre-production right now with a nearly finished script.
MGW: Well... I was going to surprise you with this for Christmas, but I'll tell you now.
BB: Tell me what?
MGW: Babs… Bond26 is already filming.
MGW: It's true. I'm dead serious.
BB: But... how? Who wrote it? Who's the director? WHO'S BOND???
MGW: Calm down, calm down… it's all going great. I've got the best people on this, you're going to love it, Barbara.
MGW: I got Paul Anderson to write and direct this. He did ”Magnolia”, “Boogie Nights”, and “The Phantom Thread”.
BB: You sure? There are two Paul Andersons, you know.
BB: Yeah, really. What are his middle initials?
MGW: Hmmm... let me check. Dur dur due... here we go... Paul W.S. Anderson.
BB: Oh no... you didn't….
MGW: Is that the right one? He's written and is directing this now.
BB: And I bet he's got a female Bond, right? Milla Jovovich?
MGW: ...how did you know?
BB: Get me the phone, Michael…You had to go with Paul Anderson?
MGW: Well, we were a bit worried about audience reaction with the other names in the hat. Tarantino wanted to make Bond a gangster. As did Scorsese, and his version was even more violent and even less funny than Tarantino's vision. Spielberg said it was old hat (he mumbled something about a Fedora). Tim Burton wanted to remake the 1967 “Casino Royale” with Johnny Depp as a tattooed Bond and Helena Bonham-Carter as Le Chiffre. And Christopher Nolan told us that we'd already copied his Dark Knight trilogy plots, so we could jump in an Aston Martin and go fu-
BB: (Wailing) Come back Cary, all is forgiven!
1974. Set of “Murder On The Orient Express”.
Sidney Lumet (Director): Lighting… fine. Sound…. fine. Okay, we’re all ready I think. Ask Mr Connery to come on set, please.
Assistant: Yes, Mr Lumet.
Sean: You all shet, then, Shidney?
Sidney: Yes, if you’d just stand over there and-
Sean: Ish that where you’re putting the table?
Sidney: Yes, that’s right.
Sean: (Shaking head.) No, I think it should be over here.
(He moves the table.)
(He puts it back.)
Sean: No, here. (He firmly moves the table.) You see? I’ve been in a film shet on thish train before, you know. Little thing called “From Russia With Love”. You might jusht have heard of it?
Sidney: Yes, but-
Sean: And we had the table in thish position.
(Sean leans on the table, daring Sidney to move it. Albert Finney then enters, in full Hercule Poirot costume.)
Albert: You’re arguing about the position of the table?
Sidney: Yes, Sean remembers it being in a different position in one of the James Bond films he was in.
Albert: Hmph! You won’t catch me doing a James Bond film!
Sean: Oh, you think sho? Just give it time, Albert.
Albert: We’ll see about that.
Sean: Indeed we will. Anyway, sheemsh to me we don’t have to shpend over two hoursh for you to figure out who the bad guy ish.
Albert: How’s that?
Sean: He’sh the one having red wine with fish.
2021. An estate agent, somewhere in London.
Manager: ….and that’s all for today. Now, tomorrow, I’d like you to take some prospective buyers to a flat in Chelsea.
Agent: No problem.
Manager: We’ve been asked to take this on by a Government department. Apparently it’s standard procedure on the death of an unmarried employee with no next of kin.
Agent: Ah… that sounds familiar. I think we’ve done this before. (See Imaginary Conversations - Page 44 — ajb007 Post 1294)
Manager: Really? Well, that would be before my time in this office.
Agent: Yes, maybe some ten years ago. Tell me, was the person who came in a small elderly lady with short white hair? Can’t remember her name, but it began with an ‘M’.
Manager: No, it wasn’t. In fact it was a rather military looking gentleman, maybe in his fifties. Funnily enough, I’m sure his name began with an ‘M’ as well. Now, what was it…?
Agent: I don’t suppose he gave the name of the deceased owner?
Manager: Let me see… (Looks through files.) The name was Bond-
Agent/Manager: (Together.) James Bond.
(They stare at each other.)
Agent: I’m the one who sold that flat back then. A nice young couple bought it, and then soon afterwards they were obliged to sell it back to the Government- seems that man Bond wasn’t dead after all, and there was a clause in the agreement saying that we had to sell it back if he turned up.
Manager: Wait a moment… (Looks through the files again.) Yes, you’re quite right- that clause is in here, too!
Agent: You know, I’m not so sure we want to handle this particular case.
Manager: I’m beginning to think that you’re right- unless, of course, we’re really sure that he’s dead this time.
Agent: Hmm, I wouldn’t take any bets on that one!