1. James Bond Trivia 101

    By Luke Freeman on 2004-02-06

    Is there anything more thrilling than trivia? I seriously doubt it. There is no sensation that compares to the adrenaline rush one gets from showing off their trivia skills to the amazement of onlookers. And James Bond and trivia go hand in hand. When I think trivia, I think James Bond, and when I think James Bond, I think trivia. James Bond trivia is far more interesting than trivia regarding non-Bond related subjects. Tell people which country won the first Soccer World Cup, or how many episodes of The Partridge Family were made, and they smile politely and yawn. But tell people that Roger Moore is older than Sean Connery or that The Spy Who Loved Me ends to the sound of a pack of drunken sailors singing the title song, and they’ll be hanging on your every word.

    You don’t need fancy clothes, a fast car, or even good looks to impress. You can get along just fine with a bit a James Bond trivia. Now I’m sure most of you already have a fair bit of Bond trivia up your sleeves. You can probably run off all the films and books in your sleep, tell stories about what actors were originally considered for what rolls, and quote the licence plate of Bond’s BMW Z8 from The World Is Not Enough. Heck, You may even be able to accurately describe what colour Roger Moore’s hair really is in A View to A Kill. You may know all that and more, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t brush up on your James Bond knowledge every once in a while. Think of this article as a refresher course, and think of me, Freemo, as your wise old tutor with his cardigan and pipe. Together, we will hit the books, and study a few points of 007 trivia not known outside these university halls..

    “The first actor to play two different characters in the James Bond series was…. Sean Connery”.

    The honor role of people who have had the privilege of appearing in multiple roles in the 007 flicks is a long and distinguished one. From Charles Grey, Maud Adams, Martine Beswick and Joe Don Baker in rather large roles, to the repeated cameos of Shane Rimmer and Michael G. Wilson, popping up every now and then as different minor characters. But if watching the films in order, preceding all those people was Anthony Dawson, who played Geologist Professor Dent in the first Bond film Doctor No, before returning a year later as the hands of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in From Russia With Love. With that in mind, most aficionados would most confidently that he was the first. Those people would be wrong. Now before you look at me as if I’ve just slapped your mother, think about it for a minute, and you’ll agree that the first actor (stuntmen not included) to play multiple characters in the Bond series is, infact Sean Connery. He, of course, played 007 in Doctor No and From Russia With Love, but also played a SPECTRE agent wearing a James Bond mask in the pre-credit scene of From Russia With Love. Connery is in the scene, running around the maze, and the character he is playing is not James Bond. That scene coming being before Dawson’s scene as Blofeld, making Connery, technically, the first actor to play multiple characters in the James Bond film series.

    “The only Bond film not to have a major villain is…. Tomorrow Never Dies“.

    Talking about a Bond film with no major villain will thrill and wow your audience no end. Many would say that From Russia With Love is the Bond film missing the major villain, with Red Grant and Rosa Klebb in a double act role. But I’d have Klebb as the major adversary and Grant as merely the henchman. After all Grant’s only interested in swiping some gold sovereigns and getting Bond to kiss his feet. Klebb is the one out for glory. But, Tomorrow Never Dies, there is a film without a major villain. At first glance, Elliot Carver seems to fit the bill nicely, but was Elliot Carver really so bad? When you look at the film closely, it’s clear that he isn’t really a villain at all. I mean, surely he’s one of the nicest, most honourable media moguls you’ve ever seen. For one, the stories he printed were true, without any of the cheap tricks or persuasive messages the media so often use. “17 British Sailors Murdered”. I mean, 17 British sailors really were murdered. Sure Carver may have been the one responsible, but he’s reporting the news better than most. Most newspapers or TV news programs run sleazy headlines fresh from the rumour-mill, about attention-seeking celebrities trying to resurrect their failing careers. “Madonna in love triangle with Brittnay Spears and Francis the Talking Mule”. Bombarding us innocent readers with stories like this is surely a far greater crime than anything Elliot Carver ever did. Even worse, they spelt “Britney” incorrectly. When you look at it like that, it’s reasonable not to consider Carver a villain at all, let alone the major villain.

    Quarrel Junior (seen in Live and Let Die) isn’t really…. Quarrel’s biological son.

    Well, I can’t actually prove this one for certain, but it’s well known that Mrs. Quarrel “got around”, if you know what I mean. Hard to forget those rumors about her and Puss Feller, or the ones with Commander Strangways. She probably named the child “Quarrel Junior” so that her husband wouldn’t get suspicious, a very crafty scheme indeed. Quarrel was probably too busy filling and refilling that rum bottle of his to ever notice the lack of family resemblance between him and Junior anyway. Hmmm.

    So there you have it. Three more precious pieces of James Bond trivia to improve upon your expansive knowledge (well two, third ones a bit doubtful. If anyone can prove it one way or the other, send me an email). And it’s on that note that conclude the lesson for today. For homework, find out which John Garnder novel has the most words. Sorry we didn’t have time to discuss who currently owns the 2CV Melinda drove in For Your Eyes Only, or to go into what the “J.W” in Sheriff J.W Pepper really stands for. Those are pieces of Bond trivia that will have to wait for another time.

    Oh, and by the way, Uruguay won the first Soccer World Cup, and there were 96 episodes of The Partridge Family.

    Until next time,