1. Bond running upstream…

    By Helmut Schierer on 2012-09-20

    The evil Franken van Banken (Julia Collier); image by courtesy Lyndsey Jones

    ‘Martini Bond’, that is. The play that garnered numerous positive – no, downright raving – reviews already during its run at the Camden Fringe Festival last August is finally moving to Barking’s Broadway Theatre, where it will be centre part of their ‘Bond Week‘ starting tonight. And here the exploits of James Bond’s daughter will take the chance to reach a wider audience beyond the limited seats of the Broadway’s tiers.  As their website informs us the play will be live-streamed from tomorrow, Friday 21th here. But playwright Lyndsey Jones’ blog WomanBitesDog tipped us off they will have a full-scale emergency exercise test run tonight, so eager fans can get to see ‘Martini Bond – The Hunt for The Spy Who Loved Her Mum’ already this evening (from 9.00pm).



    ‘Bond Week’ at the Broadway Theatre starts tonight and runs through 23rd September. It also includes ‘00 and his 7‘, a dance performance by the London Ballet Company  (also live-streamed from 7.45pm) and a free exhibition of Judith Walker cartoons.

  2. Jacques Stewart’s 007th Minute in ‘Goldfinger’

    By Helmut Schierer on 2012-09-17

    You know the drill by now; it’s opinion, and as such subjective – highly so even – and of course nobody is required to agree. If you are able to point out the significance of the image coming with this 7th Minute please do so in this thread.


    007th Minute watched and commented by Jacques Stewart.




    image Alexander Fleming House by Ed Osborn (c)

    Unburdened by dibbly dibbly do there’s a Dr No one here that explains this increasingly talked-into-a-corner “concept” and one about From Russia with Love right here and it’s on the From Russia with Love one that I realise that I have been totally misguided.



    There I was thinking its seventh minute was the vital and diverting tale of two middle-aged men playing chess, with the action high-spot being one of them drinking a glass of water in an odd way, largely to douse the cigarillo he’s just swallowed.



    Well, that’s just what “they” wanted us to think it was, isn’t it? I’ve had another ponder about it and – Clement Freud, analyse this – it’s not really about that at all, is it? Dr No’s seventh minute was, and I stand by this, pretty definitive a statement of what was going to happen for the next fifty years. Bad poo administered by “the foreign” happens to the British in some bit of the world they used to own or at least once put a test-the-water offer in on. The immediate reaction is “oh well, let’s keep trying” swiftly followed by a dawning realisation that this is never going to be anywhere good enough so better call M, because he or she is full of good ideas and expendable faceless alcoholic “bit rapey” psychopaths who do things we’re better off not even thinking about when mowing the lawn. This is then followed by the introduction of the hero, and subverting the early-sixties audience’s hero-perceptions, no it’s not the nicely side-parted ramrod -backed all very monochrome Michael Redgraveish Perigrine Carruthers with the unfortunate green coat, the old “school” tie and an accent so razorsharp the dockworkers he entertains of an evening would do well not to stick anything in his mouth, no, it’s someone altogether more cool and slick and sleazy and outside the perceived heroic idiom of the time who picks up scarlet half-naked women who do carrrds.



    In comparison, two blokes playing chess does seem a bit, y’know, like filler.



    continue reading…

  3. Debriefing the Martini Bond Affair

    By Helmut Schierer on 2012-09-16

    After this August’s downright glorious run at the Camden Fringe Festival, being sold out the entire three consecutive nights, after numerous positive reviews and glowing word-of-mouth by the audience, finally decided it was time to locate playwright Lyndsey Jones, the woman responsible for ‘Martini Bond: The Hunt for The Spy Who Loved Her Mum‘, and bring her in from the cold. In an intensive debriefing we were able to secure the following video material about the play that will kick off the Barking Broadway Theatre’s Bond Week, along with the ‘00 and His 7‘ performance by the London Ballet company and a free exhibition of Judith Walker’s cartoons, on 20 September. Both play and dance performance will also be live streamed.



    Follows a protocol of the debriefing:


    CBn: From your blog WomanBitesDog we’ve learnt you’ve been working on your play practically all this year. How long all in all did it take you to write Martini Bond: The Hunt for The Spy Who Loved Her Mum?



    Lyndsey Jones: I came up with the idea last December and delivered the final script in May. In between there were script editing meetings and readthroughs by the cast which all helped shape the play.



    CBn: When you first had the idea for your play, did you have concerns about Eon and Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson? Have you had contact with them, or did you get feedback?



    continue reading…

  4. Jacques Stewart’s 007th Minute in: ‘From Russia With Love’

    By Helmut Schierer on 2012-09-11

    Image The Queen Turned Red by desrie.govender (c)



    Opinion it is…

    And Science-fact…

    Text by Jacques Stewart











    Unburdened blahdy blah the Dr No one for an explanation of what’s going on here.




    0.06.00 to 0.07.00 From Russia with Love


    Previously on 007. James Bond, languid Scot who does murdering for a transient political elite but doesn’t let that bother him in any way because LOOK AT THE TAILORING AND THE MUSCLES, went off to Jamaica and ate a tarantula or something and beat up a man with no hands – at the edge of cruel, that – and hung around with a Swedish Honey who was largely dubbed but it wasn’t as if he was listening to her when he stared at her, agape. Did some singing, slightly unwisely, had his shoes fetched in an act of oppression and obviously deliberately vile racism but also did a lot of murdering so that’s all OK and the one balances out the other. Was cured of radiation sickness with a nice hot shower, blew some stuff up, played carrrds, managed to park the squirty chipolata three times and was rude to his dinner host. He’s great.


    The following events happen in real time. Well, within the seventh minute of From Russia with Love, anyway.


    So far as this one’s gone, Daniel Craig Robert Shaw has throttled a very red-lipped Sean Connery in the Pinewood Garden (sadly not a euphemism, and a bit of a missed opportunity, frankly). Only it wasn’t Sean Connery after all, it was Clement Attlee, so that’s cool.


    We’ve had thumping bits of music including “some” James Bond theme, just in case we were slightly uncertain what it was we were witnessing, some splendid belly dancing and the rather notorious mis-spelling that reads “Martin Beswick” when of course it should read “Martin Balsam”. Oh c’mon, admit it, Martin Balsam jigglin’ away and having a ritual cat-fight whilst resplendently underdressed is the motherlode of popular entertainment and you know it. Certainly betters that other film he was in, that one with the evidently psychopathic man dressing up as a woman, committing bad deeds and also starring a piece of vacuous flyblown driftwood that later got itself cast as James Bond. Mrs Doubtfire, that’s the one.


    continue reading…

  5. The 007th Minute: ‘Dr No’

    By Helmut Schierer on 2012-09-09

    Image Big Ben at 7pm by Martin Cleary (c)

    You see, simply cannot let this year go by without presenting you with a decent retrospective of the main purpose of our existence. But as all the pressure is on to be cost-effective and do something against the recession we had to concentrate on the essential bits of our favourite spy and his exploits on screen. So here now is – without further ado – The 007th Minute – a real-time retrospective in 23 parts by Jacques Stewart. Meaning reading it takes you as long as it takes you, nothing else. 


    Update: All incidents are fictitious and any resemblance to a proper opinion that could reasonably be taken seriously is entirely coincidental.


    Well, what else…?






    Unburdened with any desire to rewatch all of the Bond films in the run up to the 50th anniversary, genuinely cannot be bothered with all that effort, I thought it would be churlish not to at least recognise it all in some way so plumped on just watching a minute of each one, the 00-seventh minute of each (do you see what I did there? Of course you did. You read it).


    Fearing that watching the clock on the DVDmophone tick over between 0.06.00 to 0.07.00 would prove in some cases more engaging than the content onscreen, I steeled myself to my brave endeavour (watching 22 minutes of film – I want a medal) and what you get in this brief and violent series of reviews / petty abuse and juvenile sexual idiom is what I done thought of what I done saw.


    Some of the below may be outrageous lies but following the lead of the great green vegetable himself, I can cover that up by asserting that this isn’t science fiction, it’s science fact. Additionally, I have a very old DVD player and doubtless the timings might be off on far more sophisticated technology than mine but now you’re reading the typing of someone who really doesn’t care.




    continue reading…

  6. Kermode and Mayo are Bond and Blofeld!

    By Matthew Harkin on 2012-09-07

    Pictures of the Kermode and Mayo special Bond photo shoot have been released online. The pictures show Mark Kermode, one of the UK’s most respected film reviewers, and his Co Host Simon Mayo dressed as Blofeld and Bond respectively. Read more to view the complete album, or alternatively check their Facebook page.


    continue reading…

  7. Kermode and Mayo – A James Bond Special (Behind The Scenes)

    By Matthew Harkin on 2012-09-07

    If you cast your mind back to a week or so ago, two articles appeared on the main page. One concerning the Radio Times James Bond special, and another one announcing Kermode and Mayo’s James Bond special with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, on September 14th. In light of this news, Youtube channel kermodeandmayo have uploaded a behind the scenes video to promote the special, covering from prosthetics to photo shoot as both men are transformed into Blofeld and Bond respectively.

  8. "The Suantum of Quolace (Did I get it confused?)"

    By Matt Weston on 2008-08-09

    It’s a slow news day at CBn Towers, so we present you with the efforts of BBC 6 Music DJs Adam and Joe, who this week, as part of a feature called Song Wars, delivered their submissions for the Quantum of Solace theme song.

    Check out their hilarious efforts at the James Bond title track on the BBC 6 Music website.

    You can also watch the video to Joe’s song below.

    Jack White and Alicia Keys have their work cut out for them.

  9. Dear Mr. Fleming

    By Jim on 2007-12-25

    Jacques Stewart

    What follows is a little present from CBn for Christmas morning. Our Jacques Stewart weaves a correspondence of a “what if?” situation, the “what if?” being what if Ian Fleming had never found a publisher—until now?

    Pimhole, Mingeflap & Toss
    Literary agents

    13, Pearldrop Alley

    Jamantha Pimhole
    Hagrid P. Mingeflap
    Don Toss

    Mr. I. L. Fleming
    St. Mary

    25 December 2007

    Dear Mr. Fleming

    James Bond

    Thank you for your letter and parcel of 11 August 1964, which we found last week upon reupholstering the pelican. Our apologies for a slow response. We trust that this has not unduly inconvenienced you and that this letter finds you well.

    We are extremely obliged to you for your manuscripts, albeit unsolicited. As with all agents, we are unashamed to admit that we are desperately keen to find a new phenomenon to match Harry Potter. Writing on behalf of this partnership, this is so that people are encouraged to read and enjoy a communal experience, and also to make absolute cocking bumloads of cash from the undemanding and easily deceived.

    We have read all that you sent to us, and consider that your character and your stories show much promise and imagination for a new, unheard-of author. Please do appreciate that in not being a sportsperformer, an East End thug or having come ninth in Celebrity Love Abattoir in 2003, your chances of securing an extensive publishing deal are minute.

    This noted, we consider there is much in what you have written that could be of a certain specıalıst interest. However, before we could possibly undertake to represent you and negotiate a small sum from a minor fiction publisher, we would recommend that you reflect upon our suggestions for alterations to your work. As the agents who secured the deals for The Rose West Christmas Kitchen, The Ken Kercheval Family Bible and Scrappy-Doo: My Wanton, Boycrazy Life, we consider that we know the business sufficiently well to make these observations.

    As a general point, we wonder how sympathetic a character this (late thirties? We are afraid that the birthdate is very unclear!) introverted gambler with serious drinking and smoking and killing people problems (more upon these later) will be to what should be your target audience. Perhaps you could consider making James Bond a teenage boy? Or maybe a wizard? Or maybe even a combination of the two? Additionally, he appears to have few, if any, friends. Perhaps a platonic relationship with a female character, and give him a slightly less able male friend for comic relief? We would urge you to think about this.

    Before turning to the specific stories, please bear in mind that it is our considered opinion that all your titles would be much improved by having the words “James Bond and…” preceding them. Brand values are critical for pester power, and marketing opportunities would be much strengthened. Would you purchase a deodorant called only “Quantum of Solace”? Think on!

    Turning to the books themselves then, we regret that for several of them we could not get beyond the opening lines.

    Casino Royale

    “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.”

    This must be changed as it references the act of smoking in an enclosed space, which has been illegal in England since 1 July 2007, and in France since before then.

    Our suggestion is “Graham the floppy-eared piglet was having a troublesome day.”

    Live and Let Die

    Whilst the opening line is fine, we highly recommend a rethink of the title of the fifth chapter. Calling this “Nigger Heaven” is likely to cause offence as the use of “heaven” will tend to upset non-Christians and we recommend that you acknowledge religious diversity. Otherwise, fine.


    “The two thirty-eights roared simultaneously.”

    This needs further work as it glorifies the use of handguns, which few if any publishers will wish to. We consider that choosing another weapon would not disrupt the meaning of the prose. Have you considered… a wand?

    Diamonds are Forever

    “With its two fighting claws held forward like a wrestler’s arms, the big pandinus scorpion emerged with a dry rustle from the finger-sized hole under the rock.”

    Whilst this sentence of itself causes us little difficulty, we suggest opening with something else. As written, this leads to the incident of the same scorpion being smashed under a stone, which is a breach of the Colwyn Bay PETA Accord of 1977; a publisher would be required to confirm that no animal was harmed in the writing of this book.

    From Russia, with Love

    “The naked man who lay splayed out on his face beside the swimming pool might have been dead.”

    We would recommend some thought on this, as it appears to be aimed at those with an interest in indirectly homoerotic thrills. Admittedly, we did read further into this one and would like to remind you that the Russians are our friends now. Save for changing the villain to Al-Qaeda or perhaps a renegade wizard spy gathering his own army, we very much doubt that this will find a readership.

    Dr No

    Again, we have no issue with the opening of the story, and rather like the fight with the giant squid (query whether a giant spider would be more realistic) but would ask that you review whether it is appropriate for your villain to drown in some pooh.

    Forgive the question, but are you completely insane?


    “James Bond, with two double bourbons inside him, sat in the final departure lounge of Miami Airport and thought about life and death.”

    Encourages binge drinking, please remove this.

    From a View to a Kill

    “The eyes behind the wide black rubber goggles were cold as flint. In the howling speed-turmoil of a BSA M20 doing seventy, they were the only quiet things in the hurtling flesh and metal.”

    Appears to praise speeding, which is most unsafe. What if a four year-old were to read that? Have you thought of the consequences? Brr.

    For Your Eyes Only

    Whilst the opening line does not offend, the detailed and lengthy and lingering observation your James Bond makes of the villain could be construed as gay pørn. You may be amazed to learn that Harry Potter was notable for an absence of rimming, despite plenty of opportunity. We are not prepared to enter into a debate that this would have improved it. Whilst we acknowledge that Ms. Rowling did “out” Dumbeldore, we note her bravery in so doing once the series was over and her money was safely in the bank. We consider you capable of being even braver; the repeated references to women having bottoms like boys have not gone unnoticed. We think this is an interesting character point that you should work on and emphasise.

    Quantum of Solace

    “James Bond said: ‘I’ve always thought that if I ever married I would marry an air hostess’.”

    Your James Bond does seem to spend a lot of time in airports. We consider that some readers may find this interrupts the action. Perhaps you could consider a quicker way to get him airborne? Let us think of something.

    We do not understand the title.


    “In this pizniss is much risico.”

    We have noted a tendency in your writing to stereotype regional or foreign accents. You need an eye to the overseas franchises; to do otherwise is poor business sense and insufficiently aware of this as a marketable commodity. How would you expect to sell James Bond skirting board to Italy if you persist with such things?

    The Hildebrand Rarity

    The incident with the sting-ray has to go; see Diamonds are Forever, above. Also, may be seen as insensitive to the family of that Irwin fellow. Additionally, you appear to have forgotten to complete the story; the reader will be left wondering who did it. Finish this one and we may reconsider it.


    “It was one of those days when it seemed to James Bond that all life, as someone put it, was nothing but a heap of six to four against.”

    You must rewrite this. Gambling is not to be encouraged.

    Please ignore this point as a mere observation if inaccurate, but this does seem terribly familiar. Are you quite sure that this one is all your own work?

    The Spy who Loved Me


    Moving swiftly on…

    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

    “It was one of those Septembers when it seemed that the summer would never end.”

    Whilst a rather lovely comment, you will need to alter this to take account of global warming. Change “Septembers” to “Januarys”.

    As your Christmas holiday special story, it requires a moral and, most importantly, a happy, heartwarming ending. This is the law.

    Whilst we accept that it is dramatically credible for your James Bond to marry, that it is to a woman came as something of a surprise to us. Review please whether this is consistent with the character to this point.

    You Only Live Twice

    “The geisha called ‘Trembling Leaf’, on her knees beside James Bond, leant forward from the waist and kissed him chastely on the right cheek.”

    Sexist, racist, probably misogynist, insufficiently culturally aware. It’s not really working, is it, Mr Fleming?

    The Man with the Golden Gun

    Opening is fine, but please take our advice: if you want this gay love story to work, you need to make it much more blatant. As the final tale in your character study, the readers will want a big, emotional, tragic payoff to your dissection of the self-deceit a middle-aged homosexual with considerable rage issues had to go through pre-Wolfenden (we assume this is the point behind the overall meta-narrative; we could not establish any other). At present, it falls very flat as a conclusion to the character arc and reads as if you haven’t had the time to finish it, or your heart was not in it, or not working. Evidently, the groundwork is all there anyway but don’t be afraid to pump it up, pump it up a lot. The leading lady character doesn’t work, and we rather suspect you do not want it to but lacked the courage of your conviction. Do not worry! You will not be convicted. Except in Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Maine, but we doubt that the American market will take much of an interest in these books anyway, so fret not.


    “‘You know what?’ said Major Dexter-Smythe to the octopus. ‘You’re going to have a real treat today if I can manage it’.”

    This mocks those who believe that an octopus can talk. They are a significant minority interest group and this could be construed as a hate crime. The Pussy Pound is a big market and you really cannot risk sales in this manner.

    The Property of a Lady

    We wonder whether you recall the vicious websites set up in protest at Mr Ian McEwan’s decision to give one of his dour novellas the title “The Super-Duper Fluffpocket Scrumblenumpkin Lovely Adventure”. We recall such comments as “it is sounding like chick-lit”, “what color is yur wee 2day?”, “dont judge a book by its titel. you would’nt judge a actor by his hair” and “macewwan has raped my brain.” We consider that if you call one of your stories The Property of a Lady, you too will be subjected to such similarly expert views on internet message boards, and invite you to consider renaming this as a priority, for the sake of your mental health.

    The Living Daylights

    “James Bond lay at the five-hundred-yard firing point of the famous Century Range at Bisley.

    Guns, Mr Fleming! Guns! No!

    007 in New York

    “It was around ten o’clock on a blue and golden morning at the end of September and the BOAC Monarch flight from London had come in at the same time as four other international flights.”

    That thorny problem of spending so much time travelling on aeroplanes again! Air travel is not exciting to the twenty-first century reader. You must update these tales. We worry that your reliance on the hero travelling in aeroplanes (and vintage sports cars, for that matter) gives him a substantial and indefensible carbon footprint. Accordingly, our suggestion would be to give him a broom.

    Returning to general points, you noted in your letter that you wrote your stories to take your mind off your marriage. Please do not be offended by our suggestion that you do not repeat this too often; people will gain the impression, on reading your work, that your wife is an abominable woman.

    Please, having read the above, do not believe that we think your stories are without any merit. Much of what you have written is extremely marketable. The Ministry of Defence is plainly comparable to The Ministry of Magic. The hero has a significant scar, and parents who died in tragic circumstances. Your Blofeld, with his numerous acolytes and capricious insanity, is reminiscent of Lord Voldemort, even down to the inexplicable ability to change his shape. Your lead character has a beloved family member murdered suddenly by the major villain (or his female accomplice – this is unclear). This armourer character is evidently Mr Ollivander, the Intelligence Service is housed in a building holding many secrets and headed by a male patriarch who sometimes shows personal warmth to your impetuous male lead, although it would appear that your M. can whistle whereas Dumbledore probably cannot. These similarities suggest that you would be amenable to our overall recommendations for this James Bond, which are:-

    1. Drop the unconvincing pretence of heterosexuality, the casual sex, the gunplay, the gambling, the smoking, the drinking, the gluttony, the international travel, the incidental racism and general bigotry, the violence, the nudity, the end-of-Empire misanthropy, the adult characters, the country sports and the sexual fetishism. With such aspects retained, you will struggle to find any sort of readership. It lacks popular appeal.
    2. Broom + Wand = Magic!

    With this letter, we return your manuscripts. As a point to note, please send further agents (if not ourselves) your work by pdf attached to an email. Are you aware of the cost of posting to Jamaica?

    If, upon reading this letter, you wish to discuss our recommendations further, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you do not wish to proceed with our suggestions, thank you for your interest and we wish you good luck with your writing but do take our advice that James Bond, as written, just will not sell.

    Yours sincerely

    Hagrid P. Mingeflap

    Pimhole, Mingeflap & Toss


    p.s. Your recipe for scrambled eggs is lethal.

  10. 'The Property Of A Pussy'

    By Brett McAleer on 2006-08-02

    UPDATE: The James Bond Movie Title Generator now includes random plot summaries (including random Bond villains and girls).

    A new Bond novel!? Just another rogue publication like The Killing Zone!? Or is it the latest in a long line of Bond spoof literature!?

    Neither! It’s just a concoction from a fan with a funny Bond bone. The name’s Moser, Kim Moser.

    In July 2003 CBn alerted fans about Kim’s ‘James Bond Movie Title Generator’ to the amusement of forum members. One forum member commented that it only used the Bond film titles so CBn contacted Kim with a list of Bond book titles.

    Finally, after years of sweat and toil on the computer Kim has updated the generator to include the book titles! Says Kim:

    ‘[The Generator] now gives you an option of generating a movie (which is the default) or a book title. You’ll notice that the book titles only include those that are significantly different from the movies; titles that were used for both books and movies fall under “movies”.

    A few book titles didn’t easily lend themselves to randomization:

    • 007 in New York
    • Scorpius
    • SeaFire
    • Blast from the Past
    • Midsummer Night’s Doom
    • Doubleshot

    Maybe I’ll add them when I’m more inspired…’

    Kim Moser

    The list was submitted before the current crop of Young Bond books by Charlie Higson and The Moneypenny Diaries by Samantha Weinberg, so hopefully Kim will be further inspired to include these new titles as well.

    Until then, enjoy many a amusing result from Kim Moser’s James Bond Title Generator.

    Hmmm… License to Kill Me starring Pierce Moore!

    Keep watching CBn for all the latest news on Casino Royale and all things James Bond 007.