Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thunderball Henchman Gets Bond’s Point….Day 88 of Bond 365




Philip Locke
Philip Locke
Born this day in 1928
Vargas in Thunderball

Tall, slender and gaunt looking, Philip Locke attended RADA, like many of the Bond alums. He cultivated his acting within the theatre: Oldham Repertory Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, and Broadway. He made his first appearance on a television series, Jan at the Blue Fox, in 1952. He appeared in three The Avengers episodes, two episodes in The Saint, as well as four episodes of Doctor Who in 1982 as Bigon and Control. Locke is one of those few actors that worked in both the Eon Productions Bond films and the Doctor Who franchise.

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Here Comes the Sun. Colonel Sun….Day 87 of Bond 365




Colonel Sun
By Kingsley Amis as Robert Markham
UK book release this day in 1968

Kingsley Amis had written The James Bond Dossier and The Book of Bond as well as provide edits on The Man with the Golden Gun after Ian Fleming had died, so it did not seem all that fair fetched that Amis would be asked and readily accept the challenge of stepping in and continuing the James Bond story. Writing under the pseudonym Robert Markham, Colonel Sun was the first of many continuation Bond novels over the intervening decades. The UK publishing company Jonathan Cape released Amis book this day in 1968 with a cover contributed to artist Tom Adams, which is very much in the spirit of Salvador Dali’s painting titled Persistence of Memory (1931).

Ian Fleming Publications (at that time was Gildrose Productions) knew that the James Bond property was very profitable so they sought out a known author that they could commission to write a sequel. Having accepted the offer, Amis employed similar techniques that Fleming had used when writing his Bond novels. Amis drew from his travel experience by setting his story in Greece. He used the name of the boat he and his wife were on during their holiday, Bond Girl names came from friends and a family doctor becomes the doctor to Bond in an early chapter.

Amis pulled from Fleming’s prior to stories, settling on the concept of revenge. In the Fleming books, unless the movies, Bond has respect and admiration for M, which is interesting: apparently Amis did not like the character M, so in Colonel Sun, M is kidnapped. The villain, Colonel Sun Liang-tan is a nasty bit of work – a sadist and a torturer – and ushers in a new political power structure that sees Bond collaborating with the Russians, in opposition to the Chinese. Although the partnership structure has been modified, it is very similar to the dislike of the East expressed in Dr. No.

Colonel Sun did well financially and ranked very high in the bestseller lists at the time. Some critics welcomed the book and touted that Bond was back, however others were more critical and said Amis’ story paled in comparison with Fleming’s Bond stories. Even though the reviews were mixed the story was serialized in the Daily Express. The UK newspaper also ran it as a comic strip from 1969 – 1970. Titan Books, who has been reprinting those strips in omnibus volumes, reprinted this story in 2005.

Amis sought out opportunities to bring Colonel Sun to the silver screen, but ultimately was unsuccessful. That said, elements from his story have shown up in a few of the Eon Productions films. For example, the kidnapping of M happened in The World is Not Enough and Colonel Sun Liang-tan inspired Colonel Tan-Sun Moon in Die Another Day. And, Greece was used as a setting in For Your Eyes Only.


© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Half Dozen of Bond and a Trailer on the Side….Day 86 of Bond 365



Yeah! The teaser trailer for Spectre released earlier this afternoon. I recognized the locales that we have been seeing promotional stills and shots of in the past couple of months. It’s cool to see those items congeal into the semblance of a forthcoming film. The shots inside the church stood out for me as minimalist yet intriguing. So, what do you think?



Thunderball
UK book release in 1961 (Jonathan Cape)

I haven’t read this book yet. Given the history behind it, which I will not go into in this blog (read the Wikipedia entry for more information on that front), I am anxious to read it. I want to read the eight leading up to it and then read through this one and see if there are many style and narrative differences in Thunderball that were not there in the prior books.

The cover of the book is another Richard Chopping illustration. I like his covers quite a bit. Sterile, distant, and aloof, yet textured with layers of meaning and representation. On the Wikipedia page, I liked the pull quote that Fleming wrote to Chopping: “The title of the book will be Thunderball. It is immensely long, immensely dull and only your jacket can save it!”

Richard Marner
Richard Marner
Born this day in 1921
Russian Spacecraft Communicator in You Only Live Twice

It was about a week ago that Richard Marner appeared in Bond 365. Let’s take a look at March 18, commemorating his passing in 2004.







Julian Glover
Julian Glover
Born this day in 1935
Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only

Julian Glover came from a BBC family. His mother was a journalist and his father a radio producer. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and honed his acting skills at the National Youth Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He became a regular in many of the television series in the UK during the 1960s and 1970s where Glover often played sophisticated villains. In face, he is the only actor to appear in these popular franchises – Star Wars, Bond and Indiana Jones – and as a villain in all three. And Glover, like a number of other actors I have been featuring on Bond 365, has acted in a Bond film and in the Doctor Who franchise.

According to IMDB, Glover audition for the role of James Bond in the 1960s and then in John Glen’s memoirs, had suggested Pierce Brosnan for the Bond role. Glover is still acting. If you happen to watch a little show called Game of Thrones, he plays Grand Maester Pycelle.

Talisa Soto
Talisa Soto
Born this day in 1967
Lupe Lamora in Licence to Kill

Talisa Soto has been successful as a model where her beautiful face and body have graced such magazines as Glamour, Sports Illustrated, Mademoiselle, and Vogue. She started appearing in films in 1984’s The Pope of Greenwich Village. Her third acting credit was for Lupe Lamora in Licence to Kill starring Timothy Dalton and Carey Lowell. It seems that for the most part, she was cast in films, however she did guest star on a handful of television series, however Soto’s is probably also remembered for her role as Kitana in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Most recently, you might have seen her in Elysium.




Sean Connery and Gerry Duggan
Gerry Duggan
Passed away this day in 1992
Hawker in Goldfinger

Irish actor Gerry Duggan got his start in The Flying Doctor as Fred Winter in 1959. He went on to act in a mixture of television series and films through an acting career that lasted over thirty years.

As a Bond alum, he was cast in Goldfinger as Hawker, James Bond’s caddy as Bond plays a round of golf with Auric Goldfinger. Let’s see Mr. Duggan in action:




Peter Diamond

Peter Diamond
Passed away this day in 2004
Stunts in A View to a Kill

Peter Diamond was a versatile individual. According to his IMDB profile, he was an actor, stuntman, fight coordinator, sword master, and second unit director/assistant director. Diamond started in the business in the 1954 television series The Three Musketeers as M. de Jussac, but he also was a fight arranger for two episodes. He worked on a lot television series as well as movies. In all, he had 74 acting credits and 121 stunt credits in a career that spanned half a century, which is an incredible length of time.

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.