This is a glorious year, and not just because we’re like 56% sure that the Mayans are incorrect with their calculation that the world will end. Their apocalyptic inaccuracy notwithstanding, this November, the sky will fall. For this, ladies and junior mints, is the year of Skyfall. Any year that boasts the release of a new James Bond film is one of note. But the turmoil experienced by MGM, which jeopardized this celebrated franchise’s future, it’s especially exciting to be but mere months away from the release of the twenty-third installment.
Here at FSR, we are Bond nerds. More specifically Mr. Kevin Carr and myself are absolute James Bond freaks. We will therefore be celebrating the impending release of Skyfall every week with various articles about the Bond universe until that fateful November 9th. To kick things off, we thought we’d help you hold your own against Bond nerds you may encounter in your own life. The great thing about these films is that no matter your level of cinephilia, if you’ve resided on planet Earth throughout a goodly portion of your life you are bound to have seen at least one or two of 007’s movies. We’d even hazard you’ve liked a couple. However, whenever you cross paths with someone as obsessed with Britain’s deadliest cinematic spy as Kevin and I are, calling yourself a fan is an invitation for interrogation. Immediately they will begin firing trivia questions at you designed to test your Bond mettle.
Here are a few queries you’re bound to face, and their corresponding answers. Getting familiar with these should convince those smug experts that these films are not for their eyes only. At the very least it should shut up that pompous Kevin Carr.
Q: What 80s Action Star Can Credit A View To a Kill As His First Onscreen Appearance?
A: Dolph Lundgren. Though not a speaking role, and only barely visible, Dolph portrayed a hired goon for one of Max Zorin’s (Christopher Walken) business associates in the movie.
Q: What is Q’s Real Name?
A: Major Geoffrey Boothroyd. Named after an actual weapons expert who advised Ian Fleming on the munitions aspects of the Bond stories, Major Boothroyd, or Q as we would come to know him, was first portrayed by Peter Burton in Dr. No. Actor Desmond Llewelyn took over the part in From Russia with Love and would occupy the role until his death in 1999. Llewelyn was not credited as Q until Goldfinger, bearing the name Boothroyd in the credits of From Russia with Love.
Q: In What Branch of the Military Did Bond Serve and What Was His Rank?
A: Commander in the Royal Navy. In several of the films, you will hear allies and MI-6 staff refer to 007 as Commander Bond. Also, his faked death in You Only Live Twice was granted the pomp and circumstance of a Royal Navy burial at sea.
Q: Where Did Ian Fleming Get The Name James Bond?
A: It was the name of the author of a book entitled Birds of the West Indies. Fleming was a very active birdwatcher and favored the works of ornithologist James Bond. When deciding on a name for his British spy, he thought James Bond was suitably brief and unromantic.
Q: What Is The Real-World Significance of Name “GoldenEye”?
A: It was the name of Ian Fleming’s winter home in Jamaica, from which he wrote most of his James Bond novels and stories. Seriously, how badass a name for a house is that?
Q: What Does SPECTRE Stand For?
A: Special Executive for Counterintelligence Terrorism Revenge and Extortion; Bond’s nemesis organization has a hell of a built-in mission statement.
Q: What Does SMERSH Stand For?
A: Not quite as prevalent as SPECTRE, but still known to give Bond plenty of headaches, is the Russian counterintelligence organization SMERSH. This one is not so much an acronym as it is the consolidated version of the Russian phrase smert shpionam, meaning death to spies.
Q: What Is The Full Name of The Evil Leader of SPECTRE?
A: Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Most probably just know Bond’s archenemy as Blofeld, or that bald guy, or–wildly incorrectly–Dr. Evil.
Q: Which 00 Agents Are Either Shown Killed Or Referred To As Deceased?
A: 002, 003, 004, 006, 009. 002–Bill Fairbanks, killed by The Man with the Golden Gun. 003–Found dead in the snow at the beginning of A View to a Kill. 004–Killed during a training exercise in Gibraltar during the opening scene of The Living Daylights. 006–Alec Trevelyan, treacherous double-0-turned-villain killed by Bond in GoldenEye. 009–Murdered, while wearing a clown suit no less, by knife-wielding assassins in Octopussy.
Q: How, and in Which Movie, Does Felix Leiter Lose His Legs?
A: His legs are eaten by sharks as orchestrated by the sinister drug kingpin Sanchez in License to Kill. In the books, the shark attack actually occurs in Live and Let Die, and Leiter loses one leg and part of an arm.
Q: Which Bond Film Was Remade As Never Say Never Again?
A: Thunderball. A point of controversy among fans is whether to even consider Never Say Never Again part of Bond canon. The film was the result of a rights dispute and was ultimately produced out of spite. The quality, or lack thereof, stands as testimony of that.
Q: Which Actress Portrayed Two Different Bond Girls? In Which Two Movies Did She Appear?
A: Maud Adams. She played the ultimately soft-hearted girlfriend of The Man with the Golden Gun and also took the titular female lead in Octopussy.
Q: What Is The Motto On The Bond Family Crest?
A: The World is Not Enough. Yes, that’s where that underwhelming Brosnan outing got its title.
Q: Name Three Henchmen Not Named Oddjob or Jaws?
A: Several options here. Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd (Diamonds Are Forever), Gobinda (Octopussy), Tee Hee (Live and Let Die), Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun), or, for a more equal opportunity selection, Fiona Volpe (Thunderball).
Q: Both of the Stars of The UK TV Series The Avengers Have Appeared in Bond Films. Name the Actors and Where They Appeared.
A: Diana Rigg (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) as the only woman Bond ever married; brief though their honeymoon turned out to be. Patrick Macnee (A View to a Kill) as Bond’s colleague Sir. Godfrey Tibbett…also dies.
Q: What Is The Name of Largo’s Boat in Thunderball?
A: The Disco Volante; Italian for flying saucer.
Q: Bond’s Favorite Card Game?
A: Baccarat. Though the recent Casino Royale would suggest otherwise, it has long been established that when Bond takes to card, he opts to play this incredibly befuddling French game. What is like, Go Fish casino style?
Q: What Is The Fictitious Company Bond Uses As a Cover in Several Films?
A: Universal Exports. Most notably featured in You Only Live Twice.
Q: Prior to Casino Royale, What Was the Last Bond Film To Be Based on Ian Fleming’s Text?
A: The Living Daylights. Based on an Ian Fleming short story published posthumously along with Octopussy.
Q: What Was The Gun Bond Used Before Being Forced to Switch to the Walther PPK?
A: Beretta M 1934. He was forced to hand over his Beretta in Dr. No.
Q: For Which Three Films Did Shirley Bassey Sing The Title Song?
A: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker…in that order.