M'aidez - a game for May


Mayday; come to my help.

No, not you.

Thank you for tightening my girdle like that but any more comparing me to a blimp and I’ll confiscate your snood. I admit I do regret confiscating your book “ How to pronounce convincingly the word ‘helicopter’ ” (007 Store, £34,000.99) but that’s just water under the Golden Gate B now.

Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, I like James Bond films. However, there are points in each when they hurt my head, and I’m not consciously referring to the speaking voice of The Actor Pierce Eardrum.

Some things I just don’t understand – politeness, Wordle and local authority bin rotas – but the below are specific ones from the Bond films.

I accept the answer to most is “It’s successful light entertainment, trouble your pea-brain not, you teat-witted measle” but… I still flounder about. Lost at sea. Adrift.

Help me.

By all means add your own to ensure I drown by the 31st day.

Some might look rhetorical but they do creep along my medulla oblongata until I become totally desensitised. That might be the Lafite Rothschild, though.

  1. Dr No: Other than saying it to cover up the real reason he sussed out Professor Dent (irradiated rocks) – which I suspect it is – if ectually meant as the real reason for suspicion, why is Dent having seen Strangways’ new secretary any indication of involvement or culpability? Also, isn’t that chap over Sylvia Trench’s left shoulder overacting gloriously madly? Including magic broom man from Quantum of Solace, is he the worst supporting artiste in the series?

  2. From Russia with Love: What is the significance of the small scar on Bond’s back? It’s referenced on at least two occasions and I’ve never understood it.

  3. Goldfinger: Why doesn’t Oddjob remove the gold from Mr Solo’s car before crushing it? The man’s already dead. Also – Richard Vernon (Colonel Smithers) – only five years older than Connery; not a question, more just “blimey”.

  4. Thunderball: Why do the maps in Moneypenny’s office change between scenes ostensibly taking place on the same day and barely an hour apart?

  5. You Only Live Twice: Why give an astronaut / cosmonaut an air conditioner to carry if they are then not to take them onboard with them? Also, what is Bond intending to do if the rocket had set off – sacrifice himself by blowing it up (somehow)? Mmm, dark.

  6. OHMSS: At the start, is Q banging on about obsolete equipment a veiled dig at Connery? Also, his drivel about miniaturisation – is that a long, long set up for the joke that Bond has a photocopier delivered to him by crane?

  7. Diamonds are Forever: Dr Tynan has the diamonds in a pouch in a fake exhaust pipe thing. Wint and Kidd put them into a small box. Mrs Whistler fits them into a hollowed-out Bible. For some reason, they then get built into a huge chandelier, before being stuffed up Peter Franks’ presumably average-sized alimentary canal. They then fit into a small urn, and finally a cuddly toy. Other than filling one’s head with the challenging image of Sean Connery ramming a light fitting up another man’s botty-bot… the chandelier aspect – why? (And – how?) Secondary question – is Bond smelling Wint’s cologne when talking to a rat, and then delivering the “smelled a rat” line at the end, simply one of the finest set-ups and payoffs in the series? The gag takes an hour or so to deliver.

  8. Live and Let Die: Have you ever suffered a personal injury that wasn’t your fault? That little chap who stabs Hamilton and Strutter in New Orleans – is there another character in the series who does the most damage yet gets the least comeuppance? (Bond in Moonraker, Bond in Skyfall and M in No Time to Die aside)?

  9. The Man with the Golden Gun: That waxwork of Bond. Given that Scaramanga says halfway through that he has no beef with Bond, why is this here other than to give the funhouse labrats a shock? This assumes all of them would know who Bond was. Is this film the best/worst example of Bond not being a very-secret secret agent (from England!)? Most of the characters seem to know who he is. No wonder M’s so very cross.

  10. The Spy who Loved Me: Given that Stromberg already has his two submarines within the first five minutes of the film, a) what’s he waiting for and b) why kidnap a third?

  11. Moonraker: What exactly is it the British are going to do or achieve with a loaned Space Shuttle, then? If one talks to the British about their space programme, they will assume you mean Doctor Who, at which point you are obliged to run, fast.

  12. For Your Eyes Only: Given that Bond can (and does) rely on Colombo to find St Cyril’s, other than for “the fun of it” what actually is the point of the Q scene at the wedding? Also – how can anyone be sure that the ATAC works any more, anyway?

  13. Octopussy: Surely M should send Bond to Berlin to investigate the death of 009? Operation Trove appears to have no scope whatsoever and is just hanging around waiting for Bond to do stuff. There’s no mission. Is Octopussy “Bond goes rogue” in (clown) disguise? Also, other than the jewellery which will be damn difficult to sell, and he is usually a seller, what is Kamal Khan in it for? Also – why sell the Faberge egg (and presumably other jewels, earlier) in the most visible way possible? Wouldn’t the Russians ectually have noticed this by now?

  14. A View to a Kill: The Russians have a pipeline into the British firm that Zorin has taken over, that builds the EMP-proof chips (the EMP-proof chips that find themselves in NTTD’s nanobots, one presumes; at least M was using British industry). The Russians are the ostensible threat at the start of the film, but it’s all drinks-round-M’s-gaff and Order of Lenin at the end. Is this a) no-one will remember, that was all two hours ago; or b) we need to give Walter Gotell his statutory five minutes; or c) a devastating prediction of the infiltration of Russians into British government circles; or d) given his glee at Silicon Valley being saved, Gogol dun’t care, there are leaks everywhere. It’s probably d) given what he says but the attitude to the Russians is all over the place here, isn’t it? Does Bond actually stop the initial leak continuing anyway? Also – do Zorin’s conspirators get away with it?

  15. The Living Daylights: Pushkin is “shot”. Isn’t it a bit of a chance for Koskov to then be on a ‘plane for several hours and in the meantime no-one reveals it to the World as a ruse? Equally, if everyone still thinks it’s true, why no reprisals? Bond was caught on camera. Why aren’t the Russians going completely nuts and instigating a real Smiert Spionam? Nothing happens either way. Isn’t that odd? Why keep Bond alive at all? Just shoot him rather than transport him to “Afghanistan”. I appreciate the “not taking the opportunity to just shoot him dead” is not exclusive to this film but this strikes me as one of the more baffling examples. Their use for Bond and the setting up of the British to kill Pushkin is… over.

  16. Licence to Kill: Setting aside the thought that the petrol’s now probably worth much more than the cocaine, won’t all that cocaine smell of petrol? Given how it’s ingested, won’t that be slightly unusual for the “consumer”?

  17. GoldenEye: For what conceivable reason does Trevelyan think that destroying the Bank of England and the British economy generally won’t affect, at least by ripple effect, the value of all the money he has stolen? Given that a few dozen sub-prime mortgages granted to moonshine-doused hicks collapsed almost every economy in 2008. Why does someone fire a missile at Bond from the lake? Where does all that water go?

  18. Tomorrow Never Dies: Bond’s uniform boasts decoration for two medals awarded for involvement in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and one for service in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe in 1979/80. Other than it being an off-the-peg-that’ll-do costume choice, a bit like the off-the-peg-that’ll-do Bond wearing it, what’s all that about then?

  19. The World is Not Enough: The “message” in repaying the money relies on the exchange rate being identical on the day King paid it for Elektra’s release, to the day Bond retrieves the money, to the point Bond checks the exchange rate. How can that be relied on as a “message”?

  20. Die Another Day: Other than pure swank, why does MoonGraves invite Bond to Iceland? He’d have won if he hadn’t done that. Also, why not use the weapon to just destroy bits of America or the UK (other than this being very sensitive post-9/11)? And what is Miranda Frost’s actual motivation for betraying Bond? And why does Madonna look like a particularly whiskery ferret peering through a mop head?

  21. Casino Royale: Le Chiffre sees Obanno’s body in the boot of his car. Aren’t his troubles over now? It was Obanno’s money, not (cough) Quantum’s.

  22. Quantum of Solace: Additional to - why does the audience not revolt at how Tosca has been chopped up and re-ordered? (I would, ticket prices there are brutal), and whether it’s not just all a terribly funny joke that one’s utility provider might be (cough) Spectre, how does Greene’s water plan thing work outside of dry, landlocked countries?

  23. Skyfall: What actually happens to the NOC-list thing? When Silva is captured, is it not retrieved? If not, why not, given all the significance placed on it to that point? If so, isn’t the enquiry unnecessary/diluted? And if that then doesn’t have to happen, then no threat to M there and no Bond kidnapping her and… Skyfall produces so many questions. Looks good, but it is absurd.

  24. Spectre: Q takes the Spectre ring. It’s the last time we see it. This had various baddies’ DNA on it, which suggests a level of hygiene about it that is utterly lamentable but so be it. Is this how Heracles starts? Is Q complicit? He seems very passive in relation to it in the next film. Guilt?

  25. No Time to Die: Bond is covered in Spectre-killing nanobots in Cuba. Safin will know this. Why then recruit Madeleine (other than for torment/repay a debt/crowbar in the notionally emotional stakes) when Bond touching Blofeld would achieve the end goal anyway, without Madeleine possessing it at all?

Six days left, six Bonds… random thoughts

  1. Goldfinger: I guess this is a classic of this type of question but why does Goldfinger involve the gangsters at all?

  2. OHMSS: Is Sir Hilary Bray meant to be (at least coded as) gay? Adds a dimension if so, but is this an intentional “could-be”?

  3. Live and Let Die: Isn’t it utterly disgusting that Bond shaves in his own bathwater? Is this the least appealing depiction of his personal habits (aside from “a touch rapey” and “kills people”)?

  4. The Living Daylights: How (…why?) do Kamran Shah’s men get through airport security – one of them has rows and rows of bullets festooned across him? Also, why doesn’t one of these men just shoot General Gogol? He’s a Russian General and you’ve come all this way…

  5. The World is Not Enough: If Renard can’t feel anything, would he actually be able to stand up? Strikes me as medically suspect.

  6. No Time to Die: Why does Leiter recruit Bond at all, really? Surely someone else can do it? Unless… having told the Widow Sciarra to contact Leiter, what transpires is she is Spectre too, captures Leiter and, angry at Bond’s use and abandonment as well as “because he’s James Bond”, conditions Leiter into tracking Bond down and luring him in. It takes five years, for some reason. I appreciate this is hole-filling with fan-fiction speculation, but it has some shred of coherence to it if build a universe one must. Otherwise – why? Bond only finds out about Spectre in Spectre and then Brofled claims all the credit and Bond retires. Why is “because it’s Spectre” any sort of lure for a retired agent five years out of training and otherwise, to this point, unthreatening to them and unthreatened by them as a whole other than their being Broberhauser’s plaything?

June 2022



Blofeld would only talk to Madeline so she was the natural choice of who to spike.

Safin got very lucky at the point Madeline ran off that Bond had talked (bullied) his way into that room.

As for this one, Felix doesn’t trust his colleagues (“seems intelligence isn’t central anymore”) so went to his old friend who knew a lot of this stuff already to ask him to do it hoping “he’s my mate” would be enough of a reason. Bond agreed with your point that isn’t his problem and actually told Felix no. It was only when Nomi then told Bond to leave it that he decided he was going to do it…he is quite childish for a Commander in his 50’s


As for this one, the slimy banker does give a wishy washy bit of guff about their scientists being able to completely separate it so they’ll be sending their scientists out to the other distribution centres.

Though as Benicio Del Toro had just rejoined the party, I don’t think anyone was listening.


Oh yeah, forgot that bit. Still, I think it’s implied that Bond only manages to infect Blofeld because Madeleine inadvertently passes the goo to Bond when he grabs her by the arm. Only after this is Bond tested for the nanobots. Not, oddly, before, despite being showered in them.


So it’s all her fault, really. As to her intervention, why is M surprised to hear from Bond if Nomi is there to tell him to leave it; doesn’t he know where she is and what she is doing?

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Why would Blofeld’s dna be in the Spectre group package? He’s been in Belmarsh for 5 years! He was the one member they knew wasn’t going to be there in person.


It does seem to have been Nomi’s own “great” idea when she sees Felix approach Bond.

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Yes, fair point - although I think he does come up on screen in an earlier scene as being within the target group? Also fair point on the Nomi thing. I must pay more attention!

Whisper seemed to take his comeuppance. He did nothing but serve champagne but then got ratted out by his fellow bad guy then got killed at the end. Poor guy was guilty of nothing more than having bad friends (in every sense of the term)

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You beautiful beautiful person!

Yes and doubtful, Hunt probably didn’t like that Connery wasn’t there, his documented treatment/ abuse of Lazenby would suggest he wouldn’t have been averse to a bitchy joke about Connery being obsolete. It’s a bit too subtle of a joke for the team, considering their opening gambit was “this never happened to the other fellow”

This is amazing btw , I shall do one a day " discipline 007 etc."

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He killed Bond’s driver, didn’t he? Admittedly does very little else.

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Thank you Jim.

Proposed addendum to May 7th

“Felix, I need the real diamonds.” Where does Bond get the fake ones? How do the real ones get to Felix? Does Felix know that the corpse holds fake diamonds when he masquerades as an airport employee? How do the fake diamonds survive the cremation process? Are DAF’s diamonds the series best use of a Hitchcock MacGuffin?


Great idea for an own thread: secondary characters in Bond films overacting.

Or underacting. Exhibit A: Elvis in QOS.

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Excellent - yes, folk do worry about the real/fake egg in Octopussy but Diamonds are Forever got there first - what is the passage (a glorious pun, totally intended) of the real diamonds?

Arguable on the MacGuffin, definitely, although they do seem to have an eventual purpose being glued onto the satellite - so there is an end point and we do see what they were for. Would still say the Octopussy egg is more of one, given that two-thirds of the way through everyone completely forgets about it in favour of a much bigger egg. the sort what goes bang. But certainly arguable, agreed. Horses in a View to a Kill pretty much comes to nothing too.


And Goldfinger has it with the smuggling of Gold. They completely forget about it before we’ve even met all the lead characters.

Edit: Skyfall doing that IS your note for 23


I would argue that a MacGuffin is more than an object/goal that initiates action. In its best manifestations, it is an organizing principle, and sometimes a MacGuffin maintains its potency/poetry/motivation throughout a movie. In NOTORIOUS, Alicia tries to tell Devlin about where the sand comes from even as she is dying of arsenic poisoning. In NORTH BY NOTHWEST, the microfilm is important until the end of the chase across Mount Rushmore, and in THE 39 STEPS, Mr. Memory recites the design for a silent aircraft engine as he dies. In these three cases, the MacGuffin operates until either almost the end of the movie or (in the case of THE 39 STEPS) the very end.

I agree that in OCTOPUSSY and AVTAK the MacGuffin is allowed to fall away/is discarded–it ignites the plot, but gets dropped along the way. But in DAF, it is both the subject of the last line of dialogue–“James, how the hell do we get those diamonds down again?”-- and present (to the exclusion of anything else) in the final shot of the film, where the diamond-encrusted satellite slowly migrates to center screen as the credits roll, disappears along with the final credits, then pops up to the left of its last position along with the announcement that James Bond will return (as do MacGuffins apparently).


No one else seems to be approaching this from the “one a day, in sequential order” angle, but as there are 31 of them, and I’d like it to last, that’s what I’m going to do.

  1. Dr No: Other than saying it to cover up the real reason he sussed out Professor Dent (irradiated rocks) – which I suspect it is – if ectually meant as the real reason for suspicion, why is Dent having seen Strangways’ new secretary any indication of involvement or culpability? Also, isn’t that chap over Sylvia Trench’s left shoulder overacting gloriously madly? Including magic broom man from Quantum of Solace, is he the worst supporting artiste in the series?

For me, it isn’t so much that Dent has seen Mary Trueblood, it’s that he has NOT, but lies about it. Obviously Dr No’s plan is to make Strangways disappear and use an “affair of the heart” as a cover story, but what the opposition doesn’t know is that it doesn’t add up. M says “she’s a new girl, we’d only just sent her out there,” so it’s highly unlikely she and her boss could have gotten deeply enough into a romance that they’d want to run off together.

Indeed, there’s only one way it makes sense for me that M even comments on how new she is to the job. He’s not the sentimental type, so it’s not a case of “poor girl, MIA right out of the gate.” It’s more like he’s saying the “romance” angle is the first thing that occured to MI-6, too, but the facts simply don’t support it.

Dent, per the plan, suggests Strangways’ disappearance is more “hubba-hubba” than foul play, but his act falls apart immediately when the other guy asks, “Have you met her?” and he’s left with the lame response, “Well, I’ve seen her about, you know.” It’s probably more this response that clues in Bond than anything: for her to be “about” – as in making the rounds of the clubs, appearing at formal functions, etc – she’d had to have made more than one appearance, and in a context where Dent would have known who she was. It’s implied she never had time for any of that before she was rubbed out.

All this would have been clearer if M had been more specific about how recent her posting was. Does “just sent her” mean last week? Last month? On the previous night’s plane?

Also, there’s no indication in the club scene that Bond attaches any significance to Dent’s remarks, or even hears them. And maybe he doesn’t, immediately. But notice he tells Dent that was only the FIRST clue. The more suspicious part came when he confronted Dent about the rocks from Crab Key, and Dent offered up an obvious lie. It’s likely it was only after that visit that Bond thought back and realized, “Wait, how can he have seen the secretary?”

To my eye, the other gents at the club think there’s something fishy about Dent’s story, too. They’re too gallant to confront him over it, but I don’t think they see Strangways as the sort to run off with a girl, and they seem a bit turned off by Dent’s unseemly “va-va-voom” remarks. He does the “wink-wink, nudge-nudge, knowwhatimean?” routine and they are not having it. I think Bond picks up on the fact that while Dent has as much right as any of the other members to hang out at the club, he is not regarded as a particularly trustworthy or honorable sort by the Jamaican community. But maybe that’s just because he’s got Anthony Dawson’s face.


Sorry David.



That‘s all the audience needs. We only wait for Bond to find something out - but who cares. That chap is helping the bad guys.

Imagine him being played by, well, Bernard Lee. More intrigue and surprise when Bond kills him off.

But that was the template: bad guys look the part.

Ridiculous, right? Then again, if one considers many conservative politicians…