NTTD – The Nitpickery

No good Bond movie is without flaws. NTTD is no exception to that. And if you don’t think that NTTD was a good Bond movie, you have even more reason to nitpick away.

I’ll make a start:

Primo – once again one of the typical Craig era henchmen with not much to say –, his bionic eye is an interesting feature, but it’s all a bit confusing.

First, he loses the eye during the fight with Bond. Script wise, I understand why they didn’t have Bond pick it up and take it with him, but it’s illogic. Even if he’s now a retired secret agent, he surely would have know that this was something that could help him solve a few mysteries.

Second, he’s Blofeld’s eye and ear to the outside world, and it seems a bit inappropriate that this important task should be assigned to a mere henchman. One would expect that this is a job for someone high up in SPECTRE’s food chain, a proper agent. Ergo, Primo should have been among the victims in Cuba.

Third, he’s seems to be a loyal employee as he continues wearing it after Cuba, thus keeping Blofeld informed. But I don’t really understand why he’s even wearing it when he has a job interview to have himself hired by the opposition. Of course, it’s entirely possible that he had orders to infiltrate Safin’s organisation and decided to just get on with the job after Blofeld’s death (money was good, and the old company had gone down the drain, anyway), but that doesn’t explain why he still keeps wearing it…

I happen to know what a real glass eye looks like (a family member has one), and I can tell that this bionic eye is really huge – almost as big as a golf ball – and must be rather uncomfortable to wear (and I’m not even talking about getting it in and out of his eye socket), he must have been happy to get rid of it. One might think that he just couldn’t get an appointment with his ocularist to have new glass eye made and kept wearing it because he didn’t have anything to replace it. But he must have had something, because the eye was carried around by waiters in Cuba, and I didn’t see him wearing an eyepatch.

And yet, he still has it on Safin’s island. He had to – for script reasons (again) – because else, Bond simply would have had to shoot him (just too ordinary) instead of giving him an elaborate “death by Q-gadget”.

Yes, I know, searching for logic in Bond movies is humbug at times, but it would be less fun if we didn’t try every now and then. :laughing:

Oh, when Primo looks down the bridge and we get to see the enlarged eye for the first time, does that count as a reference to NSNA’s Jack Petachi’s iris scan? On that occasion, a belated RIP to actor Gavan O’Herlihy, who’s passing away on Sept. 21st hasn’t been mentioned on this site.


@stromberg, as a professional, certified nitpicker, I thank you for this thread :wink:

I love the movie, I must say, but as any self-respecting fan I enjoy complaining about what I love.

  • Bond dumping Madeleine in the PTS: he had to do it for the sake of the story, OK, but I wish it had been on less thin evidence than Blofeld obviously framing her. 'Well done, you daughter of SPECTRE"? Of course that’s what Blofeld would say to mess with Bond before killing him. And in the age of mass surveillance, how can Bond think that Madeleine betraying him is the only explanation?

  • Blofeld has overstayed his welcome, by about 2 films…

  • How is Madeleine consulting patients (and consulting for MI6) in London, if she lives in rural Norway? And why make her live here, of all places? I hear the Norway chase (fabulous!) was actually filmed in Scotland. Having Madeleine’s house in Scotland would have made more sense geographically, without any other impact on the story.

  • The DNA-targetting virus and nanobots: I understand the writers needed to build a situation where Bond would be cornered and have to make the ultimate choice. I wish it had been for a less sci-fi reason than this nanobots powered virus (the way it is depicted here). That’s really my biggest complaint with the movie.

  • Speaking of the virus… Does it really sound clever to blow up the virus facility with rockets, therefore probably releasing massive quantities of randomly lethal and highly contagious virus in the ocean?

  • The MI6 memorial service: I really do not like the ‘back to work’ conclusion. It’s dry, it’s harsh, it’s disrespectful. Who holds a memorial for a fallen colleague squeezed between two meetings?

  • Finally, not something about the film, but about myself: although I liked the film, I must admit I have some trouble handling its emotional weight. I have seen it only once so far, and now even though I have full access to the VOD version, I have found myself postponing another viewing, which I thought I really wanted to have. It’s not that I don’t like the film, not at all, but embarking on this emotional journey feels a bit too much at the moment. During the peak of the pandemic I would really have wanted an earlier release, in streaming. I am now grateful that EON held on. It would have been too much.


A quote from our old friend zencat:

“Fandom is where people come to complain about something they like.”


A nitpickery list to dissect, hooray :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Totally agree. After all he’s been through, he’s still prone to jumping on conclusions too quickly.

Granted, but Waltz hasn’t been given a lot to “act” the second time around.

I take it that she’s usually living and working in London, but (despite bad memories, just like Bond with Skyfall) kept the house where she grew up as some kind of last resort (far out in the Norwegian woods). Bond asks her where she’s going to, and she says “Home”. This is “home” to her.

What Cubby said: “Five minutes into the future.” Every Bond movie just has too have a bit of outlandishness… :laughing:

We’ve heard enough about how viruses may or may not work in the past two years. I guess the virus simply cannot survive outside a human body. It “dies” after 15 minutes when it’s exposed to just, say, air or water, without contact to humans.

“I’m just a professional doing my job.” – “Me too.” Let’s get on with the job, there’s work to be done. “He would have wanted it that way.”

Same here, but for me, that was after the fourth viewing in cinema. This movie improves on second viewing (and on third, and on fourth), so you’d better give it another go at the cinema (if possible). Having now seen the difference between cinema and TV screen, I gotta say: watch it on the big screen as often as you can, because (really) that’s what it was made for. I understand now why BB was totally against a VOD premiere.


NORWAY: I think Madeleine keeps the house in Norway because of her father’s secret rooms. You can’t really sell it, and you know the contents of the secret room would be valuable to Bond/MI6. She also may have kept it as a bargaining chip/insurance in case one of SPECTRE’s past people came for her. And as mentioned, she lives in a flat in London. Even in SPECTRE, she’s hiding away at the clinic, presumably still owning the house.

BIONIC EYE: The more I see this film, the less it bothers me. There’s a quick scene where M wants to see the live feed of Blofeld, and Tanner says he’s “mad as a bag of bees.” But you can hear he’s planning his party. And he has a right eye, which he does not at the end of SPECTRE. I like to think that SPECTRE owned the medical supply company that gave MI6 the eye that was obviously surgically implanted. That seems more plausible than a corrupt MI6 surgeon implanting it in Blofeld.

Bond dumping Madeleine: Remember this is right on the heels of SPECTRE. And he’s just been to Vesper’s grave so betrayal is on his mind. It’s been five years for us, not him. This may have happened within weeks of SPECTRE’s finale. So Bond is second guessing himself. Later, he remarks to Felix that it’s “bad judgment”, not bad luck. Ironically, it was his bad judgment to leave her.

VIRUS: As evidenced by his tirades against M, Bond was very knowledgeable about Heracles. He probably read briefs (often mentioned in novels, rarely in movies) on how to destroy it. The fact that M and Q go along with a missile strike means they agree it will destroy the virus. Q is the one that seems particularly knowledgeable about the nanobots too. And they’re “bio” nanobots, not electrical. Hence, the EMP can’t destroy it (nanobots aren’t a “hard wired circuit.”)

So most of the movie is explained by its in-universe logic, even if not realistic. It’s Bond. Not probable, but not impossible.

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Definitely still owns the house then, and even lives there. There’s a line, when Bond knocks at her door, where she remarks that Bond remembered where she lived. I understand it as a hint that they have both been at this house before, in the time between the end of SPECTRE and the beginning of NTTD.

“What is it with your dad and secret rooms?”

“Boys with toys.”

I think Madeleine told Bond she always wanted to bring him there. So I think she told him about it, so he knew of it and where it was. But I don’t think he’s ever been there.


OK, I’ll need to see the scene again!

That’s the way I took it. He knows where it is, because she told him about it. But when he’s there, he seems so unfamiliar with the place that I don’t think he was there before.

Also, she certainly would have showed him the secret room. After a few days, he would have found out by himself, anyway (maybe with the help of another CGI mouse). :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Don’t diss the mouse!


“I want to show you something.”
– “What, another CGI mouse?”


That mouse had charm!!

I’m aware I may be talking my way out of future work in saying an entirely fake creature can do better than most actors…but, damn, they programmed that digital rodent well.


At least he looks more real than the fake snakes in “Live and let die” and “Moonraker”. :wink:

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Seriously, the mouse was 100% CGI???



I think the whole thing is big, goofy fun. The only real quibble I have is extremely minor, and that’s Bond telling M that Madeleine is good at hiding things, only for Blofeld to act as though he overheard that despite being in a hold in the middle of Belmarsh. I don’t know if the implication is that Blofeld is so brilliant he predicted that Bond would have said as much at some point, but it stands out as a continuity error at the very least. Like I said…minor.

This brings me to my nitpicking, which is why is Blofeld so happy to be locked away for 5 years. It doesn’t make sense. He talks as if he is one up on Bond, but how does he know what Bond has been doing? Bond has been relaxing in the Caribbean, fishing and visiting bars at night. Much better than being in Belmarsh Prison???

It makes perfect sense. All Blofeld ever wanted was constant attention, between his eye allowing him to remain in charge of spectre and SIS pandering to his whims, just to get tidbits, he had everything he wanted.

Logan Ash and Felix track Bond down to Jamaica. It’s feasible that Ash transferred information about the state of Bond’s life to Primo/Blofeld at some point. Blofeld’s appointments with Madeleine, which happened over a period of time, would have revealed her unresolved emotions towards Bond if the right questions were asked. I think Blofeld is okay with being locked up because even though he’s in jail, his most hated person in the world only has the illusion of freedom and is just existing.

Bond tried to move on but lacks real purpose. There’s more fire in Blofeld’s life if he knows that little detail. Bond regains that fire when he learns about M’s project, and moreso when Felix dies. By the time Bond gets infected by Safin, I think the proposition of a quiet life alone by himself just isn’t appealing. He already knows what that’s like. Especially when he’s had a brief tease of something so much better.

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That mouse was probably my favorite thing about SP. OK , maybe that and the long take that opens the film.