The Bond Girls (Part 3) | James Bond Radio Podcast #055

This week we conclude our 3-Part Bond Girl coverage with an episode dedicated to the ladies from Goldeneye to Skyfall. Find out our thoughts on everyone from Natalya Simonova, to Elektra King, to Camille Montes and even the ladies of that most chin scratching of Bond films, Die Another Day.

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  • GerardoValero

    During the last few months it’s become a great tradition listening to your podcasts every Friday morning. The trivia questions usually leave me with smoke coming out of my head! You’ve mentioned what it is to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Bond and let’s face it, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from your questions is that there’s a hell of a lot to know in a series with 24 films.
    I found this week’s music cue question almost criminal but after much thought, it belongs to the part of Licence to Kill where Pam Bouvier takes the bag of money from Professor Joe Butcher at the Olympec Meditation Institute (filmed here in Mexico, BTW). I believe the line “I don’t think you heard me” is said by one of Zukovsky’s thugs at the Casino L’or Dor when Brosnan Bond asks to see him. The line to the song sounds completely unrecognizable to me!

  • Stephen Wadsworth

    Good stuff as always, chaps. I think I’m in line with the official JBR position on the quality of both Die Another Day and Casino… I’ll have to respectfully disagree on one point though – the meeting of Bond and Vesper in Casino…. doesn’t work for me. Daniel and Eva Green are both fantastic in the movie but it’s almost as if they’re both too good as actors to pull off that kind of dialogue-heavy scene. Roger or Pierce (actors with a little more flippancy) are needed for that kind of scene to work. Daniel pulls off the vaguely similar scene with Severine in Skyfall much better which is of course much darker and with much less back-and-to in the dialogue.

    The Roger era for me the best for the Bond girls in terms of the range of female characters – from Solitaire to XXX to Mayday – and from the more basic perspective as a heterosexual male fan of the Bond films.

    As reverse psychology ahead of Spectre, I’m going to watch Die Another Day again for the first time in years. I’m thinking it’s going to be like betting on the sports team that you want to lose. So even if Spectre disappoints (which I really don’t it will) it clearly won’t plumb the depths of 2002.

  • Langford

    Great job, boys. The section on DAD made me laugh out loud. Great insight on how the rubbish of DAD might have been the “dark before the dawn” of CR (my favorite of all time so far).

    Speaking of CR – you asked about Bond bedding married women. Well, his interaction with Solange is a (no pun) half-in, half-out example. He seduces her, a married woman, but they never actually consummate since he leaves her immediately after hearing Alex Dimitrios’ plans to go to Miami.

    Take care!
    Langford

  • Paul Coulthard

    Cheers for mentioning my email, Tom. Hopefully I’ll spot a JBR T-shirt on Spectre Day.

  • Baldwin Collins

    Wai lin (Michelle YEOH) is the definitive bond girl to me. who
    equally holds her own especially in the martial arts scene’s in ”tomorrow never dies”.

  • Baldwin Collins

    I felt that ELECTRA KING could be a returning bond girl and villain. being the
    mastermind behind renard. a beautiful evil woman.

    • JBR

      Hi Baldwin, some top class Bond girls indeed! We couldn’t agree more!

  • olufsphere

    Currently wrapping up the last few podcasts, after having rewatched the entire series, so that’s why I’m posting here, a year later …

    A thought on Agent Fields, who I thought was very out of place in QoS, until it suddenly dawned on me, when I rewatched it a few weeks back.

    I’m very convinced that the major plot-thread in the Craig movies is M’s active development of Bond, from a “Blunt instrument” candidate to a full fledged agent. This goes on from the start of Casino, where Bond is off to earn his stars, through to the end of Skyfall (and even into Spectre), where Bond has learned (and perhaps even accepts) to put his feelings away to succeed on the mission.

    In my opinion, all of M’s actions in these movies are related to that journey. Also the introduction of Miss Fields, who is sent to Bond as an easy push-over, hoping she will move him onwards from the loss of Vesper. She is the complete innocense, the purity and naïvity that willingly (albeit not without scruples) lets herself be used by Bond in a totally emotionless event (“Help me find some stationary” – it’s not exactly an invitation to love).

    When Fields dies, she does so by being smothered in oil, overpowered by a symbol of greed and the cynicism that follows, and which will always prevail in Bond’s universe.

    At the end of the movie, when Bond sets Greene loose in the desert, he throws that symbol back at Greene, with his own cynicism surfacing, and letting Greene suffer the consequences of his greed.

    On his journey, Bond has turned his back on innocense and taken another step into the role of the ruthless agent, that can no longer get emotionally attached, which is supported by the lack of romantic connection between Bond and Camille (who, in turn, is on a similar journey, having lost everything she loved and reduced to a hell bent vigilante with no regards for her own safety).

    The final bit patching the story together, is the name “Strawberry Fields”. The obvious thought is that this is a pointer to the Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and while many see that a song about drugs, it can very easily be interpreted as an existentialistic story about leaving/not being able to manage reality, and deciding to live the simple life of blind acceptance and ignorance. “Strawberry Fields Forever” simply meaning “I honestly don’t give a shit anymore”.

    “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see
    It’s getting hard to be someone, but it all works out
    It doesn’t matter much to me”

    “Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to
    Strawberry Fields, nothing is real
    And nothing to get hung about.
    Strawberry Fields Forever”

    • olufsphere

      The thread continues in Skyfall, where Bond shows no emotional attachment to Severine (“Waste of good scotch”), and the only love he has left is torn from him, when M dies.

      “This is the end
      Hold your breath and count to ten
      Feel the earth move and then
      Hear my heart burst again”

      “You may have my number, you can take my name
      But you’ll never have my heart”