Saturday, 7 September 2013


In his long career as a state sanctioned killer, James Bond has taken an inordinate amount of lives (he’s also been indirectly responsible for loads more deaths, but let’s park that for now). To be fair, most of his targets were trying to kill him or, at least, were in the employ of the agents of evil, so he sometimes has a point but, even so, that’s a hell of a lot to carry around. This new series will look at some of Bond’s victims, more specifically the ones that, if he had a conscience, might occasionally shake their gory locks at him in unpleasant dreams: the ones who suffered, the ones who screamed, the ones who died in cruel and unusual circumstances.

Take this bloke, for instance. He’s a pilot and a common or garden villain only distinguished by a great moustache. Halfway through the flight, he leaves the cabin, pulls a gun, shoots out the control panel and then bails out leaving James without a parachute in a plane that’s about to crash. Little things like that don’t bother 007, of course, who simply jumps out, catches the pilot up, then knocks him about and nicks his parachute from him before kicking him away into the ether.

What’s disturbing about this incident is that the doomed pilot gives out two screams as he floats off: the first full of indignation at being kicked in the face and forcibly parted from his life saving device, and a second anguished, horribly strangled cry as he realises that he is now as dead as a doornail, but will have to hang around hopelessly and helplessly waiting to hit terminal velocity and begin his long drop to the ground. 

What do you do with that time? What does that realisation of impending annihilation do to the human mind? Baddie or not, it’s an awful way to go. I hope you’re proud of yourself, Bond.


  1. The one that always got me was the poor sod pursuing Lazenby Bond in the snow of 'OHMSS' who ends up being ripped to shreds by a snow-plough-extractor thing. The insult added to injury is the implicit stomach-turning utter mutilation of the victim and the (mercifully likely-brief) period between his clocking his fate and its enactment.

    "He had plenty of guts" is Bond's flippant response to the most horrid thing I can recall in the series prior to 'Licence To Kill'. The casual attitude to horrible death for walk-ons and its apparent acceptability to the audience says a lot.

    My most-shuddered-over disposable-death though is that early on in the first 'Star Trek' film, where the Enterprise's transporters are on the blink. Truly horrible and deeply upsetting - all the more so for it being passed over in a minute IIRC.

    I wouldn't make a very good ambulanceman.

  2. Yes, the OHMSS example is one I had pondered. I mean, yes, of course Bond has to be ruthless, but does he have to be quite so bloody unpleasant?