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"For England, James."
― Alec Trevelyan to James Bond[src]

Alec Trevelyan, formerly known by the code-number 006, is a fictional former intelligence operative of the 'Double-O' ('00') Branch, an ultra-covert Black Ops unit within the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6). In 1986, Trevelyan fakes his death, adopts the identity Janus, and founds a crime syndicate based in St. Petersburg, Russia. To date, across the James Bond franchise as a whole, there have been three individuals who have held the number 006.

He is the hidden main antagonist of the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye and is portrayed by British actor Sean Bean. The character also appeared in the film's accompanying novelization, written by John Gardner. Bean later provided his likeness to the 1997 video game GoldenEye 007.

Film biography

Upbringing

Alec Trevelyan was born to a family of Lienz Cossacks. Following the Second World War, the anti-Bolshevik Cossack brigades whom had collaborated with the Germans fled from the advance of the Red Army. They surrendered to the British Army in Austria, believing they would join them and wage war against the Communists. The British decided to forcibly repatriate them and their families to the Soviet Union, where many were promptly executed and the remainder were sent to Gulags including women and children. The Trevelyans survived the ordeal and Alec Trevelyan was born. Shortly afterward, however, his father committed murder-suicide; "unable to let himself or [Alec's] mother live with the shame of it". As with Bond, Alec was now an orphan.

In one of life's ironies, the young Trevelyan was recruited by the British Secret Intelligence Service to be an agent of the government that had betrayed his parents. Although MI6 was aware of his background, they had reasoned that these events had happened so early in Trevelyan's life, that he would not be affected by them. Trevelyan rose through the ranks of MI6 to gain 00 status and the number 006. It was during this time that he became close friends with fellow MI6 agent 007, James Bond. His skill set included stealth, manipulation, superb skills in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat, expert marksmanship and also a talent in several languages. However, Trevelyan continued to harbor resentment towards the British for their perceived betrayal and began plotting his revenge.

Janus

TrevelyanDeathStaged

Alec is seemingly captured.

In 1986, 006 was paired again with 007 and the two were tasked with destroying the Arkhangelsk chemical weapons facility. It was on this mission, conspiring with Soviet Colonel Arkady Ourumov, that Trevelyan staged his own death. In the course of the mission, the two are surrounded and 006 is supposedly taken prisoner at gunpoint. Under the pretense of allowing 007 to surrender, Ourumov gave him ten seconds to come out. On reaching one, Alec was shot. Bond escaped and succeeded in destroying the facility by setting limpet mines with a three minute fuse. Trevelyan had not anticipated that Bond would change the detonation fuse from the agreed upon six minutes. Although he narrowly escaped death, the right half his face was left horribly disfigured by the explosion.

Now supposedly dead, he founded a criminal organization under the pseudonym of Janus (the two headed Roman god of beginnings and endings) and set in motion a plan to take revenge against Britain. His scheme involved hijacking a secret Soviet space weapon, codenamed GoldenEye. With the weapon's control key in his possession and a duplicate control center in Cuba, Trevalyan planned to steal billions of dollars from the Bank of England and transfer the money to other organizations before erasing all of its financial records with an electromagnetic pulse generated by the GoldenEye satellite, concealing the theft and destroying Britain's economy.

Reunion

JanusReveal

Trevelyan reveals himself to Bond.

Assigned to investigate the detonation of one of the two GoldenEye satellites, Bond travels to St. Petersburg, Russia in search of the culprits. To find Janus, Bond meets crime boss and ex-KGB officer Valentin Zukovsky. Although not aware of Janus' identity, Valentin reveals to Bond that Janus is a Cossack. Through his criminal ties, Zukovsky manages to reach out to Janus and tells him to meet Bond at the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg. Janus sends Xenia Onatopp to dispose of Bond but Bond manages to overpower her and forces her to bring him to Janus. While Bond walks through the ruins he is approached by Janus who reveals himself to be Alec Trevelyan. Not believing his eyes, Bond lowers his weapon. Trevelyan sarcastically asks whether Bond would like to make his typical witty comeback, but Bond is too shocked. He explains his motivations and casually mentions that he initially wanted to ask for Bond to join him, but deep down he knew that Bond would be loyal to his country and not to his friend. Furious and disappointed, Bond tries to shoot Alec but is shot with a tranquilizer. 007 and Natalya Simonova (a witness to Trevelyan's scheme) are bound and placed in a stolen helicopter rigged to destroy itself. Bond is able to eject both of them out of the helicopter before it explodes.

AlecOnatop

Alec shortly before escaping.

Bond and Natalya are soon taken into custody by Russian soldiers. After attempting to frame Bond for the murder of a the Russian Defense Minister Dmitri Mishkin, General Ourumov kidnaps Simonova and attempts to rendezvous at Trevelyan's armored train. Although pursued by 007 in a T-55 tank, Ourumov brings her aboard and the train departs. Trevelyan attempts to forcibly seduce her, but is prevented by Bond's blockade of the track ahead. He orders the driver to ram the tank, resulting in its derailing. Trevelyan recovers from the impact and attempts to reacquire his firearm, but is prevented by Bond, who holds him at gunpoint. A standoff occurs between 007 and Trevelyan, who has Ourumov bring Natalya to the cabin as a bargaining chip. Bond tries to drive a wedge between Alec and Ourumov by revealing the villain's Cossack heritage. Ourumov's hesitation allows Bond to gain the upper hand; he shoots the General, while Trevelyan and Onatopp flee from the carriage and lock all doors. As the villains escape by helicopter, they set the carriage to self-destruct with an ironic three-minute fuse. Bond and Natalya narrowly escape.

"Good luck with the floor, James. I've set the timer for six minutes, the same six minutes you gave me. It was the least I could do for a 'friend'."
― Trevelyan taunts Bond over the loudspeaker.[src]

The downfall of Trevelyan

Before escaping the train, Bond and Simonova track Trevelyan to a hidden GoldenEye satellite control center in the jungles of Cuba. Infiltrating Trevelyan's control facility, the two split up; Bond attempting to plant explosives and Simonova hacking the GoldenEye's guidance systems. Shortly after completing their objectives they are captured and brought to Trevelyan. Using his experience as a 00 operative, he casually disarms Bond's limpet mines. However, unbeknownst to Trevelyan, his programmer Boris Grishenko had begun fumbling with an explosive pen which Bond had been provided with by Q-branch. He unknowingly detonates the pen, destroying the computer controls and several fuel tanks; providing the distraction for Bond's escape.

Leaving Boris in the unenviable position of attempting to reverse Natalya's interference at gunpoint, Trevelyan proceeds to the Antenna itself to activate the satellite manually. 007 pursues him and he uses an escape ladder to avoid being shot but at risk of falling off the antenna meanwhile Alec Trevelyan watching James calls for a helicopter to come pick him up. Alec corners Bond above the satellite dish and engages him in a frenzied fist-fight. Although the two seem evenly matched, but Trevelyan quickly overpowers him. Exhausted, bloodied and virtually disabled by the duel, Trevelyan goads to James that he was always a better fighter than him. Bond tries to escape just as Trevelyan tries to shoot him. He ends up hanging directly from the antennae. Trevelyan calls for a helicopter then goes down. Bond and Alec fight continuously, which ends with Alec choking James, smiling maniacally. Just as the helicopter pilot is taken prisoner by Natalya Simonova, James uses the distraction to out think and overpower Trevelyan. Losing his footing, Trevelyan falls but is grabbed by Bond.

Goldeneye - Trevelyan hanging over the dish

Trevelyan hangs over the Uplink Dish.

Trevelyan: "[hanging over the dish] For England, James? "
Bond: "No. For me. [lets go of Trevelyan's boot]"
―Bond and Trevelyan's last exchange.[src]

In revenge for Trevelyan's callous betrayal, letting go of Trevelyan's boot, 007 sends him plummeting to the dish below. Although barely clinging to life after the initial fall, the falling debris from the disintegrating structure above finishes the job by crushing him to death. Later, the entire base explodes, killing Boris Grishenko and the rest of the Janus Crime Syndicate. This time, Alec Trevelyan, double agent, evil genius and James Bond's old friend and teammate stays dead.

Alternate continuities

GoldenEye (novelisation)

In 1986, after arranging to fake his death, Alec was sent with Agent 007 to a dam near Archangel port in the Soviet Union that M had assigned them to investigate due to suspicions that it was a chemical weapons facility. Alec entered a maintenance shaft to set up a base of operations for himself and 007. After 007 had eliminated the guards on top of the dam, they entered the facility and placing explosives until Alec was caught by Colonel Ourumov, who pretended to kill him in front of 007, who detonated the charges early and fled the facility. This left Alec with the left side of his face deformed, and caused him to take up the name Janus.

By 1995, Janus had established himself as a powerful crime boss in Russia, with his only competition being Valentin Zukovsky. Trevelyan then planned to steal most of the world's money by digitally transferring funds to other bank accounts, and wiping the records of the transaction by hitting the bank with the GoldenEye weapon. He sent his Lieutenants Xenia Onatopp and Arkady Ourumov to collect and test the weapon, with the help of their inside man Boris Grishenko. After their destruction of the Severnaya GoldenEye facility, It was discovered that an additional technician survived the blast. Alec ordered her capture, and she was eventually brought in after she had been seen working with 007.

He came to rescue her, and destroyed the train on which Alec lived in the process. He took Alec and Xenia hostage, but Alec negotiated to be traded for the other technician, Natalya Simonova. In the process, Alec was forced to kill Ourumov, who began to question his alliance to Alec after learning of his Cossack heritage. This distraction allowed Alec and Xenia to escape and set the train to explode. They then fled to Havana, Cuba where Boris was waiting for them in the control room of a new GoldenEye facility. There, after Boris had put the plan into effect, Alec discovered that 007 and Simonova were trying to break in to the facility on security cameras. After capturing 007, he put his past SIS skills to work by disarming the mines that the agent had placed around the control room. 007 however, detonated an explosive pen that caused fuel tanks in the room to explode, and escaped to try and sabotage the satellite dish. The two fought one another for a while, but 007's bomb in the dish went off, throwing Alec off balance. 007 caught him as he fall out of instinct before letting Alec fall. when Alec awoke from the fall, he could tell he was near death, but all he same a piece of shrapnel from the dish impaled him.

GoldenEye 007 (1997 game)

Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye 007 (1997)

Sean Bean's Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye 007.

In the 1997 Nintendo N64 video-game, GoldenEye 007, Trevelyan plays a very similar role to that in the film. He once again meets with Bond in the Chemical Warfare Facility and is 'killed' by Ourumov. In the Statue Park, ex-KGB agent Valentin Zukovsky arranges Bond's meeting with Janus at the Statue of Lenin. Bond stands by the statue and is soon confronted by Trevelyan and his bodyguards, where the traitorous spy informs Bond of the British government's betrayal towards his parents and how he plans to take revenge.

Bond then finds out that Trevelyan had kidnapped Natalya Simonova and has left her by the stolen Pirate helicopter, which is primed to explode in three minutes time. Before Bond can kill Trevelyan, he runs away and his bodyguards attempt to stop Bond from pursuing him.

Trevelyan reappears aboard his Converted Missile Train along with Xenia Onatopp and General Ourumov (who is holding Natalya at gunpoint). Bond kills Ourumov and saves Natalya, but Trevelyan and Xenia take this opportunity to escape. Trevelyan then travels to Cuba and attacks Bond in both the Janus Control Centre and the Subterranean Caverns, but Natalya manages to redirect the GoldenEye's path of alignment away from London while Bond destroys the master control console. Trevelyan then climbs to the Antenna Cradle suspended high above the control centre, where a back-up control console is situated. The villain uses this to realign the GoldenEye in a final attempt to destroy London, but Bond reaches the cradle himself and destroys the console. He then engages in a fierce gunfight with Trevelyan and chases him throughout the cradle, finally confronting his former ally on a small round platform and killing him.

Physical Appearance and Characteristics

Alec's hideous scarring

Alec's scarring caused by the explosives.

"You know, James, I was always better."
― Alec, thinking he won.[src]

The former "00" underwent the standard MI6 training procedure while working for "Her Majesty's Secret Service" and was physically on par with Bond himself. Even nine years after defecting from MI6, Trevelyan still managed to keep his body at its physical peak. Due to the rigorous training placed upon him, Trevelyan was in perfect physical condition and had superb aim & agility while also being able to carry himself as refined and elegant. He is a skilled leader and able to take command of the Janus Crime Syndicate and also has strategic talents when it comes to making plans for the future.

Alec Trevelyan was a cold-hearted psychopath. He was immoral, resourceful, cunning, diabolical and highly intelligent. Trevelyan had a dark, sarcastic and cynical sense of humor, going so far as to mock James for things he had already said - especially the things he said at the time that Alec faked his own death. He was extremely sophisticated, in terms of speech, appearance, surroundings and equipment, his eccentricity only breaking at the time of his final confrontation with James Bond.

Alec was cunning, pitiless and deceitful, with enough skill and confidence to double-cross his best friend and his employers at MI6 so that he could enact his revenge. Alec was extremely confident in his own talents, as he gloats to James that he was always better than him in a fight. Alec was sadistic and immoral, taunting James about his scenario of 'Your friend, or the mission' when James confronts him on the train.

Alec's dissonant serenity had limits: His self-control finally dissolves when his plans are foiled by Bond and Natalya, and he reacts violently to Boris Grishenko, going so far as to ruthlessly demand a soldier to kill Grishenko if he tried to escape. Also, he showed anger when participating in his shootout with Bond. This is possibly an element in his massive final fistfight with Bond, as both of them were on equal levels of anger and revenge, but Trevelyan still prevailed over pure skill and the will to turn on his old friend one last time.

Trevelyan was also an expert in hand to hand combat and was more than capable of holding his own against Bond during their climatic battle. His fighting style is based on cunning, stealth and psychological warfare. This is possibly due to his elite military training in advanced forms of unarmed combat and military strategy at MI6, and he possibly developed his skills even further over the next nine years and easily defeats Bond during their fight. He was also an expert with several firearms: He carries an AK-74 assault rifle during the assault on Arkhangelsk, and also wields a Davis Mp.4 k-9d Mk.9 automatic pistol during his duel with James Bond.

Trevelyan rather dramatically opted to dress himself in well tailored suits, mirroring 007's own tastes in fashion, although Trevelyan preferred darker colors. While Trevelyan was overseeing the Bank of England robbery, he wore a black combat suit similar to the one he wore during his 006 days.

When Trevelyan attempted to stage his own death at Arkhangelsk, the right side of his face was severely scarred in an explosion caused by Bond. This further deepened his hatred towards Bond, because Trevelyan believed that if Bond had set the detonation timers for six minutes instead of three, he would have escaped the facility unharmed. This further embittered him against Bond, but also inspired his code-name, Janus: The two-faced Roman god who rained fire down on those who betrayed him.

"I might as well ask if all the vodka martinis ever silenced the screams of all the men you've killed, or if you ever found forgiveness in all those willing women for all of the dead ones you failed to protect."
― Alec Trevelyan to Bond[src]

Despite that they were probably very good friends in the past, Trevelyan makes several, quite cutting, personal remarks aimed at Bond as a person. The above quote might have been a reference to Bond's wife Teresa, who was tragically murdered on their wedding day in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but the subject is not touched on again. This is a trait which had never been seen to such an extent in previous villains. Alec also belittles Bond's devotion to duty, stating that he had even considered inviting James to join in his scheme, but didn't, guessing that he would prioritize loyalty to MI6 over friendship. 

Henchmen & associates

Behind the scenes

Sean Bean had previously auditioned for the role of James Bond in The Living Daylights. Sam Neill was also considered as were Mel Gibson, Mark Greenstreet, Lambert Wilson, Antony Hamilton, Findlay Light and Andrew Clarke. In addition, Pierce Brosnan - who would eventually play 007 in GoldenEye opposite Bean - was offered the role, but lost out due to his contractual obligations to Remington Steele. Despite his performance, the choice of Sean Bean to play a character with this background creates something of an enigma. The events which precipitated the death of Trevelyan's parents would have been around fifty years before those of Goldeneye, while Bean would only have been in his mid-thirties, making the actor far younger than his character.

For the confrontation between Bond and Trevelyan inside the antenna cradle, director Martin Campbell decided to take inspiration from Bond's fight with Red Grant in From Russia with Love. Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean did all the stunts themselves, except for one take where one is thrown against the wall. Brosnan injured his hand while filming the extending ladder sequence, making producers delay his scenes and film the ones in Severnaya earlier.[1]

Alec Trevelyan is believed to have been named after John Trevelyan (1903-1986), a former head of the then British Board of Film Censors. Under Trevelyan's stewardship, a number of the early Bond films had to have cuts to gain a A rating allowing for the film to be seen by children accompanied by an adult, as opposed to an X rating that would limit viewership to over 16s.

Gallery

See also

References

  1. Martin Campbell, Michael G. Wilson. GoldenEye audio commentary. MGM Home Entertainment.