- Dr. Julius No: "East? West? Just points of a compass, each as stupid as the other. I'm a member of SPECTRE."
- James Bond: "SPECTRE?"
- Dr. Julius No: "SPECTRE. Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion."
- ―Dr. Julius No and James Bond.[src]
Dr. Julius No is a fictional nuclear scientist who used his knowledge and wealth to threaten a U.S. rocket launch. The character originally appeared in the 1958 Ian Fleming novel Dr. No and was portrayed by the late Canadian actor Joseph Wiseman in the 1962 film Dr. No. The first main antagonist in the EON Productions film series, No is also referenced in his sequel, the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love. He later appeared in a lot of videos games adapted from the franchise, including GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and 007 Legends.
Dr. Julius No is a brilliant scientist with an implied Napoleon complex, and an example of the mad scientist trope. He is a self-described "unwanted child of a German missionary and a Chinese girl of a good family". He later "became treasurer of the most powerful criminal society in China", in this case, the Tongs. He then "escaped to America with $10,000,000" of Tong gold bullion. He specialized in atomic energy, which cost him both of his hands, which were replaced with crude bionic ones that were made out of either iron or steel. No's metal hands apparently had great strength (he could crush a stone figurine into powder), but were seriously lacking in manual dexterity.
In 1962, No learned that Secret Intelligence Service agent John Strangways was investigating the activities of his employee, local geologist R.J. Dent. This prompted Dr. No to deploy his enforcers, the Three Blind Mice, to kill Strangways and his secretary Mary Trueblood. Fellow MI6 agent James Bond 007 was subsequently to Jamaica by M to investigate their murders.
Hoping to keep Bond from intruding on his business, Dr. No gave both the Three Blind Mice and Professor Dent orders to eliminate the agent. However, Bond managed to survive and kill his would-be assassins. He subsequently set out with local fisherman Quarrel to sail to Crab Key to further investigate Dr. No's activites, where they encountered shell diver Honey Ryder. Honey told Bond that she believed that Dr. No had been responsible for the death of her father when he went shell diving at Crab Key and didn't return. Bond and Honey were later captured by Dr. No's men, who killed Quarrel with the Dragon Tank.
Held captive at Dr. No's lair, Bond and Honey finally met the mad doctor face to face over dinner. Dr. No revealed to Bond his plot to sabotage an upcoming U.S. rocket launch from Cape Canaveral known as Project Mercury by toppling the rocket from his secret base, thus causing international embarrassment for the United States on behalf of SPECTRE. No gets angry and when Bond asks Honey to leave the room, his guards apprehend her. No leaves the dinner table and has Bond put in a cell.
Bond escaped captivity and disguised himself as a worker in a hazmat suit. No, mistook him for Chen, another worker. When Bond overloaded the reactor, alarms began to sound and Dr. No's minions began to evacuate from the island. Dr. No chose to face Bond in a last ditch effort to salvage his plans, but to no avail. In their ensuing struggle, the two men fell into a platform descending into the nuclear reactor. Bond managed to climb out and escape, but Dr. No was able to get a grip due to his metal hands and he was lowered into the radioactive coolant where he was boiled to death. Bond subsequently rescued Honey and they escaped from Crab Key just as the island base exploded.
The 2004 video-game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent explores an continuity separate from any established canon, in which Dr. No has not met his demise at the hands of 007, and commands an army of soldiers, tanks and helicopter gunships. Three years prior to the game's events, the protagonist, MI6 operative Jonathan Hunter, was severely wounded while on assignment investigating Dr. No; who personally fired the shot that cost him his right eye. After being dismissed from MI6 for "reckless brutality", the agent is recruited by Dr. No's rival, Auric Goldfinger. Breaking rank with their shared criminal organisation (strongly implied to be SPECTRE), Dr. No declares war on Goldfinger. A specific reason is never given why he sought to destroy Goldfinger's operations. No's troops attempt to steal his recently developed super-weapon; the OMEN (Organic Mass Energy Neutralizer). He is foiled by Hunter (now known as GoldenEye), who is subsequently sent to assassinate the Doctor in Hong Kong. However, GoldenEye is betrayed by his Triad contact and narrowly escapes.
Shortly afterwards, No's assassin Xenia Onatopp leads an assault on Goldfinger's Midas casino in Las Vegas; the goal of which is the theft of the OMEN from its underground vault. After the assault falters, Onatopp retreats to Dr. No's military staging area at the Hoover Dam, where she organizes a defence of the structure. No attempts to keep the authorities away from the Dam by threatening to detonate a seismic bomb. However, GoldenEye and Oddjob manage to bypass Xenia's security and prematurely detonate the bomb; causing the dam to disintegrate and annihilate No's men. Searching for the location of Dr. No's island of Crab Key, GoldenEye is dispatched to the organization's underwater auction house, bank and blackmarket, The Octopus in a bid to retrieve the navigation coordinates from the lair's computer system. He is eventually sent to Crab Key, where he confronts Dr. No. During their duel, GoldenEye uses his mechanical eye to sabotage the island's nuclear reactor, causing it to electrocute Dr. No.
Multiplayer game appearances
Dr. No, using the likeness of Joseph Wiseman, has also made appearances in several James Bond video games as a playable multiplayer character, starting with the 2005 game From Russia with Love. In 2010, he would appear as one of 12 prominent characters in GoldenEye 007's "Classic Conflict" multiplayer mode. As a character-specific bonus, Dr. No's bullet-proof cybernetic arms grant him benefits including enhanced weapon accuracy and reload speed. Oddly enough, the character model sports only one cybernetic hand (likely a reference to Dr. Strangelove). The same is true for 007 Legends.
In the film, Dr. No appears as a slim, middle aged Caucasian man with slightly epicanthal eyes, due to his Chinese heritage. Closely shaven and his dark hair always neatly combed back, the well groomed Doctor dressed himself in equally well-tailored, cream colored Nehru suits. After the laboratory accident that destroyed his hands, Dr. No constructed a pair of black, cybernetic prosthetics to replace them. These new hands were strong enough to crush a metal figurine with ease, but proved to be extremely clumsy when Dr. No attempted to escape the radioactive pool. The novel however, provides a completely different depiction of the character.
- His first name Julius is never mentioned in the film.
- Although he is the main antagonist, No only makes a personal appearance in the climax.
- Ian Fleming had wanted his friend Noel Coward to portray No, who refused the offer when it was given to him. Fleming also considered his step-cousin Christopher Lee for the role, but by the time he had suggested him to the producers they had already decided to cast Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No. Lee would later go on to star as Francisco Scaramanga, the main antagonist of The Man with the Golden Gun.
- In fashion typical for the spy parody, Get Smart's Agents 86 and 99 once faced off against a villain called Dr. Yes, as well as a villain called The Claw (Ethnically mispronounced 'The Craw') who had an artificial metallic appendage in place of one of his hands.
- In the German dubbed version of the movie, Dr. No works for an organization called GOFTER ("Geheime Organisation für Terror, Erpressung, und Rache" = secret organization for terror, blackmail and revenge). Therefore, in the German translation in From Russia with Love, the members of SPECTRE (Phantom in the German version) refer to him as their partner instead of their member as in the German version, the organization has a different name than the one in previous movie.
- No makes a brief appearance in a 2012 Heineken beer commercial to promote the release of the twenty-third Bond film, Skyfall.