Commander James Bond is a Senior Operational Officer of the 'Double-O' ('00') Branch, an ultra-covert Black Ops unit within the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). As an agent of MI6, Bond holds code number "007". The 'double-O' prefix indicates his discretionary licence to kill in the performance of his duties.
Following the final departure of Sean Connery in 1971, English actor Roger Moore took over the role from 1973 to 1985. To date he is the longest-serving James Bond actor, spanning twelve years in the role. He is also the oldest actor to play Bond; having begun the role at 45 and retiring from it at the age of 58. He appeared in Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985).
Although very little of Bond's past is directly addressed during the Roger Moore era, it is assumed that his Bond continues to share the common background laid out by the Ian Fleming novels and preceding Bond films.
In the novels, James Bond is the son of a Scottish father, Andrew Bond of Glencoe, and a Swiss mother, Monique Delacroix, from the Canton de Vaud. He acquired a first-class command of the French and German languages during his early education, which he received entirely abroad. Both parents were tragically killed during a climbing accident in the French Alps when he was eleven.
After the death of his parents, Bond goes to live with his aunt, Miss Charmain Bond, where he completes his early education. Later, he briefly attends Eton College at "12 or thereabouts", but is removed after two halves because of girl trouble with a maid. After being sent down from Eton, Bond was sent to Fettes College in Scotland, his father's school.
After leaving Fettes, earlier EON films note that Bond studied at Cambridge University.   There, he achieved a first in Oriental languages.  In Fleming's novels, Bond alluded to briefly attending the University of Geneva (as did Fleming), before being taught to ski in Kitzbühel. Following his graduation, Bond joined the Ministry of Defence and became a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves, rising though the ranks to commander. Bond applied to M for a position within the "Secret Service", part of the Civil Service, and rose to the rank of principal officer.
Live and Let Die (1973)
James Bond is sent to investigate the murder of three British MI6 agents, Dawes, Hamilton and Baines (who in fact shared the same bootmaker with Bond), all of whom have been killed within 24 hours. He discovers the victims were all separately investigating the operations of Dr. Kananga, the dictator of a small Caribbean island, San Monique. He also establishes that Kananga also acts as "Mr. Big", a ruthless and cunning gangster in the United States.
Upon visiting San Monique, Bond determines that Kananga is producing two tons of heroin and is protecting the poppy fields by exploiting the locals' fear of voodoo and the occult. Through his alter ego, Mr. Big, Kananga plans to distribute the heroin free of charge at his Fillet of Soul restaurants, which will increase the number of addicts. Bond teams up with Kananga's womanservant, Solitaire to foil his plans, but is captured by Kananga, but they escape, killing Kananga and destroying the drug crops.
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
After receiving a golden bullet with James Bond's code "007" etched into its surface M relieves Bond of a mission locating a British scientist, Gibson, who has invented the "Solex agitator", a device to harness solar power, thereby solving the global energy crisis. The bullet signifies Bond is a target of hired assassin Francisco Scaramanga and Bond sets out unofficially to find him. From a spent golden bullet, Bond tracks Scaramanga to Macau, where he sees Scaramanga's mistress, Andrea Anders, collecting golden bullets at a casino. Bond follows her to Hong Kong, where he witnesses Scaramanga murder Gibson, the theft of the Solex agitator and kidnapping of Mary Goodnight.
Bond is subsequently assigned to retrieve the agitator and neutralise Scaramanga. Bond meets with Hai Fat, a wealthy Thai entrepreneur suspected of hiring Scaramanga for Gibson's murder, and is captured, but subsequently escapes. He tracks Scaramanga to an island in Red Chinese waters, where the two men fight a duel: Bond kills the assassin. He and Goodnight acquire the Solex agitator and escape in Scaramanga's yacht.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Bond is tasked with investigating the disappearance of British and Soviet ballistic missile submarines and the subsequent offer to sell a submarine tracking system. Bond works alongside Major Anya Amasova of the KGB. The pair track the plans across Egypt and identify the person responsible for the thefts as shipping tycoon, scientist and anarchist Karl Stromberg.
Bond and Amasova follow a suspicious tanker owned by Stromberg and establish it is responsible for the missing submarines; the submarine in which they are travelling is also captured by Stromberg. Stromberg plans to destroy Moscow and New York, triggering nuclear war: he planned to then establish a new civilization underwater. Bond escapes Stromberg's henchmen and frees the submariners captured from the other submarines and follows Stromberg to his headquarters, where he shoots the tycoon and a torpedo destroys the base.
A Drax Industries Moonraker space shuttle on loan is hijacked and Bond is ordered to investigate. Bond meets the owner of the company, Hugo Drax and one of Drax's scientists, Dr. Holly Goodhead. Bond follows the trail to Venice, where he establishes that Drax is manufacturing the nerve gas of an orchid, deadly to humans, but harmless to plants and animals. Bond again meets Goodhead and finds out that she is a CIA agent.
Bond travels to Brazil looking for Drax's research facility, where he is captured. He and Goodhead escape and pose as pilots on one of six space shuttles being sent by Drax to a hidden orbital space station. There Bond finds out that Drax plans to destroy all human life by launching fifty globes containing the toxin into the Earth's atmosphere. Bond and Goodhead disable the radar jammer hiding the station from Earth and the U.S. sends a platoon of Marines in a military space shuttle. During the battle, Bond kills Drax and his station is destroyed.
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
After a British spy boat sinks, a marine archaeologist, Sir Timothy Havelock, is tasked to retrieve its Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC) communication system before the Russians do. After Havelock is murdered by Hector Gonzales, a Cuban hit-man, Bond is ordered to find out who hired Gonzales. While investigating, Bond is captured, but Gonzales is subsequently killed by Havelock's vengeful daughter, Melina and she and Bond escape. Bond identifies one of those present with Gonzales as Emile Leopold Locque and so follows a lead to Italy and meets his contact, Luigi Ferrara, and a well-connected Greek businessman and intelligence informant, Aris Kristatos. Kristatos tells Bond that Locque is employed by Milos Columbo, Kristatos' former partner in the Greek resistance during World War II.
After Ferrara is murdered, all the evidence points to Columbo. Bond is captured by men working for Columbo. Columbo then explains that Locque was actually hired by Kristatos, who is working for the KGB to retrieve the ATAC. The two then form a working relationship to take down Kristatos. Bond and Melina recover the ATAC from the sunken ship, but are captured by Kristatos who keelhauls them over a coral reef behind his yacht. They escape and follow Kristatos to a hilltop monastery in Greece, where he is killed by Colombo and the ATAC is destroyed by Bond to prevent it falling into Soviet hands.
Bond investigates the murder of 009, killed in East Berlin while dressed as a circus clown and carrying a fake Fabergé egg. An identical egg, "The Property of A Lady", appears at an auction and Bond establishes the buyer, exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan is working with General Orlov, a renegade Soviet general, who is seeking to expand Soviet borders into Europe. Bond travels to India and meets Octopussy, a wealthy woman who leads the Octopus Cult. Bond finds out that Orlov has been supplying Khan with priceless Russian treasures, replacing them with replicas, while Khan has been smuggling the real versions into the West, via Octopussy's circus troupe's railcars.
Bond infiltrates the circus, and finds that Orlov replaced the Soviet treasures with a nuclear warhead, primed to explode at a U.S. Air Force base in West Germany. The explosion would trigger Europe into seeking disarmament, in the belief that the bomb was an American one that was detonated by accident, leaving the West's borders open to Soviet invasion. Orlov is revealed as a traitor and is shot by Soviet troops under General Gogol. Bond deactivates the warhead and then he returns to India, leading an assault on Kamal's palace. He chases after Kamal who has kidnapped Octopussy in his plane, where he saves Octopussy and causes Kamal to crash.
A View to a Kill (1985)
Bond investigates into the operations of millionaire industrialist Max Zorin, who is trying to monopolize the world market in microchips. He establishes that Zorin was previously trained and financed by the KGB, but has now gone rogue. Zorin unveils to a group of investors his plan to destroy Silicon Valley which will give him a monopoly in the manufacturing of microchips.
Bond uncovers Zorin's plan is to detonate explosives beneath the lakes along the Hayward and San Andreas faults, which will cause them to flood. A larger bomb is also on site in the mine to destroy a "geological lock" that prevents the two faults from moving at the same time. Bond recovers the the bomb thanks to a self sacrifice by Zorin's ex-henchwoman, May Day. He travels to San Fransisco and subsequently kills Zorin on top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
"We all get our jollies one way or another" - The Man With the Golden Gun
Behind the scenes
Because of his successful television shows, in particular the long-lasting spy thriller series The Saint (1962-1969), Roger Moore was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time. His participation in The Saint was not only as actor, but also as a producer and director, and he also became involved in developing the series The Persuaders!.
For The Saint, Moore was cast as Leslie Charteris' literary character Simon Templar; a suave and sophisticated Robin Hood-like adventurer. Moore's portrayal of Templar was considered a training ground for his later work as James Bond, establishing the suave, quipping style which he would carry forward to the Fleming character.
In one early episode of the series, Luella (Season 2, Episode 19), Templar actually poses as Bond in a bid to persuade landlady Miss Hill (Jean St. Clair) into divulging information about her tenants. The episode ends with Hill exclaiming "I'm so excited to be working for James Bond! You're not just teasing me, are you? You really are James Bond?"
On 3rd March 1964, between playing Simon Templar on The Saint, Roger Moore actually starred as James Bond in an episode of the BBC comedy sketch show Mainly Millicent.
In the 7 minute sketch, James Bond is on holiday and goes for lunch, only to meet Russian Spy Sonia Sekova (Millicent Martin), who is also on holiday. They both suspect that the other one is spying on them, resulting in some comical situations. Bond discovers the waiter is wearing a wig and punches him over the balcony and the two throw several drinks over there shoulders, suspecting cyanide pills. They both get called back on to cases and end the episode with a kiss.
As Roger Moore frankly explains in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond, he had neither been approached to play James Bond in Dr. No, nor had he felt that he had been considered. He was reportedly offered the role of 007 at least twice during the run of the series, but had to turn it down both times owing to his television commitments.
It was only after Sean Connery had declared in 1966 that he would not play Bond any longer that Moore became aware that he might be a contender for the role. But after George Lazenby was cast instead and then Connery played Bond again, he didn't consider the possibility until it seemed abundantly clear that Connery had in fact stepped down as Bond for good. At that point he was indeed approached and accepted the producer's offer in August 1972. Moore says in his autobiography that he had to cut his hair and lose weight, but although he resented it, he was finally cast as James Bond in 1973's Live and Let Die.
James Bond was different during this era because times had changed and the scripts were different. Authors like George MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which 007 was a kind of seasoned, debonair playboy who would always have a trick or gadget in stock when he needed it. This was designed to serve the contemporary taste.
- The Literary Bond
- Sean Connery
- George Lazenby
- Timothy Dalton
- Pierce Brosnan
- Daniel Craig
- Other Bonds
- In The Spy Who Loved Me Bond (Moore) wears the Naval General Service Medal and the General Service Medal. This is different from the Sean Connery Bond in You Only Live Twice.
- In 1987 Moore also hosted Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond.
- In 2004 Moore was voted 'Best Bond' in an Academy Awards poll, and he won with 62% of votes in 2008.
- Roger Moore maintains very good friendships with his fellow EON-series Bond actors Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. In fact, when Octopussy was being filmed at Pinewood. in close proximity to where Never Say Never Again started production at Elstree Studios, Moore and Connery met for dinner in their free time.
- Sadly, on May 23, 2017, Roger Moore became the first EON Bond actor to pass away.
- ↑ (2004) You Only Live Twice. Kent, England: Penguin Books, pp.200-202. ISBN 978-0-1411-8754-9.
- ↑ (1967). You Only Live Twice [Motion Picture]. United Artists.
- ↑ (1977). The Spy Who Loved Me [Motion Picture]. United Artists.
- ↑ (1967). You Only Live Twice [Motion Picture]. United Artists.
- ↑ (2006) Octopussy and The Living Daylights. Kent, England: Penguin Books, p.35. ISBN 978-0-1411-8874-4.
- ↑ (2008) My Word is My Bond: The Autobiography. Australia: HarperCollins Publishers, 172. ISBN 978-0-7322-8871-6.