28 May 2008

Bond Thwarts the Bad Guy's plans for Global Domination...

So it seems that Devil May Care, the new James Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks, was officially launched yesterday at the expense of the British taxpayer, much to the frustration of the Daily Mail.

Tuuli Shipster, the model whose shapely form adorns the book's cover, brought seven copies of the book from the printers in a samsonite case, carrying the case down the Thames in a Pacific 24, a Rigid Inflatable-hulled speedboat, escorted by a couple of Lynx helicopters. Rendezvousing with the HMS Exeter at the Pool of London, she carried on down the Thames aboard the Exeter, still escorted by the Lynx helicopters, finally brought ashore, and then escorted to Waterstone's Piccadilly by a cavalcade of Bentleys.

Bond supposedly served as an intelligence officer on some incarnation of the HMS Exeter, so I suppose it must have seemed fitting to someone that such a crucial role in this publicity stunt should have been played by the current HMS Exeter, a Type 42 destroyer that served in the Falklands War and which must surely be due for decommissioning any day now, considering that most British ships have a service span of twenty-five years or so.

The Mail is up in arms because, of course, they say that this was at taxpayers' expense, though I'm sure the publishers must have coughed up something. Still, though, you have to wonder whether the Royal Navy might have better things to be doing with its time. Mind, it is recruiting season, isn't it . . .

My favourite part of this whole charade, though, is the bit where the Mail reports that 'The book, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bond creator Ian Fleming, is published today and the details of the plot have been kept secret. All that has been revealed is that the story is set in 1967 during the Cold War and sees 007 travelling to London, Paris and the Middle East.'

The plot has been kept secret? A 007 plot has been kept secret? Why? In case people might guess what it's about, and have their fun spoiled? They're all the same!

Years ago, in UCD, I was amused to see how Filmsoc had advertised their 'Bond Week'. Beneath every film's title was a summary of the plot, and all the plots were identical: 'Bond thwarts the bad guy's plans for global domination and shags loads of chicks.' Well, almost all. Goldeneye tried to present a more sensitive take on Her Majesty's pet thug, and so was described with the rather disappointing 'Bond thwarts the bad guy's plans for global domination, and shags just one chick.'

Mind, it was Izabella Scorupco . . .

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