Here we separate the Bond women from the Bond girls. The first Bond girl appeared in Dr No, which had its world premiere 50 years ago on October 5, 1962. Ursula Andress was the name and bikini wearing was the game as Honey Ryder stepped from the ocean. Women who have gone mano a mano with Bond include Rosa Klebb's SPECTRE agent in From Russia With Love, played by Lotte Lenya, Carole Bouquet's crossbow-wielding Melina in For Your Eyes Only, and his boss, M, played by Judi Dench. The most famous Bond girl of all time, as seen at the Olympics opening ceremony, resides in Buckingham Palace.
It has been reported, but not confirmed, that Adele will sing the opening song for Skyfall. A recent BBC poll put Live and Let Die, by Paul McCartney, at number one in the chart of Bond songs. That Alan Partridge favourite, Carly Simon's Nobody Does it Better, sashayed into the chart at number two, with Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger third. Our own Sheena Easton sang the title track on For Your Eyes Only, and is the only performer to feature in an opening title sequence. Tina Turner (GoldenEye), Duran Duran (A View to a Kill), A-ha, (The Living Daylights) and Madonna (Die Another Day) have also sung for her majesty's secret service.
Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q, was one of the most beloved characters in the Bond pantheon. John Cleese tried to fill the quartermaster's shoes with mixed results, and as the films progressed the gadgets seemed to lose their wow factor, with the invisible car in Die Another Day considered a low point by fans. Skyfall will have a new Q, played by Ben Whishaw, and his geeky, Holmesian style has already met with fan approval. As for the gadgets, Skyfall will have a way to go to beat the wrist dart in Moonraker, the mobile phone (fancy!) in Tomorrow Never Dies, and the underwater breather in Thunderball. Rumour has it the Royal Navy contacted the filmmakers to find out if the latter actually worked.
Prime spot in the showroom window goes to the Aston Martin. It's a bit like Bond – sleek, cool, has hidden strengths and would look slightly out of place in the local leisure centre car park of a Tuesday evening. Just as impressive have been the stunts performed by the many Bond vehicles. Check out the 360 degree spiral bridge jump in The Man With The Golden Gun, done in one take by "Bumps" Willard in an AMC Hornet; the seven barrel roll in Casino Royale, now listed in the Guinness Book of World Records; Rick Sylvester's ski jump at the start of The Spy Who Loved Me; the bungee jump in GoldenEye; and Sean Connery's receipt of a bus pass. That last one is not part of official Bond lore.
Drum rolls please for Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and current holder of a licence to kill, Daniel Craig. In this Mr Universe beauty pageant of brains and brawn, the last two men standing, in most fans' books, are Craig and Connery. Craig, who trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (other alumni include Ewan McGregor), and starred in Munich and TV's Our Friends in the North, has effortless British cool and knows his way around a punch-up. Connery brought swagger and a Scots accent to the card table. Both look good in a tux. On balance, besht Bond hash to be Connery. But we're not biashed.
Among the many characters the cruel, cruel world failed to understand were Dr Julius No, Auric Goldfinger, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (played by several actors), Steven Berkoff's General Orlov, Sean Bean's Alec Trevelyan, Robert Carlyle's Renard and Mads Mikkelsen's Le Chiffre. Most Bond villians say they have just as much fun, or more, playing the mischief makers. We're not so sure. In Skyfall, the villain's crown is worn by a peroxide-barneted Javier Bardem, who previously played a very naughty boy in the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men. Honourable mentions also go to Jaws (Richard Kiel) and Oddjob (Harold Sakata).
The Bond scripts are notable for their zingers – saucy phrases, acid putdowns, awful puns, and lines cheesier than the world's biggest Babybel. You must remember these. "Do you expect me to talk?" (Bond), "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die." (Goldfinger); "Named after your father perhaps," to a character named Plenty O'Toole. "Now a new watch. This is your 20th I believe," says Q. "How time flies," replies Bond. Daniel Craig's Bond announced he was the new sheriff in town when a barman asked if he wanted his vodka martini shaken or stirred. "Do I look like I give a damn?" he shot back. Very post-modern, Mr Bond.
The wardrobe credits in any Bond are almost as long as the technical ones. Each film and its fashions are distinctly of the era in which they are made, from the Mad Men look of Dr No to the more casual polo shirts in Casino Royale. Just as much attention is paid to the men's fashion as the women's, with a special place reserved in sartorial heaven for the famous tuxedo that Bond generally slips into at some point. Swimsuits have figured prominently too, with Daniel Craig recreating Andress's Venus from the waves shot clad in blue trunks. Those trunks, together with other items from the films, including an Aston Martin, are to be sold in a special charity auction at Christie's in London on October 5 to mark the franchise's 50th anniversary.
The exotic locations
From high in the skies to deep in the oceans the Bond films have always settled on locations sure to warm cinemagoers' hearts on a chilly winter night. Skyfall is shot in Glencoe in February (in Ian Fleming's novels, Bond's father hails from there). Otherwise, the Bond franchise has bounced from Japan, Jamaica, Egypt and Paris to Monaco, Berlin, Miami and London, and many other points in between. In Scotland, locations have already included Eilean Donan Castle in Wester Ross (The World is Not Enough) and Faslane Naval Base near Helensburgh was used to shoot scenes with Roger Moore for The Spy Who Loved Me.
The movies continue to go great guns at the box office, with Casino Royale grossing $594 million worldwide (Box Office Mojo). Who knows what the future might bring for Bond – chances are it won't be a desk job. Those in search of even more information on the Bond franchise should book now for a new documentary, Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007. Out on October 5, the focus of Stevan Riley's film falls on producers Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and our hero's original creator Ian Fleming. Glasgow (Quay Odeon) and Dunfermline (Odeon), check listings closer to the release date for further venues at www.heraldscotland.com/ goingout/cinema.