2012 marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond on the big screen. To celebrate, SFX’s Nick Setchfield revisits each and every 007 adventure in a week by week countdown to Skyfall …
MISSION 13: OCTOPUSSY (1983)
INDIAN SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER Roger Moore suffered for his art on Octopussy . The imperishably louche star sweltered on location in India, forced to endlessly change shirts in a bid to preserve 007’s unruffled image. Tailoring crises aside, the subcontinent proves an intriguing new backcloth for Bond, accenting his origin as a post-colonial fantasy for a Britain struggling with the crumbling of empire. The days of the Raj were an ongoing preoccupation for the country in the early ‘80s, one that chimed with a yearning for an imperial dream of a past that infiltrated everything from the fops and picnics of Brideshead Revisited to the jodhpurs of the New Romantics (future title song creators Duran Duran upheld the tradition of the dapper English traveller descending on the undeveloped world, blitzing Sri Lanka for a series of glossy promo vids). A year after Octopussy ITV would adapt Paul Scott’s Raj-set novel The Jewel In The Crown to huge success, making a star of Art Malik, who would enter Bond’s orbit in ‘87’s The Living Daylights . More Mind Your Language than Midnight’s Children, Octopussy is a Hollywood cartoon notion of India, brimming with every reliable cliché from snake charmers to sword-swallowers to hot coals and beds of nails. Q’s even perfecting the Indian Rope Trick.
TRIV AND LET DIE
Steven Berkoff arrived for his audition as Orlov in a full samurai suit.
Faye Dunaway was in the frame for Octopussy while Barbara Carrera claimed that she turned down the role to star opposite Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again .
Moneypenny actress Lois Maxwell was dismayed by the presence of MI6 assistant Penelope Smallbone, who she imagined was being set up as her replacement.
The pre-credits stunt with the miniature jet was originally intended for Moonraker .
Stuntman Martin Grace spent six months in hospital after shattering his hip during the train sequence.
Vijay is played by Vijay Amritaj, real life professional tennis player (you can also glimpse him as a Starfleet captain in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ).
JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN A VIEW TO A KILL