Updated: May 13
With the Bond franchise spanning over twenty films, we have been treated to some epic stories of daredevilry and evil regime-toppling bravery. Yet, it has always been from one perspective; James Bond's.
But what about the lesser known stories surrounding the events that we are already familiar? Well, we are now fortunate that some of those tales have been (somehow) unearthed for us to reveal to you.
So, please do read on and enjoy the other perspectives from some of 007's classic missions. (This will also be continually updated as more versions of events are found).
Josh took a deep breath. Nothing to be nervous about, he thought as he sat in the small, unassuming waiting room.
It’s just another interview, done plenty of those in college. He perused the latest issue of Spectre Monthly. On the cover was a man with an eye patch and silver hair, named Largo. He was the feature story and Josh’s colleague Jennifer had interviewed him last month. He remembered how difficult Jenny said he was – boring too - and his Head of Security had made her feel very uncomfortable.
Josh had only joined the team a few weeks ago but they were kind enough to let him get the cover story for the upcoming issue, an interview with the mysterious Dr. No. Apparently, he is as elusive as Largo and the best they could get out of him previously was a very insubstantial fluff piece which covered his favourite sea life creatures.
But, with the recent expansion of the secret nuclear laboratory off Crab Key Island, his representative accepted the interview as a means to ‘control the message’. Josh wasn’t quite clear on what that entirely meant however the notes provided to him did list a few prerequisites:
“The Honourable Dr will gladly spend a maximum of fifteen minutes with your organisation on the agreement of the following conditions:
1. There must be no mention of the location of the secret laboratory.
2. There must be no mention of the purpose of the secret laboratory.
3. There must be no mention of the secret laboratory.
4. There must be no mention of the unconnected mysterious deaths on the island.
5. Any reference to Dr No must be following the adjective ‘pleasant’.
Josh had been waiting for half an hour, and with each minute passing he could feel his brow becoming sweatier. Just how long were they going to keep me waiting? It’s bad enough that they blind-folded me for the entire trip so I didn’t spot the location but this is now–
What in the Hell was that?! Josh rushed over to the door and peered out. He could now hear a faint alarm coming from somewhere down the facility corridor. That can’t be good, he mused as he shuffled over to the window which overlooked the water. His eyes widened and he could barely mutter words.
The entire base was being evacuated! Entire legions of workers and soldiers were scurrying for boats. He even spotted the young secretary haggling with a man holding a machine gun.
Josh quickly ran back and grabbed his satchel however he turned too hastily and spilled his lunch onto the floor. He looked helplessly on as his meatball sandwich spread across the tiled floor. Ah well, I’m sure Dr No has bigger things to worry about at the moment. With that, he ran through the waiting room doors and down the corridor to the exit.
Finally out the door, Josh sprinted down through the melee of panicked administrative staff - it was chaos!
He spotted a small boat below the pier which was being readied by one of the employees. He chanced it and shouted ‘”Hoy! Can I join you?” The bare-chested man scarcely looked up, nodded agreement and said, “Hurry then.”
Josh climbed down as quickly as he could and began to assist the man. They barely exchanged pleasantries; there was no time as it was evident the base could blow up at any moment.
He stepped over to the bow of the boat and began untying the ropes while the other man was busy with the stern. A few minutes passed as Josh struggled with it, his companion clearly getting impatient. Josh heard a few comments muttered under the stranger’s breath: ‘Seriously?’ ‘You-gotta-be-jokin’-man?’
Finally, the boat was free!
However, as Josh turned around a tall white man dressed in a pale t-shirt and shabby trousers had jumped onto their boat. Within milliseconds he had knocked out the other man and, before Josh had realised it himself, he had stepped over to the intruder apparently to punch him and found himself being shoved into the water!
It happened so quickly. Josh splashed around, gasping for air. He was discombobulated, the cold water a shock to his system. As he wiped his eyes he spotted the boat being driven away by the man and his accomplice, a beautiful young lady in an elegant white dress. Goddarnit! This interview was so not worth all of this, he thought as he bobbed about on the water, looking for other escape boats.
Ah! There’s one! He had spotted another and began to swim towards it but as he was making progress a loud explosion ripped through the water so loud it burst Josh’s eardrums. The nuclear reactor had blown and the ensuing fire rained down on the remaining workers causing the pier to collapse. As radiation fell onto him, burning his skin causing ungodly agonising pain, he spotted the boat in the distance with the white man and lady. They were canoodling.
Josh slowly closed his eyes, thinking of them. At least they’re hap-
Dimitri was close, he could feel it. He swatted back greasy hair out of his tired eyes. Not long now, he thought. His entire life's work was building to this moment.
As he glanced away momentarily from the petri dish, his mind wandered, thinking of the endless possibilities ahead of him once his discovery was published. He will be the scientist that cured cancer. CANCER. He envisioned magazine covers, television interviews, radio spots, sponsorship deals, celebrity parties, and statues in his image, the whole lot. And not just in Russia, but he could imagine across the entire world. Cancer, for Petrov's sake! His final experiment was nearly finished processing but all previous tests had been tremendously successful. He couldn't wait to show his results to Sergei, his main competitor; he will be so jealous. As he waited in the glass confines of the small laboratory in the Arkhangelsk Chemical Weapons Facility, he smirked at the irony of the situation. This place was a haven for death, an institution built to assist humans in wiping out their own kind. But here was Dimitri about to produce the one chemical which will guarantee prolonging life, at least from its main natural enemy. He strolled around the small room, buzzing with energy. He missed his old colleagues; they would have been trusted to keep his secret. Even the colonel of the facility had been kept out the loop, Arcady Gregorovic Ouromov. Ever since Dimitri had been posted to the facility due to budgetary cuts six weeks ago, Ouromov had barely spoken to him. In fact, no one really did - except for Sergei. And as he anticipated, he spotted his arch enemy strolling down the corridor towards his lab room. It was the pre-lunch ritual to have a chance at patronising his fellow colleague. Not this time, thought Dimitri. As the door opened, Dimitri looked up to see the arrogant face, hoping this might be their last exchange as equals. “Can I help you, Sergei?” “Perhaps. I'm looking for an assistant,” answered the scientist rather calmly, twirling his moustache. Dimitri was taken aback, although he tried not to show it. Sergei never normally asked for any help, it was even strange him asking for anything without being followed by curse words. Dimitri responded, “Sure, how can I help you?” Sergei flashed his standard cocksure grin, “Oh, you thought I was talking about you? Ha! Sorry, if I need someone to check my fridge temperatures, I will give you a ring!” With that he strolled back out, laughing to himself. Dimitri heard through the glass, “Gullible slughead!” Bloody Sergei! How does he do it every time!? He always gets the better of me, thought Dimitri, fighting the urge to snap his pencil. He could feel the veins throbbing around his temples. But his fury lasted only seconds as the timer for his experiment suddenly beeped.
This is it, time to check if I have truly done the unthinkable, he rushed over to the counter, nearly tripping over his bag on the floor. He peered into the dish, concentrating. So far so good, he mused as he counted the cells. Nothing abnormal so far, looks like a success but I have to be sure. He recounted them. Again and again. The cancerous cells were gone. He had done it. "Eureka!" He exclaimed, not caring if it was loud enough to be heard across the corridor. The elation felt was overwhelming. I am going to change the world. He whistled as he started packing up his equipment. It was time to write up his report and compile the results; the world will soon have one less issue to worry about. He imagined breaking the news first to his old colleagues and then to his boss Vladimir, in Moscow. They might even rename the institute after him. Anything is possible! With each passing minute as he tidied up it became more unbearable, the dreams and excitable thoughts becoming unrestrained. He even saw his face adorning the ruble. As he started shoving equipment into his bag, he caught sight of the photo he kept of his wife, Karina. He couldn't wait to get home and tell her the news; it would make her so happy. It had been so difficult recently with all of the late nights and missed birthdays; he vowed from this day that his work would no longer be a source of tension between them. He would be present again; no more arguments. The sound of the door opening behind him had been missed in his whirlwind of escalating fantasies. PING PING. Then there was pain. It was so quick he couldn't react, only muttering a faint 'oooh'. As he slumped to the floor he turned and caught sight of the two men. Both in black, holding silenced pistols.
I’ve been … shot? As Dimitri’s last thoughts circled around from his face on the ruble, dinner parties and statues, he watched as the two men conversed as one started to plant something on the main laboratory door next to his lab.
At least these two won’t ever benefit from my discovery, was his final thought before blackness overtook.
Pure tranquillity, thought Erik Van Schaffen, as he surveyed his surroundings. Peak summertime in the Florida Everglades, he looked on at the sky, only blemished by the scorching sun which impeccably projected onto the clear, non rippled surface of the bayou. Local wildlife provided the backing track to further enhance the ambience.
The Dutch architect took a drag of his cigarette and then blew out the smoke nonchalantly. He had stumbled upon this hidden wonder of the world and decided to build a home for his family a few years earlier. However, he also discovered the potential for financial gain through tourism and so built the Van Schaffen Couples Retreat, an extension on his family home for guests.
Targeting the elite, the retreat was the most popular getaway on the bayou, with the only way of visiting by boat, due to the surrounding roads being eroded by the elements.
Although the natural river looked enticing to jump in, due to the threat of crocodiles, Van Schaffen insisted a swimming pool be added to give his guests the impression of lying in the water, floating peacefully down the bayou looking up at the stagnant foliage. Yet, on some occasions crocodiles would mistake his luxury pool for their lagoon and would have to be dealt with, severely. He bristled as he recalled some guest casualties in the past. Bad for business, he thought as he took another drag.
Van Schaffen enjoyed his privacy. However, each afternoon, he would wonder around the area greeting any guests on his way, to perch on his favourite seat by the pool and to catch up with current affairs through his daily newspaper read. Erik was a busy man, so this was his getaway from working, his downtime.
With a pack of his favourite cigarettes to smoke at his leisure, and a glass of Mrs Van Schaffen’s freshly squeezed lemon juice for refreshment, Erik began to read his newspaper.
A quiet buzz could be heard in the distance, gaining volume. Despite his difficulty with hearing due to a misfired rifle during his short career as a soldier, Van Schaffen still made out the faint disturbance, enough to retract himself from keeping updated on local and world news. As he looked up, to his bewilderment, he caught sight of a speed boat gliding across his impeccably maintained lawn, driving straight into his swimming pool, intended for his guests!
He spotted Mrs Van Schaffen, who also jolted her neck in a one-eighty turn due to the commotion. However, Erik remained perched on his favourite seat holding his newspaper and watched as two African American males sped past (in his guest-intended swimming pool).
Then another appeared. Alerted, he stood up still grasping his newspaper and watched on as a Caucasian male in a beige shirt commandeered Erik’s personal speedboat used for the guests to the retreat, and drove off indifferently.
The pursuing armed men made it out of the pool to confront a bemused Erik, “We need a boat, NOW!” one man yelled.
Erik replied, “The man in the beige shirt took my boat. Honest!”
Visibly agitated at Erik’s response, the two men shouted in unison, “GET US A BOAT NOW!”
Erik looked over to the dock where his boat used to sit but was now simply nothing but a dangling rope, and then looked back at the two men. They were now hyperventilating whilst pointing their guns at him, eyes bloodshot and visibly shaking.
Erik then looked at the boat floating in his pool, back at the furious intruders, to the empty dock, and then back to the boat in his pool and again back at the intruders. He said finally, pointing to the boat the men arrived in, “You already have a boat.”
Erik Van Schaffen never did finish his wife’s freshly squeezed lemon juice.
"Oh wow! Isn't that beautiful?"
Tim looked on at where his girlfriend, Emily was pointing. The old building looked like its best days were behind it. "Sure. It's..." he paused, trying to find a word that would convince."Splendid."
She rolled her eyes and shook her head then whisked off towards it, clutching her camera.
Tim looked on as he strolled behind her. He loved how passionate she was about everything. Between her love of medieval history and architecture as well as her fascination with nature, there was always something to learn or photograph. It's one of the many reasons he wanted to marry her. Just need to find the right moment, he thought as he approached.
It was their third day in St.Petersburg and he still hadn’t found the perfect moment to ask her. Nervously, he would occasionally fondle the ring box inside his jacket pocket, with ever increasingly sweaty hands. There just seems to always be something which gets in the way. He thought back to last night in the statue park. It had been so peaceful and filled with history; she would have loved it. He remembered as he was about to get down on one knee and say the words, an explosion had sounded through the air. In sheer panic they had sprinted away back to their hotel room. He shook his head. What were the chances?
As Emily took pictures of the building in front of them, Tim’s mind continued to summon up other moments where he had thought about popping the question. Over dinner on their first evening would have been perfect if he hadn't forgotten to put the ring box in his other jacket pocket. Tim grimaced again, embarrassed at the memory.
"This is gorgeous." Emily’s voice interrupted his internal monologue. She stood staring at the discoloured, abandoned structure. As far as he could tell it looked like any shabby tenement found back home.
"Can you imagine if this was the building in which Lenin or the Bolsheviks conspired? Can't be much different, I would think." She shielded her eyes from the afternoon sunlight, looking at him for agreement.
He scratched his head, only able to offer, "Yeah, crazy."
He had decided this was it; he was just going to ask her. If this grungy derelict building meant that much to her then it would be important to him too. Ok, here goes, he breathed in deeply.
"Honey..." He started.
"Can you take a photo of me from across the road?” She asked him, in that cutesy way he normally loved. “I want to take in the full thing with me in it."
Tim sighed, trying to hide the annoyance in his voice, "Yeah, sure”. He took the camera from her and walked off across the road. This is the last interruption, he promised himself.
As he reached a decent distance he turned back to see her, patiently waiting. He readied the camera and put the viewfinder to his face.
Emily's voice shouted across the quiet street, "Remember what I told you about the shutter speed! Oh and also make sure I'm not dead centre, ok?!"
He emitted another sigh. "Yes, I remember." He slightly moved the focus of the shot so she was no longer in the centre. "OK, say... cheeeese."
He watched her closely, her face giving a perfect smile. He was going to become the happiest man alive in the next few minutes.
She laughed through her grinning teeth, "Cheeeeeeese!"
But as he pushed the button to take the picture a loud crash ripped through the air as the building behind Emily blew forward into her and a large Russian armoured tank careened through it. Bricks and mortar sprayed everywhere as the tank turned into the street, followed by a precession of local police cars. Within a few seconds they were gone and only the rubble remained.
Tim had shouted her name in desperation, running as fast as he could to her. As he approached the debris, his heart almost stopped; her limp arm signalling his worst fear. He stood staring down at her, in complete shock. The same stoic expression adorned his face three weeks later as he read the telegram, supposedly from the British government. Dear (grieving relative), We are sorry to hear of your loss. It was unfortunate that our operative was unable to save your loved one as the structurally unsound building collapsed at the moment he/she entered the vicinity. We do hope this message does alleviate some of the pain you must be feeling and know that you will take comfort in the knowledge that our agent did indeed 'get his man'. We offer our deepest condolences to your plight, yours sincerely, M
Tim was numb; he didn’t feel anything reading it. He finally took it upon himself to look at the printed photograph of Emily’s last moment. The shot was her mid-flight, with the brick-covered tank behind her. He tried to convince himself it would have made her feel better knowing it was at least for the government she had died. It wasn’t working.
Unconvinced, he pushed the letter and photo aside and returned to vacantly staring out the window. He mumbled, “Cheeeese, my sweetheart.”
And that's the end for now, folks! It's always enlightening getting another perspective, eh? More to follow as we find them!
Stories 1,2 and 4 written by Steven Barry
Story 3 written by Scott Armour and edited by Steven Barry