James Bond Is Really a Geek

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He can fight terrorists atop a train, jump off a cliff into the cockpit of a plane, jump out of a plane with no parachute and wrestle one away from someone else and he still knows what type of wine to order with fish. He's James Bond and, yes, he is irresistible to women, unstoppable when it comes to saving the day and, let's face it, impervious to logic when it comes to his personal risk-taking.

Here's something else you don't know about the guy: he, and his films, trade a little more in geekdom than you might think. Oh, I don't just mean there being an early laser in "Goldfinger" or using a giant brick of an Ericsson phone to (somehow) control a car in "Tomorrow Never Dies." I mean some little glimpses of hardcore nerdery you'd think wouldn't exist from a guy more prone to play baccarat than Warcraft.

Some of the more Fanboyish moments in the 007 films include:


For a while there, it looked like the only reason Alexander Graham Bell invented a telephone was so that they would one day go mobile and then have enough additional functionality so I could play Jetpack Joyride. Do you know how many times I missed my bus stop because I was so engrossed in its obstacle-dodging, coin-collecting tractor beam? Well, once, and, you know, it wouldn't kill me to walk a few blocks now and again, but you get the point.

The point is that James Bond was already playing Jetpack Joyride, but, like, FOR REAL, all the way back in 1965. He was floating all over England being like, "Oh, hey, what's up The Beatles? You still aren't recording Abbey Road for four more years? Well, I'll just jetpack back when you get your act together."

Communing With The Aliens

Yes, James Bond went to space in "Moonraker." He did it with someone named Dr. Holly Goodhead, if you must know. But, before he gets there, he's got to do all sorts of sneaking and sleuthing and, oh, what's the word ... spying! During one moment in "Moonraker," he's got to get into a secret chamber but, drat, there's an alarm. Luckily, there's a potted plant for him to hide behind and he can watch someone else type in the entry code. Wouldn't you know that there are tones that go with each key and, when played in sequence, it is exactly the same as the communication notes featured in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

License to Touch

"Quantum of Solace" serves two functions. Most importantly it's there to be lifeless and dull to make "Skyfall"'s awesomeness all the more effective. Secondly, it showed that MI6 (you know, where Bond keeps a locker) is actually a collection of egghead dorks who can't wait to get their hands on new geek gizmos. Case in point, twisting, flipping and expanding scanned images on a Microsoft Surface table four full years before the rest of the world could.


Another thing that makes the 007 franchise pure nerd bait is the constant battle it has with its own mythology. Does each new actor playing Bond (or Blofeld, or M) represent a continuation or a reboot? Are the Daniel Craig films meant to be taken as prequels? (See "Skyfall" and get back to me on that.)

Most exciting (for comic book dweebs, that is) is that there are a handful of Bond films that are flatly "non-canonical." There's the first BBC teleplay, the original "Casino Royale" and, the litigators' delight, "Never Say Never Again." And, in that one, Sean Connery returned to show he was hip and now and edgy and agreed to play a KILLER VIDEO GAME.

"Domination" is like Missile Command meets Risk, but with electricity piping through the controllers. It's completely asinine but I saw it when I was eight and thought it was the greatest thing ever.

What's in a Name?

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The most controversial henchman in the 007 franchise appears in both "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker." He was a giant, grunting bruiser with sharp metal teeth. He was called Jaws. I have it on very good authority he was originally going to be called The Incisor, until some nerd-ass producer really into Spielberg films had his say.

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