Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

I think he was buying a lighter in Berngarten  ajb007/wink


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

I like to think GE, Bloodstone, and 007 Legends occurred between QOS and SF. It would fill out the era nicely.

1. Connery 2. Moore 3. Dalton 4. Brosnan 5. Craig 6. Lazenby


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

Bodie wrote:

We have had mention of various unseen missions:

DN - Bond's Baretta jammed during his last mission so the change to the Walther.  In the novels the Baretta jams in FRWL and Bond gets the Walther PPK at the start of DN but as the books are filmed out of sequence we can only guess at the previous mission.

LALD - the Rome assignment where he acquired Miss Caruso

TSWLM - what was he doing in Berngarten

MR - returning from Lagos were presumably he was on a mission

GE - as already pointed out must have had a few missions in the 9 years before encountering 006 again

TND - his time in Zurich when he met Paris

CR/QOS to SF - when he went from rookie 00 to hard bitten almost burned out veteran

Also in Dr No (film) in M's office we find out he's been a 00 for 10 years.


"Do you expect me to talk?  "No Mister Bond I expect you to die"


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

yeh what was up during those ten years?
presumably there was an unseen ConneryBond version of the Casino Royale caper, that'd account for a few days, but ten years is a long long time.
especially since he was averaging one epic adventure per year in those days, too.


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

unless maybe ten years previous he literally was NelsonBond, and MI6 spent the rest of the decade training him to shpeak like thish.


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

I get the impression he's a fully blown 00.  M threatens him with a return to "standard intelligence duties" if he doesn't except the new gun instead of the Beretta.  Also M states it jammed on his last mission and he spent 6 months in hospital as a consequence.


"Do you expect me to talk?  "No Mister Bond I expect you to die"


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

I'm joking about the Barry Nelson reference. You're absolutely right, according to the dialog in the very first movie there should be at least ten previously unseen, full blown epic adventures in his past (assuming an average of one per year).

I gotta dig out my copy of Pearson's 007 Biography. He does describe several missions preceding Casino Royale, written as 10pg mini-adventures. The two kills that earned Bond 00 status were during WWII, so even in the books' timeline there's at least seven years worth of missions preceding the first Fleming volume.


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

caractacus potts wrote:

I'm joking about the Barry Nelson reference. You're absolutely right, according to the dialog in the very first movie there should be at least ten previously unseen, full blown epic adventures in his past (assuming an average of one per year).

I gotta dig out my copy of Pearson's 007 Biography. He does describe several missions preceding Casino Royale, written as 10pg mini-adventures. The two kills that earned Bond 00 status were during WWII, so even in the books' timeline there's at least seven years worth of missions preceding the first Fleming volume.

That's something that people missed about the Casino Royale novel when the 2006 film came out. They thought that because the film showed Bond on his first mission that the novel also showed Bond on his first mission. And EON used it being the first novel as an excuse to make the film into an origin story. It really messed up the film for me. I think that one of those earlier unseen missions would have been a better origin story.


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

you know that dam incident at the beginning of Goldeneye would be a previously unseen mission that occurred between A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights. So they have showed us one. They should do more flashback sequences like that
(...as long as they don't involve previously unmentioned foster brothers).


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

a couple others we know of from film dialog

Octopussy - when was the incident when Bond met with her father? was it just like Fleming wrote? (though Fleming never mentioned a daughter) how old was she then? I always assumed the way she told the story she was a child, but Maud Adams is "only" 16 years younger than Moore, Bond'd have to have been very young himself if she was a child the day he visited her father.

aVTaK - when did he meet Pola Ivanova before? I think the character was originally meant to be Anya Amasova, but Barbara Bach was unavailable, so they created a new character. But the dialog tells us they have a history.

and speaking of Anya ... we know from Moonraker Jaws continued his goal of revenge against Bond even after Stromberg quit paying him. Did he also seek revenge against Anya? probably. And if so, thatd make a good story.


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?


We have another unseen mission, where Bond piloted none other than Little Nellie!

After it is built, Q says to Bond:

Q: "We've made some improvements since you used her last."  ajb007/martini

Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

caractacus potts wrote:

you know that dam incident at the beginning of Goldeneye would be a previously unseen mission that occurred between A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights. So they have showed us one. They should do more flashback sequences like that
(...as long as they don't involve previously unmentioned foster brothers).

I love the unseen missions thing. Would love to see it developed

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

I have had a skim through Fleming looking for canonical Unseen Missions, which I shall post here for reference. I believe if Fleming himself mentioned it, it is true, even if left almost entirely to our imagination. So, some fodder for potential fanfic.

Did Pearson, or Horowitz, or Higson pick up on any of these mysterious incidents?

I shall assume Bonds birthyear is approximately 1916, as implied in Moonraker, and the obit in YOLT is wrong (disinformation to fool Britain's enemies?). And that the adventures generally happened the year before Fleming wrote the book.
Page references are to the mid60s PAN editions, except for Thrilling Cities, which is the mid60s Signet.

Bond joined the British Secret Service in 1938, according to his SMERSH zapiska seen in FRWL (pg 45), with the help of a colleague of his father's from Vickers (YOLT pg 179-80).
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

the Roumanians
The earliest Unseen Mission we learn about is referenced both in Casino Royale, and Moonraker.
Two months before WWII, ie June 1939, he worked with the Deuxième Bureaue in Monte Carlo on a Casino job, to bust a Roumanian team who were using invisible ink and special glasses to cheat at cards. He prepared by studying with an American named Steffi Esposito to learn all the ways to cheat at cards, at the Service's expense. Bond successfully exposed the Roumanians, winning one million francs "at Shemmy" which he turned in to his employers.
Presumably he met Mathis on this mission, who describes Bond as a "very good friend"
(CR pg 24/25 & 40, MR pg 20)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Smuggling/Courier Work
In his early days with the Service, Bond was somehow involved in smuggling, behind enemy lines "through Strasbourg into Germany, through Niegoreloye into Russia, over the Simplon, across the Pyrenees"
(DAF pg 21)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

the Submarine
At at least one point, he was on a submarine, but strictly as a "chocolate sailor"
(TB pg 195)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Station A
Bond had worked for a time under Station A (America) during the war.
(LALD pg 11)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The First Two Kills
The first two kills are described twice in Casino Royale, first to Vesper, then in more detail to Mathis. I shall quote both in full, as these are frequently speculated on.

"It's not difficult to get a Double O number if you're prepared to kill people ... I've got the corpses of a Japanese cipher expert in New York and a Norwegian double agent in Stockholm to thank for being a Double O."
(pg 64)

"Well, in the last few years I've killed two villains. The first was in New York--a Japanese cipher expert cracking our codes on the thirty-sixth floor of the RCA building in the Rockefeller centre, where the Japs had their consulate. I took a room on the fortieth floor of the next-door skyscraper and I could look across the street into his room and see him working. Then I got a colleague from our organization in New York and a couple of Remington thirty-thirty's with telescopic sights and silencers. We smuggled them up to my room and sat for days waiting for our chance. He shot at the man a second before me. His job was only to blast a hole through the windows so that I could shoot the Jap through it. They have tough windows at the Rockefeller centre to keep the noise out. It worked very well. As I expected, his bullet got deflected by the glass and went God knows where. But I shot immediately after him, through the hole he had made. I got the Jap in the mouth as he turned to gape at the broken window.

It was a pretty sound job. Nice and clean too. Three hundred yards away. No personal contact. The next time in Stockholm wasn't so pretty. I had to kill a Norwegian who was doubling against us for the Germans. He'd managed to get two of our men captured--probably bumped off for all I know. For various reasons it had to be an absolutely silent job. I chose the bedroom of his flat and a knife. And, well, he just didn't die very quickly.

For those two jobs I was awarded a Double O number in the Service. Felt pretty clever and got a reputation for being good and tough. A double O number in our Service means you've had to kill a chap in cold blood in the course of some job."
(pg 141/142)

NOTE the Craig film got it wrong, not just the targets, but the fact CraigBond found the second easier than the first, missing Fleming's point.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

the Ardennes
Bond last heard machine gun fire "coming from the German lines in the Ardennes"
(DN pg 77)
Wikipedia tells me the Ardennes is a mountainous region straddling the borders of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, and the Germans used the Ardennes as a route for invasion twice, during the Battle of France (May/June 1940) and the later Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944 – Jan 1945). What was Bond doing there, in either case? He was a spy, not a soldier. Shouldn't he be stealing secret documents from sexy lady Gestapo officers?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hong Kong
Bond was in Hong Kong at the end of WWII, and we later learn he's friends with the head of Station H, and has never been east of Hong Kong. What went on there at the end of WWII?
(CR pg 165, GF pg 41, YOLT pg 30)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The First Jamaica Mission
Bond had once worked in Jamaica "on a long assignment just after the war when the Communist headquarters in Cuba was trying to infiltrate the Jamaican labour unions. It had been an untidy and inconclusive job", and from his job knows a fellow British agent working undercover at the Gleaner named Fawcett, and another man named Charles DaSilva. This mission is mentioned in each of the first two books, but never mentioned again, even though Bond will reminisce about his subsequent Jamaican missions.
(CR pg 10 & 27, LALD pg 180)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

at one point M assigned Bond to work in the Embassy in Moscow.
(MR pg 39)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Bond himself tells us there have been "one or two of the jobs M's given [him] since the war" that ought to be in his file in Russia. Although when we see his zapiska in FRWL, all they have is four random photographs, so he's got away with a bit. A better spy than he knows!.
(CR pg 140)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

According to the zapiska, Bond was promoted to 00 status no later than December 1950.
(FRWL pg 45)
Goldfinger states he has had 00 status for six years, which would make it approx 1951, but that could be a rounding error. But the same book also states explicitly the Casino mission occurred in 1951.
(GF pg 14 & 41)
I found no evidence of any missions between Bond's promotion to 00 status, and Casino Royale. In this regard, the Daniel Craig film got it right
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

in Moonraker we are told he usually handles two or three dangerous missions per year "requiring his particular abilities", so there oughta be about 13 or even 26 unseen missions between books, but ... in the early books at least he explicitly only receives one per year.
(MR pg 10)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

SMERSH only knows about the same four missions we know about from Fleming's books, including the diamonds case, which did not involve Russia. They don't know about anything he has done prior to Casino Royale except for four random photos. They're not very good spies themselves then, but this supports the reading that there were no missions between missions between the first five books.
(FRWL pg 41)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

There are explicitly no missions between missions in any of the first six books.
Live and Let Die begins with M examining the plastic surgery required to cover the scar Bond received on his hand in Casino Royale. He would not let an agent work in the field with such an identifying mark, therefor Bond has not had any missions.
(LALD pgs 11-13)
Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever both begin with Bond's return from the very leaves of absence promised at the end of the previous volumes. They must all have happened in quick sequence.
(MR pg 13/14, DAF pg 15) 
At the beginning off From Russia with Love, he has explicitly not had a mission in nearly a year, and has been living with Tiffany since the end of his last mission.
(That alone oughta count as an unseen mission: CoHabitation, a serial philanderer like Bond living with a woman for a whole year. This is by far his longest attempt at a normal relationship, he didn't even make it home from the wedding with Tracy. It'd be far more stressful than any torture.)
(FRWL pg 78)
He spends many months in the hospital between From Russia with Love and Doctor No recovering from shoe-spike poison, and Doctor No is explicitly his first mission since being released.
(DN pg 13-14 & 17)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Hungarian Uprising
The first mission between missions is hinted at in Quantum of Solace, and must have happened between Doctor No and Goldfinger, as he was in the hospital prior to DN, and had no missions for nearly a year prior to FRWL. So, approximately 1956?
"...he had not seen a play for two years, and then only because the man he was following in Vienna had gone to it..."
(FYEO pg 85)
Compare with this passage from Thunderball, where a doctor notes an old injury:
"...he reflected that the ''bad fall'' had probably been when he had had to jump from the Arlberg Express after Heinkel and his friends had caught up with him around the time of the Hungarian uprising in 1956."
(TB pg 21)
These two incidents seem to happen the same year, and Vienna is very close to Hungary. Tempting to assume they were both part of the same Unseen Mission, the first we know of as a Double Oh!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Mexican Drug Job
Chapter 1 of Goldfinger ("Reflections in a Double Bourbon") is itself a mission between missions.

... the death of the Mexican ... less than twenty-four hours before ... had been the finishing touch to a bad assignment, one of the worst...
Bond ... flew to Mexico City and quickly got to the Madre de Cacao [at a small café in Mexico City]. Thence, posing as a buyer for the London traffic, he got back to the big Mexican [who has some poppy fields]. The Mexican received him amiably and referred him to Blackwell [the Import and Export merchant who is shipping the heroin] ... Bond broke into Blackwell's warehouse one night and left a thermite bomb. He then went and sat in a café a mile away and watched the flames leap above the horizon of roof-tops and listened to the silver cascade of the fire-brigade bells....
...Bond had taken the precaution to move his hotel, but that night, as he walked home after a last drink at the Copacabana, a man suddenly stood in his way... [Bond killed the Mexican with deadly hand-edge blow to the Adam's apple]... At dawn Bond had got up and shaved and driven to the airport where he took the first plane out of Mexico.
(GF pgs 7-10)

This takes up most of the chapter, with almost as much detail as a short story, and M refers to it again in Risico (FYEO pg 113).
it is also the basis of the precredits sequence of the Sean Connery film, so it is not in any sense "unseen". But it is the first mission between missions encountered when reading Fleming sequentially.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Counting whatever happened in Hungary, that is three dangerous missions in one year. The next year would be even busier. There are three proper missions in For Your Eyes Only, and also three of those stories take place immediately after an Unseen Mission. So, at least six missions in 1958 (and then there are the synopses for the abandoned tv series, which I shall not get into here)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Arms Shipments to Castro
The dinner party in Quantum of Solace takes place immediately after an Unseen Mission. Bond had been sent to "put a stop" to arms shipments to Castro from Jamaica and the Bahamas. "Bond had found out about the two big cabin cruisers that were being fitted out for the job, and rather than make arrests when they were about to sail, thus causing an incident, he had chosen a very dark night and crept up on the boats in a police launch. From the deck of the unlighted launch he had tossed a thermite bomb through an open port of each of them. He had then made off at high speed and watched the bonfire from a distance." We are told Bond was reluctant, and his sympathies were actually with the rebels.
(FYEO pg 85)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

the Seychelles
When Bond takes the fishing expedition in The Hildebrand Rarity he has just finished an Unseen Mission in the Seychelles. Communists from Ceylon had been trying to destabilize the Maldives and the Admiralty had been considering moving the naval base in the region to the Seychelles. Bond's exciting mission was to assess the Seychelles for security risks and he "concluded that the only conceivable security hazard in the Seychelles lay in the beauty and ready availability of the Seychelloises [i.e. womenfolk?], had been finished a week before and then he had nothing to do but wait for the S.S. Kampala to take him to Mombasa."
(FYEO pg 156)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

the Hungarian Defector
He is in Paris at the beginning of From a View to a Kill because he has just finished another Unseen Mission. "...a dismally failed assignment on the Austro-Hungarian border. It had been a question of getting a certain Hungarian out. Bond had been sent from London specially to direct the operation over the head of Station V. This had been unpopular with the Vienna Station. There had been misunderstandings--wilful ones. The man had been killed in the frontier minefield."
(FYEO pg 11-12)
(NOTE: not to be confused with The Hungarian Uprising, see above, unless Fleming is suddenly leaping around in the timeline unannounced. But doesn't it sound a lot like The Living Daylights, except in a different city? if tLD itself were a leftover synopsis from the abandoned teevee show, not to be fleshed out into a proper story for another three years, maybe Fleming is referencing an as-yet unpublished story here, and may be doing the same with some of these other cryptic clues)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Things get confusing after Thunderball, as there are missions we hear about but don't see, and missions we do see that don't seem to fit into the Blofeld arc.

Search for SPECTRE
In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, we learn Bond has had one single ongoing mission "for close on twelve months", since "the successful completion of Operation Thunderball" (the books were in fact written two years apart). Bond's only mission has been to find Blofeld and any remaining members of SPECTRE. He describes it as "routine detective work" and tells us in his resignation letter that every lead has been abortive and he does not believe SPECTRE or Blofeld still exist.
This year's worth of routine detective work is one big Unseen Mission.
(OHMSS pg 17-18)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The claim Bond could find no trace of SPECTRE during that year is contradicted by chapter 11 of The Spy Who Loved Me, entitled "Bedtime Story".
Like chapter 1 of Goldfinger, this entire chapter is a mission described in almost as much detail as the short stories, but it gets discussed so little we might forget that it exists.

A Soviet defector referred to as "Boris" is now living in Toronto. He was a "top naval constructor in Kronstadt--high up in their nuclear submarine team" (Russian subs: a connection to the film I'd never noticed before!). The Soviets have placed a bounty on him, and SPECTRE have agreed to arrange his death for one hundred thousand pounds. An ex-Gestapo man named Horst Uhlmann has hired a local outlaw bike gang named The Mechanics to do help with the murder. Bond intercedes by taking the place of "Boris" in his apartment when the hit is to take place, there are machine guns involved and Bond kills Uhlmann. Bond is on his way to Washington D.C. to debrief when he finds his way to Vivienne's motel.
(tSWLM pgs pg 128-135)

Since Bond has foiled at least one SPECTRE scheme between TB and OHMSS, why does he forget when composing his resignation letter?
Perhaps because it never happened? Consider, Vivienne Michel is an unreliable narrator, unlike the omniscient voice that usually tells the stories of Bond's adventures. And even if she is telling her story accurately, why would Bond have ever told her his story accurately? Surely to do so would be a violation of Official Secrets. So there is the possibility that either he or she made the whole thing up. This could be a mission that is "seen" but never happened.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Living Daylights was written and published between tSWLM and OHMSS, and his mission has no connection to SPECTRE. So either he was oversimplifying when he said his only mission for the last year was to find SPECTRE, or else this mission happened elsewhere in the timeline. The construction of the Berlin Wall is a limiting factor as to when it could happen, but consider this is a mission M might say Bond had bungled and endangered others' lives.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

When he arrives in Royale-les-Eaux at the beginning of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, he is returning from an Unseen Mission in Palermo, where he investigated one 'Blauenfelder', "a perfectly respectable German citizen engaged in viniculture" and drew the attention of the Mafia, who apparently ran him out of town.
(OHMSS pg 17-18)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Following Tracy's death, Bond took a month's leave and travelled to Jamaica: a "ghastly month", "what hell that had been".
(I note he had to use his own vacation time, M didn't give him additional stress or bereavement leave.)
(YOLT pg 24)

Octopussy was written between OHMSS and YOLT, but not published til years later. He travels to Jamaica to confront Dexter Smythe about the murder of Hannes Oberhauser. He even tells Smythe this isn't his job, he just came across the file and volunteered to take care of it himself.
It is real tempting to suggest he seized the chance to bring Oberhauser's murderer to justice as a sustitute for his inability to bring Tracy's murderers to justice. And it is real tempting to suggest this in fact is what he did on that month's leave to Jamaica when he was supposed to be on vacation.
Was Fleming referencing the unpublished Octopussy when he mentioned the ghastly hellish month in Jamaica in YOLT?
...and, could any of these other cryptic Unseen Missions refer to other abandoned stories Fleming left hidden in his desk drawer?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Two Bungled Missions
M gave Bond two tough assignments in the eight months following Tracy's death and he bungled them both. "On one he nearly got himself killed, and on the other he made a mistake that was dangerous for others."
(YOLT pgs 20, 27)
What could these two missions have been? It is tempting to think tLD was one of them, as from M's probable viewpoint it was bungled and endangered others. But that means moving back and forth in the timeline, something Fleming doesn't usually do. Also the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 is a limiting factor.

M also tells us the Double Oh section has been unusually idle these last few months, and Bond tells us M has been preoccupied by a scandal called the Prenderghast case, in which a Station head known to be homosexual was accused of treason and commited suicide. Bond had to testify in the inquiry.
(YOLT pg 29)
(NOTE: could this be the character Bond is friends with in Trigger Mortis? if so, bonus points to Horowitz for catching that detail)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Fleming wrote both 007 in New York and Property of a Lady in between You Only Live Twice and the Man with the Golden Gun. They could not have happened then because we know Bond was otherwise occupied between the last page of YOLT and the first page of tMwtGG. So they either happened before or after. I think they are both such simplistic assignments, they are probably the only kind of job Bond could have handled following Tracy's death, when he was otherwise bungling his normal work.

Property of a Lady we know does have to happen prior to YOLT because the character Maria Freudenstein is reported dead in the first chapter of tMwtGG (pg 16).

007 in New York could have happened any time in Bond's career. But note his date Solange, although she has a day-job at Abercrombie's (Abercrombie & Fitch?), she is presumed to be available to sleep with Bond whenever he drops into Manhattan with a moment's notice (Thrilling Cities pg 113). There are of course many repectable women with such unconventional attitudes. But, in YOLT it is implied Bond has been seeing prostitutes since Tracy's death ("he must go out and regain his manhood by having a woman. As if he hadn't tried that! The ones who had told him to take it easy up the stairs. The ones who had asked him to take them to Paris. The ones who had inquired indifferently, 'Feeling better now, dearie?'" YOLT pg23) I think Solange could be a prostitute.
And in case you've never read this obscure story, his mission is almost the same as the last scene of the Craig film Quantum of Solace: he is to inform a retired employee of the Secret Service that her boyfriend is a spy.
...and he bungles it! "...everything went hopelessly wrong and, instead of the dream programme, there had to be urgent and embarrassing telephone calls with London head-quarters and, and then only by the greatest of good luck, an untidy meeting at midnight beside the skating rink at Rockefeller Center with tears and threats of suicide from the English girl. ... there is no Reptile House at the Central Park Zoo." He was so busy thinking about his date with Solange and grousing about the city, he didn't do the proper research to set up the meeting site!
(TC pg 114)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Colonel Boris
Between You Only Live Twice and the Man with the Golden Gun is the greatest of all the Unseen Missions. There are quite a few clues in the opening chapters of tMwtGG as to what happened. He was immediately recognised upon arriving in Vladisvostock (I suspect he was acting very suspiciously, probably still dressed as a Japanese fisherman), and was beaten by the police and delivered to the KGB. They interrogated him, then a man named Colonel Boris was in charge of the brainwashing, and reconstructed Bond's sense of identity with what skewed information they had on him from his zapiska.
When Bond arrives in London nearly a year after his disappearance, he is still amnesiac, all he knows is what Boris has told him about himself, and has no other memories of his own (this is tested when he does not recognise his favourite cigarette).
(tMwtGG pgs 10-22)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Electro-Convulsive therapy
Following his failed attempt on M's life, Bond spends a month receiving 24 electro-shock treatments in a top secret private hospital in Kent, which does properly restore his memory and erases the effects of the brainwashing. Good old ECT, the miracle cure for what ails you!
(tMwtGG pg 45)


So that's all the official hints as to Unseen Missions within Fleming. As cryptic as most of these are, I consider them by definition canonical and therefor more real than anything written by anyone other then Fleming. So worth expending some imagination on, to flesh out what "really" happened.

Let us know if I missed any, or if I misinterpreted Fleming's cryptic clues.

Speaking of anyone other than Fleming, I did not look into Colonel Sun this time. As much as I like that one, if it's not Fleming it's not canon.
But I did note that on the very first page Bond is still feeling the pain of Scaramanga's poisoned bullet "one year later" (despite the three years between books).
So for those of you who have Colonel Sun better memorised than I do, does he reference any Unseen Missions since Fleming's last book, or give any clues as to Unseen Missions further back in Bond's past?

Last edited by caractacus potts (26th Jan 2019 18:35)


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

Great and extensive research. I am impressed with the details. I need more time to review it all. Good job.

Bond: "But who would want to kill me, sir?"
M: "Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors . . . the list is endless."


Re: The unseen missions - ever wonder?

very kind of you to say so, mpoplawski
please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions, I intend to refine the above list so it is a useful reference for all us Bondgeeks

I decided to take a look at Colonel Sun, as many folks here accept that as the one continuation novel that is "true". It may not be Fleming's continuity, thus apocryphal, but within Amis' continuity certain Unseen Missions did happen. I post this separately, so as not to confuse with Fleming's continuity.

Colonel Sun explicitly takes place a year after the events of the Man with the Golden Gun, although it was written three years later (pg 9). Bond had two Unseen Missions in that time:

"What have I done this year? One trip to the States, on what turns out to be a sort of discourtesy visit, and then that miserable flop out East back in June."

Bond had been sent to Hong Kong to supervise the conveying to the Red mainland of a certain Chinese and a number of unusual stores. The man had gone missing about the time of Bond's arrival and had been found two days later in an alley off the waterfront with his head almost severed from his body. After another three days, memorable chiefly for a violent and prolonged typhoon, the plan had been cancelled and Bond recalled.
(pg 13)

No detail is given about the Discourtesy Visit to the United States. What could that mean?

Amis does not try to retcon any previously Unseen Missions into Fleming's continuity, just into the time following his final book.

other folks will have to check Christopher Wood, John Gardner, and the rest. I bet there's lots of hints in all those. Probably even the comic strips contained hints as to Unseen Missions.
I intend to re-read Pearson's Bond Biography in the new year, after I finish the new Horowitz. That whole book is otherwise Unseen Missions. I will take notes, and post my results in this most recent Bond Biography thread.