Universe Guide

M - James Bond, 007

M from James Bond

M is a fictional female Human spymaster in the James Bond, 007 film series who was played on screen by Judi Dench, Bernard Lee, Robert Brown. 'M' is James Bond's superior at M.I.6. and who tasks 007 with missions. In Casino Royale, 'M' says she answers to the Prime Minister but in real lfe, 'M' would answer to the Foreign Secretary first.

The letter is inspired by the life head of M.I.6. who is known as 'C' after the first chief Captain George Mansfield Cummings-Smith. Cummings-Smith would write the letter 'C' in green ink on papers he wished to read later. In the books, 'M's real name is revealed to be Vice Admiral Sir Miles Messervy KCMG and Dame Judi Dench's 'M' real name is Olivia Mansfield 1. Mansfield comes from the first head of the real organisation Captains Mansfield Cummings-Smith . When Olivia is killed, the next chief is revealed to Gareth Mallory, thus continuing the line of characters with a surname beginning with the letter 'M'. Incidentally, the head of the domestic intelligence service, 'M.I.5.' M (Security Service) is known as 'K' after the first head, Vernon Kell.

'M' although doesn't get involved in any shooting does leave the confines of the office and come and meet James Bond to check on his assignment. 'M' has been seen out of the office in but not limited to in You Only Live Twice, Licence to Kill and Skyfall. Skyfall has 'M' the target of an avenging M.I.6. who wants revenge for sending him (Raoul Silva) on a mission which has caused him great pain.

'M' relationship with Bond is that of parent and child, one where the parent gets angry at what the child does at times and proud when the child has done right. In Goldeneye 'M' has a great conversation with Bond to explain what the new 'M' thinks of Bond. 'M' favourite double-O agent is 008 who according to M takes orders.

M: You don't like me, Bond. You don't like my methods. You think I'm an accountant, a bean counter more interested in my numbers than your instincts.
Bond: The thought had occurred to me.
M: Good. Because I think you're a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though lost on me, obviously appealed to that young girl I sent out to evaluate you.
Bond: Point taken.
M: Not quite, 007. If you think I don't have the balls to send a man out to die, your instincts are dead wrong. I've no compunction about sending you to your death. But I won't do it on a whim. Even with your cavalier attitude towards life. I want you to find GoldenEye, find out who took and what they plan to do with it, and stop it. And if you should come across Ourumov, guilty or not, I don't want you running off on some vendetta. Avenging Alec Trevelyan will not bring him back.
Bond: You didn't get him killed.
M: Neither did you. Don't make it personal.
Bond: Never. [turns to leave]
M: Bond.
[Bond stop and turns to her]
M: Come back alive.

In SPECTRE, M berates James Bond for going off to Mexico without authority from M. M suspends James Bond but that doesn't stop James Bond from persuading going to Italy to attend the funeral of Marco Sciarra, the man James Bond killed in Mexico. However as the film goes on, M comes round to James Bond kind of thinking and supports him wholeheartedly on James' mission to bring down Oberhauser. Also in Spectre, we see a bit more of M this time round as he has to deal with keeping MI6 after Max Denbigh is trying to get it merged into the Centre for National Intelligence. M also sees some action which includes killing Max Denbigh at the headquarters of the new intelligence service, something that never happened in the previous films.

M is a Woman

Whilst the first 'M's were played by men, Bernard Lee and Robert Brown, the producers chose Dame Judi Dench to portray M when the bond films came back in 1995 Goldeneye. The reason for this was that it had been revealed by the Government that the real-life boss of M.I.5 was female, Dame Stella Rimington who managed MI5 from 1992 to 1996.

Dame Judi Dench would play the role of M for six films, all of Pierce Brosnan films plus the first three Daniel Craig films. In Skyfall, the antagonist, Raoul Silva has a personal vendetta against M and targets M for assassination. Judi Dench was the lead female in the film and at the climax, at Skyfall manor, she is shown to be very resourceful and capable but unfortunately, she doesn't survive the film. At the end of the film, Ralph Fiennes takes over the role of 'M'.

Throughout the time as Judi Dench as M, the headquarters was the M.I.6. building in Vauxhall Cross however it was blown up in Skyfall. Ralph Fiennes office is back to the unknown location that existed in the pre-Dench films with oak panels.

M Facts

Alien RaceHuman
ActorJudi Dench, Bernard Lee, Robert Brown
Last UpdatedSaturday, February 2, 2019

Copyright: MGM/UA

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