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Bond By Numbers is a canonical tour of the James Bond world. More an enthusiast's journey than an expert's quest, each episode investigates the world of a different 007 production or topic with in-depth conversation, opinion and regular features. If you like your podcasts well-researched but crave the down-to-earth energy of amateur minds, join life-long 007 fans Scott, Josh and Jeff for a fresh look at one of the entertainment world's most successful franchises.
 
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Our survey of John Gardner's continuation novels carries on with a chat over his third effort. If, like many, you buy into the belief that a Bond's third outing is his best ("Goldfinger", "The Spy Who Loved Me", "Skyfall".... Fleming, too, wrote "Moonraker" third) then Gardner should be stretching comfortably by now. "Icebreaker" sees 007 join an i…
 
Just six weeks before "Die Another Day" hit theatres, a lesser-known commodity was getting its own release. Starring Matt Damon as Robert Ludlum's amnesia-stricken assassin, "The Bourne Identity" would knock the socks off audiences with a new style of action that shifted sands and set a fresh standard for spy thrillers. Well, it's "3 Non Bonds" sea…
 
In July of 1943, as Allied forces planned desperately for Mediterranean access into Europe, Britain's Naval Intelligence were spearheading an intrepid operation, a bait-and-switch of colossal consequence. Commander Ian Fleming, serving as personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, helped to encourage the intricate planning for what w…
 
In his second continuation novel, John Gardner returns Bond to the USA and reunites readers with some canonical staples. Motivated by a recent spate of airline hijackings with potential SPECTRE links, Bond is sent by M to investigate an ice-cream magnate from Texas whose guarded compound and general milieu reeks of suspicion. But the decision to re…
 
So it's time we finally put things right... nearly four years of 007 podcasting have come and gone without a proper ranking of the EON songs and that's just not good enough! Upon discovering this egregious oversight, we recently set about remedying things for the whole darn world. So here it is - the BBN Bond Song Rank-a-thon! Predictably (...ridic…
 
So yeah, we know... months have passed since the final chapter in Daniel Craig's 007 sweep premiered worldwide. But, like succulent lamb left to stew in its own juices before being glazed, skewered and coupled with caviar, our impressions are finally ready for serving! The long-awaited (...at least by us) follow-up to our NTTD impressions episode h…
 
Inspired by Ian Fleming's 14 books and textured further by dozens of collaborators, the 25-film franchise we know and love possesses a wealth of spin-off material for the ambitious story developer. Now that Amazon holds the reins of the MGM Bond wagon, it's not unlikely that we could soon see expansion into television and short series projects. In …
 
An ousted nuclear scientist with a Braveheart complex looks for revenge in John Gardner's "Licence Renewed", the first Bond novel of the 1980s and the focus of our first episode this new season! From fixed horse races to holographic bedrooms, we portion out the narrative goods and take a fruitful look down the "literary gun barrel" at the start of …
 
For our final episode of the series, we combine (and recline) our forces in real-time camaraderie over 1981's "For Your Eyes Only", Sir Roger's fifth outing as 007 and 00-Chapman's selection for Watch Party #3. Together, we negotiate some of the franchise's most opulent locales and nifty scenes. Don't like biathlon or figure skating? That's alright…
 
Happy Holidays, Bond fans! In this episode, our second seasonal soiree, we serve up more games, discussion and trivia with a festive Bond flavour. Flick on the tree lights and switch off your brains, grab some grog and come join us for fatuous fun: Christmas may only come once a year but you can replay our foolish Holiday special as much as you lik…
 
In our second watch party of the season, we invite you to synchronize your MGM lions (@21:09) and groove casually with us through the waves and rhythms of 1977's "The Spy Who Loved Me". Upheld by many as his best and most stylish outing as 007, Sir Roger's third Bond adventure was directed by YOLT helmsman, Lewis Gilbert, and contains a dynamic mix…
 
The wonderful Chris Wood (@bondonvinyl) returns in this special episode to discuss the music of "The World is Not Enough", arguably David Arnold's most ambitious effort as 007 composer. So come join us as we leisurely inspect the beats and braces of this varied score. From the boisterous Thames boat chase to the burning oil fields of Baku, we've go…
 
In this episode we look down the literary gunbarrel at "Colonel Sun", written by Robert Markham (Kingsley Amis) and published four years after Ian Fleming's death. Amis's compelling adventure comes on the heels of his successful non-fiction character-piece, "The James Bond Dossier" and marks the first "official" 007 fiction of a new era. So, hop ab…
 
If budgets, engineering and the many laws of physics were not factors to consider, how might you build your 007 dream home from the franchise's fabled sets, locations and interiors? An Atlantis En-Suite? How about an Octopussy boudoir? Throwing logic and planning to the wind, in this "What If?" we revive our trusty roulette and share blueprints for…
 
Stanley Donen's cinematic kitchen was working hard in 1963: start with a pair of stars, thicken their stock with an ensemble cast, add a wallop of visual style, toss in a heavy helping of romantic comedy then add a pinch of international intrigue before finishing with a half-cup of irony. What's that make? A difficult film to categorize! Or, if you…
 
For our second selection in the annual "3 Non Bonds" festival, we go behind the Iron Curtain with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain". Often pegged as one of the famed director's more conflicted works, this thriller possesses enough moments of intriguing espionage, quirky potpourri and technical chutzpah to neverthele…
 
This season's "3 Non Bonds" Festival gets off to a great start with 00-Chapman's selection of "The Quiller Memorandum" from 1966. Directed by Michael Anderson, "Quiller" was penned by the renowned Harold Pinter and features a dynamic cast including George Segal, Senta Berger, Max von Sydow and the impeccable Alec Guinness. Looking for an understate…
 
Who doesn't like a good film festival? Our six cinematic Bonds sure do! From inspired screenings to banquet dinners, celebrity speakers to questionable pop-up bars, our first "What If?" of the series pulls out nearly all the stops and runs wild with this imaginative theme. So polish your shoes and grab your VIP passes - BBN proudly invites YOU to t…
 
Our "00-Origins" series officially gets off the ground here as Josh introduces the fascinating life and work of Sir Francis Walsingham. Queen Elizabeth I's "spymaster" is widely regarded as the progenitor of British espionage and without his involvements in such matters as the St. Bartholomew's Massacre, The Babington Plot and The Spanish Armada, t…
 
In this special episode, the multi-talented Chris Wood (Instagram's @bondonvinyl) joins BBN for a fun and furnished survey of John Barry's score to "Diamonds Are Forever". From Wint & Kidd killings to Moon Buggy misdemeanours, we put Barry's versatile efforts under the microscope here and celebrate the film's 50th anniversary in style! Jackpot!…
 
In our first watch party of the season, we synchronize our MGM lions (@8:08 in) and saunter through the strokes of "Tomorrow Never Dies", Pierce Brosnan's sophomore outing and Josh's pick for the best Bond flick of the '90s. No need for social distancing here so grab your refreshments from the lobby and meet us inside! For our full review of the mo…
 
BBN marks the start of its third series with an overdue exploration into the style and many contributions of John Glen to the Bond franchise. His tenure as director encompassed the entire decade of the 1980s and his straight-ahead approach to action and storytelling left its impressive mark on several influential features. Join Josh, Jeff and Scott…
 
Eric Serra's music for "Goldeneye" still manages to elicit grumps, frumps and outrage among Bond fans a quarter-century after its arrival on the scene. However, the soundtrack for Pierce Brosnan's 007 premiere isn't short on creativity and is staunchly defended by some for its tradition-breaking novelty. From guttural beats to "hammer and sickle sy…
 
Long overlooked by 007 location scouts and producers, Canada remains an untapped well of potential for the adventures of James Bond. In this special "What If?" episode, Josh, Jeff and Scott put their fandom to creative work and share their ideas for original James Bond missions featuring the true north, strong and free!…
 
Tom Mankiewicz wrote three James Bond films. He also came from Hollywood royalty and developed for himself a reputation as script doctor extraordinaire. A creative talent and raconteur beloved by his friends and collaborators, "Mank" never won an Academy Award like his father or uncle did but succeeded where they failed in "playing the game" by his…
 
In our second "What If?" of the series we throw caution to the wind and let our roulette wheel guide us through the reimagined world of 007 title singers. Some hit the musical wall softly and stick, while some other selections miss horribly and fall heavy to the ground. In any case, we welcome you behind the glass and inside the BBN (re)production …
 
After years of false-starts, Kevin McClory's remake of "Thunderball" finally got green-lit in 1982. Sean Connery's involvement in the project stretched far beyond his reprisal of 007 and ensured that Cubby Broccoli and EON were kept guessing as production on their own feature evolved simultaneously. Despite its origins in bad blood, "NSNA" neverthe…
 
John Barry's creative ambitions for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" played innovatively off the electronic landscape of the late '60s and brought James Bond music to new heights. Revered by fans, Barry's work for George Lazenby's lone outing also pushed the envelope for film music in general, opening up new doors of perception and possibility for…
 
Clint Eastwood politely turned down the role of 007 when it was offered to him after Connery's departure, which probably leaves "The Eiger Sanction" as the closest fans ever got to seeing him play the secret agent. Like Bond, Jonathan Hemlock also has henchmen, villains and a speckled past to contend with. This controversial film from 1975 is part …
 
More than twenty years after its release, John Frankenheimer's "Ronin" still delivers to audiences some of the best car chases ever manufactured for cinema. But the film's impact isn't restricted to its 150 stunt drivers tearing up French highways and locales. "Ronin" also offers the promise of Robert DeNiro in full action mode and an ensemble cast…
 
Six Bonds walk into a Blockbuster Video... this might be the start of a bad joke but it's also the premise of our fanciful discussion for Ep.40! What will they rent? What confectionary is collected at the counter? Do they rewind the tape? The variables abound as Josh, Scott and Jeff wax hypothetical on this singular topic so grab your membership ca…
 
Our seasonal survey of "3 Non Bonds" kicks off with Josh's selection, 1996's "Mission Impossible". The teaser poster forewarned audiences to "expect the impossible"... which is another way of saying "suspend your disbelief, a whole lot of crazy is on the way"! And yet, the production confidently came in under budget and ahead of time. Most critics …
 
Our first What If? episode renders a range of scenarios spanning from the intriguing to the incredulous. We unleash our roulette and empower it as casting director in charge of the Bond Ladies. Every film is subjected to its spinning whimsy and judgement. There probably aren't enough polite disclaimers to cover this one - trust a toy wheel and you'…
 
"The First James Bond Director"... that's the starting point for most of us in regarding Terence Young. Credited with schooling Sean Connery in the ways of cool, Young was at the helm for three of Bond's first four adventures so it's impossible to downplay his impact on the franchise. In Episode 37, BBN looks back on the career and contributions of…
 
Dry-clean the evening wear, Bond fans, it's awards season! Yes, the finale of BBN’s inaugural series sees the panel join forces and butt heads over their evaluations of all things EON. Cars, gadgets, locales and all the rest – we’ve got you covered. Who’ll earn a coveted spot and who’ll be sent home in a Citroen C2V? Play along and join in the fun …
 
With a script tailored to his unique brand of 007, Roger Moore delivered what many feel was his best of seven EON performances. Complemented by outstanding stunts, evocative sets and the world's largest sound-stage, TSWLM is still held up as a favoured instalment. Nevertheless, controversies loom large like Liparus over elements of production. Grab…
 
Regarded by its author as a "cautionary tale" (...uh, sure, okay Ian...) Bond's 1962 literary adventure, set in leafy upstate New York, is anything but classic 007. Narrated by a vulnerable female protagonist trapped in a motel with libidinous ghouls, "The Spy Who Loved Me" has more in common with Hitchcock's "Psycho" than the EON production of the…
 
Expectations were high when Fleming's "You Only Live Twice" hit the shelves in 1963. The anticipated follow-up to "OHMSS" did, indeed, return James Bond to the field after tragedy befell him but how fitting was the resolution? Set exclusively in Japan, this controversial conclusion to the Blofeld trilogy is as much travelogue as dramatic denouement…
 
Given Ian Fleming's fascination with Japan, detailed for readers in his final novel, it was destined that the cinematic Bond would soon delve into the culture's offerings. But with a new director at the helm, a tiring star in the lead and diverse challenges facing the production team, no one knew how "You Only Live Twice" would measure up to previo…
 
If "Casino Royale" marked the cool and understated edge of a careful new spy writer courting the literary scene, then "Live and Let Die" was that writer's caution-to-the-wind stag party. Rowdy and unforgiving, Fleming's follow-up narrative offers high adventure, colourful characters and social commentary deeply rooted in challenging cultural concep…
 
Roger Moore's first outing as 007 remains, for many fans, his best. Reading Blaxploitation trends of early '70s cinema, Saltzman and Broccoli gambled on there not being a better time to adapt Ian Fleming's racially-charged second novel. The film was a financial success and heralded Moore's hold on the role for a new era. From cultural misappropriat…
 
LTK's deviation from typical Bond formulae remains as much a matter of controversy now as it did 30 years ago. Some welcome its impulsive punches and sing praises for its fresh, revenge-driven plot. Others find Dalton's second and final outing too gritty and imitative of 80s action themes to celebrate with comparative canonical ease. Charter your p…
 
If you like your spy adventures with a taste of the sea then "Dr No" is the novel for you! Aside from its Caribbean setting, complete with coastal breeze and moonlight sailing, Fleming's 6th effort deviates from the sublime to the ridiculous with a fauna-heavy plot featuring centipedes, spiders, magnified fish and giant calamari. But wait, there's …
 
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