SpyCast 5.16.23
Ep 587 | 5.16.23

“70th Anniversary of James Bond, Special” - with Alexis Albion on 007 (Part 1 of 2)

Show Notes


Curators Alexis (LinkedIn) and Andrew (TwitterLinkedIn) use James Bond artifacts in SPY’s collection to discuss all things 007. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first Ian Fleming novel, Casino Royale

What You’ll Learn


  • Bond vs. Real Life Spies
  • The birth of James Bond 
  • Ian Fleming’s intelligence past
  • Bond and MI6


  • What makes a character timeless?
  • Pop culture mirroring real life

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

On April 13th, 1953, Ian Fleming published the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. He would go on to publish a new book in the Bond series annually, culminating in 12 novels and 2 short-story collections. Now, 70 years later, the franchise has grown to include 25 movies featuring 6 different actors portraying James Bond. 

Put simply, the James Bond franchise has left an indelible mark on our world. While perhaps not the most accurate representation of spies and intelligence, Bond has shaped the way people think about espionage. This week on SpyCast, curators Andrew and Alexis join forces to put the past 70 years of Bond into historical perspective. To help frame their conversation, our collections team brought out a fantastic selection of Bond artifacts for Andrew and Alexis to interact with during the recording of this episode.  


A Bond artifact in the collection that Andrew and Alexis did not talk about in this episode is Jaws’ Teeth. Jaws, played by Richard Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, is one of the most memorable Bond villains – Even though he only has one spoken line in the entire franchise. Can you quote the line? 

Quotes of the Week

“I think in general the spy genre always has to have one foot, often two, in the real world. It's part of what makes that genre appealing and not science fiction. It takes place in the real world. And whether that is, you know, some of the technology or real-world threats, it has to be relatable and recognizable in that sense.” – Alexis Albion.




*Beginner Resources*



  • For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond, B. Macintyre (Bloomsbury USA, 2008)
  • Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films, J. Chapman (I.B. Tauris, 2008)
  • The Politics of James Bond, J. Black (Bison Books, 2005)
  • Ian Fleming, A. Lycett (St. Martin’s Press, 1995)



Primary Sources 

*Wildcard Resource*

  • Everyone has a favorite James Bond theme song. If you just can’t choose just one, check out The Ultimate James Bond Medley – A production from Alchemistic Records featuring all 25 Bond songs.