SpyCast 5.23.23
Ep 588 | 5.23.23

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


Erin Dietrick: Welcome to SpyCast, the official podcast of the International Spy Museum. I'm Erin Dietrick, your host, Dr. Andrew Hammond's content partner. Coming up next on SpyCast.

Alexis Albion: This figure of the spy, the secret agent, just really takes off. It starts with Bond, but we see it in the 1960s, as well as TV shows, other films, novels. It's really the era of the spy in popular culture.

Erin Dietrick: This episode is Part 2 of our two-part special celebrating the 70th anniversary of James Bond. If you haven't checked out Part 1 yet, be sure to listen to that episode before this one. In this episode, Andrew and Alexis discuss Ian Fleming and how his life in many ways inspired elements of the Bond books, Bond merchandise from our collection including a 1965 James Bond attache case, and Bond's necessary adaptation to the past seven decades of changing social times. If you enjoy the show, please tell your friends and loved ones. Please also consider leaving us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts, The original podcast on intelligence since 2006, we are 17 years strong. We are SpyCast. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Andrew Hammond: So let's go on to the Life Magazine that's in front of us. This is, I think, an interesting way to just talk about some of Fleming's overlapping interests with the character of James Bond.

Alexis Albion: Yeah, we've got a Life Magazine. It's from October 7th, 1966, and on the cover is a large photo. It's actually just part of a photo. It shows Fleming in his in his car. It's a open top. Let me see. I'm not sure what kind of car this is. You probably know better than I.

Andrew Hammond: Yeah, I believe it's a 4.5-liter Bentley --

Alexis Albion: There you go.

Andrew Hammond: -- which 4.5-liter cars are not common at all in the UK.

Alexis Albion: And a Bentley is what Bond drives in the books, not an Aston Morrison. Well, he does sometimes, but originally, it was his own car. It was a Bentley. So we got Fleming behind the wheel of a Bentley on the front of Life Magazine from 1966. Yeah, I mean, in 1966, my goodness, the films were hugely, hugely popular. Fleming has actually already been dead for a couple of years, but and this is the story that is featured on the front of the magazine is, "Alias James Bond, the real story of Ian Fleming." The Bond films are hugely popular still, and so there would have been a lot of interest in the author of the Bond novels and the real story of Ian Fleming, because the real story of Ian Fleming, in many ways, sort of did have some interesting parallels with James Bond. I mean, Fleming, as we've talked about was in Naval Intelligence during World War Two. He wasn't working for MI6, as far as I know, at least not officially or in any real full-time sense after the war. But, you know, many of Bond's tastes certainly reflect Fleming's own tastes. Fleming also enjoyed good food and travel. He also got his suits from the best tailors. He smoked the same cigarettes as Bond did. We'll get to that later. And so, you know, he based the character very much on his own tastes and interests. And he was interested- Fleming also, certainly was interested in women. We know he had various affairs. And I think his taste in women, Bond's taste in women also, to a large extent, echoes Fleming's own tastes. And then his- some of his background, Bond was a naval officer, Commander Bond. That was, you know, Fleming was borrowing from what he knew. I think that's what's important. And I think with the success of the novels in the '50s, and then the films, it must have been fun for Fleming to sort of revel in this idea that Fleming and his lifestyle in some way, echoed Bond and his lifestyle as well. I think he enjoyed that very much.

Andrew Hammond: I think that with Ian Fleming, you know, you touched on that there. It's not like Ian Fleming lakes eating drill and you know, soggy mashed peas and potatoes. He's a real bon vivant. He's got quite, you know, a really sophisticated knowledge of food and so forth, quite sophisticated and expensive taste in cigarette, alcohol, hotels, these sorts of places, so this does matter, are one of the things that people find really attractive about Bond.

Alexis Albion: I think the films actually bring that to a different point than the novels do. I mean, you know, at least in the novel, sort of Fleming's Bond has- certainly has sophisticated tastes, but they're- I don't think he would necessarily think that they- it doesn't have to be at the finest hotel. He has very distinct tastes and opinions. So and he's really a creature of habit. He smokes the same cigarettes. He has the same breakfast that- you know, scrambled eggs, and so I- you know, I don't think it has to be necessarily the most glamorous or elaborate. I think the films really take that to a higher level, but he has sort of very distinct and sophisticated tastes, and there's definitely echo of Fleming. And one of the interesting things about the Fleming books is how much they actually have those details. I mean, it isn't just Bond smokes a cigarette. He smokes a cigarette with the triple gold stripe on it from this particular shop, you know? And that the novels are riven with that, and it is kind of, you know, reflecting this postwar age, and I think people enjoyed about the novels was reading those details. He just doesn't have any kind of soap. It's this particular soap. His shirts are made with this particular cotton, just that particular car, and I think those kind of details, that the consumerism, right, that would return after World War Two. At a certain level, for most people, they were still living with a certain amount of austerity, and the books offered that little glimpse in- of a different lifestyle for that kind of upper middle-class. Bond was not upper class. He's upper middle-class, I would say. And but, you know, he spends his money on very specific things.

Andrew Hammond: And even the settings of the novels, I would imagine that when the first novels come out, most people in the UK have probably never been on a flight or never been overseas, so it's also --

Alexis Albion: Yes.

Andrew Hammond: -- opening up an international dimension to it all. And in terms of the further it's opening up what you said, coming out of austerity and rationing, and so forth, all of these very sophisticated tastes. One thing that I think quite interesting, so Ian Fleming, and I believe this comes up in one of the books, his type of cologne was Floris No.89 Eau de Toilette. I can't imagine many people in postwar Britain were putting bow on themselves, so this is one example of we're not talking- it doesn't always have to be the most extravagant, but there's very particular tastes there. He's not just getting Old Spice and throwing it on.

Alexis Albion: No, no. Bond is a man who knows what he likes.

Andrew Hammond: So I think this is a good point to move on to the- some of the merchandise that comes out in the '60s. So we've established the name Bond. We've had a chat about 007. We've spoke about Fleming and has life. Let's go on to discuss the merchandise. So this is really interesting to me, because merchandise is not that common, and really before Star Wars '77, ET in 1982, it's not that common with movies, but with the Bond movies they become such a success that this becomes like a thing. It's like a proto-merchandising market before the Star Wars big-picture era, so we've got some of those artifacts in front of us as well. So tell us a bit more about that about that, about the popularity of those early Bond novels, the ones that you studied, so the '60s. So help us understand. We've got Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger.

Alexis Albion: Yeah, it's the really the movies. It's the films that launched this just incredible interest in Bond, and the merchandise kind of springs from that. So, what, the first Bond movie Dr. No comes out in 1962-'63 in Britain and the United States, and it does extremely well, especially for sort of a relatively low-budget film at the time. It does really well, so well, that they continue to make the movies, From Russia with Love. And they just get more and more popular. Goldfinger is incredibly popular, and that's followed up by Thunderball, which at that time, is the most popular movie in in the world. And, you know, it's hard to know but, you know, numbers are thrown out there at like, a third of every- of all Americans saw Thunderball. And remember, this is in the cinema, so you can look at ticket sales. So I can't necessarily know whether people actually necessarily were awake through the entire movie, but it's a pretty good indication of people going to see the film. And it wasn't just in in Britain and the United States, it was really a global phenomenon in the West, let's say. But it was incredibly popular in Japan (which is one reason why You Only Live Twice was made in Japan), throughout Western Europe, in Australia. I mean, just a really, I think, a global phenomenon, this was pretty unusual, you know, to have to that, and of course, it has to do with the ability in the 1960s to just sort of get that information out and [inaudible]. And the merchandising comes along with it. And I think what's really interesting about it is I think you have to look at it in the context of the times in the 1960s and the figure of the spy as this really popular figure. And I have looked into this, and I think what's really interesting about that figure of the spy, the secret agent, is that it's sort of somebody that we can all identify with in in some way. British author Kingsley Amos wrote a really interesting tract on James Bond at this time in the mid-'60s, and he has this great line. They're sort of saying, you know, we don't want to have dinner with James Bond or play a round of golf with James Bond. We want to be him. And I think it's not just a male thing, either. You know, men want to be him, women want to be with him, but I think women are also able to sort of channel some of that wanting to be Bond as well. And so I think it's this- and part of it is it's not just the appeal of this incredibly suave and sophisticated figure who gets to go to other countries and eat fine food and so on. I think it's this idea of, you know, underneath that exterior, that ordinary-looking exterior, you know, I could be a spy, right? I could be working for my government. I could be on an important mission, you know, to save the world, and I think it has something to do in the 1960s as well, with individuality and this idea of people exploring, you know, the self and so on, various different trends there, and social trends in the 1960s. And this figure of the spy, the secret agent, just really takes off. It starts with Bond, but we see it in the 1960s as well in TV shows, other films, novels. It's really an era of the spy in popular culture. And I think the merchandising comes along with that. It's not enough to just read the book or watch the movie. I want to feel like James Bond, and whether that means having a James Bond lunchbox or, you know, James Bond cologne, which makes me smell like James Bond to take on that persona, or toys for kids, I think that's part of the appeal of the spy, of actually wanting to be that individual. And so we just see this incredible merchandising in the 1960s, and it really does start with- it just explodes with Goldfinger. It's toys, lots of things that appeal to children, but also adults as well. I mentioned the cologne but, you know, we see James Bond pajamas being sold at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, okay, and selling out, by the way. So it was also appealing to adults, not just children. And we've got one of the most popular items, the James Bond attache case from 1965 here. So this was inspired by the attache case that Q gives to Bond in From Russia With Love, and that was an important item in the film, and I think really one of the first Bond gadgets. If you've watched the film, you might remember that scene where Q brings in this briefcase, shows Bond how to open it properly. If you don't open it properly, it will sort of self-sabotage itself. It's literally just a place for Bond to keep his weapon. I think there's also Sovereigns, money, that are hidden in there and a knife. Our James Bond attache case toy here also has a proper way to open it. You have to twist the little dials there to open it properly. If you don't, we're not sure exactly what happens. We think you might be able to shoot some kind of pellets, but inside we've got- let's see- a toy gun here.

Andrew Hammond: It looks like a luger.

Alexis Albion: It does look like a luger, yeah, but it's got various attachments as well. There's a rifle attachment there. We've got some plastic bullets. We've got some currency. I think they're dollars there. It did come with a plastic knife but I don't- we might not have that. And it's also got an interesting coder/decoder, which you could also buy separately, but does come with this set where you can encode and decode secret messages. And it also does come with a little international passport there, which is rather sweet because this was clearly owned, pre-owned by an 11-year-old boy who's filled in some of the details in that passport including his- I believe he was four foot seven and weighed under 100 pounds, so I think that's a lovely element. And, you know, that would have been- yeah, an 11-year-old boy in the mid-'60s I think would have been thrilled to get this. I mean, it was I think the, you know, Christmas gift of 1965, so he was a very lucky boy. And this was hugely popular, the briefcase, again, not just in Britain and in the United States, but in Europe as well, and you could play with this for hours and feel like James Bond. What could be better?

Erin Dietrick: These past few months, you may have heard my voice but you might not know too much about me, so I'll briefly interrupt this episode to introduce myself a little bit more to the SpyCast community. I'm Erin and I hail from the beautiful city of Cleveland, Ohio. I'm a graduate of the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York where I studied history. I ended up here in Washington DC to pursue my master's in museum studies, which I'm only a few classes away from completing. I started here at the Spy Museum in our fantastic Guest Services Department. One of my favorite things about museums is the opportunity to directly connect with visitors, tell them stories from the museum, and make the museum experience joyful and meaningful. I learned these values from my time working at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in my hometown. I'm so thankful to continue practicing my passions here at Spy. It's been an absolute pleasure helping to produce SpyCast, and I look forward to all the exciting things we have coming up in the future. Thank you for your continued support of this program, and please enjoy the rest of the episode.

Andrew Hammond: And we've got here in the code book, the kid has has written, "I like Sean Connery very much," and then underlined.

Alexis Albion: So do I.

Andrew Hammond: And then the Code-A-Matic is pretty cool. At the top there's a- so it's a dial, and at the top it says Message Letter, and then over on the other side it says Code Letter. So in spy terms, that's plain text, so that would be come to a secret meeting at 3:00, and then the ciphertext would be the gibberish that doesn't make any sense, so this is basically a way for a kid to make up a secret code and write it down, which I think that if you were this kid, this would have been really cool.

Alexis Albion: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we've got a number of different items in our collection and also on display in the museum which kind of give a sense of this just incredible merchandising. I mean, one of my favorites, there was actually a set of 007 swimming fins, clearly inspired by Thunderball, and I believe a snorkel as well. So I mean, you could go swimming in your fins, and they're not just fins. They're James Bond swimming fins. I just love that.

Andrew Hammond: And all of the underwater scenes, I believe at the time this was like- I can't remember off the top of my head, but this was a pathbreaking movie for underwater scenes and has been criticized, you know, more recently because the scenes, you know, go on for too long, but I can imagine sitting in the cinema. This is something that people have never seen before, and you've seen all of these underwater fights between frogmen and Bond. I mean, it must have been incredible.

Alexis Albion: Yeah, no. I mean, so Thunderball was just incredibly popular. It did extraordinarily well all over the world, but yeah, I should mention that, you know, the critics were not as big fans necessarily as the population. And there was quite a lot of criticism of the Bond films. There have been criticism of the books as well. Most famously (this is in the late 50s) Paul Johnson, sort of famous British critic, you know, said that the Ian Fleming novels were all just sex, snobbery and sadism, which is not, you know, not too far from the mark. So there had always been some criticism of the books again from those sort of literary critics and then the film critics. You know, Bond was- the films were seen as being very violent. There's a scene in Dr. No, the first Bond film that came out, where Bond is actually- he knows an assassin is going to come into his hotel room to kill him. He's arranged the pillows in the bed to look as though he's asleep there. He's actually sitting in the corner in the dark. The assassin comes in and shoots the pillows thinking he's killed Bond, and Bond reveals himself and kills the assassin there, unloading his gun into the body past the point where he's actually killed this man, and that's where the criticism comes in, saying, you know, it's not just that he shot him. He keeps shooting him, and this shows, you know, just a level of violence and sadism, again. That film, that scene, it's- I think we're quite immune nowadays to just an incredible amount of violence that we see on TV, explosions, shooting, killing, all kinds of things, but in the early 1960s, that was a little bit shocking, and it was criticized. And the the popularity of the films was for some, a cause of some actual concern, saying why is this so popular? What in the world is happening? The explosion of interest in Bond and in the merchandise and everything, I mean, I've looked and there were articles talking about Bondomania, and so it wasn't just this is, you know, people like these. They're crazy about these movies. And there were critics, philosophers and so on, who actually, you know, the sort of thing, "What is going on here and what's wrong with people that they are so interested in this?" and saw this as actually a sign of a sort of, you know, social problem. And then, of course, it talks about popularity in the Western world. And of course, this is the midst of the Cold War. In Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Bond movies were not shown there, but they heard about them, and there were critiques coming out of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union as well, which took advantage of seeing the films as a reflection of a course corrupt bourgeois society. It was easy pickings in that sense to see the huge interest in Bond as being- as just playing into that communist interpretation of corrupt, capitalist, you know, violent, bourgeois society.

Andrew Hammond: And help us understand the shift from the novels to the cinema as well. So I understand that the novels, they were, you know, they were well-known. They were widely consumed. There was a number of things that, you know, led Fleming to be in the public eye. I believe that after the [inaudible], Anthony Eden and his wife tarts up and spends some time with Fleming out at the Golden Eye estate and so forth. So there's lots of the seeds of how the movies could be successful, but there's no way to guarantee that a series of successful novels and, you know, a series of good connections in British society, it doesn't mean you're going to have a movie blockbuster on your hands, but then we go from the novels to the movies and, you know, the novels we have Hoagy Carmichael, who Fleming says he bases James Bond on. And if you look at Hoagy Carmichael and Sean Connery, I mean, Hoagy Carmichael is, you know, handsome, but Sean Connery is like on a completely different level. So we have that transfer over from the novels to the movies. We have Connery. We have, you know, the order is all changed around for the movies and stuff, and it just seemed to tap into something that unnerved some people and, you know, excites other people. So just help us understand that transition from Ian Fleming, he writes these novels, and then they get picked up in Hollywood and then it just kind of goes off into the stratosphere.

Alexis Albion: Well, Fleming, you know, was a great self-promoter. He really wanted his books to do well, mostly because he wanted the money. He was hoping to make money out of these books. I don't think he thought they were great literature or anything like that but, you know, he circulated with a certain level of people who'd gone to the same schools and had served in the war together, joined the right clubs and all that kind of thing. So, you know, think about the Cambridge Five and Philby and so on, and again, sort of that that circle that that Philby and his friends all moved in, had gone to the right schools, joined the right clubs, all knew the same people. That's the same circle that Fleming was moving in, so he knew all these people, but he didn't have the money behind him, and he would send his books to everybody, everybody that he could to try and sort of get on that radar. And they did, you know, pretty well, in Britain, particularly, and, you know a little bit in in Europe as well, but it was really the films that took off. I believe it just- there were fans of the novels who picked them up, and there was a show that was made based off of Casino Royale, the novel, which was the first novel that that Fleming wrote. It was sort of a televised version of that show that was shown. It did okay, not particularly well, but somebody picked up Dr. No thinking that one sort of seemed relevant. It wasn't, I said, Fleming's first novel. They chose that one in the series as being one that could be made into a film. And yeah, Sean Connery was chosen for that role. He definitely wasn't Fleming's choice, and he wasn't that keen on Connery either, and I think this is something that's a little bit of a generational thing as well. Hoagy Carmichael came more, you know, in terms of sophistication, and sort of he had that look and persona that Fleming thought was more his style from the '40s and things like that. Connery was much rougher, and more- had that sort of more rough physical presence. I think he wasn't ideal from what how Fleming saw his character, but I think he did come around after the success of the movies to, you know, appreciating Connery. I think, apart from Connery's physical looks and physicality, which is a lot of what the Broccolis, the producers of the films, liked. They liked the way he moved. That's always been something that I talk about quite a lot, is the way he walked and the way he moved, and that's always been a feature of Bond. But and, you know, again, they were really thinking about the American audience, because the success of a film in Britain would be fine, but if they could get that American audience, that would be huge. And when this list of Kennedy's top 10 books came out with From Russia With Love on that list- now, whether that was really, you know, his- one of his top 10 books, or some savvy publicist who put together that list with a nice combination of intellectual and more popular decided to put that on there, I don't know, but it did wonders for Fleming. That was when the books really took off in the United States. That was one of the best things that ever happened to Fleming. But we know that Kennedy did enjoy the Fleming books, and had met Fleming as well, a number of times. For Fleming it was that from the books to the movies, for him, it was it was really about commercial success and making a lot of money. I think he was thrilled. I don't think he thought the films were great, but he was very pleased with the popularity and what that did for his pocketbook.

Erin Dietrick: As always, if your interest is piqued from this episode, and you want to learn a little bit or a lot more, please visit our show notes on the CyberWire website. Every week, we curate a list of articles, books, videos, and a few lighthearted fun facts that help our listeners better understand the content of this episode, or to learn more about the topics covered that week. One of the things Andrew and I have in common is a passion for public engagement in museums, so you can come to our building and see our artifacts and exhibits, but what happens when you leave? What happens after? What happens if you are hungry for more? If you live on the other side of the country or even on the other side of the world, podcasts like SpyCast are one way that museums can build new relationships and sustain the relationships that we've already created. The show notes provide an opportunity for you to dig deeper into the content, to extend your understanding, or to just have a little bit of fun roaming around in the ever-fascinating world of intelligence and espionage. Go to our CyberWire webpage at thecyberwire/podcasts/spycast to learn more.

Andrew Hammond: Another artifact that we have here is some cigarettes made by Morland & Co., the sort of cigarettes that have no filter. They have three little gold bands around them that are meant to be a reference to Fleming and Bond's rank in the Navy, which is a Commander which would have the rings on the sleeves of your jacket. So we've got them and they're bespoke. They're made specifically for Fleming and for Bond, which attests to the kind of London-centric clubbable sort of scene, you know. Morland is a London company that since, you know, no longer in existence, but I think this is also to me, that's also speaks to the change in cultural mores. I think the last movie (I looked it up) the last movie that Bond, like the character, smokes in is the final Pierce Brosnan movie. So there's still some movies where you have main figures smoking, but Bond no longer smokes. But at the very beginning of the Bond universe, he's smoking three packs a day, which is, you know, a crazy amount of cigarettes, especially if they don't have a filter on them, you know?

Alexis Albion: Yeah.

Andrew Hammond: Fleming obviously, probably dies much younger than he should have. But, you know, now, if you look at the consumption of cigarettes in the UK or in the United States, it's radically smaller than it was during this era, so that's one thing that's changed, but then also, I just want to connect this into the- another book that we have here, Too Hot to Handle, which is a name that was given to a Bond novel for the American market. So the cover of that as well, we have a woman being choked and we've got various sort of pulp-fictiony introduction at the beginning of it, setting it up. So, so much has changed in terms of the consumption patterns of people in the West, in terms of gender norms, in terms of what's socially and culturally acceptable about how women are portrayed and so forth. So I just wanted to like bring everything back full circle to Bond dying at the end of No Time to Die. Help us understand the end of that world, the cigarettes, the three Martini lunches, the, you know, Too Hot to Handle-kind of covers to where we are now. Like, what are some of the reflections that you have, having thought about Bond for many decades.

Alexis Albion: Well, one of the things I love about these- the cigarette box that we have is, you know, this was made in about 1970, and so in the novels, as we discussed already, Fleming has a lot of detail on it. Bond doesn't just smoke a cigarette. He smokes these particular types of cigarette with the triple gold ring on them and the particular blend of tobacco and so on, from this particular shot Morland & Co. Those were the cigarettes that Fleming himself smoked. And I think what's wonderful is that Morland & Co. then picks up on these and actually ran with it, right, and produces these cigarettes. So you can smoke the same cigarettes that Bond cigarettes. And this in 1970, you know, it dates from. So, you know, again, it's like this fact and fiction sort of overlap. And, yeah, I mean, the popular- again, that popularity of Bond just spills over into the real world. Don't you think that British intelligence has taken advantage of James Bond for its own recruiting purposes? You know, I think that's probably been a huge boon to them. So yeah, I- so Bond and the real world always overlap. And again, the spy genre has to have that foot in the real world, so of course, it's the mores that we see in the films, in the novels, you know, it has to fit in with the times. You mentioned this line that M delivers to Bond. This is the Pierce Brosnan era. You know, you're just a dinosaur. And it was played by a woman, Judi Dench. I think also, there was a little quips about Bond and his womanizing as well, and that has changed, obviously. So yeah, I mean, Bond has to change with the times in order to be relevant. If we portray the same Bond as we see in the novels from the '60s, I think people would be absolutely appalled, the womanizing/misogyny, I mean, the cover of this Too Hot to Handle, which is the American title for Moonraker, what we know as the novel Moonraker, yeah, you know, has a woman being choked on the front and wearing a sort of, you know, low-cut off-the-shoulder dress there. That kind of treatment of women, violence toward women, it's not acceptable nowadays. If you watch a TV show or a film on the streaming service now, at the beginning, they'll have little warnings at the top, and smoking is one of them. You know, you're going to smoking in this movie. So I mean, again, that's just something that is not acceptable. Yeah, so I think Bond has to change with the times. It's important for him to have any kind of lasting power. And, you know, maybe that's why Bond had to die. Maybe that's why he needed to finish that particular arc in his emotional journey, so that he can be reborn, hopefully, in the next few years to be the Bond that fits in with the 2020s.

Andrew Hammond: But then again, maybe you had no time to die. You never know. And for this book, Too Hot to Handle, so Moonraker is the third book, but I think it's the 10th or 11th movie. So, you know, that's just another thing for listeners to be aware of when you're watching the movie, just think about the sequencing of the novels compared to the movies, because that's an interesting disjuncture as well.

Alexis Albion: The storylines do differ. Some of them are quite close to the book. From Russia With Love is probably the one that is closest or On Her Majesty's Secret Service as well, but, you know, a lot of them don't follow necessarily the book, but do take the characters' names. And at a certain point, it's really just the titles of the books alone that are taken from the Fleming series, or even at some point, in desperation, taking the titles of some of the short stories that Fleming wrote. And of course, we're now at this point where there's nothing left to take from Fleming. I think pretty much everything has been used. A few titles from those short stories and we'll see if those turn up one day.

Andrew Hammond: And just to wrap everything up, what the audience also can't see, so we have the table beside us with all the artifacts, but then on the other side of the table, we have Lauren working on her collections department and quite keenly dug out all of the artifacts for us, and we have Erin, who as you know, works on the podcast with me, so over to yous ladies, final thoughts. A question for Alexis, your favorite Bond, your favorite movie, any thoughts on these artifacts?

Alexis Albion: I really liked those Goldfinger pajamas. I think that would be lovely. The Bond artifact that we wish we had, I mean, you know, I guess a prop from the movies. Oh! I wish we had the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Andrew Hammond: That would be amazing.

Alexis Albion: Yeah.

Andrew Hammond: If it was something smaller, I would really love Emilio Largo's eyepatch that he wears on the movie, the original one, because I think he's one of the most underrated Bond villains from Thunderball. Erin, any final thoughts, questions?

Erin Dietrick: So going off of what Andrew just said, and I'm ashamed to say this as an as an employee of the International Spy Museum, but I have only seen one James Bond movie, and that is the most recent one, No Time to Die. So before we recorded this podcast, I asked everybody in this room, well, if I'm going to watch the James Bond movies, you know, where do I start? How do I start? Which Bond do I start with? You know, should I watch one movie of every Bond era? How do you do that? As somebody who has never seen a Bond movie before, other than No Time to Die, how do I watch those movies? So I want to end out really with a question for the listeners, for all of you James Bond fans out there. Let me know how you think I should watch these movies. You can tweet at the SpyCast account. Send us an email. Let us know how you suggest new Bond fans approach the James Bond franchise.

Andrew Hammond: Clearly, we never knew about that when we hired Erin, so I think we need to revisit our interviewing policies. I'm only joking. Well, thanks so much, ladies, for that contribution. This has been a lot of fun. We could spend much longer but I think we've done a pretty good job of it. So, thanks once again, Alexis.

Alexis Albion: Thank you, Andrew.

Andrew Hammond: Thank you.

Erin Dietrick: Thanks for listening to this episode of SpyCast. Please follow us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have feedback, you can reach us by email at spycast@spymuseum.org or on Twitter @INTLSpyCast. If you go to our page, thecyberwire.com/podcasts/podcast, you can find links to further resources, detailed show notes, and full transcripts. I'm Erin Dietrick and your host is Dr. Andrew Hammond. The rest of the team involved in the show is Mike Mincey, Memphis Vaughn III, Emily Coletta, Afua Anokwa, Elliott Peltzman, Tre Hester and Jen Eiben. This show is brought to you from the home of the world's preeminent collection of intelligence and espionage-related artifacts, The International Spy Museum.