Back in 2012 the the James Bond film series were finally going to be available on Blu-Ray. There was a special country-wide promotional tour to coincide with their release. Because of this I got to see a couple of the people who helped make Bond Movie Magic as well as a Bondmobile and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a James Bond feature for television.
Here is the original press release about the Bond Blu-Ray Relay:
Sir Roger Moore made the announcement last Friday that the first copy of the Bond 50 On Blu-Ray box set would embark on a seven day tour of Great Britain from September 17th-24th to celebrate the release of all 22 Bond films on Blu-ray from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
This year marks the Golden Anniversary of James Bond on film and the seven-time Bond star unveiled the gold briefcase that will travel the length of the country in an Aston Martin DBS featured in QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Alongside Moore, it will also be carried by other 007 icons including iconic Bond girls Britt Ekland, Shirley Eaton, Tania Mallet and Eunice Gayson, classic villain Richard Kiel (Jaws) and legendary director John Glen.
From Scotland with love, the golden case will retrace the super-spy’s footsteps, with the first ever Bond girl Eunice Gayson (Sylvia Trench – DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE) starting the digital timer at Eilean Donan Castle in the western highlands, which doubled as the British Secret Service HQ in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.
It will then travel the length of the country and each location will be presented with a commemorative gold disc celebrating their part in 007’s 50-year history, with other stop-offs including Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, home of many unforgettable Bond moments, and Nene Valley Railway in Peterborough, where Bond stunt performers will run with the case along a moving train celebrating the classic Bond action scene in OCTOPUSSY, introduced by John Glen, who directed five classic Bond instalments.
After seven days of adventure, the golden case will arrive at the HMV store on Oxford Street in Central London at 10.07am on September 24th. Britt Ekland and Richard Kiel will hand-deliver it with the Aston Martin DBS stopping in front of the store, welcomed by Britain’s biggest Bond fans.
Now I live about an hour and a half away from Peterborough and as I wasn't working on the day the tour was due to reach the Nene Valley Railway I thought it would make for a good road-trip for my young son and me to go and see what 007 related things we could see. After all - the worst thing would be that we would get to go and see some of the locations where Octopussy was filmed.
On arriving at the train station we had our first experience with a Bond location as we had to cross the level crossing where Bond, in his commandeered Mercedes joins the train tracks to go in pursuit of the bomb carrying Octopussy's Circus train. Here's a little video showing the scenes from the film and photo's of the level-crossing when I paid it a visit:
After we parked the car and walked across the road to the train station. It was there that we were greeted by 72 GH3LD - the Aston Martin DBS that featured in the thrilling fast paced pre-credits of Quantum of Solace.
There was a man who was accompanying the car on it's journey and he was kind enough to let me get up close to the car to take lots of photo's. He was also very kind when I came close to having a heart-attack as my 2 year old son had put a nice cheese spread hand print on the bonnet of the car whilst we were having a bite to eat. The bloke just said he'd seen worse ( I dread to think what that could be) and got some car polish out of the boot and wiped it away. Whilst he did that I had a look in the boot and Mr White wasn't in there!
THE ONE SHOW PAY HOMAGE TO THE STUNTS OF BOND
As we spent time walking around the platform at the station I noticed 3 people who looked familiar to me. The first was John Glen who had worked on the Bond films as an Editor and 2nd Unit Director before being promoted to Director of For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill.
The second person was stuntman Paul Weston who has worked on many bond films as both stunt performer and co-ordinator and supervisor. Amongst his many scenes in the Bond movies Paul had the unenviable task of doubling for actor Robert Davi in the Licence To Kill scene where Franz Sanchez meets his fiery demise.
The third person was Angelica Bell - who is a British TV presenter who has appeared in a number of different TV shows including CBBC, and The One Show.
Talking to the staff at the Nene Valley and those who were there filming the actions I was able to find out that the film crew were filming scenes for The One Show - who were doing a feature about the importance of stunts in the 007 film series. As you can see from the below photo's a lot of time and effort was going into filming scenes where it appeared Angelica was fighting stunt men Marc Cass and Paul Lee Sheward, who were trying to attack her at various places around the train station. She appeared to have made good her escape - until she ended up in the hands of Paul Weston - who wasn't taking any prisoners that day!
Watching the filming of these scenes - and seeing the preparation and precautions that were taken in filming these stunts gave me a new appreciation of the stunt industry and the men and women who put their lives in danger to entertain us. What takes a few seconds on screen must take many hours in preparing the stunts and ensuring that there are no injuries to those who brave enough to step into the firing line.
It also gave me an insight into filming and I realised just how much time goes into filming something. After all as you'll see from the below footage the entire days filming (I spent about 3 and a half hours there watching them filming and they'd already started when we got there), ends up being edited into a few minutes. I guess that's showbiz.
, So here's the clips from The One Show also showing Bond Fan David Walliams battle to win a set of Bond Blu-Ray's prior to their release whilst promoting his new book:
So looking back at this day nearly 4 years later I am really glad that I decided to get in the car and make this journey, after what I thought might be a wasted journey turned out to be a unique day that I got to share with my son. And memories of this day will last forever.
I would like to thank Jon from Behind The Stunts for helping to identify some of the stunt performers who were performing some of the stunts at The Nene Valley Railway. If you love stunt work and don't already watch them then check out the Behind The Stunts videos on YouTube by clicking HERE.