From Bond expert with love: 007 aficionado visits landmark for 50th anniversary

Sir Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball

Sir Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball

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A JAMES Bond expert has been left shaken and stirred after flying to an iconic landmark featured in the film From Russia With Love as part of the franchise’s 50th anniversary ­celebrations.

In typical 007 style, writer Brian Pendreigh travelled by helicopter to the remote Scottish location where Sir Sean Connery hid behind a rock before destroying a Soviet aircraft in the hit movie.

Brian Pendreigh followed in Sean Connery's footsteps on his celebratory trip

Brian Pendreigh followed in Sean Connery's footsteps on his celebratory trip

Mr Penreigh, 54, who has written extensively about 
the British spy, visited the 
area at Barrachuile, in Argyll and Bute, ahead of the launch of a 007-day tour which will take fans around some of the memorable locations featured in the films.

The Capital writer explained some 
of the background 
to the famous Bond film.

He said: “From Russia With Love is the second 
James Bond film. Dr No 
had just come out and been very successful, more successful than most people ­anticipated.

“They rushed From Russia With Love into production with a slightly bigger budget.

“It was filmed largely in ­Turkey.

“But there were a number of problems in Turkey.

“One was bad weather. They wanted to film a motorboat chase and there were 
problems with the boats and the weather.

“They came back to Britain to do a number of scenes in the studio and they still had to do the motorboat scene and the helicopter chase.

“They came to Argyllshire. Obviously they needed an expansive area for the motorboat chase.

“They shot that at Loch Craignish where they had their unit based for a number of weeks, and they just shot in the hills round about there.”

The Bond expert said 007’s character had shifted over the years with the various stars bringing their own personalities into the role.

“I think the books are really good to begin with but the films are a bit different from the books,” he said.

“James Bond was originally a figure of the establishment but with the casting of Sean Connery that kind of moved it into more of a classless hero or anti-hero,” he said.

“The films have moved with the times. Each different actor that has played James Bond has brought something different to the role.

“Now there’s less comedy.

“They’re much grittier action films but they are still very ­British.”

Eunice Gayson, who appeared in From Russia with Love and was the first Bond girl, kicked off the week-long tour at Eilean Donan Castle in Wester Ross, where part of The World Is Not Enough was shot.

Gayson then took a golden briefcase containing the first copy of Bond 50 Blu-ray – a boxset with all 22 of the films to be released on Monday to mark the series’ half-century – with her as she travelled in Bond’s Aston Martin DBS to Argyll.

The Aston Martin will travel the length of Britain, visiting other memorable Bond locations such as Stoke Park and the Eden Project in Cornwall.

It will stop at HMV in Oxford Street, London, for its release on Monday.

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com