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O.H.M.S.S. Radio Play

5th May 2014

Toby Stephens returns as James Bond for the new radio adaptation of Ian Fleming's 007 adventure 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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BBC Radio 4 once again broadcast a new adaptation of a classic James Bond adventure by Ian Fleming following on from "Dr. No" in 2008, "Goldfinger" in 2010 and "From Russia With Love" in 2012. The first 21st century radio adaptation of a Bond novel came in 2008 when EON Productions allowed a special one-off production of "Dr. No" to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth. This is the fourth in the series.

Click here to listen online BBC Radio 4

Playing the title role of 007 for the audio drama for the fourth consecutive time is Toby Stephens, who first joined the 'Bond family' in 2002 when he played villain Gustav Graves in "Die Another Day" on the big screen. In an interesting twist on the casting, Joanna Lumley will play Blofeld's right-hand woman, Irma Bunt, after originally appearing as one of Blofeld's angels of death in the 1969 movie opposite George Lazenby. Lumley is almost unrecognizable as the henchwoman.

Above: Joanna Lumley plays Irma Bunt and Toby Stephens reprises his role as James Bond in the radio adaptation of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."

Often cast as a villain, and perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Octavius in "Spider-Man 2", British actor Alfred Molina takes on the role of Blofeld. Taking on the part of Bond's love interest, Tracy, is award-winning theatre actress Lisa Dillon.

Rounding out the casting is Alex Jennings as Draco, Joanna Cassidy as Ruby, Janie Dee as Miss Moneypenny, John Standing as M, Julian Sands as Q, and Martin Jarvis reads as Ian Fleming. EON has casting approval on the radio Bond.

Dramatised by Archie Scottney, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was once again directed by Martin Jarvis and produced by Rosalind Ayres for Jarvis & Ayres Productions and BBC Radio 4. Mark Holden and Michael Lopez provide the specially composed music.

This production of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" runs for 90 minutes and stays faithful to the source novel but expands on a couple of scenes that were merely mentioned in Fleming's text. Most notably, 'Q' from the film series has leaked in to the literary adaptation, whereas Fleming only mentioned the Technical Section. Mary Goodnight has been switched out for Miss Moneypenny.

The recording was completed on 21st May 2013, and first broadcast on May 3rd 2014 as the 2:30pm 'Saturday Play'.

Above: Toby Stephens with the female members of the cast.

James Bond seems more interested in gambling at the Casino Royale than tracking down elusive SPECTRE chief Blofeld. Then he meets Tracy, emotionally disturbed daughter of mafia boss Draco. Now he has a double motive: seek and destroy Blofeld, and prevent Tracy killing herself. Impersonating a College of Arms official Bond infiltrates Blofeld's Swiss mountain-top lair. He learns that Blofeld and aide Irma Bunt are brainwashing young women. Why? Is biological warfare involved? Backed by 'M' and Draco, Bond mounts an air assault. But can he pin down monstrous Blofeld? And what will happen to Tracy?

Above: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (who plays Sable Basilisk) and director Martin Jarvis.

Cast & Crew
James Bond ... Toby Stephens
Blofeld ... Alfred Molina
Irma Bunt ... Joanna Lumley
Draco ... Alex Jennings
Tracy ... Lisa Dillon
'M' ... John Standing
Moneypenny ... Janie Dee
Franklin ... Lloyd Owen
'Q' ... Julian Sands
Ruby ... Joanna Cassidy
Violet ... Clare Dunne
Sally ... Lucy Phelps
Anne ... Katherine Manners
Kirstie ... Hannah Donaldson
Brit ... John Hudson
Griffon Or ... Nigel Anthony
Sable Basilisk ... Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Hotel Manager ... Jon Glover
Consul ... John Baddeley
Campbell ... Darren Richardson
Fire Captain ... Matthew Wolf
Patrolman ... Matthew Wolf
Voice of Ian Fleming ... Martin Jarvis
Author ... Ian Fleming
Adaptor ... Archie Scottney
Composer ... Mark Holden
Composer ... Michael Lopez
Director ... Martin Jarvis
Producer ... Rosalind Ayres

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