MI6 brings you the chance to read extracts from Bond Stars Bond Girls Are Forever souvenir programme - now available to order online

Bond Girls Are Forever Souvenir Programme - Extracts (2)
15th August 2006

MI6 travels back to the making of The Spy Who Loved Me on the Pinewood backlot with Gareth Owen and writing partner Brian Burford.

The Spy Who Loved Me

The poster for the tenth film in the official franchise, Lewis Gilbert’s The Spy Who Loved Me, claimed that it was the biggest Bond of all. We have already seen how the producers changed the studio’s skyline, albeit temporarily, but this time they left a permanent reminder in the shape of the ‘007 Stage’. The plot of the film – more or less a re-run of the spaceship hijacking routine in You Only Live Twice – involved the disappearance of nuclear submarines, swallowed up by a gigantic supertanker belonging to the movie’s chief villain, Stromberg (Curt Jurgens). During early pre-production, the search for a stage large enough to house three nuclear submarines was underway. ‘We saw a lot of people and places,’ Broccoli told American Cinematographer magazine. ‘They couldn’t promise anything. We told them we had to dig a big tank to take in the water and we’d have to have a guaranteed period. It became an absolute farce. So it appeared to me that it was more sane, after talking to United Artists, to explore the possibility of putting up a new stage.’

For Bond Stars Bond Girls Are Forever Event at Pinewood on July 2nd, they commisioned a 16 page full colour programme to celebrate the role of Bond's leading ladies. The programme was only available at the event and is sure to become a collectors item highly collectable item, so get your copy now!

The 16 page programme contains:

  • The Pinewood Tour - Take a short tour round the studios
  • Bond Girls Are Forever - An evolution of the Bond girls
  • Maurice Binder - A tribute to the man behind Bond's ingenius opening titles
  • Bond At Pinewood - 6 pages devoted to Bonds residence at the world famous studios
  • A 2 page centre spread of the girls attending the event

The price of each programme is £10.00 including worldwide postage and packaging.

Order your copy from Bond Stars

Above: (Page 4) A tribute to Maurice Binder

United Artists took some persuading but Broccoli managed it. Production designer Ken Adam and young architect Michael Brown were brought together to design a stage. On the one hand, it had to be functional for the film, but on the other it needed to be operational as a stage in its own right, because EON and Rank had agreed it would later be rented out to other filmmakers. This was the carrot that finally saw United Artists give it the go-ahead, but where could it be built within the studio? Peter Lamont recalls that the idea was to position the new stage over the existing reservoir on the backlot. ‘It only used to be 75 feet square, but we made it bigger for Thunderball. When The Spy Who Loved Me came along and we needed the large stage with a tank, we decided to extend the reservoir again and build the stage over it.’ Happily, planning consent was swiftly granted and the stage began to take shape throughout the scorching summer of 1976. Delta Doric, a building firm from nearby Uxbridge, took seven months to complete the world’s largest stage, measuring 336 ft by 160 ft with a height of 136 ft. Inside, the tank measuring 75 ft by 350 ft was the main feature of Stomberg’s Liparus supertanker. ‘It was surprisingly inexpensive to construct: $1,650,000,’ observes Ken Adam, ‘and I designed the stage to be part of the set with steel gantries and all that. I don’t think UA ever regretted it as it’s always been in use!’ The 007 Stage was officially opened on 5 December 1976. The ceremony was attended by former Prime Minister Harold Wilson and leading actors from the film. Several dignitaries from the Royal Navy were also in attendance, plus some top actors including Sir John Mills and Kenneth More. Cubby Broccoli’s wife, Dana, broke the champagne bottle on the conning tower of the American submarine. A brochure was produced to promote Pinewood’s new stage, with Pinewood’s then MD, Cyril Howard, saying, ‘The film industry has always cried out for a huge stage and now it has got one. I sincerely hope that producers will make use of the facility, which is unique.’stage, with Pinewood’s then MD, Cyril Howard, saying, ‘The film industry has always cried out for a huge stage and now it has got one. I sincerely hope that producers will make use of the facility, which is unique.’

Above: (Pages 8 and 9) The centre page montege featuring the attending Bond Girls

However, dark clouds were forming at Pinewood, as John Willis recounts. ‘I was brought in for the publicity between the wrap of shooting and the première. It was tremendous fun. However, the whole period was marred by the news that Cubby was having to give up his house in Green Street and move out of the UK because of the ridiculous tax laws that had been brought in. Pinewood was obviously very concerned because, at that time, there wasn’t a lot else going on and Bond was a lifeline. It looked like Cubby was going to take it all abroad, and there wouldn’t be another one shot at Pinewood.’

To read more about the 40 year history of Bond and Pinewood Order your copy from Bond Stars.