Bondpix James Bond

James Bond: The Secret World of 007  
An Interview with author Alastair Dougall
By Christopher Johnson
James Bond Secret World of 007 updated book

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; Revised edition (September 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0756623049
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 10.3 x 0.6 inches

 

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR WRITING CAREER PRIOR TO WRITING THE SECRET WORLD OF 007?

Before I joined DK, and wrote The Secret World of 007, I wrote articles on film, rock music and literature for magazines, including The Movie and The History of Rock. I also edited and wrote a magazine series for Marshall Cavendish designed to introduce children to classical music called Music Box which combined fact, drama, and fiction called Music Box. A fairly  eclectic mix. I also worked as a singer/songwriter, and very occasionally, actor.

THE SECRET WORLD OF 007 WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 2000 COVERING THE FILMS UP TO AND INCLUDING 'THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH'. HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT? 

When I heard that DK had the licence from Eon productions, I quite simply put my hand up! Also I had lots of ideas about how to approach the subject of Bond movies and DK said well, you write it then!
When Eon said they wanted a book that didn't show Bond much at all, I realized that a semi fictional approach to Bond, starting with a Foreword "by M" was the way to go. Not everybody who has picked up the book has realized that!
I wanted to do a book for people who loved the character of Bond and his adventures, a book for real Bond fans, not movie buffs or critics. I was lucky enough to have a great designer, Gary Hyde, on board who also had some great visual ideas.

WHEN WRITING THE BOOK, HOW DID YOU WORK WITH ILLUSTRATOR ROGER STEWART AND CONSULTANT EDITOR DAVE WORRALL? DID YOU CONTRIBUTE IDEAS TO THE PICTORIAL CONTENT OF THE BOOK OR WAS THAT DECIDED BY ROGER AND DAVE?

Gary and myself selected the pictorial content and briefed Roger Stewart, but he added his own ideas too. He was amazing at figuring out the inner workings of machinery. I'm hopeless at all that!
Dave Worrall was very helpful throughout the project, particularly so on the Aston Martin DB5 feature as I recall.  Also we had a great photographer to take original pictures of vehicles and equipment called Jerry Young.
Eon Productions were incredibly co-operative throughout, giving us amazing access to their archives and their prop warehouses. I also had superb assistance from
Ken Wallis, the inventor of Little Nellie, who personally went over those pages with me. Meeting him and seeing his collection of autogyros was perhaps the high point of the whole project for me.

WERE YOU HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO UPDATE THE BOOK IN 2006 IN ORDER TO INCLUDE 'DIE ANOTHER DAY' AND 'CASINO ROYALE'?

Very happy indeed, although I would have preferred to have had more information on 'Casino Royale'. Unfortunately further details were under wraps at the time. Hopefully I'll get the chance to revisit the book some day and add in some more Secret stuff on 'Casino Royale'.

I HAVE READ BOTH EDITIONS OF THE BOOK AND THINK THAT THE ARTWORK IS SUPERB AND MINUTELY DETAILED. BECAUSE OF THIS I THINK THAT THE BOOK APPEALS TO  BOND FANS BOTH YOUNG AND OLD. DID YOU WRITE THE BOOK PURELY AS A CHILDREN'S BOOK OR DID YOU INTEND IT TO APPEAL TO A WIDER AUDIENCE?

 Definitely the widest possible audience -- children and adults.

WERE THERE ANY ARTWORK AND/OR CHAPTERS TO EITHER EDITION OF THE BOOK THAT  WERE  NOT INCLUDED?

I don't think so. It all ended up in there. There was never a chapter on 'Never Say Never Again', as Eon Productions did not have the rights to this movie, and it is not regarded as an 'official' Bond film. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE SECRET FOR KEEPING THE JAMES BOND FILMS SUCCESSFUL FOR THE LAST 44 YEARS?

I think that whenever the world of Bond has started to get a bit stale, the producers have managed to breathe new life into the character and the kinds of missions he undertakes. The movies seem to capture the time in which they were made -- fashions, social attitudes, even world politics --which gives them great nostalgia value a few years on. The injection of humour in the series (which really kicked in with 'Goldfinger') has also helped the series retain freshness. And the character of the lone wolf hero is utterly timeless. And then of course, there are the exotic locations, the unforgettable chases....... and the Bond girls!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE JAMES BOND FILM, AND IF SO WHY?

That's tough! The first Bond film I actually saw in the cinema was 'Goldfinger', so I'll plump for that one.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE JAMES BOND GIRL, AND IF SO WHO?

Yes I do: Carole Bouquet, who played the crossbow-toting Melina Havelock in 'For Your Eyes Only'. I saw her recently in a French film called 'Red Lights' and she looked just as beautiful-- and acted just as well!!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE JAMES BOND GADGET, AND IF SO WHAT IS IT?

The X-Ray glasses from 'The World Is Not Enough'! More seriously, the DB5's Ejector Seat. I've often wished I had one of those!

DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE WRITING PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE THAT YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?

Well I'm just completing a visual guide to the Spider-Man movies. Unfortunately [or perhaps fortunately, some might say]  I spend most of my time editing books written by others (many various DC and Marvel Superhero guides, the DC Encyclopedia, the Marvel Encyclopedia, 'Bond on Set: Casino Royale') these days, rather than writing myself.
Maybe this situation will change one day! While waiting for the offers to roll in, I write and perform my own songs. You can check some out on my
Myspace site, if you like!

Many thanks to Alastair for agreeing to this interview.

Click HERE for Christopher Johnson's review of 'James Bond: The Secret World of 007'

To purchase a copy of this book, click on the book covers below, or CLICK HERE
$24.99 $16.49 - OUT NOW 10.19 - OUT NOW
Save 34% with 

 

2006 Bondpix. All rights reserved.

 
Check out our Amazon UK and Amazon US Bond shops for more James Bond books, DVD's, music, etc.

This website is best viewed at a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 at 32 bpp

All content is David Williams unless stated otherwise. No parts may be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved.