I used to think Kevin Mclory’s idea of making Thunderball several different ways in order to create his own Bond franchise was nuts. That is until I realized Purvis and Wade have done just that since TWINE. Let me explain by first laying out their writing template, then explaining how it fits in each film.
With Mclory and Thunderball it goes like this: Spectre steal a dangerous macguffin (nuclear weapons in TB and NSNA but it could be chemical weapons, a top secret brief, list of agents, whatever) they use it to hold the world hostage, Bond investigates he is lead to Spectre #2 they could include or omit one or both of the female leads, just under different names, Bond wins. In reality that's a pretty wide berth to work with.
Pervis and Wade however paint themselves in to a narrow corner by recycling the same tropes. Their story framework is, Bond finds himself outside looking in on the investigation du jour. He ingratiates himself back in to M’s good graces and is let back in, this may or may not involve “going rogue”. A double agent is involved. The climactic fight takes place in an environment (ship, plane, building) being destroyed around them.
Bond is outside looking in:
TWINE: Bond injures his shoulder putting him out of the investigation, he snoops around on his own finding evidence the terrorist Renard is behind the attack on MI6. After this and seducing the doctor Bond is back on the job.
DAD: Bond is captured by North Korea, and burned by MI6. He “goes rouge” and investigates on his own, turning up dirt on Gustav Graves, getting him back in to M’s good graces.
CR: Bond pisses off M by killing a bomb maker, but “goes rogue” and continues the investigation on his own just as M knew he would! Yay he’s back in her good graces.
QOS: Bond starts off “going rogue” which is what puts him out of M’s good graces as well as the evil CIA “trumping up evidence” against him. But M can’t stay mad at her surrogate son for long because after all he just magically subdued 4 of her agents in an elevator.
SF: Bond is shot off a train by an inept agent, causing him to shirk his duties and hide out in some resort town drinking scotch. He suddenly remembers he has a sense of duty and returns home when he hears MI6 was attacked. Mama M can’t stay mad at a face like that, after all, only a mother could love it.
TWINE: Electra King turns out to not be the victim as she seemed but is behind the whole thing.
DAD: This is a two for because not only is Gustav really the North Korean Colonel he thought dead, but we also get a turn coat MI6 agent in Miranda Frost.
CR: I give them a pass on Vesper because she was a double agent in the novel; however they cast suspicion on Mathis who was NOT.
QOS: The Bolivian police chief is not Mathis’ friend as we were led to believe and gets Bond’s pal killed.
SF: Silva is an exMI6 agent gone rogue after Momma M burned him.
SP: Creepy C is surprise! A Spectre agent, didn’t “C” that coming!
The climax takes place in a venue that is rapidly being destroyed around them: (To be fair I chalk this up more to Mrs. Broccoli as GE and TND also end this way.)
TWINE: The climactic battle takes place in a sinking submarine with water gushing in.
DAD: The climax takes place in a jet that is crumbling around them.
CR: The climax is a combination of the last two a crumbling and sinking house!
QOS: They ratchet up the fight as it takes place in a burning/exploding hotel.
SF: The climax involves combat in a burning, crumbling, exploding Wayne manor.
SP: Bond and Swann must rush through old MI6 before it explodes!
Can you name some other similarities between these movies? (TWINE-SP) Post in the comments below.
Next rant: The destruction of the “formula”