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M serves as the head of the British Secret Service. M sends James Bond on missions from his wood-paneled London office. He stands as the bulwark of the British establishment, a Churchillian figurehead of England's glorious past and continued importance on the world stage.

Novel, Dr. No - For Your Eyes OnlyEdit

M

M (Bernard Lee)

Name:Sir Miles Messervy KCMG
Rank:Vice-Admiral (ret.), Royal Navy
Position:Head of MI6
Status:Retired

Ian Fleming created a stern, almost parental relationship between M and 007 that continues in the films. M recognizes Bond's unique skills and innate talent but barely tolerates his often-unorthodox methods and hedonistic lifestyle.

Fleming gave M's real name as Vice-Admiral (ret.) Sir Miles Messervy KCMG in his final novel The Man With The Golden Gun. M runs the secret service with naval efficiency, expecting his staff and agents to be available whenever duty calls. His gruff exterior and solid sense of judgment inspire unyielding loyalty from those who work for him, particularly his top agent, 007.

M's final naval appointment was to the battlecruiser HMS Repulse, sunk by Japanese torpedoes on 10 December 1941. He keeps the ship's bell as the doorbell of his home. M resides in a small Regency manor-house on the edge of Windsor Forest called Quarterdeck.

M's hobby is painting watercolours of England's wild orchids (in the films his hobby is lepidoptery - the study of butterflies and moths). He smokes a pipe and keeps his tobacco in a jar made from an old navy shell. M is a member of two gentleman's clubs: the Senior's, a club for ex-Navy, and Blades. Fleming's M remains a lifelong bachelor.

The character of M was inspired by several figures from Fleming's past. At the top of the list is Rear Admiral John H. Godfrey, Fleming's commanding officer in Naval Intelligence during World War II. Fleming acquired the idea for the letter M from Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming, who, was head of the Secret Service, signed documents with the letter "C", a tradition continued by his replacements. Long before Fleming himself became involved in intelligence work, he addressed letter to his mother Eve with the letter "M."

For Bond's first eleven screen missions, M comes very close to Fleming's version of the character. In the film Dr. No, it appears that M may be relatively new to his position because he informs 007 that since he became "head of M96, there's been a 40 per cent drop in 00 operative casualties, and I want it to stay that way."

The Second MEdit

M

M (Robert Brown)

Name:Admiral Hargreaves?
Rank:Admiral, Royal Navy?
Position:Head of MI6
Status:Retired

M does not feature in the film For Your Eyes Only, and a new M gives 007 his assignment in Octopussy. This M appears to be Admiral Hargreaves, who a few years earleir served as flag officer of submarines for the Royal Navy. He exhibits mild contempt for 007's reputation and personality and revokes Bond's "license to kill" in the subsequent eponymous film.


















Brosnan/Craig EraEdit

M

M (Judi Dench)

Name:Barbara Mawdsley (according to James Bond author Raymond Benson)
Position:Head of MI6
Status:Active

By GoldenEye, a new, female M takes charge of MI6. She views Bond as a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War," but like her predecessors, she sees a use for Bond and his methods.

This M read law at Oxford and has children. She needles Bond about his womanizing reputation. Bond's friend, senior analyst Bill Tanner, refers to her as "the evil Queen of numbers" for her reliance on statistical analysis.

In Casino Royale, M presides over Bond's initiation as an "00" agent, a narrative shift that relaunches both Bond and M in the 21st century. This M appears to be a veteran administrator of MI6 who dates back to the era of the COld WAr and claims to miss the autonomy she formerly enjoyed. She lives in a modern secure flat accessed by a private elevator and has a husband or lover. M acts as a guiding force in Bond's painful transformation from a skilled agent who sometimes fails to see the bigger picture to a hardened operative whose actions are guided by larger objectives.

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