Tonight we watched 1987's The Living Daylights, the first of Timothy Dalton's two attempts to fill the shoes of Ian Fleming's immortal agent. The discs all have a number of decent special features on them, and this one has a 25 year retrospective on the character hosted by Roger Moore. As we watched the variously themed montages play out some of our favourite moments, we came across Douglas Pleasence as 007's primary nemesis: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of the Special Executive for Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, or SPECTRE for short.
Faceless for his few outings, and recognizable primarily for his omnipresent Persian cat, Bond finally comes face to face with Blofeld in Japan, in 1967's You Only Live Twice, the fifth film of the series. With his careful diction and scarred face, most people would assume he is a take-off on Michael Myer's Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies, rather than the other way around, which is a little bit of shame.
Now, I've seen You Only Live Twice a number of times, partly due to love of Japanese culture and local intelligence chief 'Tiger' Tanaka ("For a European, you are exceptionally cultivated."). How did I manage to overlook Blofeld's ubiquitous cat doing a bona-fide, grade-A, blue-ribbon freak out during the scene where there is an explosion in the control room?
Having seen it now, it is pretty much impossible to unsee, like that stormtrooper bumping his head on the rising door in Star Wars. Still, it gives a bit of credence to that old show business adage about never working with children or animals.
Tonight we watched the 15th of 23 movies, and I am looking forward to compiling a retrospective of observations when we have viewed all of them, but Blofeld's cat could simply not be made to wait!