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Background:

  • "M" is a code letter for the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6. In short, M is James Bond's boss.
  • The title "M" is believed to have been created by Ian Fleming from the first real-life head of Her Majesty's Secret Service, Mansfield Smith-Cumming, who used his initial "C" to indicate when he had signed a paper. Other influences on the character include Admiral John Godfrey, Fleming's superior in British Naval Intelligence during World War II. The "M" might also be an abbreviation for Minister, refering to the title of the MI6 head. In Ian Fleming's last novel, The Man with the Golden Gun, it was revealed that M's real name is Vice Admiral Sir Miles Messervy KCMG.

Appears in:

  • Every Bond movie except For Your Eyes Only, where it was stated that M was on "holiday" (the actor died and was not replaced until the next movie, Octopussy).

Actors:



Bernard Lee - Sir Admiral Miles Messervy
1962 / 1979

  • The first M, Lee is also the longest-running actor in the role, appearing in the first 11 Bond, from Dr. No (1962) to Moonraker (1979).
  • At age 70 in Moonraker, he is the oldest male actor to have portrayed M to this day.
  • He seems to show distrust in Connery's Bond at first but then becomes closer to him professionally, to the point of exchanging snarks with him and Roger Moore's Bond.
  • Bernard Lee passed away in 1981 at the time of For Your Eyes Only's filming. Out of respect for him, his character was put on holiday and his lines were transferred to Minister of Defense Sir Frederick Gray and Bill Tanner, who gave Bond his mission orders.
  • A portrait of him can be seen in The World Is Not Enough on the wall of a room in the MI6 Scottish castle (Eilean Donan).
M - James Bond Wiki


M - James Bond Wiki




Robert Brown - Admiral Marian Hargreaves (possibly)
1983 / 1989

  • Had little to no sense of humor in his films.
  • He is the only M to have James Bond's licence to kill revoked, seemingly showing no sympathy or regret, in the aptly named Licence To Kill. However, the quote "God help you, Commander!" right after Bond's escape softens this, showing that he still cares about his best agent.
  • It is never stated on screen whether Robert Brown's character was intended to be Sir Miles Messervy (Bernard Lee's character) or a promoted Admiral Marian Hargreaves, the role played by Brown in The Spy who Loved Me, but his name is mentioned in the drafted screenplays.
M - James Bond Wiki


M - James Bond Wiki


Dame Judi Dench - Barbara Mawdsley / Olivia Mansfield
1995 / 2002 - 2006 / 2012

  • The first and, to this day, only woman in the role, Dame Judi Dench appeared in GoldenEye for the first time.
  • She is also the oldest actor to portray M to this day, since she was 71 in Casino Royale. She was 77 at the time of Skyfall, when she retired from the role.
  • The first (and to this day, only) M whose office was situated in the then new MI6 HQ, the SIS Building in London (which was completed in 1994 in real life) instead of the old "Universal Exports" offices, since GoldenEye.
  • Her M from the Craig era seems to be a different character than the one from the Brosnan era. In the original continuity, her name is Barbara Mawdsley, as said in the original GoldenEye screenplay and Raymond Benson's novels. Her name in the Craig films continuity reboot is Olivia Mansfield (as seen on the box containing her porcelain Union Jack bulldog in Skyfall). It is mistaken as "Emma" by Kincade, though it doesn't seem to bother her.
  • Although she has shown disdain towards Bond's behaviour, she does however show him support as she wants him to come home alive in GoldenEye.
  • She dislikes many of Brosnan's Bond's antics as clearly stated in GoldenEye and her other films. She has him stay in captivity in Hong-Kong in Die Another Day.
  • Her character has been given more screentime in each of her movies, and thus more involvement in the plots and more interactions with Bond than any other M actor before her. For instance, she is often seen in her London appartment in the Craig films.
  • She is the first M to face political pressure to retire in a movie (in Skyfall, more precisely).
  • She is shown to genuinely care about Bond, almost like a mother would be with her son. This "surrogate mother" role was further explored in Daniel Craig's films, ending with her death in Bond's arms in the Bond family chapel in Skyfall.
  • She is the first M to die in a Bond movie, at the end of Skyfall.
M - James Bond Wiki


M - James Bond Wiki


M - James Bond Wiki


Ralph Fiennes - Gareth Mallory
2012 / -

  • He is introduced in Skyfall as a veteran, he was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Hereford Regiment in Northern Ireland. He is the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. His position gives him the authority to regulate MI6.
  • He was once a hostage held by the IRA.
  • He is ordered to force Judi Dench's M to retire in the first half of Skyfall. As the inquiry in Westminster becomes gradually inquisitive, he starts to take M's defense and heroically protects her against Raoul Silva's attack on the inquiry, taking a bullet in his arm in the action.
  • He is promoted as the new M after the death of Olivia Mansfield (Judi Dench's character) at the end of Skyfall.
  • Ralph Fiennes is the youngest actor to potray M to this day, he was 50 at the time of Skyfall.
  • His appointment as M also marks the return of the head of MI6 into the "Universal Exports" offices once occupied by Bernard Lee and Robert Brown, after Raoul Silva's terrorist attack on the SIS building.
  • Before the release of Skyfall, Fiennes stated that he could not say anything specific about the role other than that it was a "really interesting part which is really quite fun".

M - James Bond Wiki


M - James Bond Wiki


M - James Bond Wiki




Edward Fox - Unknown name

M In NSNA



Trivia:

  • In Fleming's novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service, it is revealed that M's salary as head of the Secret Service was 5000 pounds a year (that was considered a lot of money in the early 60's) and an additional 1500 pounds as his naval pay (as a retired "Vice Admiral")
  • In Casino Royale, it is revealed that "M" is also the first letter of the current M's name. Her home is an apartment is in London, which she shares with her husband.



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