James Bonding Podcast Review Pt. 1: Dr. No


James Bonding’s inaugural episode brings in comedian Paul F. Tompkins to discuss the sheer slowness of Dr. No.

James Bonding is a podcast from the Nerdist network. If ever you wanted your Bond films scrutinized to the very last detail, this is the podcast for you. It is a good podcast for die-hard James Bond fans as well as comedy fans. Hosts Matt Mira and Matt Gourley, Bond experts in their own right, take the audience film-by-film through the franchise that put Ian Fleming’s British spy on the big screen.

In the podcast’s inaugural episode, Matt and Matt bring in stand-up comedian and fellow podcaster Paul F. Tompkins into the Nerdist studio to discuss James Bond’s first film outing, Dr. No.

Tompkins’ initial reaction to the film is that “movie-making has changed” since 1962. This phrase is the impetus of the trio’s entire conversation.

The major gripe they have with the film is that it is paced far too slow for a spy-action film. To this day tied for the second shortest Bond film, Tompkins comments that the film “had time to burn,” as it rarely cuts away for the sake of ellipsis.

The trio also dissect the more obnoxious elements of the film, such as the needlessly complicated plot to kill James Bond with a spider, the inconsistent abilities of Dr. No’s hyper-strong hands, and the obviously reverse-engineered acronym for SPECTRE.

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James Bonding episode one also delves into the behind the scenes aspect of Dr. No (admittedly with no sources cited, so take it with a grain of salt).

They discuss Sean Connery’s rise to Bond, and how he grew to hate the Eon producers for not getting the paycheck he deserved for the role. Mira explains how Connery’s pay never increased throughout the rising success of the Bond films, but the producers all received increasing compensation.

They also explain the origins of the now famous James Bond theme, whose melody originated in the song “Good Sign, Bad Sign” from a musical called A House for Mr. Biswas. This Monty Norman melody was then handed over to John Barry, whose arrangement is what we hear in Bond movies.

Later, Matt and Matt engage in a tangent in which they describe a meeting with Fred Durst. No relation to Bond, but still entertaining. Their next tangent, about Geoffrey Boothroyd, is related to Bond, and it points listeners to a great video.

Long story short, as Matt and Matt and Paul make their way through the plot of Dr. No, they do a good job of dissecting tiny details and behind the scenes without it becoming overwrought. And the comedy that is sprinkled in throughout is great.

Next: Spectre Theme Loses at Critics Choice Awards

You can find James Bonding on Nerdist.

As always, thanks for reading!