The Best James Bond Scenes Set In London

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 8 months ago
The Best James Bond Scenes Set In London

The release of the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, has been delayed until November 2020. To commiserate (or celebrate, depending on your predilection) we've picked some of our favourite moments of 007 at large in London.

Spectre

Aside from the requisite, high-energy introduction in Mexico City, 2015's Spectre film begins and ends with Bond in London. It starts sedately enough, a Notting Hill apartment here, a HM Treasury Building courtyard there. But by the film's kaboom-y climax, there's been a high-speed car chase through Admiralty Arch, and Terry Farrell's MI6 Building and Westminster Bridge have been well and truly battered.

Skyfall

The capital features heavily in another of Bond's more recent outings, Skyfall, in which various bits of the city get quite broken. Here's Daniel Craig tackling the London commute from hell in that film.

The MI6 Building also gets very broken in Skyfall. In fact, the same building goes boom in 1999's The World Is Not Enough. How much abuse can one building take? The story goes that at a private screening in the MI6 building, there were huge cheers when the audience saw their workplace get blown up.

It's not all bad news though. Bond and Q do manage to pop in to the National Gallery for a spot of culture before things go Pete Tong.

The World Is Not Enough

Speaking of The World Is Not Enough, that film features an extensive high speed boat chase along the Thames, which sees a host of London's river-side sights and a soaked Pierce Brosnan, who improbably ends up on top of The O2 (back then, still the Millennium Dome). Maybe that's what gave them the idea for Up at The O2.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The World Is Not Enough gets a reference in the 1969 movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service, when George Lazenby visits the College of Arms near St Paul's, and discovers that his ancestor is one Thomas Bond of Peckham. Thomas Bond's family motto was Orbis non sufficit, which means "the world is not enough", and he is also the chap after whom Bond Street is named.

For Your Eyes Only

How do you grab an audience's attention from the get-go? Back in the Roger Moore era of Bond, you dropped a man in a wheelchair down a chimney (swiftly followed by a conspicuously sexist title sequence). The narrative preamble of For Your Eyes Only has our hero whisked by helicopter past the Houses of Parliament, before he manages to overcome the evil Blofeld at Beckton Gas Works.

Octopussy

More Moore now, with an early scene from Octopussy. We join Bond in Sotheby's, where he's about perform the egg swap of the century. We've watched this 100 times, but his nifty hand work is just so subtle, we can't work out HOW he does it.

Die Another Day

2002's Die Another Day sees Bond descend into the fictional Vauxhall Cross tube station, where Basil Fawlty introduces him to an invisible car (it's not the best Bond film ever). The abandoned Aldwych station was the inspiration, although this scene is all filmed on a set.

And finally...

Let's not forget that moment back in 2012 when Bond dropped in on Buckingham Palace before the Olympic opening ceremony (that Queen impersonator is REALLY good).

Got a favourite Bond in London scene? Tell us in the comments.

Featured image by Cybermyth13, in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 15 April 2020