In his first movie appearance, James Bond’s boss M makes a strange mistake that the rest of the 007 franchise ignores. The James Bond series is not the most consistent franchise in cinema history. For one thing, the face and personality of its main character change every couple of years, and, outside of a few meta-jokes, none of the 007 movies ever reckon with this fact. Similarly, Bond’s co-workers M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny have all been recast numerous times over the decades and their new faces are never acknowledged beyond a couple of sly, fourth-wall-poking gags.
However, some of the franchise’s surprising choices are too egregious for the series to ignore. Bond’s canon death in No Time To Die is the sort of series-shaking event that the next movie will need to address, as was M’s death in Skyfall. However, the very earliest (official) movie in the James Bond canon featured a pretty major mistake that would seemingly warrant correction, only for none of the subsequent movies in the series to ever even acknowledge this screw-up. Some online digging uncovers a potential reason behind the mistake, but there is no explanation for the James Bond franchise’s failure to fix this misstep.
Dr. No’s Strange MI6 Plot Hole Explained
In Dr. No, M claims that he is the head of “MI7” at one point, instead of MI6. The rest of the James Bond franchise (and Dr. No itself elsewhere) refers to 007’s employers as “MI6,” the name of the real-life British Secret Intelligence Service. Even though every version of M is canonically the head of MI6, there is no official explanation for this line. However, it does appear to have been dubbed over, and the scene originally used “MI6” as normal. As such, the reason behind this screw-up could be that the franchise’s producers wanted to avoid annoying the real-life MI6, whose existence was an open secret that had not yet been publicly acknowledged.
Incredibly, it was not until 1986 that the UK government officially admitted MI6 existed. Fittingly enough, it was Pierce Brosnan’s Bond movies (which were produced between 1995—2002) that began regularly referring to 007’s employer as “MI6.” While other movies in the series did reference MI6 at times, this didn’t become a major James Bond franchise trope until after the department’s existence was confirmed to the public. This, along with the fact that the original line “MI6” has clearly been dubbed over with “MI7” in the Dr. No scene (a fact confirmed by reading the actor’s lips) offers a likely explanation for this apparent mistake.
Does MI7 Really Exist In The UK?
MI7 was a real-life government department in the UK. The department, which was established during World War I, was responsible for press briefings and producing propaganda. Revived during World War II, the organization once employed Winnie the Pooh creator AA Milne. However, MI7 was never responsible for the sort of intrigue and espionage that made 007 famous. As a result, earlier movies in the James Bond franchise referred to the spy’s employers by their real-life name MI6 or, in a lot of cases, avoiding naming them altogether. After all, this approach made the James Bond franchise’s heroes more fittingly mysterious, as well as avoiding the need for awkward post-production dubbing.
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