Bond arrives in the Bahamas, and pretty much right away starts flirting with a girl on a fishing boat. She might look familiar to Bond viewers-she’s Valerie Leon, who played a hotel receptionist in The Spy Who Loved Me six years earlier (Who likewise flirted with Bond). Here she plays a sort of minor Bond girl/conquest of Bond.
Another introduction is far more familiar-Rowan Atkinson, famous for his Mr. Bean and Black Adder characters. Here, he plays Nigel Small-Fawcett, sort of a goofy character who is rather clumsy with the spy stuff.
Although I suppose you can say he got a bit better at it…(but not by much).
He pretty much just gives him some info on Largo, and of course provide some comic relief. Not exactly Bond’s best local contact….
While observing the disco, Bond observes Fatima waterskiing, and then flips onto the bar Bond is at, and we get the great line:
Fatima: “Oh, I’ve made you all wet!”
Bond: “Yes, but my martini’s still dry”.
For some reason, Bond agrees to her wanting to ‘help him find what he’s looking for’, which isn’t exactly clear. I mean, obviously he’s up for a “little fun” with her, but it’s sort of putting him in harm’s way and doesn’t really have much to do with the rest of the mission. Especially the last part which I’ll get to.
Of course this leads to innuendo and the two get together, but the last part is a bit odd. He goes scuba-diving with her and she has him look into a wreck for some reason, and then plants a homing device on his back which attracts some Sharks with devices on them. How did Bond think this was going to work out, anyway? Did he think the nukes were in the wreck and this woman who he already knew was a villainess would just let him know?
Bond evades the sharks, much like he did in the original Thunderball, and emerges to find Valerie Lion’s unnamed character going fishing nearby.
We get a sort of goofy scene of Fatima camping it up dancing to steel drums, when the girl’s boat docks and Bond is showing off his ‘catch’.
She follows Bond and the girl to the hotel, and plants a device in Bond’s room, detonating it, in this shot which is one of the film’s best-Fatima of course is sort of doing her SPECTRE mission, but also sort of has the look of almost being spurned. Fortunately, he decided to go to the local woman’s hotel room instead.
Bond then learns that the Saucer has left for France. Did Bond even need to really go to the Bahamas in the first place, just to keep an eye on the Yacht? Couldn’t he have had Faucet tell him in London over the phone? Oh well, guess they needed to somehow keep at least part of the setting of the original Thunderball, and have Bond face off a bit with Blush. But it just seems a little too much time spent with little plot development.
In France, we get to meet Nicole and a new Felix, played by Bernie Casey. Felix plays a similar role to his Thunderball counterpart, while Nicole is pretty much a stand-in for Paula in the original film, but doesn’t really do much at all compared to her.
They check out the Flying Saucer from the POV of a local villa with bionoculars, and spot Largo and Domino, and of course Bond, learning that Domino is the sister of the air force pilot, goes to check her out, posing as a massage guy. We get another one of those “ladies stare longingly at Bond” scenes the main series seems to use a lot.
He then starts to massage Domino, and there’s some slight creepiness here, but then this is Bond I’m writing about. He gains some information that there’s a charity ball tonight at a casino. After he spots the real masseuse arriving, Bond quickly leaves, and the real one tells her that Bond doesn’t work there. Instead of immeadiatly calling Sûreté nationale, she looks slightly alarmed for a second before breaking out in a bit of a goofy grin. Seriously.