Dr. No (novel): Wikis


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Dr. No  
First edition cover.
Author Ian Fleming
Cover artist Pat Marriott
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series James Bond
Genre(s) Spy novel
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date 31 March 1958
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Preceded by From Russia, with Love
Followed by Goldfinger

Dr. No (also Dr No and Doctor No[1]) is Ian Fleming's sixth James Bond novel, originally published on the 31 March 1958.[1] This novel was inspired by Fleming's having read Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu stories at Eton College.[2]

Dr. No was originally a screenplay for producer Henry Morgenthau III in 1956 for what would have been a half-hour television show titled Commander Jamaica.[2] When those plans came to naught, Fleming adapted the screenplay, originally titled The Wound Man.[3] In 1962, the novel Dr. No was adapted as the first official James Bond film of the EON Productions James Bond 007 series by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, and Berkeley Mather, it was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, it featured Sean Connery in the first of his six official portrayals of British Secret Service agent Commander James Bond.

The plots of the novel and the film are similar, differing when events from the previous novels, From Russia, with Love and Live and Let Die, are referred to. The cinematic Dr. Julius No, is a member of SPECTRE, while the literary villain is an operative of the U.S.S.R.; literarily, SPECTRE was not introduced until Thunderball (1961).

The novel Dr No marks the first appearance of several James Bond signature character elements: he is officially armed with a Walther PPK pistol, and Major Boothroyd, Q, the armourer, appears.


Plot summary

2002 Penguin Books edition.

From Russia, with Love ended in a cliffhanger in which Bond was poisoned by SMERSH agent Rosa Klebb and collapsed. In Dr. No, M learns from the firm's neurologist that the poison was tetrodotoxin, which paralyses the muscles of the victim while they stay fully conscious until eventually they die from asphyxiation. Bond is given first aid treatment by his friend Rene Mathis, while a doctor is urgently summoned (Klebb, we learn, is captured and has died). The Doctor had spent time in South America and had dealt with various poisons. He diagnoses curare poisoning and treats Bond accordingly, but his chances of survival are extremely slim. Nonetheless, Bond survives.

When he returns to duty, he is sent by M on a rest cure to Jamaica, a simple assignment to investigate the disappearance of Strangways, the head of Station J in Kingston, who had previously appeared in Live and Let Die. He learns that Strangways had been investigating the activities of Doctor Julius No, a reclusive Chinese-German who lives on an island called Crab Key that is said to be the home of a vicious dragon. Bond soon realizes that he is being watched. His hotel room is searched, a basket of poisoned fruit is delivered to his hotel room (supposedly a gift from the colonial governor), and then a deadly centipede is placed in his bed while he is sleeping.

With help of old friend Quarrel (who also previously appeared in Live and Let Die), as well as the beautiful Honeychile Rider, who visits the island to collect valuable shells (who, apart from her belt and diving knife is completely naked when Bond first sees her), Bond discovers that Doctor No, who operates a business harvesting and exporting guano, is also working with the Russians and has built an elaborate underground facility from which he can sabotage American missile tests. Dr. No was previously a member of a Chinese Tong (criminal gang) and he was tortured and then had his hands cut off by order of the Tong leaders after he stole a large amount of money from the Tong treasury. The Tong hit men then shot him in the chest, but No survived due to having dextrocardia (heart on the right side of the chest). No survived all this without revealing the location of the money he had stolen, and was left with artificial hands — and great wealth.

Bond and Honey are captured by No's men after Quarrel is burned to death by the Doctor's dragon – actually a flamethrower-equipped armoured swamp buggy to keep away trespassers.

Doctor No is interested in the ability of the human body to withstand and survive pain and stress: Bond is forced to crawl and climb through an obstacle course constructed in a section of the facility's ventilation system. Bond is kept under regular observation, suffering electric shocks, burns and an encounter with poisonous spiders along the way. The ordeal ends in a fight against a captive giant squid, which Bond defeats through his ingenuity at improvised and stolen objects made into weapons, as well as physical toughness. After his escape he rescues Honey from her own "ordeal" – she had been pegged out to be eaten by crabs but the crabs ignored her.

Bond kills Doctor No by taking over the guano-loading machine at the docks and diverting the guano flow from it to bury the villain alive in bird dung. Bond and Honey then escape from Dr. No's complex in the dragon buggy.[4]



Film adaptation

1962 film tie-in edition by Pan Books.

In 1962, Dr. No was the first James Bond novel cinematically adapted by EON Productions. It introduced Sean Connery as the first actor to portray James Bond on the big screen; Joseph Wiseman portrayed Dr. No.

Although the story follows the same general arc there are significant number of changes. These include: Dr. No's physical appearance changes in the film. Bond has a sexual encounter with one of Dr. No's operatives in the movie but not in the book. Honey Rider is never seen nude; when Bond first sees her she is wearing a bikini. In the book she is pegged out to be eaten by beach crabs; in the film, she is tied to drown in a water pool. Bond's fight with a giant squid is excluded from the film. Felix Leiter, Sylvia Trench, and Professor Dent were introduced to the story and the film series (Leiter had appeared in previous novels). In the novel, No's hands were cut off by Tong hit men; in the film his hands were destroyed by radiation, and his island fortress is nuclear-powered. The specific method in which Dr. No is killed is also changed significantly: in the movie, the villain is drowned in reactor coolant rather than buried alive in guano like he would have been in the book. Furthermore, Dr. No in the movie is an operative of SPECTRE rather than the Soviet Union. Fleming did not introduce SPECTRE until Thunderball in 1961.

Comic strip

Dr. No was adapted as a daily comic strip published in the British Daily Express newspaper and syndicated worldwide. The adaptation ran from May 23 to October 1, 1960. The adaptation was written by Peter O'Donnell (later the creator of Modesty Blaise) and illustrated by John McLusky. The James Bond 007 Fan Club published a reprint of the strip in 1981. Dr. No was reprinted in 2005 by Titan Books as part of the Dr. No anthology that also includes Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love.

The film was also adapted by DC Comics as an issue of Showcase.

Radio adaptation

On 24 May 2008 BBC Radio 4 broadcast a radio adaptation of Dr. No. Actor Toby Stephens, who played Die Another Day Bond villain Gustav Graves, played James Bond, while Dr. No was played by David Suchet.


  1. ^ a b "Doctor No at Bondian.com". http://www.bondian.com/books/94137580.html. Retrieved 2007-02-22.  
  2. ^ a b Pearson, John (1966). The Life of Ian Fleming. Vintage/Ebury. ISBN 0-224-61136-4.  
  3. ^ Chancellor, Henry (2005). James Bond: The Man and His World. John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-6815-3.  
  4. ^ MI6 :: The Home Of James Bond 007

External links


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