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Julius No: Wikis


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Dr. Julius No
Character from the James Bond franchise
Affiliation Soviet Union (novel)
SPECTRE (film)
Independent/OCTOPUS (video games)
Portrayed by Joseph Wiseman

Dr. Julius No is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the James Bond film and novel Dr. No. He was the first James Bond villain in the film series, where he was portrayed by actor Joseph Wiseman.


Novel biography

Although the film and novel are similar in plot, the backgrounds for Julius No carry certain differences. An individual of Chinese-German cultural heritage, the novel's Dr. No was born in Peking to a German Methodist missionary and a Chinese girl, but was raised by his aunt. When older, he went to Shanghai, where he became involved with the Tongs, a Chinese crime syndicate. Later he was smuggled to the United States and settled in New York City, where he became a clerk and eventually Treasurer for a Tong in America, called the "Hip-Sings".

In the late 1920s, a mob war broke out in New York, forcing the police to crack down on them. No stole a million dollars in gold from the Tongs and disappeared. But the Tongs tracked him down and tortured him to find the location of the gold. When No did not tell them, the Tongs cut off his hands, shot him through the left side of the chest and left him for dead. No survived, due to a condition called dextrocardia, in which his heart was on the right side of the body.

No spent a long time in hospital, then enrolled in medical school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is unclear if he completed his studies, but he adopted the title of Doctor and changed his name (his birth name is unknown) to Julius No, symbolic of his rejection of his father, whose given name was Julius. As in the film, No fitted himself with metal manual prostheses, but the book describes them as simple pincers (apparently similar to those of Tee-Hee in Live and Let Die), and judging by the lack of descriptive detail, they presumably lack the articulation of human hands.

With the million dollars from the Tong, he purchased rare stamps in order to preserve his money against inflation; he later purchased the island of Crab Key, off the coast of Jamaica, where he re-started a defunct guano business as a cover for his proposed criminal operations. He employs Jamaican and Cuban labourers on good wages for the guano works, brutally supervised by Jamaican "Chigroes" (a portmanteau of 'Chinese' + 'Negroes', referring to their mixed ancestry). No one who comes to the island is allowed to leave.

No, with aid from the Soviets, sabotaged the nearby tests of American missiles by jamming their signals and making them land and explode on a different target than that planned. This forced the Americans to spend time and money redesigning their missiles. He also recovered missiles from the ocean and turned them over to the Russians.

Bond did not actually learn of No's devious plot until he and Quarrel--with Honeychile Rider, who would trespass to find exclusive shells--had infiltrated Crab Key and been captured. Bond eventually kills Dr.No by dumping a huge mound of guano on top of the villain, suffocating him and putting a stop to his operation.

Henchmen in the Novel

  • Miss Taro
  • Other various "Chigroes", including three who pose as blind men

Film biography

Dr. No is a brilliant scientist with an implied Napoleon complex (see mad scientist), a self-described "unwanted child of a German missionary and a Chinese girl of a good family". He later "became treasurer of the most powerful criminal society in China"; in this case, the Tongs. He then "escaped to America with $10,000,000" of Tong gold bullion. He specialized in radiation, which cost him both of his hands; his hands were replaced with crude bionic metal ones. No's hands have great strength (he can crush a metal figurine with them), but are seriously lacking in manual dexterity. This property contributes to his demise.

He offered his skills and expertise to the Americans and Soviets, but was rejected. To get revenge, No joined the criminal organization SPECTRE and relocated to his island in Crab Key, Jamaica.

When Bond is sent to investigate the murder of two British agents and any possible connection with recent rocket disasters, No orders several attempts on his life. He is particularly displeased with henchman Professor Dent's failure. He gives Dent a venomous spider.

No captures Bond and Honey Ryder when they trespass on his island. During dinner, he offers Bond a position in his organization, but Bond refuses. Bond escapes and sabotages No's pool-type nuclear reactor. The two men fight while everyone else flees the imminent explosion. They both fall onto a small platform that slowly descends into the boiling coolant of the overheating reactor. Bond manages to climb out, but No cannot get a grip on the metal framework due to his metal hands and is boiled to death.

Film henchmen

  • Miss Taro government house secretary
  • Professor Dent
  • The Three "Blind" Mice
  • Photographer
  • Many other technicians and guards

Other appearances

No made several appearances in the James Bond Junior cartoon. His skin, however, was rendered bright green – perhaps a callback to his seeming death by radioactivity, but also not an uncommon treatment for Asian villains to receive in animation at the time; this fate was shared by Ming the Merciless in Defenders of the Earth and the Mandarin in Iron Man.

No also appeared in the video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, despite his death in the book and film, alongside fellow Bond enemies Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Auric Goldfinger, Francisco Scaramanga, and Xenia Onatopp. In the game, Xenia Onatopp works for Dr. No and he seems to possess a considerable army of well-equipped henchmen, as well as numerous tanks and helicopter gunships that resemble V-22 Ospreys. He also seems to have soldiers placed on countless rooftops and buildings in Hong Kong. He was electrocuted by his own reactor in a fight with the rogue 00 agent, "Goldeneye". In the game, he was voiced by Carlos Alazraqui.

He is also a multiplayer character in the video game From Russia With Love.

In Myths for the Modern Age: Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton Universe (Win Scott Eckert, ed., MonkeyBrain Books, 2005), author Eckert contributes "Who's Going to Take Over the World When I'm Gone?" wherein he posits that No's mother was an agent of Fu Manchu named Madame de Medici, who was in turn the daughter of Fo-Hi, from Sax Rohmer's novel The Golden Scorpion. Likewise in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, No is stated as being a distant relative of Fu Manchu. Later in the book, it is revealed that the mission of James Bond to stop Dr. No was a fraud, an alibi for Bond to kill a British leader for the Americans. "There was No Doctor."

In the alternate history novel Dracula Cha Cha Cha, Dr. No (along with Mr. Big) are mentioned as being vampire elders killed and drained by the Diogenes Club agent Hamish Bond.

In a nod to this character, the master villain of the 1967 Bond spoof Casino Royale is named "Dr. Noah". He does not otherwise resemble Dr. No.

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