A new era begins…
The Mission: Bond is assigned to act as a sniper to protect a defecting Russian agent, Koskov, trying to escape from a new KGB regime. When the defector is snatched back Bond gets drawn into an international conspiracy.
Locales: Quite the tour – Gibraltar, United Kingdom, Czechoslovakia, Morocco, Austria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Gadgets: The main item of the day is a whistle activated key ring – the opening bars of ‘Rule Britannia’ deploys a stun gas and a wolf whistle triggers an explosive. Miniature binoculars hidden in a glasses case.
Vehicles: Bond returns to the Aston Martin with the V8 Vantage Volante. It comes equipped with missile launches behind the fog lamps, retractable ice spikes, jet powered motor, lasers in the hubcaps and out riggers for ice driving.
Sidekicks: Saunders, Bonds ally in MI6, who joins him at various points during the mission. Rosika Miklos who assists bound in smuggling the Russian agent across the border in an oil pipeline. Kamran Shah, leader of a Mujahideen. General Pushkin of the KGB becomes his ally late in the film.
The Girls: The Living Daylights breaks tradition by giving Bond only one woman to throw herself at him (aside from a quick fling in the prologue. Kara Milovy is a gifted cello player who is also Koskov’s lover. She becomes entangled into his scheme and later comes under Bond’s protection.
The Enemy: Koskov is revealed to have faked his defection so he could destroy his enemies within MI6 and the KGB.
Evil Plot: The smiert spionam (death to spies) campaign that was intended to spread chaos through MI6 and fool Bond into assassinating the new KGB chief Pushkin.
Distinguishing Features: Well, he’s pretty smarmy.
Secret Lair: Spends to much time on the move to establish a volcano lair.
Henchmen: Brad Whitaker is an American arms dealer who takes his interest in war to the level of obsession, posing as a General, owning a waxworks of famous military leaders and spending his time recreating famous battles with models. The rather Aryan hitman Necros gets about killing spies with the headphones of his walkman.
Facts About the Movie
Politically Incorrect Behaviour: Forcibly ripping a woman’s clothing off so she would serve as a distraction to a guard.
Notable Firsts: Timothy Dalton makes his debut in the role of James Bond. Caroline Bliss also appeared as Moneypenny for the first time.
Random Trivia: With Roger Moore approaching the age of 60 a wide casting net was thrown for a new James Bond. Actors ranging from Mel Gibson to Christopher Lambert expressed an interest in the part with Sam Neill, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton being screen tested. After two of the Broccoli’s and director John Glen preferred Sam Neill Albert R. Broccoli didn’t like him for the part and it was offered to Pierce Brosnan, who’d recently finished his contract on Remmington Steele. When NBC saw the renewed interest in Brosnan they renewed the show. This put Broccoli of Brosnan, not wanted their leading man associated with a current TV show, and the offer was withdrawn. This is turn led to NBC cancelling his contract as well.
Walter Gotell was intended to reprise his role of Gogol in a larger role but health concerns saw his sixth Bond appearance reduced to a cameo.
The amusement park and ferris wheel on which Bond and Kara share a romantic moment is the same locale used in The Third Man.