The UK Armed Forces played a key role in No Time To Die
The highly-anticipated 25th film in the Bond series, No Time To Die, premiered this week, but did you know that the military played a key role in the filming?
“There’s a long standing association between the Bond films and the Armed Forces. We definitely call upon them when we need their help, both in terms of possible locations, but also their expertise and advice.”
— Gregg Wilson, Associate Producer
The filmmakers worked closely with the MOD throughout the making of No Time To Die, with the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force giving the production access to military equipment and personnel.
“In this film we’ve worked alongside all three branches of the Armed Forces. They do amazing and varied things, and just like on a film crew there is a specialist for each and every area. The variety of their lives is obvious: they do amazing things in defence of the country, and then on the next day they’re working on a Bond film. It’s an incredible job to have.” –Charlie Hayes, Location Manager
In No Time To Die, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire stood in for a NATO airbase in Norway in the build-up to an important scene where Bond and Nomi (a new MI6 agent, played by Lashana Lynch) join Q to board a C-17 Globemaster. With its mixed fleet of aircraft, the airbase, which is the largest RAF station in the UK provides rapid global mobility in support of UK overseas operations and exercises.
A long-range, heavy-lift strategic transport aircraft, the C-17 can operate close to an area of operations for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions. Filming also took place inside the aircraft where Q gives Bond and Nomi gadgets to assist them on their upcoming mission.
The Royal Navy also allowed the production’s second unit to film aboard HMS Dragon, one of the Navy’s six Type 45 air defence destroyers.
HMS Dragon is one of the most advanced warships in the world and it plays a crucial role in No Time To Die. Instantly recognisable by the Welsh Dragon on her bow, the warship’s main role is air defence. She protects her fellow ships by detecting, interrogating and neutralising enemy threats with the Sea Viper anti-air missile system.
Producer Barbara Broccoli said:
“The Royal Navy were very generous. They allowed us to send a second unit crew who were on the boat filming.
“We have always had really wonderful cooperation from all the services in the UK. The RAF were terrifically helpful in giving us access to their airbase, and access to the plane, and we have been so grateful for the cooperation of the Royal Navy and the Army. The Ministry of Defence has always been very supportive of the James Bond films.”
Meanwhile, British Army troops from the Household Cavalry featured in a scene where Léa Seydoux’s character, Madeleine Swann, crosses The Mall towards her office on Carlton House Terrace.
The Life Guards are part of the Household Cavalry, one of the two most senior regiments of the British Army, the other being the Blues & Royals. The Life Guards offered their time at a pivotal moment in their calendar, just before the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
The MOD’s estates also featured in the film, with Salisbury Plain training area transformed into a stunt location for motorbike chases, jumps and explosions.
“I think [the UK Armed Forces and James Bond] share common values in terms of keeping Britain safe. Bond represents courage, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment to Queen and country, and those are all the values of the Armed Forces. Both can be trusted to do the right thing, truly professionally.” — Barbara Broccoli