- "I'll see you in hell, James."
- ― Trevelyan taunting Bond
Alec Trevelyan, formerly code-named 006, was a fictional former intelligence operative of the Double-O Section, an ultra-covert unit within the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6) and James Bond's friend. He subsequently faked his death, adopted the identity Janus, and founded a Russian crime syndicate. Portrayed by British actor Sean Bean, the character appeared as the primary antagonist in EON Productions' 1995 James Bond film, GoldenEye. He subsequently appeared in the film's accompanying novelization and the 1997 video game, GoldenEye 007.
- "How did the MI6 screening miss that your parents were Lienz Cossacks?"
"Once again, your faith is misplaced. They knew. We're both orphans, James. But where your parents had the luxury of dying in a climbing accident, mine survived the British betrayal and Stalin's execution squads... but my father couldn't let himself or my mother live with the shame of it. MI6 figured I was too young to remember... and in one of life's little ironies, the son went to work for the government whose betrayal caused the father to kill himself and his wife"
- ― Trevelyan reveals his background to James Bond.
Alec Trevelyan was born to a family of Lienz Cossacks. Following the Second World War, the anti-Bolshevik Cossack brigades whom had collaborated with the Germans fled from the advance of the Red Army. They surrendered to the British Army in Austria, believing they would join them and wage war against the Communists. However, British decided to forcibly repatriate them and their families to the Soviet Union, where many were promptly executed and the remainder were sent to Gulags including women and children. The Trevelyans survived the ordeal and Alec Trevelyan was born. Shortly afterward, however, his father committed murder-suicide; "unable to let himself or [Alec's] mother live with the shame of it". As with James Bond, Alec was now an orphan.
In one of life's ironies, the young Trevelyan was recruited by the British Secret Intelligence Service to be an agent of the government that had betrayed his parents. Although MI6 was aware of his background, they had reasoned that these events had happened so early in Trevelyan's life, that he would not be affected by them. Trevelyan rose through the ranks of MI6 to gain 00 status and the number 006. It was during this time that he became close friends with fellow MI6 agent 007, James Bond, as the two had been on numerous missions together, and shared everything. Trevelyan's skill set included stealth, manipulation, superb skills in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat, expert marksmanship and also a talent in several languages. However, Trevelyan continued to harbor resentment towards the British for their perceived betrayal and began plotting his revenge.
Faking his death
- "Closing time, James! Last call!"
"Buy me a pint."
- ― Alec Trevelyan and James Bond
In 1986, 006 is paired again with 007 and the two are tasked with destroying the Arkhangelsk chemical weapons facility. It is on this mission, conspiring with Soviet Colonel Arkady Ourumov, that Trevelyan stages his own death. In the course of the mission, the two are surrounded by Ourumov and his men into the main chamber of the facility and 006 is supposedly taken prisoner at gunpoint. Under the pretence of allowing Bond to surrender, Ourumov gives him ten seconds to come out. On reaching one, Alec is shot in the head. 007 manages to escape and succeeds in destroying the facility by setting limpet mines with a three minute fuse. Trevelyan had not anticipated that Bond would change the detonation fuse from the agreed upon six minutes. Although he narrowly escapes death, the right half his face is left horribly disfigured by the explosion.
Now supposedly dead, Trevelyan founds a criminal organization under the pseudonym of Janus (the two headed Roman god of beginnings and endings) and sets in motion a plan to take revenge against Britain. His scheme involves hijacking a secret Soviet space weapon, codenamed GoldenEye. With the weapon's control key in his possession and a duplicate control center in Cuba, Trevalyan plans to steal billions of dollars from the Bank of England and transfer the money to other organizations before erasing all of its financial records with an electromagnetic pulse generated by the GoldenEye satellite, concealing the theft and destroying Britain's economy.
Revealing himself to Bond
- "Hello James."
"Back from the dead. No longer just an anonymous star on the memorial wall of MI6. What's the matter James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?"
- ― Bond shocked by Trevelyan's reveal
Assigned to investigate the detonation of one of the two GoldenEye satellites triggered by General Ourumov and Trevelyan's henchwoman Xenia Onatopp, James Bond traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia in search of the culprits. To find Janus, Bond met mafia head and ex-KGB officer Valentin Zukovsky. Although not aware of Janus' identity, Zukovsky revealed to 007 that Janus is a Cossack of Lienz. Through his criminal ties, the gangster arranged a meeting for Bond at the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg. Janus sent Onatopp to dispose of the spy but Bond managed to overpower the sadomasochist assassin and forced her to bring him to Janus at a memorial park. As Bond walked through the relics of the collapsed Soviet Union, he was approached by Janus, who revealed himself to be Alec Trevelyan. Not believing his eyes, Bond lowered his weapon. Trevelyan sarcastically asked whether 007 would like to make his typical witty comeback, but the spy is too shocked. He explained his motivations and casually mentioned that he initially wanted to ask for Bond to join him, but deep down he knew that the British agent would be loyal to the United Kingdom and not to his friend. Furious and disappointed, Bond attempted to shoot Trevelyan; but was tranquilized before he could pull the trigger. 007 and Natalya Simonova, a witness to Trevelyan's scheme, were bound and placed inside the stolen helicopter rigged to destroy itself. Bond was able to eject both of them out of the helicopter before it exploded.
- "Good luck with the floor, James. I set the timers for six minutes... the same six minutes you gave me. It was the least I can do for a friend."
- ― Alec Trevelyan to James Bond
James Bond and Natalya Simonova were soon taken into custody by Russian soldiers. After attempting to frame Bond for the murder of the Russian Defence Minister Dmitri Mishkin, General Ourumov kidnapped Simonova and attempted to rendezvous at Trevelyan's Soviet Missile Train. Although pursued by 007 in a T-55 tank, Ourumov brought her aboard and the train departed. Trevelyan attempted to forcibly seduce Simonova, but was prevented by Bond's blockade of the track ahead. He ordered the driver to ram the tank, resulting in its derailing. Trevelyan recovered from the impact and attempted to reacquire his firearm, but was prevented by Bond, who held him at gunpoint. A standoff occured between 007 and Trevelyan, who had Ourumov bring Simonova to the cabin as a bargaining chip. Bond attempted to drive a wedge between Trevelyan and Ourumov by revealing his associate's Cossack heritage. Ourumov's hesitation allowed Bond to gain the upper hand; he shot the General to his death, while Trevelyan and Xenia Onatopp fled from the carriage and locked all doors. As the villains escaped by helicopter, they set the carriage to self-destruct with an ironic three-minute fuse.
- "England is about to learn the cost of betrayal. Inflation adjusted for 1945."
- ― Alec Trevelyan
Before escaping the train, James Bond and Natalya Simonova track Trevelyan to a hidden satellite control center in the jungles of Cuba. After having shot down the pair's plane with a missile, the criminal mastermind sent Xenia Onatopp to search for survivors but the assassin is ultimately killed by 007. Infiltrating the control facility, Bond and Simonova separate; with Bond attempting to plant explosives while Simonova hacks the GoldenEye's guidance systems. Shortly after completing their objectives they are captured and brought to Trevelyan. Using his experience as a 00 operative, he casually disarms Bond's limpet mines. Realizing that the GoldenEye is about to re enter earth's atmosphere, which would cause the satellite burn up upon resent, due to Simonova's hacking Trevelyan have his programmer Boris Grishenko hack back into the system but unbeknowst to him, Grishenko begins fumbling with an Explosive pen, which Bond had been provided with by Q Branch. He unwittingly detonates the pen, destroying part of the control room; providing Bond and Simonova with an opportunity to escape.
Final Showdown and Death
- "For England, James?"
"No. For me."
- ― Alec Trevelyan and James Bond
Leaving Boris Grishenko in the unenviable position of attempting to reverse Natalya Simonova's interference at gunpoint, Trevelyan proceeds to the Antenna itself to activate the satellite manually. James Bond pursues him but Alec corners him above the satellite dish and engages him in a frenzied fist-fight. Although the two seem evenly matched, Trevelyan quickly overpowers his enemy. Exhausted, bloodied and virtually disabled by the duel, Trevelyan goads to James that he was always a better fighter than him. However, Bond grabs hold of and triggers a folding escape ladder to avoid being shot. Meanwhile, Alec calls for a helicopter to collect him from the antenna. Trevelyan and Bond fought continuously, which ends with Trevelyan choking Bond, smiling maniacally. Just as the helicopter pilot is taken hostage by Simonova, Bond uses the distraction to out think and overpower Trevelyan. Losing his footing, Trevelyan fell but was grabbed by Bond.
In revenge for Trevelyan's callous betrayal, letting go of Trevelyan's boot, 007 sent his former friend plummeting to the dish below. Although barely clinging to life after the initial fall, the falling debris from the disintegrating structure above finished the job by crushing Trevelyan to death. Later, the entire base explodes, killing Grishenko and the rest of the Janus Crime Syndicate. This time, Trevelyan, double agent, evil genius and Bond's former friend and teammate stayed dead.
In 1986, after arranging to fake his death, Trevelyan was sent with James Bond to a dam near Archangel port in the Soviet Union that M had assigned them to investigate due to suspicions that it was a chemical weapons facility. Trevelyan entered a maintenance shaft to set up a base of operations for himself and 007. After Bond had eliminated the guards on top of the dam, they entered the facility and placing explosives until Trevelyan was caught by Colonel Ourumov, who pretended to kill him in front of 007, who detonated the charges early and fled the facility. This left Trevelyan with the left side of his face deformed, and caused him to take up the name Janus.
By 1995, Janus had established himself as a powerful crime boss in Russia, with his only competition being Valentin Zukovsky. Trevelyan then planned to steal most of the world's money by digitally transferring funds to other bank accounts, and wiping the records of the transaction by hitting the bank with the GoldenEye. He sent his Lieutenants Xenia Onatopp and Ourumov to collect and test the weapon, with the help of their inside man Boris Grishenko. After their destruction of the Severnaya GoldenEye facility, it was discovered that an additional technician survived the blast. Trevelyan ordered her capture, and she was eventually brought in after she had been seen working with 007.
He came to rescue her, and destroyed the train on which Trevelyan lived in the process. He took Trevelyan and Onatopp hostage, but Alec negotiated to be traded for the other technician, Natalya Simonova. In the process, he was forced to kill Ourumov, who began to question his alliance to Trevelyan after learning of his Cossack heritage. The distraction allowed Alec and Onatopp to escape and set the train to explode. They then fled to Havana, Cuba where Boris Grishenko was waiting for them in the control room of a new GoldenEye facility. There, after Grishenko had put the plan into effect, Trevelyan discovered that 007 and Simonova were trying to break in to the facility on security cameras. After capturing 007, he put his past SIS skills to work by disarming the mines that the agent had placed around the control room. 007 however, detonated an explosive pen that caused fuel tanks in the room to explode, and escaped to try and sabotage the satellite dish. The two fought one another for a while, but 007's bomb in the dish went off, throwing Trevelyan off balance. 007 caught him as he fell out of instinct before letting Alec fall. When Trevelyan awoke from the fall, he could tell he was near death, but it got much worse when a piece of shrapnel from the dish impaled him.
In the 1997 Nintendo N64 video-game, GoldenEye 007, Trevelyan plays a very similar role to that in the film. He once again meets with Bond in the Chemical Warfare Facility and is 'killed' by Ourumov. In the Statue Park, ex-KGB agent Valentin Zukovsky arranges Bond's meeting with Janus at the Statue of Lenin. Bond stands by the statue and is soon confronted by Trevelyan and his bodyguards, where the traitorous spy informs Bond of the British government's betrayal towards his parents and how he plans to take revenge.
Bond then finds out that Trevelyan had kidnapped Natalya Simonova and has left her by the stolen Pirate helicopter, which is primed to explode in three minutes time. Before Bond can kill Trevelyan, he runs away and his bodyguards attempt to stop Bond from pursuing him.
Trevelyan reappears aboard his Converted Missile Train along with Xenia Onatopp and General Ourumov (who is holding Natalya at gunpoint). Bond kills Ourumov and saves Natalya, but Trevelyan and Xenia take this opportunity to escape. Trevelyan then travels to Cuba and attacks Bond in both the Janus Control Centre and the Subterranean Caverns, but Natalya manages to redirect the GoldenEye's path of alignment away from London while Bond destroys the master control console. Trevelyan then climbs to the Antenna Cradle suspended high above the control centre, where a back-up control console is situated. The villain uses this to realign the GoldenEye in a final attempt to destroy London, but Bond reaches the cradle himself and destroys the console. He then engages in a fierce gunfight with Trevelyan and chases him throughout the cradle, finally confronting his former ally on a small round platform and killing him.
In the Facility level, if one were to shoot Trevelyan at any point after meeting with him, he begins to attack the player, saying "So, the golden boy is a traitor. How ironic James", revealing his plans. However, this causes the player to fail the mission.
Physical Appearance and Characteristics
- "You know, James, I was always better."
- ― Alec, thinking he won.
The former "00" underwent the standard MI6 training procedure while working for "Her Majesty's Secret Service" and was physically on par with Bond himself. Even nine years after defecting from MI6, Trevelyan still managed to keep his body at its physical peak. Due to the rigorous training placed upon him, he was in perfect physical condition and had superb aim and agility while also being able to carry himself as refined and elegant. Trevelyan was a skilled leader and able to take command of the Janus Crime Syndicate and also has strategic talents when it comes to making plans for the future. He also was a master manipulator who was able to orchestrate the GoldenEye project, blackmail Boris Grishenko into serving him, and convince General Ourumov, a high-ranking general in the Russian Military, into betraying his country.
Trevelyan was a cold-hearted psychopath. He was also immoral, resourceful, calculating, surreptitious and remarkably intelligent. Trevelyan had a dark, sarcastic and cynical sense of humor, going so far as to mock James for things he had already said - especially the things he said at the time that Trevelyan faked his own death. He was extremely sophisticated, in terms of speech, appearance, surroundings and equipment, his eccentricity only breaking at the time of his final confrontation with James Bond.
Trevelyan was cunning, pitiless and deceitful, with enough skill and confidence to double-cross his best friend and his employers at MI6 so that he could enact his revenge. He was extremely confident in his own talents, as he gloats to James that he was always better than him in a fight. In fact, he was able to estimate and factor in his former friend's moves, as when he realized that Bond had rigged the control room with explosives and then deactivated them with Bond's watch which was actually a detonator. Even when he was at the mercy of an enraged Bond, Alec still didn't beg for his life and smugly repeated his line "for England, James?", only for 007 to reply "no, for me", and simply let him fall to his death. Trevelyan was sadistic and immoral, taunting James about his scenario of 'Your friend, or the mission' when James confronts him on the train.
Trevelyan's dissonant serenity had limits: His self-control finally dissolves when his plans are foiled by Bond and Natalya, and he reacts violently to Boris Grishenko, going so far as to ruthlessly demand a soldier to kill Grishenko if he tried to escape. Also, he showed anger when participating in his shootout with Bond. This is possibly an element in his massive final fistfight with Bond, as both of them were on equal levels of anger and revenge, but Trevelyan still prevailed over pure skill and the will to turn on his old friend one last time.
Trevelyan was also an expert in hand to hand combat and was more than capable of holding his own against Bond during their climatic battle. His fighting style is based on cunning, stealth and psychological warfare. This is possibly due to his elite military training in advanced forms of unarmed combat and military strategy at MI6, and he possibly developed his skills even further over the next nine years and easily defeats Bond during their fight. He was also an expert with several firearms: He carries an AK-74 assault rifle during the assault on Arkhangelsk, and also wields a Davis Mp.4 k-9d Mk.9 automatic pistol during his duel with Bond, in contrast to 007's Walther PPK.
Trevelyan rather dramatically opted to dress himself in well tailored suits, mirroring 007's own tastes in fashion, although Trevelyan preferred darker colors. While Trevelyan was overseeing the Bank of England robbery, he wore a black combat suit similar to the one he wore during his 006 days.
When Trevelyan attempted to stage his own death at Arkhangelsk, the right side of his face was severely scarred in an explosion caused by Bond. This further deepened his hatred towards Bond, because Trevelyan believed that if Bond had set the detonation timers for six minutes instead of three, he would have escaped the facility unharmed. This further embittered him against Bond, but also inspired his code-name, Janus: The two-faced Roman god who rained fire down on those who betrayed him.
This, combined with his comments that his plan to destroy British electronic infrastructure and cripple the global economy as "the price of betrayal," shows that Trevelyan held a particular hatred of treachery--albeit a self-serving hatred, given that he had no qualms about betraying Bond at Arkhangelsk.
- "I might as well ask if all the vodka martinis ever silenced the screams of all the men you've killed, or if you ever found forgiveness in all those willing women for all of the dead ones you failed to protect."
- ― Alec Trevelyan to Bond
Despite that they were probably very good friends in the past, especially with Trevelyan mentioning to Simonova, that he and James shared absolutely everything with each another, he makes several, quite cutting, personal remarks aimed at Bond as a person. The above quote might have been a reference to Bond's wife, Teresa, who was tragically murdered on their wedding day in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but the subject is not touched on again. It was particularly effective because very few people have such knowledge of Bond's personal life, and coming from a man 007 once considered a close friend, it allowed it to cut deep. Earlier, he mockingly declared that no one but Moneypenny "and a few sad-eyed resteraunteurs" would attend Bond's memorial. This is a trait which had never been seen to such an extent in previous villains. Trevelyan also belittles Bond's devotion to duty, stating that he had even considered inviting James to join in his scheme, but didn't, guessing that he would prioritize loyalty to MI6 over friendship.
Henchmen & associates
Behind the scenes
Sean Bean had previously auditioned for the role of James Bond in The Living Daylights. Sam Neill was also considered as were Mel Gibson, Mark Greenstreet, Lambert Wilson, Antony Hamilton, Findlay Light and Andrew Clarke. In addition, Pierce Brosnan - who would eventually play 007 in GoldenEye opposite Bean - was offered the role, but lost out due to his contractual obligations to Remington Steele. Despite his performance, the choice of Sean Bean to play a character with this background creates something of an enigma. The events which precipitated the death of Trevelyan's parents would have been around fifty years before those of Goldeneye, while Bean would only have been in his mid-thirties, making the actor far younger than his character. Originally, he was originally scripted as "Augustus Trevelyan" and envisaged as an older character and a mentor figure to Bond. Anthony Hopkins and Alan Rickman were reportedly sought for the role but both turned it down. After this, the part was rewritten as Bond’s peer.
For the confrontation between Bond and Trevelyan inside the antenna cradle, director Martin Campbell decided to take inspiration from Bond's fight with Red Grant in From Russia with Love. Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean did all the stunts themselves, except for one take where one is thrown against the wall. Brosnan injured his hand while filming the extending ladder sequence, making producers delay his scenes and film the ones in Severnaya earlier.
Alec Trevelyan is believed to have been named after John Trevelyan (1903-1986), a former head of the then British Board of Film Censors. Under Trevelyan's stewardship, a number of the early Bond films had to have cuts to gain a A rating allowing for the film to be seen by children accompanied by an adult, as opposed to an X rating that would limit viewership to over 16s.
Allegedly, a version of Alec Trevelyan was considered by producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson to be brought back as a reoccurring antagonist during Daniel Craig's tenure as Bond. A new version of Trevelyan would eventually face Daniel Craig's Bond in the video game GoldenEye 007.
- Alec Trevelyan is one of the very few Bond villains with convoluted and/or compelling personalities, as well as motivations and opinions that the audience can understand and relate to.
- Alec Trevelyan is the first in a hugely developing series of villains in the James Bond franchise with proper motivations and genuine personalities as opposed to megalomaniacal lust and are considered more modern and realistic than previous main antagonists.
- Trevelyan's death scene is considered the greatest death of a Sean Bean character in film.
- Trevelyan was the only 00 agent (other than Bond himself) to have a substantial role in a Bond film, which includes a sizable screen and speaking time, until the debut of Lashana Lynch's Nomi in 2021's No Time to Die. Prior to that, the only other 00 agent to have had any amount of screen time in a Bond film was Octopussy's 009, portrayed by stuntman Andy Bradford. Apart from seeing the back of their heads or shortly before they are killed and/or dead already (Thunderball, A View to a Kill, and The Living Daylights), other 00 agents are rarely seen and only spoken of.