General Alexei / Anatoly Gogol (In Russian: Анатолий / Алексис Гоголь) was the fictional head of the KGB and later a representative of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Portrayed by late German actor Walter Gotell, the recurring character first appeared in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me and went on to appear in Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), and The Living Daylights (1987). The character also appeared in the 1986 James Bond 007 tabletop role-playing game.
The Spy Who Loved Me
Despite the popular assumption about the James Bond series' Cold War focus, Gogol is never depicted as a true villain. At his most hostile, he is a respectful competitor and more often is an ally against the common foes of peace. His first appearance is in The Spy Who Loved Me, where he is seen sending Anya Amasova to recover an important roll of microfilm.
Gogol is seen next in Moonraker, talking to USAF Colonel Scott over the telephone about Hugo Drax's space station. He tells the Americans it is not a Soviet station and that they would investigate it themselves after the US had intercepted it. Colonel Scott apologizes for calling Gogol at a bad time due to the time differences, but Gogol says there is nothing to apologize over, as "problems in Russia keep him awake", just as he is seen with an attractive Russian woman in a nightgown.
For Your Eyes Only
In For Your Eyes Only, Gogol wants to buy an ATAC communicator from Aristotle Kristatos, after the ship carrying it is sunk in an accident. Kristatos recovers the unit and arranges a sale at his private headquarters, but Gogol arrives there just as Bond and his allies are going after Kristatos for the murders he has committed to retrieve the device. When Bond throws it off a cliff, Gogol is initially dismayed but keeps his guard from shooting Bond; as Bond notes that his actions maintain détente, Gogol chuckles as he acknowledges Bond's observation that the machine's destruction allows the nations to remain in their relatively peaceful status quo. The assistant of General Gogol, appearing briefly in For Your Eyes Only, is called Rubelvitch, a wordplay on the name Moneypenny.
In Octopussy, when General Orlov proposes invading the West, Gogol is the loudest voice opposing the reckless plan, asserting both the danger of provoking a nuclear war and that the USSR wants peace, not war. Gogol's investigations of Orlov's scheme to weaken NATO's defence runs parallel to Bond's, but his subordinates' unauthorized fatal shooting of the traitor prevents him from learning the full details of his plot and warning NATO, though Bond is able to stop Orlov's plan on his behalf, and later appears before M to inform him that his government will deny the incident and request that Bond return their treasure Romanov Star that he has in his possession which Orlov previously stole.
A View to A Kill
In A View to A Kill, Gogol in first seen in France. He reprimands Max Zorin, an erstwhile KGB agent, for killing 007 without the KGB's approval beforehand. Zorin thinks of himself as no longer part of the KGB. Gogol also learns of Operation Main Strike, and demands Zorin stop at once.
When Zorin defies the order to stop his plan, Gogol sends KGB agent Pola Ivanova to see what Zorin is up to. When Pola meets Bond, she tries to take the tape from him and give it to Gogol. Gogol is embarrassed that Pola got the wrong tape.
At the end of the film, Gogol awards Bond the Order of Lenin for foiling Zorin's plan to destroy Silicon Valley, stating that Bond was the first non-Soviet citizen to receive it and that the KGB has its own heart of operations producing their own technology at Silicon Valley (being awarded this medal contradicts a statement in the novel Goldfinger that stated that people in the British Secret Service could not accept awards from foreign services, no matter how friendly (such as the CIA). However, Bond may not have accepted the award, and the Russians may have insisted he was awarded it anyway, whether he'd accepted the medal or not.)
The Living Daylights
In The Living Daylights, Gogol is mentioned as having retired from the KGB and his position being succeeded by General Pushkin, He is only seen in the end, as a diplomat in the Foreign Ministry. He attends Kara Milovy's concert with M, offering Milovy a visa which would allow her to leave the Eastern bloc at will.
Awards & Decorations
- Hero of the Soviet Union: Gogol was awarded the honorary title 'Hero of the Soviet Union' for heroic acts for state and society three times. Gogol got several privileges by getting this title.
- Order of Lenin: The highest civilian order (though also awarded to military personnel) was awarded four times to Gogol.
- Order of the Red Banner: This order was awarded to Gogol three times for heroism in combat or long service in the armed forces.
- Order of Kutuzov (First Class): This order was awarded to Gogol four times for his outstanding military leadership.
- Order of Glory: This order was awarded to Gogol two times for his military actions against the enemy. He most likely earned it during the second world war.
- Order of Alexander Nevsky: This order of merit was twice awarded to Gogol because of personal courage and resolute leadership as an officer of the army.
- Walter Gotell has been in seven James Bond films; in addition to his appearances as General Gogol, he appeared in From Russia with Love (1963) as Morzeny.
- Initially the character of Gogol was to play a larger role in The Living Daylights, being the Soviet diplomat who James Bond faked assassinating in Tangiers. Due to Gotell's health the scenes were passed to General Pushkin.
- The character's last name is perhaps a nod to the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol.
- In A View to a Kill, Zorin's cheque to Stacey Sutton is dated May 1985.
- The name 'Alexis' is provided in the film The Spy Who Loved Me, c.53 min. It is also used in related materials such as the tabletop role-playing game (see villains mission sheet). 'Anatol' used during end credits of The Living Daylights.