HMS Bedford is a fictional Type 23 frigate and flagship of the British Royal Navy. Commanded by Admiral Kelly, she played a pivotal role in the sinking of Elliot Carver's Stealth Ship during an international crisis in the South China Sea. The vessel appeared in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, as well as its accompanying novelisation.
HMS Bedford serves as the British flagship during a hostile standoff with the Chinese Navy in the South China Sea; prompted by the sinking of her sister ship, HMS Devonshire. The real orchestrator of the international crisis - media mogul, Elliot Carver - attempts to instigate conflict between the fleets by firing missiles at each of the flagships from his undetectable Stealth Ship. Thanks to the work of MI6 and the Chinese Intelligence Service, the Bedford receives an urgent message from the Admiralty ordering the fleet to search for the Stealth Ship, which is subsequently made visible to radar after James Bond breaches its hull with an improvised explosive device. With the radar contact too weak for a missile lock, the Bedford opens fire on the fleeing craft with its 4.5 inch naval gun. 007 completely destroys the vessel by sabotaging a stolen cruise missile on-board. The Bedford and its crew are subsequently seen searching for Bond among the wreckage.
The vessel also appears in Raymond Benson's accompanying novelisation of the film, which closely follows Bruce Feirstein's original screenplay. There are several noticable differences: in the novelization, the Bedford responds to Carver's phony Chinese missile launch by turning the task group towards the Chinese and firing a single Harpoon anti-ship missile as a warning. After detecting Carver's Stealth Ship, Admiral Kelly reports to the Admiralty seeking permission to blow it out of the water, which is enthusiastically provided by Admiral Roebuck. With ten miles between the pursuing Bedford and now-visible Stealth Ship, Carver orders his crew to fire on the flagship with anti-ship missiles. The ship is successful in shooting down the first incoming missile, but is struck near the stern by the second. With no casualties, the ship is forced to slow to five knots; providing an explanation as to how Carver's ship could feasibly out-run the British fleet. After critically damaging the ship and sabotaging its propulsion systems, Bond and Wai Lin flee the ship before it is sunk by shell-fire from the Bedford.
- Admiral Kelly
- Unnamed / James McMahon ... Captain
- Unnamed ... Principal Warfare Officer
- Unnamed ... Air Warfare Officer
Behind the scenes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Tomorrow Never Dies, Raymond Benson, Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, Bay of the Descending Dragon.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 TYPE 23 FRIGATE, royalnavy.mod.uk, accessed: 8th May 2018
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Tomorrow Never Dies, Raymond Benson, Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, Shadow on the Sea.
- ↑ Tomorrow Never Dies, Raymond Benson, Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, Crisis Time.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Tomorrow Never Dies, Raymond Benson, Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, Tomorrow’s News.