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Moonraker was a radio drama adaptation of Ian Fleming's 1955 novel that first aired on March 31st 2018 on the BBC's main spoken-word channel, Radio 4.[1] The second of two radio adaptations of Moonraker, it is the seventh of nine new James Bond radio plays produced by the station and starred Toby Stephens as the titular character for the seventh time.

Plot

The radio drama adaptation of Moonraker begins with a speech given by Sir Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, detailing the construction of the "Moonraker", Britain's first nuclear missile project, constructed by multi-millionaire businessman Sir Hugo Drax and ostensibly intended to defend Britain against its Cold War enemies. In London, James Bond is briefed by his superior, M and quartermaster, Q, and is asked to join him at M's club, Blades. M suspects Drax is cheating, and is concerned as to why a wealthy national hero would cheat. Bond confirms Drax's deception and turns the tables—aided by a pack of stacked cards—and wins £15,000. The next morning, Bond is informed by M of the suspicious death of a security officer overseeing the "Moonraker" project. After conversing with Churchill, M assigns Bond to replace him and investigate the events at the missile base, located near Dover on the south coast of England. To prepare him, Bond is given a 'crash course' in ballistic rocketry by Professor Train, a physicist and runner-up for the Nobel Prize the year before.

On arrival at the rocket site, 007 is introduced to the German staff working on the project, along with Gala Brand, a beautiful police Special Branch officer working undercover as Drax's personal assistant. He is given a tour of the facility and during his first evening at the facility catches Drax's assistant, Krebs, snooping through his room. Bond subsequently uncovers clues concerning his predecessor's death, concluding that the man may have been killed for witnessing a submarine off the coast. Later, as they swim beneath the Dover cliffs, Bond and Brand are nearly killed in an assassination attempt which triggers a landslide. On returning to the base, they find Drax and his aides dining; Brand makes the observation that the table had been laid for only three people. Drax takes Brand to London, where she discovers the truth about the Moonraker by comparing her own launch trajectory figures with those in a notebook picked from Drax's pocket. Attempting to return the book, she is spotted by Krebs, is knocked unconscious, and finds herself captive in Drax's Central London property; surrounded with equipment intended to serve as a beacon for the missile's guidance system.

Drax and Krebs attempt to take Brand back to the Moonraker facility, but notice Bond tailing them. Krebs boards an adjacent lorry, carrying rolls of newspaper sheet, and unfastens its cargo. Their subsequent collision with 007's Bentley results in Bond being taken prisoner. At the launch site, Drax tells Bond that his real name is Graf Hugo von der Drache, a former German commando. Whilst operating behind enemy lines in British uniform, Drax was accidentally attacked by German aircraft and was rescued by the British, who assumed him to be one of their own. While recovering in hospital he feigned amnesia and assumed a new British identity. Drax remains a dedicated Nazi, bent on revenge against England for the wartime defeat of his Fatherland and explains that he now means to destroy London, with a Soviet-supplied nuclear warhead that has been secretly fitted to the Moonraker. Brand and Bond are imprisoned where the blast from the Moonraker's engines will incinerate them. The couple escape and hide in the silo's ventilation ducts. Brand gives Bond the proper coordinates to redirect the gyros and send the Moonraker into the sea. Drax and his henchman attempt to escape by Russian submarine — only to be killed as the vessel flees through the waters onto which the Moonraker has been re-targeted. After their debriefing at headquarters, Bond meets up with Brand, expecting her company; but they part ways after she reveals that she is engaged to a fellow Special Branch officer.

Cast

References

  1. "Moonraker". Retrieved on 30 March 2018. 
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