The St. Georges (Registration: VA402) was a fictional clandestine British electronic surveillance ship, disguised as an innocuous-looking Maltese fishing trawler. The vessel holds the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), a system used by the Ministry of Defence to communicate with and co-ordinate the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris submarines. The St. Georges appeared in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only, along with Marvel Comics' accompanying comic book.
At the beginning of For Your Eyes Only, the St. Georges is stationed in the Ionian Sea, trawling off the coast of Albania. In the lower hull of the boat is a sealed control room containing electronic surveillance equipment and the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), a system used by the Ministry of Defence to communicate with and co-ordinate the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris submarines. While the ship's decoy fishing crew hauls in a net, they accidentally bring with it an old anti-warship mine which explodes, sinking the vessel and drowning the crew before they can trigger the ATAC's self-destruct mechanism. A hunt for the St. Georges and the ATAC ensues, with the British Secret Service dispatching underwater archaeologist, Timothy Havelock to find the ship. Meanwhile, their Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union's KGB contact Aris Kristatos, who it is implied sank the St. Georges, to acquire the transmitter. After Kristatos has Havelock assassinated by a hitman, the British send James Bond to investigate.
Bond accidentally makes contact with Havelock's vengeful daughter, Melina, and travels to the Havelock's yacht where the dead man's journal suggests he had been diving in an unusual underwater location. The pair travel there in her father's mini-submarine and find the St. Georges. The enter the wreck and discover that the ATAC's explosive charge had been armed, but failed to be detonated by the crew. As Bond disarms the charge and extracts the transmitter from its housing, the pair are attacked by one of Kristatos' men in a JIM suit. After a struggle, 007 manages to escape and kill the diver by attaching the magnetic thermite charge to the JIM suit, arming the timing mechanism, which subsequently detonates. The pair flee the sunken ship with the ATAC transmitter and return to the surface.
Behind the scenes
For the spy ship and fishing trawler, the St. Georges, a combination of on-location filming, interior sets and scale miniatures were used. Production of For Your Eyes Only began on 2 September 1980 in the North Sea, with three days shooting exterior scenes with the vessel. The interiors were shot later in Pinewood Studios, as well as the ship's explosion, which was done with a miniature in Pinewood's water tank on the 007 Stage, one of the largest tanks in Europe. The St Georges trawler miniature was around 25 feet long (7.62m) and constructed by Terry reed and his associates.
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