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Tomorrow Never Dies (BW Small) FilmNovelisationGameSoundtrackSongCharactersReleases

"It won't look like a suicide if you shoot me from over there."
"I am a professor of forensic medicine. Believe me, Mr. Bond, I could shoot you from Stuttgart und still create the proper effect.
James Bond and Dr. Kaufman[src]

Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth James Bond film made by EON Productions, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. It was released in 1997, by producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and was also the first Bond film made after the death of veteran producer Albert R. Broccoli. The film is dedicated to his memory, and beginning with this production and in each subsequent Bond film, the first credit reads: "Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions Limited presents..."; the word "Limited" was removed in the later films.

Plot Summary[]

Russian Border and South China Sea[]

The film begins at a terrorist arms bazaar somewhere on the Russian border. MI6, with Russian permission, has sent James Bond near the arms bazar to survey trades and purchases by the terrorists. 007 has set up cameras and one terrorist named Satoshi Isagura is identified. Another, Henry Gupta, is spotted with a stolen American GPS encoder. Upon viewing the range of arms, and over M's objections that the 00 Agent has not completed his reconnaissance, Admiral Roebuck orders a missile strike upon the position. However, it later transpires that the terrorists have a Soviet military jet with two nuclear torpedoes. Realizing the missile strike could detonate the torpedoes or at least cause an environmental disaster, M demands the launched missile be aborted, but it is out of range of the launching ship's signals. Bond, using diversionary tactics, steals the plane with the torpedoes and escapes the missile strike as does Gupta with the GPS encoder.

The encoder is later used by corrupt media mogul Elliot Carver as an attempt to provoke conflict between the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom as method to gain broadcasting rights in China. The encoder is used to send a British frigate, the HMS Devonshire, off course in the South China Sea where Carver's own stealth ship, sinks it while also shooting down a Chinese fighter plane. When the survivors of the sunken frigate are found to have been killed using Chinese ammunition, a Royal Navy task group is sent to the region.


As tensions between the two countries mount, Bond is sent by M to investigate Carver after MI6 identifies a spurious signal sent from one of Carver's communications satellites at the time the warship was sunk. During the investigation, Bond seduces Carver's wife, his old flame Paris Carver and as a result of which her husband orders her death. Meanwhile, Bond encounters Chinese secret agent Wai Lin. Bond fights off Carver's men, drives off his new car and finally crashes it in an auto shop.

South China Sea[]

Bond meets his old CIA ally Jack Wade and a GPS expert. The scientist tells them that the encounter was tampered with and Bond request Wade to use US military gear so he can perform a HALO jump near the sunken frigate. Greenwalt, the expert, finally identifies the Royal Navy ship sunk in Vietnamese waters. As Bond finds a missile missing from the frigate, he encounters Wai Lin again. The pair however are captured by Stamper, Carver's right-hand thug as they surface.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)[]

Let him rip

Bond and Wai-Lin escape Carver in Saigon.

They are taken to Carver's headquarters in Saigon. The media mogul reveals his plan, stating he will attack Beijing and General Chang will take over the government. He then remarks that Bond and Wai Lin will get tortured by Stamper. Bond and Wai Lin manage to escape and after a furious chase across the city, they take a shower. Wai Lin, not trusting the SIS agent, handcuffs him to a pipe and runs to a MSS safehouse. There, she fights off several thugs sent by General Chang, Carver's Chinese colleague. Bond saves her life and and she works on a computer to find Carver's ship while Bond finds weapons and gadgets made by the MSS so he and Wal Lin can end this.

Finding and Destroying Carver's ship[]

The two plant explosives on the exterior hull, however, Wai Lin is spotted and captured. Bond fights off Stamper's men then plants a grenade secured in a glass jar inside. He holds Gupta hostage and tells Carver he wants to make a trade: Gupta for Wai Lin. However, a deadly fight ensues. As Bond's clever explosive detonates to start the battle, HMS Bedford spots it on its radar and the Admiral of the taskforce orders it to be shelled -- the radar signal is too weak for a missile launch. Carver orders his ship to increase speed, which results in it to sail faster than the Bedford. Wai Lin heads to the engine room and manages to destroy all systems, however, Stamper captures her once again. Bond ultimately kills Carver with his own Sea Drill and while he attempts to destroy the stolen missile, Stamper reveals a chained up Wai Lin and lowers her into the water. The villain assaults Bond, seeking revenge for Dr. Kaufman and Stamper though eventually Bond manages to kill him with the blast of the missile. Bond saves Wai Lin and Bedford searches for them though Bond tells his Chinese ally to ignore it.

Cast and Characters[]


CMGN Executives[]

HMS Devonshire crew[]

HMS Bedford crew[]

HMS Chester crew[]

Terrorists at arms bazaar on the Russian border[]




See: Tomorrow Never Dies (soundtrack)

Vehicles & Gadgets[]

Main articles: List of James Bond vehicles and List of James Bond gadgets

  • Aero L-39 Albatros - jet at the arms bazaar that's carrying two Soviet SB-5 nuclear torpedos. Bond hijacks it to get it out of the terrorist hands and prevent the incoming Royal Navy cruise missile from exploding the L-39's nuclear payload.
  • Aston Martin DB5 - Seen at the university, Bond uses it to drive to the Ministry of Defence headquarters.
  • BMW R1200 motorcycle - Stolen in Saigon, Vietnam, for a chase, ridden by both James Bond and Wai Lin.
  • BMW 750i - Used in Germany, the car has a security system disallowing access without first being disarmed via the mobile telephone; the glove box security system is fingerprint-controlled. Armament includes sunroof rockets, deployable caltrops (out of the rear bumper), re-inflatable tyres, and a wire-cutter hidden under the BMW logo on the hood. The car may be remotely operated via Bond's mobile phone. The vehicle itself is actually a 740i model re-badged as a 750.
  • Ericsson JB988 mobile telephone - Has several functions: a stun gun, a fingerprint scanner, an electronic lockpick, and a remote-control for the BMW 750i, with a small LCD screen for seeing the roadway when operating remotely.
  • Omega scuba diver's wristwatch - Taken from a Chinese safehouse, used to remotely break a glass jar holding a hand grenade.
  • Walther P99 - Taken from the same Chinese safehouse in Saigon, Bond replaces his trademark Walther PPK with the Walther P99. Since the Tomorrow Never Dies Bond has used the Walther P99 in every subsequent film until Quantum of Solace.
  • Gerber Mark 1 - A boot knife that Bond wears on his upper left chest as a backup. He stabs Mr. Stamper with it shortly before chaining him to the firing mechanism of the stealth boat's onboard missiles.
  • Paper fan - in the Chinese MSS safehouse in Saigon. Bond opens a paper fan and the darts strike a dummy.
  • Wooden Basket - in the Chinese MSS safehouse in Saigon. Wai Lin pushes a hidden button or lever so it strikes one of the thugs that attacked her.

In 1997, BMW offered a special promotion where the 750i and the R1200 could be purchased for $149,000 CAD.


Film locations[]

  • London, England
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Saigon, Vietnam
  • South China Sea
  • Somewhere near the Russian border. - A terrorist arms bazaar takes place here during the films opening sequence.

Shooting locations[]

  • Pinewood Studios / Albert R. Broccoli's 007 Stage
  • Frogmore Studios, Hertfordshire
  • HMS Dryad, Royal Navy training establishment, for interior filming of Type 23 frigates.
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Oxford, England
  • IBM building, Middlesex, England, used as set for the headquarters of Elliot Carver's media group.
  • RAF Lakenheath, what was described as "U.S. Airbase in South China Sea" was actually filmed at the USAF base in Suffolk, hence the LN markings on the F-15s
  • Bangkok, Thailand, used as a stand-in for Saigon, Vietnam. The Vietnamese government refused filming in Vietnam, and Bangkok was used as a last-minute shooting location.
  • Phuket, Thailand, the chain of islands were used in a previous Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun — the location doubled for a chain of volcanic islands off the Vietnamese coast.
  • Fox Baja Studios, Mexico — Stealth ship and British fleet exterior sequences (studio was built for the previous movie shot there, Titanic).
  • Stansted Airport, Essex Titan Airways Hanger Stansted Airport. Used during the testing of Bond's new BMW where Q tries to explain the fundamentals of driving using the mobile phone.


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  • Upon seeing a several stories-tall images of Elliot Carver adorning his skyscraper, Bond remarks that Carver, "...appears to have developed an edifice complex." This line makes a play on the well-known "Oedipus complex" phrase, but the proper diagnosis for someone like Carver would be having a Narcissus complex, an extreme personality disorder of which intense self-worship and undue self-esteem are the primary symptoms.
  • The film was adapted into a video game released for the Sony PlayStation in 1999. Unlike the previous title GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64, it is a 3rd-Person Shooter game instead of 1st. It did not quite receive as much acclaim among fans.
  • It has been suggested that the character of Elliot Carver is (very loosely) based on Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation exerts power across many continents, and to some degree, Charles Foster Kane (portrayed by Orson Welles) from Citizen Kane, not to mention media magnate Ted Turner.
  • A business report from one of Carver's executives about "releasing software full of bugs which will force users to upgrade for years" is a shot against Microsoft and co-founder Bill Gates.
  • When filming began, the script wasn't actually finished. Pierce Brosnan even quipped, "We had a script that was not functioning in certain areas".
  • During the Carver Satellite launching party scene, a jazz instrumental of the 1924 song "It Had to Be You" could be briefly heard. Coincidentally, the song's title corresponds with James Bond's reunion with Paris Carver after a long while.
  • The film was originally titled Tomorrow Never Lies, a reference to Elliott Carver's newspaper Tomorrow. However, it was then the subject of a typo and the producers liked the alternate title so much they adopted it.
  • First James Bond film since The Living Daylights to have the entire productions being worked in Pinewood Studios.[1]
  • This was the final Bond film-to-date to be released directly through United Artists; parent company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer would assume co-production and distribution beginning with the next film.
  • This is the first James Bond film of which both the title and the main storyline completely have no relations to the life and previous works of Bond creator Ian Fleming. The only link to previous Bond works in this film is, en route to the final battle, Bond and Wai Lin pass the Phang Nga Bay Island, which was previously set as the hideout of Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, but this location featured in none of Fleming's original novels or short stories.
  • Teri Hatcher's scenes had to be filmed quickly because she found out she was pregnant a few days after she got the part.
  • A March 10, 1997 report in the New York Daily News on the production of the as-yet untitled film (then being referred to as Bond 18) indicated that several titles were being considered for the film, including: Shamelady, Avatar, Shatterhand, Zero Windchill and the title considered most likely — Tomorrow Never Dies.[2] The rumored title Shatterhand is interesting as this is the alias used by Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Ian Fleming's original novel of You Only Live Twice which, like Tomorrow Never Dies, also has strong oriental ties.
  • Teri Hatcher accepted the role of Paris Carver simply to fulfill her husband's dream of being married to a Bond Girl.
  • Several inconsistencies exist in the representation of the Royal Navy. Type 23 frigates do not carry land attack cruise missiles as depicted in the first moments of the film; the missile that is fired is fitted to Type 23s but is the Harpoon anti-shipping missile. The encounter with the stealth ship is also of poetic licence as lookouts would be posted on deck, in the real world an aircraft carrier would also have been present in the task group, and a wealth of options to engage the stealth ship would have been open to the task group commander. (This stems from only one ship model being built for the movie to save costs and time.) Rather than shelling the stealth ship, he could have also used a helicopter, both systems being carried by Type 23 frigates.
    • The Harpoon launch footage described above was used again in Die Another Day as a supposed anti-satellite missile launch.
  • This is the first Bond film where Bond switches to the newer Walther P99 until Daniel Craig appeared and reverted to the iconic Walther PPK in the pre-credit scenes.
  • According to Pierce Brosnan in an interview published in the December 2005 issue of Playboy, Monica Bellucci tested for the role of Paris Carver. Daphne Deckers, who portrays the PR Lady, later confirmed this at the premiere of Spectre in Amsterdam. She saw Bellucci the same day she herself auditioned. Bellucci went on to star in Spectre.
  • Paris Carver asks, "Tell me, James, do you still sleep with a gun under your pillow?" Bond indeed did so again in Die Another Day which revealed him at a 00 agent just like in this movie.
  • The Phang Nga filming location in Thailand was substituted for Ha Long Bay as named in the film. That location was previously film for The Man with the Golden Gun. Today, it is famously known as James Bond Island.
  • The third and final Bond film to show Bond in his Royal Navy uniform. Here, he not only has his Commander stripes but the insignia of Fleet Air Arm Aviator (indicating he must have served in the FAA). He also has a Parachutist Badge with wings (which indicating that as a Royal Navy personnel he was awarded as part of a Special Forces parachutist course). Bond's decorations again differ from You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me. Here they are: Order of the British Empire (OBE), Distinguish Service Cross, Campaign Service Medal (1962), UN Former Republic of Yugoslavia Medal, NATO medal for Former Yugoslavia and, Rhodesia medal. The second row medals could also be the United Nations Medal (UNTSO), South Atlantic Medal.


See Tomorrow Never Dies (novelisation)

External links[]