‘There’s no need to hurry; we have all the time in the world’ – a line delivered with such emotion at the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that it’s difficult to believe the second James Bond never had a chance to reprise the role.
Controversial in many ways, OHMSS could have been the breaking of the Bond franchise: George Lazenby was drafted in to replace Sean Connery, and received mixed reviews when the film was released in time for Christmas 1969.For a new start, 007 received a new Aston Martin company car – and the William Towns’ DBS worked well with the overblown production values that make OHMSS so memorable. Unlike in Goldfinger and Thunderball, where the Aston packed more weaponry than a Mafia convention, there were no such tricks in OHMSS. Its two appearances were as cameos – Bond was seen beach-drifting in the pre-title sequence, and then it was used as his wedding car at the end. Given the film’s raison d’être was to introduce the new Bond and was basically a melancholy tale, failing to stock the DBS with anything other than a bespoke glovebox added weight to the film.
However, just like Brosnan’s Die Another Day, as well as Casino Royale in 2006, Ford used the film to showcase its new products. 007’s soon-to-be wife Teresa (memorably played by Diana Rigg) outwitted Blofeld’s thugs (why do bad guys always drive a Mercedes-Benz?) in the snow using her new Mercury Cougar. And that was before she’d seen off a fleet of suspiciously new Ford Escorts on a Swiss ice racing circuit. As you do.
The passage of time has been very kind to car and film. Considered gauche and under-engined in the late-1960s, the DBS looks fantastic now.By the time OHMSS hit the screens, Aston Martin was in financial trouble, and it would be the company’s last Bond outing until deep into the 1980s. Troubled times lay ahead and Bond was starting to look like an anachronism. What he needed was a more suitable car.
Aston Martin DB5 - Goldfinger
Totota 2000GT - You Only Live Twice
Aston Martin DBS - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Lotus Esprit - The Spy Who Loved Me
Lotus Esprit Turbo - For Your Eyes Only
Citroen 2CV - For Your Eyes Only
Aston Martin V8 Vantage - The Living Daylights
Aston Martin Vanquish - Die Another Day
Aston Martin DBS - Quantum of Solace