Bounder and a spy
- IPL spot-fixing: Chennai Super Kings owner's kin under police scanner
- IPL 2013 LIVE SCORE: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals
- Jessica Lall murder: Actor Shayan Munshi, ballistic expert Manocha to face perjury trial
- BJP tears into UPA govt on 4th anniversary, says it lacks leadership
- BCCI was forced to encash Pune Warriors' bank guarantee: Sanjay Jagdale
'Skyfall' returns to an older Bond, forged in the crucible of early-20th-century conflict
Picture Killarney, a town in Ireland. William Melville, the baker's son is going about his deliveries. Until one day when his pony and cart are found outside the station. There is no sign of William.
Cut to fog-shrouded London in 1872, where he resurfaces as a policeman. Melville may have remained a constable all his life if not for the Fenians, a group of Irish nationalists. Taking advantage of the newly invented dynamite, they launched a bombing campaign in London. Melville, as an Irishman, was a natural pick for the new outfit to infiltrate terrorist cells. He burst into the public eye when he foiled the "Jubilee Plot", a Fenian plan to assassinate Queen Victoria and the entire British cabinet by bombing Westminster Abbey during the monarch's jubilee celebrations. In 1903 he resigned, to everyone's surprise. In reality, he had been recruited into the nascent secret service bureau. To protect his cover, Melville simply used his initial — M. And thus a legend was born, the "monogrammatic superior" of all field agents.
M is also at the heart of the new Bond film Skyfall. The tensions between an agent and his superior are a rich source of drama. Skyfall's plot hinges on exposing intelligence agents in terror organisations. But terrorists have been present from the start in Bond's genetic makeup — foreigners out to imperil the Sceptred Isle. Bond villains are usually the fears of the ruling elite made flesh.
The early 20th century is a time when "fretful dreams settle upon the empire's brow", as Alan Moore puts it. A "peer competitor" was emerging — Germany. As both sides began a massive armament programme, gathering military intelligence became vital. The British government sanctioned 19 military intelligence units — of which MI5 and MI6 are the only ones known to have survived. Melville was locked in a struggle with his opposite number, German spy-chief Gustav Steinhauer.
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow