News:
Section: Villains
Name: Dr. No (Wiseman, Joseph)

Plot:
To topple U.S. missiles during launches.

Background:
Son of a Western missionary and a Chinese mother, he was outcast because of his hand-handicap. He became trusted by the Chinese Tong crime syndicate, but then betrayed it, escaping to the West with four million dollars worth of its gold. Neither the West nor the USSR had any use for his services.

Employer:
S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

How Killed:
Boiled to death by a nuclear reactor after a fight with Bond (although the environmental disaster would have likely caused his demise anyway).

Comments:
Dr. No isn't really larger than life -- he is one of the more subtle Bond villains. His character is rare in that his background and plot are unlikely, but not implausible. Moreover, Wiseman excels in suggesting at a deeper psychological insecurity on the part of No, something that is manifest in his attempt to gain approval from Bond. Moreover, he does not pursue his attempt to woo 007 irrationally, nor does he reveal all the details of his plan in an extravagant manner.

That said, Dr. No had his flaws. He runs a nuclear reactor with such lax environmental controls that it actually draws attention; ironic, because the only conceivable reason one would want a nuclear reactor is to avoid the attention a large coal or oil power plant would attract. This is assuming S.P.E.C.T.R.E. isn't trying to get a two-fer and build nuclear weapons on site. For no apparent reason, his compound has a luxury prison that even the U.S. Federal Government would envy, and he foolishly agitates Bond with threats to Honey -- ruining the dinner he worked so hard to arrange.

One may either read Dr. No as one of the most cleverly written Bond villain of all, with plans within plans and as the rising star of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., or as something less. The more likely scenario seems to be the latter. A lack of screen time stopped Dr. No from confirming our suspicions: that he was a clever but petty man who grasped at more than he could hold on to.

Ultimately, in the pantheon of Bond villains, he doesn't jump to the mind as the most memorable.



Verdict:
3.0/4.0

Also in the Dr. No dossier:   Allies | Gadgets | Girls | Pictures | Reviews | Villains
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