Sadly, just as not every Bond film can be a Goldfinger, not every Bond villain can be a Scaramanga. Several of the threats that Bond has faced during his illustrious career are about as threatening as a ride on the Teacups and instil about as much fear as a three month old kitten. Here, then, are The Watchers' 10 Worst Bond Villains.
1. GUSTAV GRAVES
(played by Toby Stephens in Die Another Day)
As written, Graves comes across as a bland posh boy whose utter arrogance comes across as deeply annoying. That's before you factor in the bizarre gene therapy and space laser stuff. Stephens sadly can't do much to redeem such a fundamentally unlikeable character.
2. KAMAL KHAN
(played by Louis Jourdan in Octopussy)
When we were coming up with this countdown, we were both unable to remember this character's name- so we called him 'the villain from Octopussy'. When the best you can come up with is a vague description of a character, it doesn't bode well.
3. CARL STROMBERG
(played by Curt Jurgens in The Spy Who Loved Me)
It's a shame that The Spy Who Loved Me- such a strong film- is cursed with such a weak villain. Stromberg's plan is standard nuclear apocalypse fare and the underwater lair seems ridiculous- even if we do get the underwater Lotus as a result.
4. DR. JULIUS NO
(played by Joseph Wiseman in Dr. No)
Whilst not as bad as some other portrayals in the 1960s (Mickey Rooney in Breakfast At Tiffany's, I'm looking at you) there's something slightly racist about the portrayal of No in the film- he is half-Chinese, half-German- which severely colours any attempts at making him a credible villain.
5. ERNST STAVRO BLOFELD
(played by Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever)
Gray is an exceptional character actor, but sadly his performance as Blofeld is flawed. He just doesn't have the menace of Pleasance or the charm of Savalas. He isn't even bald. Plus, the whole scene in drag (whilst funny) is utterly unnecessary.
6. DOMINIC GREENE
(played by Mathieu Amalric in Quantum Of Solace)
Whilst having an environmentalist as a villain is a neat trick, Greene- like Le Chiffre- is never really a major threat due to the Quantum connection. Amalric's performance is entirely underwhelming as well.
7. ARIS CHRISTATOS
(played by Julian Glover in For Your Eyes Only)
Another example of a strong film being landed with a weak villain. Christatos is a standard Russian double agent, which we've seen in the Bond franchise previously and done much better
8. GENERAL BRAD WHITTAKER
(played by Joe Don Baker in The Living Daylights)
Whittaker's as mad as a box of frogs with a Napoleon complex which should make for an interesting character. Sadly he just seems like a tinpot crackpot wannabe-dictator which is difficult to take seriously.
9. LE CHIFFRE
(played by Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale)
Crying blood is interesting but it doesn't do an awful lot to differentiate Le Chiffre from many of the other identikit 'sinister businessmen' that Bond has confronted over the years. Plus, Le Chiffre isn't as big a threat as he first seems as he's having his strings pulled by Quantum.
(played by Adolfo Celi in Thunderball)
Just dull. A dull villain in a dull film (It should be pointed out that this is only Tez's opinion of the film and the villain and not a unilateral one).
So who would you put in this Rogues' Gallery of underwhelming threats to 007? Telly Savalas' Blofeld? Whittaker's compatriot General Koskov, or perhaps Kamal's partner-in-crime Orlov? Let us know in the comments below.
Next week, we countdown the Ten Worst Bond Henchmen.