One of the biggest issues with Spectre, the previous entry in the 007 franchise, was the inclusion of the Oberhausen sub-plot.

In the novels he was the ski instructor who helped a young James Bond get over the death of his parents in a climbing accident.  First mentioned in the Fleming short-story Octopussy, he also appeared in the novelisation of The Spy Who Loved Me screenplay by Christopher Wood.

By bringing this character into the movies and then making him the eventual father of Blofield, and having him once been a guardian of an orphaned Bond, it veered dangerously close to an Austin Powers gag.  Letting it through into the final cut was a critical mistake that Eon should have avoided.

By making his son become the eventual nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofield, the movie made the same mistakes that films like Star Trek Into Darkness made.  Shoe-horning in older, better villains to try and trigger some fan reaction and make some nostalgia glands start to tingle.  When in reality all you do is annoy die-hard fans and confuse newcomers.

Even if expertly handled it just comes off as a sub-Empire Strikes Back plot twist.  Handled poorly it’s soap opera-like.

As Spectre was clearly as not well received as its predecessor Skyfall, or the series high water mark that is Casino Royale, one would hope that the makers would not be so completely stupid as to make the same sort of mistake again. Even though Casino Royale was a restart, they certainly wouldn’t try and sledgehammer in a prior enemy all over again, would they?

Well this rumour started on the internet as pure fan speculation. That Rami Malek’s villain Safin is actually none other than Dr. Julius No, the bad guy from the very first Bond movie from 1962.

Fans have speculated that none of the trailers or publicity so far show Safin’s hands, and Doctor No had robotic hands as his classic Bond villain disfigurement.

Taking on a life of its own, this internet speculation points out that the first word of the movies title is “No”, that the facial scarring could be from radiation, and that the mask that Malek wears in the trailer is called a “Noh” mask.

In an interview with Esquire, the actor said:

“I have to be extremely careful. I can’t really talk about the character”.

When asked pointedly about this Dr No speculation he replied:

“I heard that. Am I? I mean, isn’t that an exciting thing to consider all the way up to the release?”.

He also points to the influences on the movie and states:

“…there is a resurgence of an Ian Fleming influence on this film…”

No Time To Die opens 5th April in the UK and 8th April in the US.  The publicity will ramp up now, and to start with here is a new TV spot.