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In Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and the derived films, the 00 Section of MI6 are considered the secret service's elite. A 00 (typically read "Double O") agent holds a licence to kill in the field, at his or her discretion, to complete the mission. Goldfinger establishes that the section usually has only three agents at a time; the films, beginning with Thunderball, establish the number of 00 agents as fewer than 12.

Origin of nomenclature

In the British and Commonwealth armed forces, soldiers and officers are assigned identity numbers; the United States military does likewise. During Ian Fleming's work in Vichy France, an agent's anonymity was imperative, and, when the agent was military, it was convenient to use the last three digits of the agent's number as identification.

In World War II, Britain's Special Operations Executive agents did not have identifiers assigned to them such as the 00 or related 'systems' of nomenclature. Specific agents would be known to high command by their own names, and when deniability was at stake, their service numbers in long form, or else by invented codenames.

For the sake of romance and memorability, Fleming used the 00 and mystical number 7 for James Bond – himself a shell for the reader to inhabit.[1]

Description

In the first novel, Casino Royale, and the 2006 film adaptation, the 00 concept is introduced and, in Bond's words, means "that you've had to kill a chap in cold blood in the course of some assignment." Bond's 00 number (007) was awarded him because he twice killed in fulfilling assignments. In the second novel, Live and Let Die, the 00 number designates a past killing; not until the third novel, Moonraker, does the 00 number designate a licence to kill. Thereafter, the novels are ambiguous about whether or not a 00 agent's licence to kill is limited, with varying accounts in Dr. No, Goldfinger, and The Man with the Golden Gun.

Per Fleming's Moonraker, 00 agents face mandatory retirement at 45; John Gardner contradicts this in his novels, depicting a fifty-odd-year-old secret agent. Sebastion Faulks' Devil May Care features M giving Bond a choice of when to retire.

Fleming himself only mentions five 00 agents in all. According to Moonraker, James Bond is the most senior of three 00 agents; the two others were 008 and 0011. Later novels feature two more 00 agents; 009 is mentioned in Thunderball and 006 is mentioned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Other authors have elaborated and expanded upon the 00 agents. While they presumably have been sent on dangerous missions as Bond has, little has been revealed about most of them. Several have been named, both by Fleming and other authors, along with passing references to their service records, which suggest that agents are largely recruited (as Bond was) from the British military's special forces.

In the films, the 00 section is a discrete area of MI6, whose agents report directly to M (The World Is Not Enough). Bond's fellow 00 agents appear receiving briefings in Thunderball and The World Is Not Enough. The latter film shows a woman in one of the 00 chairs. In Thunderball, there are nine chairs for the 00 agents; Moneypenny says every 00 agent in Europe has been recalled, not every 00 agent in the world. As with the books, other writers have elaborated and expanded upon the 00 agents in the films and in other media.

List of 00s

This list is of the known 00 agents of the British Secret Service who exist in officially-licensed novels, cinema, video games, and comic strips.

Novels

00-agent Name Description
Agent 001 Edward Donne Referred to in the Raymond Benson novel, Doubleshot, Edward Donne is the only agent 001.
Agent 004 Frederick Wardner, Scarlett Papava A 004 appears in the Benson novel The Facts of Death. In the Sebastian Faulks novel Devil May Care, Bond girl Scarlett Papava is unveiled as 004, replacing the previous agent who was killed in Berlin.
Agent 005 Stuart Thomas Was 005 until defective eyesight impaired his marksmanship, and he was made head of Station G (Greece) in Colonel Sun.
Agent 006 Major Jack Giddings 006, a Royal Marine commando, is mentioned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel he is named as Major Jack Giddings and second to Bond in the 00 section.
Agent 007 James Bond James Bond is the only agent 007. During You Only Live Twice, Bond was transferred into another branch and given the number 7777, suggesting there was no active agent 007 in that time; he is reinstated as such in The Man with the Golden Gun. In the John Gardner novels, agent 007 is the remaining active 00-agent, the section was disbanded in the 1980s, later contradicted by Raymond Benson's novels.
Agent 008 Bill In the novel Goldfinger, Bond thinks to himself that 008 would likely avenge Bond by killing Goldfinger. As Bond thinks this, he ruminates that 008 is "a good man, more careful than Bond." In the novel Moonraker, 008 (called "Bill" by Bond) is mentioned as being on recuperative leave after returning from a mission behind the Iron Curtain.
Agent 0010 John Wolfgramm Referred to in the Benson novel The Man with the Red Tattoo.
Agent 0011 Cederic Mentioned briefly in the novel Moonraker as vanishing while on assignment in Singapore.
Agent 0012 Sam Johnston Although unmentioned on screen, Benson's The World Is Not Enough novelisation has Bond investigating 0012's death at story's start (seen in a photograph of a dark-haired man, in the film).

Films and other official media

00-agent Name Description
Agent 002 Bill Fairbanks A 002 first appears in Thunderball. Shot through the neck and killed by Francisco Scaramanga, The Man with the Golden Gun, in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1969 (film version: The Man with the Golden Gun 1974). In The Living Daylights film, another Agent 002, played by Glyn Baker, was training at Gibraltar, with 004 and 007.
Agent 003 Jason Walters, Jack Mason A 003 first appears in Thunderball. Found dead, in Siberia, in A View to a Kill film. Another (unrelated) MI6 agent is Jack Mason, 003 who is shot in the gut and killed by Nikolai Diavolo, the villain, in the Everything or Nothing video game (2004). Diavolo is connected with the villain Max Zorin from A View to a Kill.
Agent 004 Aidan FlemmingsA 004 first appears in Thunderball. Played by Frederick Warder, 004 accompanied 002 and 007 to Gibraltar in The Living Daylights film; he is murdered by a false KGB agent who tags the body with "Death to Spies" in Russian. His support rope is cut and he is sent plummeting down a cliff to his death. In the GoldenEye video game, on the Silo mission briefing, Q mentions to 007 to "remember to treat the timed explosives with respect – you remember what happened to 004 in Beirut"; it is unclear whether he speaks of another agent or the one listed above.
Agent 005 Stuart Thomas 005 appears in Thunderball.
Agent 006 Alec Trevelyan A 006 first appears in Thunderball. When 006 was used again, the character was now named and played in a bigger role in GoldenEye as the main antagonist. One of Bond's friends, he betrayed MI6 and Her Majesty's Government with his fake death, and then, years later, by stealing the GoldenEye satellite from the USSR, intending to use it cripple Britain down to a financial meltdown. His motive for these plans was a personal one: avenging his family, who were all Lienz Cossacks, betrayed to the Communists by the British government after World War II has ended. He also begrudged Bond's not allowing him time to escape the Soviet chemical weapons factory they were sent to destroy at the beginning of the film. Trevelyan is killed when he is crushed by the destroyed wreckage of his satellite base.
Agent 007 James Bond See above.
Agent 008 Bill Timothy A 008 first appears in Thunderball. In Goldfinger M threatens to replace 007 with agent 008. In The Living Daylights, M again threatens to replace 007 with another agent who can follow orders. It is not known if (once again) he means 008, but if he does then it shows that 008 is more in line with the MI6 regulations than 007. In the film Goldfinger, Bond tells Auric Goldfinger, "...if I fail to report, 008 replaces me." In the movies the 008 is the only one (other than Bond) that wasn't killed doing his job. The James Bond 007 role playing game released in the 1980s suggests 008 is a woman. In the video game James Bond 007, 008 (male) gives Bond an exploding pen before dying. The suggested woman replaced 008.
Agent 009 Peter Smith A 009 first appears in Thunderball. Mischka and Grischka kill him (dressed as a clown) after the opening credits in Octopussy by throwing a knife into his back as he tries to escape them. In The World Is Not Enough, M assigned another 009 to kill Renard; despite putting a bullet in his head, Renard lives with the bullet in his head slowly killing off his senses. In Quantum of Solace another 009 MI6 agent is assigned as M’s sentinel. The graphic novels Deadly Double and Serpent's Tooth feature a fourth agent 009.
Agent 0012 Sam Johnston Although unmentioned on screen, Benson's The World Is Not Enough novelisation has Bond investigating 0012's death at story's start (seen in a photograph of a dark-haired man, in the film).
Agent 0013 Briony Thorne A female 00-agent appearing in the comic strip Fear Face (published 18 January 1971 to 20 April 1971 in The Daily Express). Thorne is revealed to be a double agent for China.
Unknown Jonathan Hunter "GoldenEye" A former 00-agent featured in GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. He was shot in the right eye, and was dismissed by MI6 for "reckless brutality". He joined up with Auric Goldfinger against the shooter, Dr. Julius No, and eventually received a gold-hued, synthetic orb as a replacement for his right eye. After killing Goldfinger and Dr. No, he becomes Ernst Stavro Blofeld's bodyguard. Unlike other 00 agents listed here, GoldenEye only appears in the non-canon video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. The game takes place in an alternate universe.
Unknown Agent York Killed in the comic strip River of Death (published 24 June 1969 to 29 November 1969 in The Daily Express). Agent York is a 00 agent but his number isn't revealed.
Unknown Suzi Kew A recurring character in the Daily Express comic strip series of the 1960s and 1970s, Suzi Kew is a 00 agent but her number is not revealed.

In other media

In the 2006 movie The Pink Panther, Clive Owen played the character of Nigel Boswell, Agent 006 and was stated by Clouseau that he was "one short of the big time". This was a reference to him being rumoured to take the role of Bond for Casino Royale.

In the Lemmy Caution film Alphaville, Caution is – once – referred to as 003.

In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, the original 007 is stated as being Prospero, who received the position upon being recruited to the English spy organisation of Sir Jack Wilton in 1558, during the start of the reign of Queen Gloriana. The earlier volumes had hinted that Campion Bond served as 007 as of 1898.

In the alternate history novel Back in the USSA, Agent 007 is an agent of SMERSH played by Rudolf Nureyev in a series of Russian movies including From America With Love.

In an episode of Cory in the House, Stictler mentions his father is Agent 001, which is strange, seeing as the CIA doesn't have 00 Agents or an equivalent, and Stictler is clearly not British.

In the GoldenEye 007 game for the Nintendo 64, the easy, medium and hard levels are respectively known as "Agent", "Secret Agent" and "00 Agent". Besides having a greater number of enemies, the "00 Agent" level requires all facets of a mission to be completed in order for Bond to advance to the next mission, whereas the other two have less.

In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will's grandmother is given the codename 0070, a likely reference to her age.

In The Basil Brush Show episode "Kiss And Tell", during Basil's spy sequence, Bingo Brush bursts in and says his codename is 00PS with Basil stating that Bingo has a license to leave little messages lying around.

In the Phineas and Ferb episode "A Hard Day's Knight", Perry the Platypus works with Agent 000 (pronounced "double-oh oh") while dealing with his nemesis, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, in London due to problems with the British Secret Service during his last mission in London.

In the Recess episode "Parents' Night", Spinelli's father, Bob Spinelli, is revealed to be Agent 006. He is also working with 003 and 005.

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Elim Garak is jokingly called a Double-O agent, in reference to his former membership in a Cardassian intelligence service known as the Obsidian Order.

In The Beverly Hillbillies, Jethro Bodine sometimes refers to himself as a "double naught spy."

In The Goonies, Data is called "00-Negative" because of his always getting the group into trouble.

In Grey's Anatomy, after Dr. George O'Malley botches his first operation in the pilot episode, he is nicknamed "007," a play on Bond's "licence to kill."[2][3]

In The Informant!, Mark Whitacre boasts himself to be Agent 0014. When asked why, he claims that he's twice as smart as 007.

In the novel by Samuel Shem, The House of God, some private physicians are referred to as "Double O Privates" because they are "licensed to kill" due to their incompetence.

In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Major Tom speaks about James Bond to Big Boss/Naked Snake. There's a part which he says: "What if I change your codename to Double-oh Snake?"

References

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fr:Liste des alliés de James Bond id:Daftar karakter pembantu James Bond it:Agente doppio 0 fi:Luettelo 00-agenteista

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