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This chapter considers what we term ‘heartland geopolitics’. It reflects on the importance of London in the Brosnan- and Craig-era films in which the threat and safety of the nation are operationalized through the city’s infrastructure and inhabitants. While London has a fleeting presence in the early Bond films, it works to anchor Bond and the interests that he serves later in the franchise while giving place to the long-standing relationships that sustain him (e.g. with colleagues Moneypenny, M, and Q). Until The World Is Not Enough (Apted 1999) and most notably Skyfall, London and the MI6 building were safe spaces untroubled directly by the planning and plotting of villains and evil geniuses. SPECTRE might be involved with criminality (e.g. train robberies in the UK) and villains might steal things from Britain (e.g. bomber jets) but they were rarely able to get close to the country’s population and infrastructure. Bond’s success depends upon him stopping the threat posed to Britain and neutralizing anyone who might be approaching British territory and overseas interests. Bond’s role in protecting and serving the ‘heartland’ is both abstract and personal. He serves ‘Queen and Country’ but he also protects those close to him, especially M and Moneypenny. In the Judi Dench era, a female M further hardwires the gendering of the heartland. Men such as Bond protect the nation state while women like M are associated with it and are thus in need of protection even if they are Bond’s superiors. In Skyfall, the feminizing of the heartland is made explicit narratively and visually. The film conveys the impression that by protecting M, Bond is safeguarding Britain and enabling her to ‘finish the job’. Although Bond ultimately fails in this regard, the death of M helps to deepen his commitment to Queen and Country.
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