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What the Tech: As No Time to Die undergoes reshoots, here’s why Bond needs a lockdown makeover

Reports claim that No Time To Die will have to be reshot to please the corporate demands of its sponsors, so why not take the chance to show a very different lifestyle for the world’s best-known secret agent?

In recent years, product placement seems to have become more integral to James Bond than his tailored suits or his Walther PPK sidearm. Sponsorship deals have made Britain’s man in the field eschew an Aston Martin for a Ford hatchback (Casino Royale) and turn down a vodka martini for a bottle of Heineken (Skyfall). So it’s hardly a surprise to hear rumours saying that the much-delayed latest instalment to the series, No Time To Die, will have to be partially reshot so that the spy can wield, of all things, a newer Nokia.

You might think that there are more pressing issues that could be addressed by reshoots of the films; for one, his attitude towards women, which would even make a 1950s businessman blush. But Recombu’s proposal is to instead include the apps and gadgets that Bond will have become accustomed to in a life under lockdown. Ditching the now-ironic title and redubbing the film Too Much Time To Die, here’s how it could go down…

It’s late at night, and Bond surveys his apartment. Strewn around the room, among all the empty bottles (lockdown certainly not being the tonic to a bad drinking habit), are a few of the accoutrements that have made MI6 home-working bearable; the Nintendo Switch being particularly good fun to play with between Zoom call appointments with Moneypenny, although Tom Nook is lucky that a licence to kill doesn’t apply in the world of Animal Crossing.

As he silently sheds a tear for the vintage Aston Martin rusting away in his garage, the wrapping of that night’s takeaway litters the carpet; every Deliveroo rider in a twenty mile radius now knows his name and face, somewhat defeating the point of being a secret agent.

Usually on a night like this Bond would at least have some female company, but pandemic restrictions mean that sitting at the other end of the bar and gazing moodily at the beautiful, much-younger wives of wealthy supervillains just isn’t a plausible dating strategy any more.

Even chatting on Tinder to set up a date in the distant future doesn’t seem to work out. Despite his provocative, pouting pictures, he’s beginning to lose his touch after so much time out of practice. And with the gyms closed, that picture of him emerging from the sea in nothing but tight budgie smugglers is beginning to feel like false advertising. He reads back his bio once again:

My name is Bond, James Bond – but you can call me double-O, cos that’s what you’ll be doing seven times if we hook up 😉
My hobbies are: excessive drinking, lavish gambling, reckless driving, prolific promiscuity, and killing people. Also love travelling! 😀

No, he can’t think of why it hasn’t done the trick.

But wait; gazing distractedly out of his window, on the same view he’s come to know and hate so well over months of confinement, could that possibly be who he thinks it is in the opposite building? Why yes, it certainly looks like his nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and if he can report him to the police for violating lockdown then that would accomplish his mission without a shot being fired!

To establish the identity of his target, he reaches for his trusty Q-branch enhanced eyewear. But no, too late; it’s actually those Snapchat Spectacles he bought on a whim to cheer himself up after his customary trip to an exotic Caribbean destination was cancelled, and rather than making his adversary any clearer, it’s merely given him a cute puppy-dog face. Attempting to zoom in but only applying other filters – falling confetti, popping hearts, shimmering rainbows – Bond tosses the specs aside and decides to call his superiors immediately.

Having taken advantage of this summer’s Spotify deal for a free Google Mini home speaker, he speaks aloud: “Hey Google, call M”

With its customary attention to detail, it repeats back “Calling Emily”

One of the twenty women of that name in his address book is none too pleased to be called up at such a late hour; “You ditched me for a Russian double agent, you narcissistic man whore! Never call this number again!”

Sighing to himself, he realises that he’ll just have to ring his boss the old-fashioned way. He pulls out his work phone… and it’s still just a Nokia. Damn it, Q.

 

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