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Licenced to Die in Droves

Moonraker’s Hugo Drax (Michel Lonsdale) and Minions

Moonraker’s Hugo Drax (Michel Lonsdale) and Minions

I have been slogging through Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels—for the first time since my college years. (Instead of studying for my English Comprehensive Exams at Dartmouth, I was picturing myself as an ultra-suave British spy licensed to kill.)

But what about all those uniformed minions in yellow or orange that were to be found working for such supervillains as Dr. No or Hugo Drax or Auric Goldfinger or Ernst Stavro Blofeld. I wonder how they advertised for them:

“Work for destruction of earth for Bond supervillain. Must be willing to be shot dead or blown up in the last reel. Snazzy yellow (or orange) uniform and sexy short dresses for the babes. Absolute loyalty to lost causes and total lack of moral compass required. GOP registration a plus. Apply Box GX-1234.”

In the end, these minions almost always went down with the ship or secret laboratory or supervillain’s hideout. There wasn’t enough screen time to show how each and every uniformed minion met his or her violent end, but the corridors were sure to be running with blood.