Bond: Favorite Bill Tanner?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Chris227, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Chris227

    Chris227 Lieutenant Commander

    Sep 5, 2007
    With a lot of focus on Bond, Q, M, Moneypenny and Felix Leiter, the character of Tanner (MI6 Chief of Staff) is often forgotten. However now five actors have played the character, and he also has a role in the books.

    Any favorites among the "Four Tanners"?

    The first one was Michael Goodliffe, who appeared briefly in The Man With The Golden Gun.

    The second Tanner, James Villiers, stands in for the recently deceased Bernard Lee's M in "For Your Eyes Only".

    In "Goldeneye" and "The World Is Not Enough" Tanner is played by Michael Kitchen. Like Bond, he appears skeptical of the New M played by Judi Dench.

    Finally, a new Tanner, Rory Kinnear appears alongside Judi Dench's "New" M.

    Oops, messed up the poll....sorry...
  2. Admiral Bear

    Admiral Bear Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Mar 23, 2005
    Permanent away mission with the fairies
    Kitchen for me, but then he was the only actor playing the role to get any decent screen time.
  3. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2001
    Full of hot air.
    I liked Goodliffe. He sort of had an English nobility thing going for him which is how I always pictured Tanner as in my mind's eye.

    It's interesting because at first I thought the guy in CR was supposed to be Tanner--I forget his name (Villers, or something.), because ht actor sort of looked like Goodliffe.
  4. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

    Nov 3, 2005
    Wow, I don't remember this at all...where was he? I must be getting old... :(
  5. John Clark

    John Clark Commodore Commodore

    Jul 4, 2008
    Not the first one I'd seen, but for me it's Michael Kitchen:)

    (Mind, I also enjoyed his work in Foyle so...)
  6. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Oct 8, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    Michael Kitchen, easily. Although give the new guy time to...well, actually have screen time.
  7. Canadave

    Canadave Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 29, 2002
    Saint Catharines, ON
    Kitchen, definitely.
  8. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Oct 14, 2004
    Tanner's supposed to be an ex-sapper who had a mine explode in his face, so I'm thinking Daniel Craig would be the ideal Tanner for Owen's Bond.

    So far, none of the film Tanners are anything but exposition, so I consider them equally irrelevant.
  9. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles PANDA MAN Premium Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    According to the Wikipedia article, he's in M's office at the beginning of the film, when they show Bond the letter and the gold bullet with "007" engraved on it. He's never identified by name in the scene.

    Come to think of it, I don't think he's identified by name in For Your Eyes Only either; Frederick Gray (the Minister of Defence) and Tanner are in M's office (standing in for the deceased Bernard Lee), but Bond only greets them as "Minister... Chief of Staff." It's not until GoldenEye that we see Bond and Tanner as friends (though I can't remember if that was established in Fleming, or not until the Gardner novels when Tanner became a regular supporting character).

    In response to the OP, my favorite Tanner would have to be Michael Kitchen, since he's the only one so far to even have a semblance of a character.
  10. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 22, 2005
    If I recall right, in Fleming's books Tanner tends to be the chap who's worried how Bond's coping following some recent trauma, but urges M to give him a chance to 'get back on the horse' with one more mission when M's doubtful.
  11. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Oct 14, 2004
    Fleming's books very clearly have Tanner as Bond's best friend, but they don't really do anything together in the books until Kingsley Amis wrote COL SUN.