A Flying Boat in Tobacco Dock

Monday May 24, 1999

 David Williams

LONDON - Monday 24th May 1999, was the final day of filming of what promises to be one of the most exciting boat chases in cinema history. And here at 007 NEWS we saved the best for last. Complete with an action video, here's a stunt reminiscent of Louisiana Sheriffs and crocodiles!

David Williams reports from London
A small crowd had started to form around the site. Curious onlookers craned their necks towards the boathouse. One of the crew used an angle-grinder on a set of railings, as the film crews set up their positions. Tape was pulled across the road to stop pedestrians from entering the restricted area. The bus was positioned at one end of the road bridge, and the action camera-car at the opposite end. I stood to one side of the road, and watched as Vic Armstrong took his seat in front of a bank of video monitors.

Half an hour passed as light readings were taken, distances measured and the crew positioned. The engine of the bus was started, and over the radio was heard the camera crews announce 'speed on 1', 'speed on 2' 3,4,5 and 6. On a count of '3, 2, (a small pause),1 FIRE!' a small explosion from the boathouse launched the 'Q' boat, out of the roof of the building, crashing through the railings, in front of the bus and onto the road, sliding to a sudden halt against a pile of old tyres and large water barrels. Silence, then a ripple of applause (and a big sigh of relief from the crew!) The crew massed around the monitors as the crowd surged forward to get a view of the damage, and to shake hands with the fearless stuntman who had performed this spectacular feat. Only to be met with the blank features of the Bond Dummy!

                               

                                                                                                     Download MPEG video (200Kb) 

                                                                            'OK everyone, back to your previous positions' shouted Terry Madden, the Assistant Director. Anyone who has had their car (probably deservedly) wheel-clamped will applaud the next sequence in the chase. As Bond steers the 'Q' boat around a bend in the canal, he manages to throw up a large wave which drenches two unfortunate wheel-clampers who are working on a parked car. Those of you in the UK who saw last years TV series about a group of Traffic Wardens will no doubt remember one of them who seemed to enjoy his job far too much. Ray Brown became a minor celebrity and now has a minor role in a Bond film as one of the clampers.

                                    

Once this shot was in the can, the words 'It's a wrap, see you all tomorrow morning back at Pinewood' informed all of us that this was the end of our little adventure. Since 30th March I, then joined by a few others, had followed the 2nd unit all across London, from Vauxhall in the west, to Victoria Docks in the east, in bright hot sunshine, through rain showers to thunderstorms and freezing gale-force winds. And thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

In closing I would like to thank a few people (takes a long list from his inside pocket!). Firstly, all the fans I have meet over the last eight weeks, both in person and via e-mail, your support has helped make this the pleasure it has been. Next I would like to thank all the cast and crew at EON who have endured my presence, and the many who have spoken kindly to me and my colleagues. Last but by no means least, I would like to thank the editor, Panos Sambrakos who has worked tirelessly into the early hours of the morning to put my words and pictures into order and bring them to the attention of Bond fans world wide. You run a very professional site and deserve many more awards.

Here's to November 1999 and 'The World Is Not Enough'
David Williams



EDITOR'S NOTE:
On behalf of Bond fans the world over, we'd like to thank David Williams for his enthusiasm, dedication and resourcefulness in tracking the Bond crew on their every move and bringing this thrilling experience in front of us. We're convinced this sequence will be a true highlight in "The World Is Not Enough", and thanks to David, we'll all feel like we were there watching it happen in front of our own eyes.