Gareth Mallory as the new M

Not sure if this should go in Bond 24 or Bond 25 and beyond. Anyway, this is about the new M of the series, Gareth Mallory, who got the most extensive and developed introduction the M character ever received before. How do you think he will be, deducing from the way he was written in SF, the way he was played and of course the casting of Ralph Fiennes in the role. How will he interact with Bond? With the other characters? With the government? What kind of a man he is?
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Comments

  • SandySandy Somewhere in Europe
    Posts: 4,012
    He's a no-nonsense kind of man, practical, typical military type. He believes in getting the job done but is not influenced by politics. At least that's my impression.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    I think he'll be similar to Bernard Lee's M in that he trusts his agent at least 95% of the time. His character in SF was very earnest and transparent in his intentions and also his involvement with the breadcrumbs for Silva was telling in that he's a team player and someone who will look out for his guys. All this and the fact that he's a no nonsense and down to brass tax type of guy who has seen field action who has no time for coddling his agents. He's going to be a great character imo and a thankfully very different M from Judi.
  • TokolosheTokoloshe Under your bed
    Posts: 2,667
    My biggest fear is that the casting of a high-profile actor means that they will feel compelled to use him in more scenes. This is what happened with Dench's character, where M suddenly grew from being a relatively minor (but important) character into a major player in most of the recent films.

    I would happily go back to having films similar to the Dalton era in which a fairly unknown actor plays M in two or three short scenes and then, for the rest of the film, Bond just goes and gets on with it. I don't see it happening with Fiennes in the role, though.
  • We know that the new "M" knows how to use a gun, so imagine the possibility of him working with Bond in the field, that would be cool.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 18,300
    We know that the new "M" knows how to use a gun, so imagine the possibility of him working with Bond in the field, that would be cool.

    @xJamesBond007x, that's not going to happen, unless if the script calls in unexpected situations.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,641
    I like him in the role, and I'm happy, after 23 years, to get back to a traditional M (yes, I mean male) in a traditional setting. Agreeing with some previous posts, with a high profile actor in the role I am afraid (especially under Mendes) M is going to get too much screen time and be far too involved in the plot (ala judi Dench's M). And it looks bad for Moneypenny, as well.
  • MooseWithFleasMooseWithFleas Philadelphia
    Posts: 3,154
    I love Fiennes throw back to Bernard Lee's M, but I completely expect him to define the role with his own nuances. Dench was tremendous as M and will be greatly missed, but they have a fine talent that I hope can reprise the role for the years to come.

    I too am a little afraid that M might get to much screen-time since Fiennes is an accomplished actor, but has also had his share of bit parts in films. I don't mind him getting involved in the plot, but hoping he doesn't frequent the field too much, as he said field work is a young man's game.
  • Posts: 1,817
    We know that the new "M" knows how to use a gun, so imagine the possibility of him working with Bond in the field, that would be cool.

    I think as that already happen they won't repeat it.

    The thing with Mallory as M is that he's not only Bond superior on the civil service but he also hold a high rank in the military. But because they belong to different branches (Navy and Army) it could be more complex than Fleming's and Bernard Lee's M as he is admiral in the Navy.
    Either way, it's evident that Mallory with represent the dominant patriarchal figure that Bond obeys but at the same time resents.
  • I really think that Mallory is going to be my favorite M actually.... I know it's very early to make such a statement, but he feel's like the M of the books. I hope that he and Bond gets to do something together, like in SF and in MR (the book). Mallory look's and feels like Bond's equal.
  • Judi did a really good job at portraying M for the Brosnan era and half of Craig's as well, but I think the new M will do a better job especially the type of person who will get under Bonds skin with the arrogant British humour.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,746
    Good timing - we are discussing the character of M through the years on SirHenry's Originals thread now (http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/3341/sirhenryleechaching-s-for-original-fans-11-all-about-m#latest). :)
    I'll just repost some of what I recently wrote concerning the role and Mallory.

    Now we are moving into the Ralph Fiennes era. I do believe we will learn more about his background; perhaps in a variety of ways. It could be with M meeting up with old enemies or old friends, it could be in a brief flashback, or just exposition as he opens up a bit in a private conversation. But this new M is seemingly a multi-faceted character - and being played by a very good and renown actor, I doubt he comes cheaply - so I do not expect in any way for his role to go back to being the smaller, somewhat curt boss handing Bond his assignment. I'm fine with that. I want the films to grow. If they all followed the exact same template, the series would have died by now.
    This new M can have plenty to do in London, and if he ventures afield I hope the powers that be at least make it be reasonable to the story. Bernard Lee's M would show up in "temporary or well hidden" digs in the older Bond film (Egypt; submarine, etc.) which was rather amusing. With the Craig films more grounded in realism, I don't expect M to pop out of a tent in the desert, smoking a pipe ... but I want a better reason for him to be in the field, not just "checking" on Bond, or following a misguided emotion that may lead him to being kidnapped (oh, I get annoyed at a few things in TWINE). The writing is so important. They have a fine actor in the role, taking over from another fine actor. They have given him a slight background story already, and I am as curious as anyone to see what Bond 24 will give us with M. It could be great, good, or oh no ... but I am thinking it should be at least good.

    We have a meatier role in M now (since 1995 to present) and with Fiennes I can see them expanding it, yes. However, do I want M involved far too much with the predicaments and solutions that Bond grapples with? No. I still want Bond to be Bond- a highly intelligent, creative, and clever man who can think on his feet, change directions, find a way out of a nearly impossible situation, and complete his mission, not merely survive. I do not mind Q and M and Moneypenny supporting him to a certain extent. I like these actors that we currently have quite a lot, and I do want to see more of each of them in the films. Yet I don't want the balance to go too far with those supporting characters taking up too much time in the field, so to speak, which is Bond's global arena. Some scenes, though, yes.

    With Gareth Mallory, there is so much we can enjoy. Great back story, fine actor, all of those ingredients. Like a fine wine, though, I want this (the new M's role) to be sipped ... given out in small enough doses over the next few films. I want to enjoy watching him unfold more, be involved more, but all serving a good story.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,746
    So far I like the personality of the new M. I'm interested in seeing his relationhship with Bond grow. I doubt it will be completely smooth. But I think they now respect each other. I think this M is shrewd, tough yet mostly quite composed and in control of himself, and, like @Sandy mentioned, not influenced by politics.

    Our own MI6 website has a nice article about the character and a brief bio of Fiennes. That can be found here: http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/allies/m4.php3

    And I'll just quote part of it:

    Profile
    Gareth Mallory served his country in Northern Ireland's conflicts with the Republic, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the British Army. He saw action and was captured by the IRA for three months. Upon his escape he was decorated and retired, transitioned into politics. When 007 first met the stern ex-army man, Mallory was serving as the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. He was charged with overseeing M's "requirement planning", whilst the politicians got their claws into MI6 and attempted a restructure.

    His no-nonsense nature meant that 007 and Eve were able to respect, if perhaps not warm to their superior and this was helped by the fact that Mallory is not afraid of critiquing and sometimes openly criticising the squabbling politicians and bureaucrats with whom he has to deal. He supports 007 on the "Skyfall" mission by turning a blind eye to Tanner and Q's off-the-radar deception when it comes to taking the incumbent head of MI6 to a secure, secret location for one final showdown with her pursuer, Silva.

    Whilst Mallory was initially tasked with finding a replacement for the head of MI6, upon the sudden death of its chief, Mallory assumes the role. He even adopted the call-sign M, the same nom-de-plum as that of his predecessor, out of respect for her memory. By the end of the "Skyfall" affair, 007 has certainly warmed to the critical, somewhat old-fashioned but likeable Mallory.
  • Judi did a really good job at portraying M for the Brosnan era and half of Craig's as well, but I think the new M will do a better job especially the type of person who will get under Bonds skin with the arrogant British humour.
    Exactly my opinion.
  • Posts: 12,678
    I really think that Mallory is going to be my favorite M actually.... I know it's very early to make such a statement, but he feel's like the M of the books. I hope that he and Bond gets to do something together, like in SF and in MR (the book). Mallory look's and feels like Bond's equal.

    Bond's equal? Bond's superior! M is in many ways Mycroft to Bond's Sherlock. He has qualities that lack in Bond: a certain sense of perspective, for instance.
  • edited July 2014 Posts: 1,068
    One thing to consider, going by recent form / track record, were I M, I wouldn't trust my life with Bond! Yes, it was a bit of bad luck due to the half baked plan to have a showdown at Skyfall which saw the failure to protect JD's M but it will be interesting to see if this is touched on going forwards in the series.

    Mallory is going to be desk bound dealing directly with the hassles of politicians with all the politics that involves and Mi6 so won't need to be actively in the field wielding a gun unless a terror threat comes looking for him in London. Not likely now as that's just been done!

    Mallory already knows firsthand that this Bond is fallible even directly suggesting JB should've cast himself off from Mi6 and staying 'dead' at the start in Skyfall so may have reservations knowing just what his abilities and potential liabilities are.

    I like Fiennes and his portrayal of Mallory M and I understand he wont look for too big a part in the action / narrative of future Bonds as he's been attributed as saying he would rather smaller cameo roles in films now?
  • Ludovico wrote: »
    I really think that Mallory is going to be my favorite M actually.... I know it's very early to make such a statement, but he feel's like the M of the books. I hope that he and Bond gets to do something together, like in SF and in MR (the book). Mallory look's and feels like Bond's equal.

    Bond's equal? Bond's superior! M is in many ways Mycroft to Bond's Sherlock. He has qualities that lack in Bond: a certain sense of perspective, for instance.

    Well, equal in a way. Sure, he's Bonds superior, but he's still just as badass as Bond...
  • Posts: 12,678
    In a way he is like an older, more careful Bond. I also think he will be shown as somewhat unorthodox, thinking outside the box and having no issue disregarding the red tape if it means getting the job done. Judi Dench's M was an ageing civil servant, Gareth Mallory is more of a reluctant one, someone who now has a desk job but feels nostalgic about his time as a soldier.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,641
    I thought M's role in the Connery films was just about right. In terms of both relevance to the plot and screen time.
  • Posts: 4,622
    I think he has potential to be a good solid Bernard Lee clone. I'd make him watch Lee's work over and over and hope it rubs off.
  • Posts: 12,678
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I thought M's role in the Connery films was just about right. In terms of both relevance to the plot and screen time.

    I think it was good in the early ones but it quickly got staled. In YOLT he might as well not have been there, the way the office scene was shoehorned. It could have developed more. I want a M closer to the one of the novels, not only giving Bond mission orders but also completing him.
  • Posts: 19,339
    They have to be careful with Mallory,after the waaaay overuse of Dench's M (who should have gone with the end of Brosnan's Bond tenure imo).

    But,Fiennes is a big big actor and he will have other films to be working on, so i dont think he will want Mallory to be 'out in the field' etc .

    I can see Mallory becoming a traditional M,popping up sometimes more than once in a film but no more than that.

    Moneypenny is a bigger worry for me,as regards an 'action' role.
  • Ya I hope that Moneypenny doesn't do any field work in this one, quite honestly I wasn't to fond of her in Skyfall, I thought she was the weakest link imo.
  • Posts: 19,339
    she will be fine behind the desk and bantering with Bond etc but that should be it for sure.
  • Lol it didn't make sense to me when the rumour about Moneypenny having a larger role an possibly be in the field again when she NEARLY killed Bond.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,213
    They are now casting actors who have very successful careers away from Bond - it must be difficult to give the likes of Ben Wishaw or Rory Kinnear a couple of minutes per film.
  • Posts: 1,548
    I still think Mallory is the new Blofeld in disguise!
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,641
    NicNac wrote: »
    They are now casting actors who have very successful careers away from Bond - it must be difficult to give the likes of Ben Wishaw or Rory Kinnear a couple of minutes per film.

    Yes, and I hate this trend.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,641
    barryt007 wrote: »
    They have to be careful with Mallory,after the waaaay overuse of Dench's M (who should have gone with the end of Brosnan's Bond tenure imo).

    I agree that she was way overused, but I'm glad that she was carried over into the Craig era. Continuity has never been a consistent or reliable factor, internally/storywise. in the Bond film franchise (much as that seemed to be the ambition early on), but the one dependable element is that at least one actor played the same character from one era to the next. Call it sentimental, but Dench's M provided that, and I would have been sad to lose that link after so many decades. I hope that tradition lasts through the life of the series, reboots or no reboots.
  • Posts: 12,678
    LeChiffre wrote: »
    I still think Mallory is the new Blofeld in disguise!

    I hope you are joking.
  • Posts: 1,068
    Is it just me that trips up over Gareth as his forename when i read it? He just doesn't look like it suits him or how it can be the name of the new Mi6 Head! Mallory sounds great though...
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