23 May 2013

The Mi6 radio control unit - Mi6 HQ?

Midnight in London
In Dr. No, when the radio control at Mi6 looses contact with Strangways who is their station agent in Jamaica, Bond is immediately summoned to M. Moneypenny has apparently been searching London for him and of course he can be found at one of the finest clubs in town. Playing a game of Chemin de fer at Les Ambassadeurs, Bond receives a business card and has to pass the shoe. In the next scene he walks into M's office.
The building to the right is probably the one that still exists today

"-It happens to be 3 am. When do you sleep 007?
       -Never on the firm's time sir..."
              -M and Bond at the office-

The exterior of Bond's office is never shown, but two buildings are briefly visible before the scene at the radio department. When the contact with Jamaica is broken, the foreman of signals immediately informs Mi6. If the buildings shown in the first scene is supposed to house both the radio unit and M's office is not clear.

The foreman of signals is casually dressed for the night shift.

"Foreman of signals, sir. Jamaica's broken off mid-transmission. No Sir it's not a technical fault." 

The buildings that were used in the film can be found at a rather well known place. They are located right next to the real Mi6 headquarters at Vauxhall. Even though the exact same buildings doesn't exist anymore it appears that at least one of the buildings visible in the film still stands on the south bank of the Thames today.
Why these buildings were used is not known. If they are supposed to portray the exterior of Mi6 is not entirely clear but if they are, this is the only time that the Universal Exports is visible during the Connery era. In On Her Majesty's secret service, a sign in the pre-title sequence indicates that the Mi6 headquarters are located in Westminster, close to Big Ben. Then it took another seven films until the exterior would be seen again - this time located at Whitehall in Octopussy.
The real Mi6 can be spotted to the right

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