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Dr. Julius No

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East? West? Just points of a compass, each as stupid as the other. I am a member of SPECTRE. Special Executive for Counter Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion. The four great cornerstones of power headed by the greatest brains in the world.
~ Dr. No telling Bond about what his terrorist organization is about.

Dr. Julius No is the titular main antagonist in the 1958 James Bond novel and 1962 film, Dr. No. He was the first villain in the film series, in which he was portrayed by actor Joseph Wiseman.

Novel biography

The novel explains that Dr. No was born in Peking to a German Methodist missionary and a Chinese girl, but was raised by his aunt. As an adult, he went to Shanghai, where he was involved with the Tongs, a Chinese crime syndicate. Later he was smuggled to the United States and settled in New York City, where he became a clerk and eventually Treasurer for a Tong in America, called the "Hip-Sings".

In the late 1920s, a mob war broke out in New York, forcing the police to crack down on them. No stole a million dollars in gold from the Tongs and disappeared. But the Tongs tracked him down and tortured him to find the location of the gold. When No refused to tell them, the Tongs cut off his hands, shot him through the left side of the chest and left him for dead. No survived, due to a condition called dextrocardia, in which his heart is on the right side of the body.

No spent a long time in hospital, then enrolled in medical school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He adopted the title of Doctor and changed his name to Julius No, symbolic of his rejection of his father, whose given name was Julius. As in the film, No fits himself with metal manual prostheses, but the book describes them as simple pincers. In physical appearance Dr. No is tall and very thin. He is described as being at least 6 inches taller than Bond, who is six feet tall, meaning that he's probably around 6 ft 6 inches (198 cm) in height. His head is said to be shaped like a "reverse oil drop" due to his round head pointed chin and the yellowish tinge of his skin. In the novel he wears a gunmetal coloured kimono, due to his inability to hold a bell he uses a walkie-talkie which he carries around his neck. He also wears one of the first ever pair of contact lenses and has had a lip slice cosmetic surgery and wears stocked shoes in order to make himself taller, all of these factors were employed by No to conceal his identity from the Tongs.

With the million dollars from the Tong, he purchases rare stamps in order to preserve his money against inflation; he later purchases the island of Crab Key, off the coast of Jamaica, where he restarts a defunct guano business as a cover for his criminal operations. He employs Jamaican and Cuban labourers on good wages for the guano works, brutally supervised by Jamaican "Chigroes" (a portmanteau of 'Chinese' + 'Negroes', referring to their mixed ancestry). No one who comes to the island is allowed to leave.

No, with aid from the Soviets, sabotages the nearby tests of American missiles by jamming their signals and making them land and explode on a different target than that planned. This forces the Americans to spend time and money redesigning their missiles. He also recovers missiles from the ocean and turns them over to the Russians.

Bond does not actually learn of No's plot until he and Quarrel — with Honey Rider, who would trespass to find exclusive shells — had infiltrated Crab Key and been captured. Bond had gone there after Commander Strangways had disappeared, murdered by No's henchmen. Bond eventually kills No by suffocating him in a mound of guano.

Film biography

The successful criminal brain is always superior - it has to be.
~ Dr. No's most famous quote.

Dr. No is a brilliant scientist with an implied Napoleon complex, and an example of the mad scientist trope. He is a self-described "unwanted child of a German missionary and a Chinese girl of a good family". He later "became treasurer of the most powerful criminal society in China"; in this case, the Tongs. He then "escaped to America with $10,000,000" of Tong gold bullion. He specialized in radiation, which cost him both of his hands; his hands were replaced with crude bionic metal ones. No's hands have great strength (he can crush a metal figurine with them) but are lacking in manual dexterity which leads to his demise.

He offered his skills and expertise to the Americans and Soviets, but was rejected. To get revenge, No joined the criminal organization SPECTRE and relocated to his island in Crab Key in Jamaica.

When Bond is sent to investigate the murder of two British agents and any possible connection with recent rocket disasters, No orders several attempts on 007's life. He is particularly displeased with henchman Professor Dent's failure. He gives Dent a venomous spider which is released in Bond's room. Bond kills it, and shoots Dent.

No fails in his own attempts to kill Bond; first by locking him in a ventilation shaft and then by beating him with his metal hands.

No captures Bond and Honey Rider when they trespass on his island, and they are put through a decontamination shower since No's henchmen detected radiation on them. During dinner, he offers Bond a position in his organization, but Bond refuses. Bond escapes through a ventilation shaft, and disguises himself with a radiation suit. Bond enters the control center where No and his assistants are preparing to disrupt the launch of an American rocket. Bond sabotages No's pool-type nuclear reactor, allowing the American missile to launch successfully while No and most of his henchmen do not notice. The two men fight while everyone else flees the imminent explosion. They both fall onto a small platform that slowly descends into the boiling coolant of the overheating reactor. Bond manages to climb out, but No cannot get a grip on the metal framework and is poached to death. Bond frees Honey from where she has been chained in a room filling with water, and escapes before the reactor explodes.

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Trivia

  • Ian Fleming had wanted his friend Noel Coward to portray No, who refused the offer when it was given to him. Fleming also considered his step-cousin Christopher Lee for the role, but by the time he had suggested him to the producers they had already decided to cast Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No. Lee would later go on to star as Francisco Scaramanga, the main antagonist of The Man with the Golden Gun.
  • In fashion typical for the spy parody, Get Smart's Agents 86 and 99 once faced off against a villain called Dr. Yes, as well as a villain called The Claw (Ethnically mispronounced 'The Craw') who had an artificial metallic appendage in place of one of his hands.
  • Although he is the main villain, he only makes a personal appearance in the climax.

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Dr. Julius No | Ernst Stavro Blofeld | Rosa Klebb | Auric Goldfinger | Emilio Largo | Dr. Kananga | Francisco Scaramanga | Karl Stromberg | Hugo Drax | Aris Kristatos | Kamal Khan | General Orlov | Max Zorin | General Georgi Koskov | Brad Whitaker | Franz Sanchez | Alec Trevelyan | Elliot Carver | Renard | Elektra King | Gustav Graves | Le Chiffre | Dominic Greene | Raoul Silva | Ernst Stavro Blofeld
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R.J. Dent | Miss Taro | Annabel Chung | Red Grant | Kronsteen | Krilencu | Oddjob | Pussy Galore | Kisch | Jill Masterson | Fiona Volpe | Vargas | Colonel Jacques Bouvar | Osato | Helga Brandt | Hans | Irma Bunt | Grunther | Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd | Bambi & Thumper | Tee Hee | Baron Samedi | Whisper | Solitaire | Rosie Carver | Nick Nack | Jaws | Naomi | Sandor | Chang | Erich Kriegler | Emile Locque | Hector Gonzales | Claus | Apostis | Octopussy | Gobinda | Mischka & Grischka | Magda | May Day | Hans Glaub | Scarpine | Jenny Flex | Necros | Imposter 00 | Dario | Milton Krest | Ed Killifer | Heller | Perez | Arkady Ourumov | Xenia Onatopp | Boris Grishenko | Mr. Stamper | Dr. Kaufman | Henry Gupta | Giulietta da Vinci | Sasha Davidov | Gabor | Miranda Frost | Zao | Mr. Kil | Mr. White | Steven Obanno | Gettler | Valenka | Vesper Lynd | General Medrano | Severine | Patrice | C | Mr. Hinx | Marco Sciarra | Dr. Vogel
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