By Christopher Wood
Date Published: 1979
This film novelization creates a link between Fleming’s original story and the plot of the 1979 Eon film, starring Roger Moore.
American space shuttles don’t just disappear. M knows they had better not even seem to disappear when on loan to the British Government if Anglo-American relations are to avoid taking a pounding. So Miss Moneypenny has her instructions: find 007. Now.
Bond’s first port of call is a dumb-founding French Renaissance chateau and space complex in the Californian desert, where the unlovable Hugo Drax first manufactured the shuttle Moonraker and from which he now conducts 40 per cent of the American space programme. As Drax’s appealing helicopter pilot Trudi puts it, ‘What he doesn’t own he doesn’t want.’
From there to Venice, where Bond discovers a dastardly Drax laboratory in the bowels of a Venetian glass factory which, when he comes to reveal it, has vanished during the night. On to a pent-house in Rio de Janeiro – so palatial that it seems to stop just short of the Pacific coast and comes complete with swimming pool and shapely swimmer. Outside, however, amongst the revelling Brazilian throng, is a carnival figure sporting an obscene set of jagged stainless steel teeth which Bond is soon to recognize as belonging to killer Jaws. His next stop after a deadly chase over squalling falls in a tropical rain forest is – unbelievable – outer space.
Christopher Wood’s astonishing new Bond adventure was written under licence from Glidrose, which owns Ian Fleming’s copyrights, from the script he wrote for the latest Bond film. The title James Bond and Moonraker itself retains the firmest link between Fleming’s original story and the events that take place on and around Hugo Drax’s malignantly conceived space utopia. Bond is at it again – raucous, dashing, cheeky as ever – and as the song says, nobody does it better.