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Home BlogalongaBond BlogalongaBond: You Only Live Twice (1967)
BlogalongaBond: You Only Live Twice (1967) Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 27 May 2011 15:13

BlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Bond 23 comes along in November 2012.

After Thunderball's underwater bilge, Bond faced a challenge: how do you top nuclear weapons and sharks? The answer: go to Japan.

It's a bold move, which distracts from the same old formula with exotic scenery, fat men throwing 007 through paper-thin walls, and Bond's impressive Japanese linguistic skills.

"You forget, Moneypenny, I got a first in Oriental Languages at Oxford," says Sean Connery, before going on to spend the entire film speaking in English. With a thick Scottish accent.

But while Bond's How to Speak Japanese guide would be an easy read (Step 1: Look like Leonard Nimoy), You Only Live Twice did something far more important for the Bond franchise. Not only did it show Blofeld's face for the first time (spoiler: he looks like Donald Pleasance), it also gave Bond's nemesis a new home: a hollowed-out volcano. And that volcano became one of the most iconic images associated with 007. 

Which would explain why I found this authentic Japanese haiku sitting inside the box of my special edition You Only Live Twice DVD:

Blofeld, you are cool.

Your volcano rules. Tell me

how to build one too.


And, inevitably, underneath that haiku was an instructional pamphlet that went a little something like this...


 How to Build Your Own Volcano Lair 


Step One: Hire Ken Adam


If you want the best volcano lair, hire the best volcano lair designer:  Sir Ken Adam OBE, the genius behind almost every brilliant Bond set your brain can remember. With Ken on board, hopefully your lair will turn out looking like this:  

Of course, to match Ken's sense of scale, you'll have to find a volcano that's big enough. For a rough guide to size, remember that you need to be able to fit a plastic bottle inside. 

See? The likeness is uncanny:



Step Two: Buy a Left-Wing Newspaper


Buy a left-wing newspaper and no-one will ever suspect you of trying to take over the world. (I recommend the Guardian, just for the free 68-page camping guide, but other newspapers are available.)

Try covering your volcano with strips of the newspaper to really complete the effect - you'll go undetected for months. While you're at it, hollow out the volcano and replace all that earth with rolled up newspaper. Old Ken loves his rolled up newspaper.


Step Four: Put a Hole in the Top


Make sure you cut a massive hole in the top for the rocket ship to get in and out. You've seen Thunderbirds, you know how this stuff works.



Step Five: Make It Look Pretty


Stick a round metal circle on the top to make it look like a lake. To help your hideaway really blend in, give the rest of volcano a paint job, sparing no expense. If necessary, use the official Blofeld-endorsed Volcano Drying Machine to make things faster.

Don't forget: your volcano needs to be able to stand up to close inspection. Especially from 007 and his flatpack autogyro. It may look like it's made from LEGO, but Little Nellie knows how to defend her honour. Mostly with guns. And rocket launchers.



Step Six: Insert Rocket Launch Pad


If you're going to carry out your evil plan to steal Soviet and American spacecraft, you better build that launch pad quick. Even better, get your little Japanese minions to do it for you. That way you get more time to play with the cat. You can play with Ken, too, if he's finished with his rolled up newspaper.



Step Seven: Build Your Own Monorail


A volcano lair isn't a volcano lair without your VERY OWN MONORAIL. FACT.



Step Eight: Insert Piranha Pool


Even with the monorail, your Bond villain HQ still isn't complete until you add in a pool with sharks. Failing that, some piranhas will do. Of course, if you don't have room for a water feature, get Ken to come up with another cool way to kill off your minions when they fail to do your bidding. Perhaps you could run them over with your monorail.

Did I mention the monorail?



Step Nine: Allow Easy Entrance for Ninjas


To make sure your base goes down as the most iconic evil HQ of all time, leave the lake hole open for an extra couple of hours. That way all the ninjas can get inside ready for the big finale. If you're lucky, a guy dressed as Spider-Man might make an appearance as well.




Step Ten: Add a Self-Destruct Button

Of course, now you've let ninjas into your volcano, they'll start destroying all of Ken's beautiful work. And if that's going to happen, you might as well build a self-destruct button. It can be a secret metal lever, or just a tub of baking powder - whatever you have to hand.


With your self-destruct button in place, it's impossible for you to lose. Not if everyone gets liquidated to death by burning hot magma.



And that's how you build your own evil volcano lair, using just a volcano, a newspaper, a handful of Japanese minions and some baking powder. No wonder Ken Adam made it look easy.


BlogalongaBond will return next month in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. For more BlogalongaBond stuff, point your PC this way.