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Looking back: 007 Magazine 'GoldenEye' special issues

Between late 1995 and early 1997, Graham Rye's 007 MAGAZINE publication dedicated three issues to GOLDENEYE: numbers 28, 29 and 30. In 2019, these magazines were reprinted and sold as "Redux" (restored) editions: the content is exactly the same, but the layout has now been "re-mastered, re-typeset, and re-scanned from the original transparencies & photographs and digitally printed for the highest quality reproduction", Mr Rye tells us.

If you had a wallet in the 90s, you probably bought them and still have those in your collection. But if you didn't, and you adore GOLDENEYE and James Bond, you should spend some 16 bucks and get them because not only the stills are very good, but the information isn't easily available anywhere, and you can trust it's reliable since Graham covered the shooting of the film for over a year, assisting to Pierce Brosnan's announcement as James Bond in June 1994, the introduction of the cast and crew at Leavesden Studios in January 1995, and interviewed most of the cast and crew on the set of the film.

Issue #28 (October 1995): Between a front cover featuring Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean and a back cover with 007 looking dashing in a dinner jacket, Issue 28 follows the old style of Bond magazines of the time: there's a page of news, collectables advertisements, reports from conventions and a report on deleted sequences from the 007 films. You may argue that all this looks outdated by now that we have already seen many of those scenes as they were made available on the Ultimate Edition DVDs and Blu-ray releases, however, the article is accompanied by some never-before-seen stills and some described scenes weren't even shot and only feature in script drafts not easily available even in this day. The report on the ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE themed event with George Lazenby is a nice read and so is a long article reviewing the John Gardner novels by author Raymond Benson, where he interpolates his thoughts (novelizations not included)on each novel with paragraphs with an interview he had with his predecessor in the job of continuing Fleming's work. There isn't much of GOLDENEYE here except for some photos and an 8-page article with a preview of the film, where Rye anticipates that the 17th Bond film in the series is "a return to all the things that made James Bond the cinema's favourite hero, but wrapped in a glossier modern package" as Brosnan's Bond is "funny, human, sexy, deadly, sophisticated and cool".

Issue #29 (1996): This one is really the GOLDENEYE special per-se, flanked by a Keith Hamshere shot of a tuxedoed Pierce Brosnan and Izabella Scorupco between flames and a Yves Saint-Laurent make-up publicity promoting the film. It begins with a short page with photos of the GOLDENEYE production launch press conference held on January 22, 1995, at Leavesden. We can read some of Brosnan's puns while introducing the rest of the cast to the world press, particularly joking with the surname of Samantha Bond who played Moneypenny. A few pages ensue describing the full film, loaded by stills in good quality and a short bio column on the main cast. Then we have lengthy and fully detailed interviews to Izabella Scorupco telling us about her small concerns with English language dialogues and production designer Peter Lamont, explaining the difficulties of shooting in Russia and the reason why the Aston Martin DB5 numberplate was BMT 214A. The original 1996 edition featured a spread with the GOLDENEYE US one sheet theatrical poster, which is not in the Redux, but we still have a good black and white shot of Pierce Brosnan along with his (facsimile) signature. The issue finishes with the lyrics of Tina Turner's main title song and a report of the tank chase shot at Leavesden, doubling for St Petersburg, which Graham Rye covered to the detail. Once again, there are rarely-seen pics from his archive along with an interview with Simon Crane, the film's stunt coordinator.

Issue #30 (1997): Pierce Brosnan and Izabella Scorupco feature on the front cover, in another shot taken by Keith Hamshere, but this time over a red background and Bond is wearing his black tactical gear instead of his dinner jacket. This issue is much more conventional than the previous one, but there is still a lot of GOLDENEYE, much more than in issue 28. There are many pages covering the news at the time of publication, starting with a report on Bond 18 which would become TOMORROW NEVER DIES. Rye rationally warns us not to believe the internet or the local press and provides a few interesting scoops, much of them turned out to be right, although in the end John Barry didn't compose the score of the film as it was expected. We move to small columns on Pierce Brosnan's wax figure in tux and Walther PPK for Madame Tussauds and a preview of THE JAMES BOND ULTIMATE DOSSIER interactive CD-ROM ("Wives! Never see your husbands again"). After some book and collectable reviews, we have three big GOLDENEYE features: long interviews with main title designer Daniel Kleinman and composer Eric Serra, the latter done by Lukas Kendall who was in charge of remastering the Bond soundtracks for Capitol records in 2003. Both interviews are fascinating to read and the one with Kleinman has many sketches of the main titles and details on how he achieved the vision he had in his mind to depict the fall of the Soviet Union which divides the pre-credits with the main film through the title sequence. Among the sketches featured, you'll see some unused ideas, such as a countdown clock reflected in a golden eye, Bond's silhouette jumping through sickles and stars ripping soviet flags. The Serra interview is much shorter, but he explains why did he use his particular take instead of following the style of John Barry. The last pages contain a portfolio of on-the-set shots taken by Graham Rye, some of which feature Bond's wardrobe and the Aston Martin DB5 going through St Petersburg. Deleted scene? No, not at all. It was just part of the ITV special IN SEARCH OF JAMES BOND hosted by Jonathan Ross.

At the time of writing, these issues are in stock. You'll find material (photos, facts, words) on the film that you have never read in official James Bond publications, so these are highly recommendable. Find purchase options on the 007 MAGAZINE site.

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