Played by: Daniel Craig
The low-down: Martini-glugging, casino-loitering, commitment-phobic MI6 agent. Having foiled global evil since 1962’s Dr No, Bond is blissfully retired in Jamaica during the opening scenes of No Time To Die. But that’s not going to last, obviously.
In short: Licence to thrill
Played by: Lashana Lynch
The low-down: Since Bond’s retirement, Lynch’s ambitious ‘00’ agent has risen through the ranks – and she’s none too pleased to see this dinosaur interrupt her mission. “You get in my way,” she warns him, “I’ll put a bullet in your knee. The one that works.”
In short: Spy who didn’t love me
Played by: Ana De Armas
The low-down: This CIA operative is no cardboard cut-out, combining serious ass-kickery with what De Armas calls her “bubbly” and “irresponsible” nature. “She’s flawed. It’s human. When I read the part, I was like, ‘Oh, wait, I can be a Bond girl. I’m that messy.’”
In short: Bond girl next door
Played by: Léa Seydoux
The low-down: While Bond’s romantic partners usually get a raw deal, this psychiatrist survived 2015’s Spectre and is still along for the ride. But when a horrifying package arrives, hinting at a connection with Safin, 007 questions Swann’s loyalties.
In short: Doctor or double-agent?
Played by: Rami Malek
The low-down: The Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody star set out to create a villain who would “really make people’s skin crawl”, and he excels as a scarred psycho with a mask straight out of Lloyd Webber’s Phantom.
In short: Masked madman
Played by: Christoph Waltz
The low-down: Bested by Bond in Spectre, Blofeld is now rotting in MI6 custody but still seems one step ahead of the spy. With his slippery mind games and shoals of red herrings, he’s like a one-eyed, even creepier Hannibal Lecter.
In short: String-pulling puppet master
Played by: Ralph Fiennes
The low-down: Don’t be fooled by the office job. As a former British Army lieutenant colonel during The Troubles, Bond’s commanding officer is more pistol-packer than pen-pusher, and proved his mettle in the shootout from Spectre.
In short: Don’t call him a desk jockey
Played by: Naomie Harris
The low-down: M’s PA is anything but a supporting character. This former field agent – she took an office role after almost taking Bond out during Skyfall’s pre-credit sequence – is one of the few people 007 trusts implicitly when the chips are down.
In short: Bond’s ally and better nature
Played by: Ben Whishaw
The low-down: The geeky counterpoint to 007’s ALPHA bull in a china shop, Q (short for Quartermaster) supplies Bond’s gadgets and kit. He’s no pushover, and they respect each others skills. No Time To Die’s Aston Martin DB5 minigun headlights? That’s Q’s handiwork.
In short: Bond’s closest MI6 ally