Spectre and the issue of surveillance.

Spectre and the issue of surveillance.

The following may contain minor spoilers


James Bond’s latest outing has been a rousing success so far, receiving early critical and commercial success and breaking British records within the first week of its release.

Bond is renowned for being the suave super-spy embroiled in a world of international espionage. However the world of intelligence is an ever changing one, and Spectre addresses this by revolving its plot around the issue of imposing surveillance. This controversial issue has become increasingly ever-present as examples of governmental organisations have overstepped their boundaries or misused this technology to gather intelligence on a large percentage of the population, and other countries government figures.

The world of Spectre introduces this in a very direct way, with the new character of Max Denbigh proposing that main world powers pool their resources and share all their intelligence and information with each other. The overall idea is to increasingly phase out the role of direct human interaction within MI6. However the major characters in the film notably ‘M’ are outright opposed to this idea, stating a human hand must always be behind the trigger. This perspective is interesting as Spectre and James Bond could very easily be a propaganda film for the increasingly widespread use of intelligence gathering. However it isn’t and stresses the need for a human touch.

The film’s plot reflects issues like those brought to attention by renowned whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Snowden gained infamy in 2013 when he disclosed over 9000 documents from various spy

This view is the first of its kind from a wide release commercial film, and after the resurgence of spy films this year, Spectre stands out from the rest by directly addressing this issue and providing a unique view, hopefully leading to other films following suit.