A stray remark in comments while speculating on what role Gemma Arterton’s “Fields” might play got me thinking. What are the various minor female roles in a Bond film? Major roles would be the female lead, and the femme fatale.
Very few characters just happen to be female in a Bond film; even a hotel clerk or a lab tech seems to bristle with sexuality when 007 is around. Casino Royale was perhaps exceptional in that regard; the card dealer at the One and Only Ocean Club, and several card players in the film, weren’t filling any eye candy or innuendo roles. And that’s refreshing; I don’t want the sexuality to go away, but like men, women can be sexual and have normal characters.
But for women cast as “types,” what are those types?
Major role: “Bond girl” (female lead). Examples: Pussy Galore (GF), Vesper Lynd (CR), Kara Milovy (TLD)
Major role: Femme fatale (villainess). Examples: Fiona Volpe (TB), Miss Taro (DN), Xenia Onatopp (GE)
Major role: Sacrificial lamb. A “lamb” can be male or female; it is someone whose death (or, in LTK, injury) compels Bond to action and makes the goal personal. The major role of female sacrificial lamb involves a love scene followed by a death scene: Examples: Solange (CR), Aki (YOLT), Plenty O’Toole (DAF), Jill Masterson (GF)
Minor role: Villain’s agent. The photographer in Dr. No is an example of a female villain’s agent who just happens to be female, but most seem to be seductresses. Examples: Peaceful Fountains of Desire (DAD), Photographer (DN), Log Cabin Girl (TSWLM), Bonita (GF)
Minor role: Random romance. Bond has a love life outside of his duties. Although these women often work for MI6 or another intelligence agency, they have no bearing on the plot of the film. Examples: Dr. Warmflash (TWINE), Miss Caruso (LALD), Caroline (GE)
I’m strongly inclined to believe “Fields” is one of the latter two, but we’ll have to wait and see.