Doctor No Background

Doctor No Background

Doctor No is the sixth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series and was first published in 1958. The story centers on Bond's investigation into the disappearance of fellow MI6 operative Commander John Strangeways whilst in Jamaica. He establishes that Strangeways has been investigating Chinese mine operator, Dr No, on the Caribbean island of Crab Key. In March 1956, Fleming and his friend Ivar Bryce accompanied Arthur Veray of the Flamingo Protection society, and Robert Cushman Murphy of the American Museum of Natural History, on a trip to Great Inagua in the South Bahamas to a flamingo colony. The colony was one hundred square miles of inaccessible mangrove swamp and this location became the background for Dr No's island of Crab Key. Much of the overland travel on Great Inagua was by a swamp vehicle, a Land Rover fitted with oversized tires that became the model for "the dragon" used in the novel. Fleming's inspiration for the character of Dr No was Sax Rohmer's villain Fu Man Chu.

After returning from his expedition Fleming became involved in a project to collaborate on a television series called Commander Jamaica, set in the Caribbean with a main character named James Gunn. The project ultimately came to nothing, but Fleming used the idea as the basis for the Dr No novel, initially titling it The Wound Man.

As was his habit Fleming borrowed names from friends and associates to use in his books. Ivar Maxwell's housekeeper, May Maxwell, became Bond's "Scottish treasure" May. One of Fleming's neighbors in Jamaica was Blache Blackwell whose name was used for the guano-collecting ship in Doctor No.

Doctor No was the first of Fleming's James Bond novels to receive largely negative reviews in Britain wher it was seen to have too much sex, snobbery and sadism. The American market received the novel more favorably.

Doctor No was the first Bond feature film in the Eon Production series and was released in 1962 starring Sean Connery.

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