Mainly Millicent: Roger Moore’s First Appearance as James Bond

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In an episode of the BBC sketch comedy show Mainly Millicent from July 1964, Roger Moore played James Bond nine years before he officially played the role in Live and Let Die. Mainly Millicent starred English actress Millicent Martin, and in this sketch she plays Russian spy Sonia Sekova on holiday. James Bond is also on holiday and is dressed down in a light grey tweed sports coat with a small, subtle check. The sketch can be found on the Live and Let Die DVD and Blu-ray disc as well as on YouTube.

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In this sketch Roger Moore’s James Bond outfit is almost identical to his Simon Templar outfits. Access to Moore’s wardrobe for The Saint wouldn’t have been difficult since both The Saint and Mainly Millicent were filmed at ATV’s Elstree studios (http://www.tvstudiohistory.co.uk/studio%20history.htm), which are in Hertfordshire just outside of London. Moore actually first wears this sports coat in The Saint’s second series episode “The Work of Art” in 1963. In a January 1964 episode titled “Luella”, Simon Templar convinces a woman that he is James Bond, and he is wearing this sports coat. That episode also features Moore’s Live and Let Die co-star David Hedison. This grey tweed jacket made it into the colour episodes five years later, and I previously wrote about how Moore dresses it down in the episode “The Death Game”. See it in colour!

The same grey tweed jacket in "The Death Game"
The same grey tweed jacket in “The Death Game”

Cyril Castle made this jacket in the usual button three single-breasted style he made for Moore throughout the 1960s. The cuts of the suit jackets and sports coats vary a little in the shoulders and chest, depending on how dressy they are. This is one of the least dressy sports coats and thus has natural shoulders without roping and has more drape in the chest. The waist is cut closely in the back, though from the front it looks a little shapeless. Interestingly, the quarters are cut more square and not as rounded as they ordinarily are on Cyril Castle’s jackets. This jacket is detailed with swelled edges, single-button cuffs, open square patch pockets with rounded corners, a welt breast pocket and short, six-inch double vents.

Like most of Moore’s jackets from The Saint, this jacket has very narrow lapels that aren’t all that flattering to Moore, especially due to the drape in the chest. The drape cut was developed in the 1930s when wide lapels were trendy and complemented the wide chest, so ultra-narrow lapels don’t go well with most of Moore’s jackets in The Saint. Despite the narrow lapels, Cyril Castle’s jackets are cut very well.

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In Mainly Milicent, Moore wears this jacket with dark trousers that are probably charcoal. They actually look black, but it is unlikely that they would be. They are cut with narrow, tapered legs. If they are like Moore’s other trousers from this era they have a darted front and frogmouth pockets. He wears his usual shirt from The Saint: ecru with a classic spread collar and double cuffs. The tie, however, is where Moore dresses more like James Bond than Simon Templar. Whilst Templar’s solid ties are satin silk and brightly-coloured, for his first appearance as James Bond he wears the classic Bond tie: a black knitted silk tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot. During a fight, Moore’s tie becomes dislodged from inside his jacket and hangs outside of it for the rest of the sketch, revealing the square bottom. Moore’s shoes are black and have very tall, two-inch “cuban” heels, which were made popular at the time by The Beatles. They’re the trendiest part of the outfit and certainly not something James Bond would wear, but they’re hardly seen.

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It’s not surprising that Moore wears his Saint wardrobe in this sketch, but the black knitted tie is the perfect touch. Someone on the staff for Mainly Millicent must have read Ian Fleming’s novels and knew that James Bond wears a black knitted tie. It was a simple way to dress Simon Templar more like Bond. Since this episode is from the summer of 1964, Goldfinger had not yet been released and that would be the first time the film Bond wears a knitted tie.

The grey tweed jacket in Luella in the scene where Bond whispers to a woman that he is James Bond
The same grey tweed jacket in the Saint episode “Luella” This is from the scene where Templar whispers to a woman that he is James Bond

15 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent, thorough post, Matt. He obviously had a particular fondness for this jacket (and as you correctly point out its dimensions aren’t all that flattering to him) as he wore it from 1963 right through until the final colour series in 1968 when it made one final appearance in the (excellent, one of the all time best “Saint”) episode(s) “The Time to Die”.

  2. This is a fascinating prediction of Moore’s career.
    Timothy Dalton also played a spy in the ‘comedy’ film Sextette (1978) in which he climbs about the exterior walls of a city building, trying to avoid being seen and avoiding sudden pigeons, an almost exact prediction of a similar scene in Licence to Kill. He’s even wearing a grey morning suit as he does earlier in LTK. Funny how careers go.

    Ps Matt, the last photo credit should read ‘Templar whispers’, not ‘Bond whispers’.

  3. “Access to Moore’s wardrobe for The Saint wouldn’t have been difficult since both The Saint and Mainly Millicent were filmed at ATV’s Elstree studios”.

    But the “Saint wardrobe” were not the own wardrobe of Roger Moore?
    I thought that it played the part with his personal suits..from Cyril Castle.

    • Cyril Castle was Moore’s personal tailor as well, but I’m sure that The Saint purchased the clothes used on the show. A show can’t rely on the actor to wear the correct neatly-pressed clothes to filming every day.

    • Matt,in your opinion the shape and features of coat and suits that Cyril Castle make for the Saint were chosen by a costume designer or by Roger Moore?
      My impression is that the ultra narrow lapels were a Moore’s choise (Sir Roger is always been “fashionable”..maybe too much).
      Also Patrick MacNee was behind the creative process of the Steed’s suit…with the difference that MacNee not dressed as John Steed in real life (well,not entirely),Roger Moore dressed as Simon Templar.

  4. I generally agree with the comments, particularly about the jacket’s drape vs. the narrow lapels and their battle with Moore’s body.

    On another, unrelated note, and I don’t mean to intrude, but anyone here who is also a fan of symphonic scores in general and Bond scores in particular may want to check this out. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/681802762/moonraker-new-recording

    I have no connection to it, and I have no idea if it is legitimate or not. I am a fan of film music, and Moonraker’s score is wonderful but the commercially available album is very incomplete.

    • This is actually something that seriously interests me. Moonraker is one of my favourite scores of all the Bond films and I’ve always been upset about the tapes being lost. I hope it will sound closer to the original than the Drax Chateau/Freefall piece that Nic Raine has already recorded.

    • Agree with Matt here! Nic Raine is more than qualified to do this, however his past attempts to re-record Bond scores have more of his own personal stamp on them then Barry’s. I suppose that is understandable. But it is disappointing. Many of the missing cues from Moonraker have already been rerecorded by fans on YouTube to surprising results.
      http://youtu.be/iFM6F22T32I

  5. Matt,

    I agree on all counts. Moonraker is one of my top three Bond scores, and I would love to have a full, faithful recording. The Prague Philharmonic has done some great work before. And I agree about the prior Raine recording. Hopefully, if this happens, the resulting product will be faithful to the great John Barry’s score.

  6. Moore’s suits and odd jackets for the Saint vary very little, especially in the last two series. It seems he asked Castle to create a few three-piece suits , some in awful colours and in gaberdine, that he could easily wear again and again. Unlike earlier series, where he has costume changes, he tends to wear the three-piece suits through an entire episode in the later series’.

    You stress that they have ‘natural shoulders’, which I assume means spalla camica type shoulders, but there is clearly sleeve-head wadding the jackets Moore wears. They DO have the normal ‘roping’ of coats made in England; despite the 1960s fashion of looking to Italian tailoring (where roping is also found!).

    • Natural shoulders can have roped sleeveheads since the shoulders are independent of the sleeveheads. When the shoulders follow the natural shoulder line with little or no wadding and still have roped sleeveheads, those are still natural shoulders. The sleeveheads aren’t natural but the shoulders are. Shoulders don’t need to be unstructured to be natural. A shirt shoulder is not necessary for a jacket to have natural shoulders, and there is something between a shirt shoulder and a roped sleevehead. The sleevehead on this jacket is supported with a little wadding, but it’s certainly not roped. It has a fairly natural sleevehead. What do you think of the Savile Row tailors who have a lot of padding in their shoulders and still call them natural?

  7. The confusion lies in the term ‘natural shoulders’. Originally it always running in a curved slope an thus closer to what is now called a ‘pagoda shoulder’. This is regardless of the amount of padding, nearly every bespoke coat has a thinner shoulder pad than anything RTW. The sleeve-heads are certainly not independent of the shoulder structure; they are an integral part of it. If the coats Moore is wearing had no (or very minimal) sleeve-head wadding the crown would collapse, but it doesn’t.

    The unusual fascination with ‘natural shoulders’ is a (largely American) #menswear fetish. Unusual because American coats were always made with more padding than English coats until quite recently. I make-up coats every day and have done so in several workshops. I can assure you that more wadding goes into so-called natural shoulders than you may think.

    • I’ve handled Douglas Hayward coats that have a roped sleevehead but some of the thinnest and softest shoulder construction I’ve ever seen outside of unstructured shoulders. The shape of the shoulder follows the natural shoulder line until the sleevehead. I’ve heard from tailors that the sleevehead is independent from the shoulder

      The tailors I’ve spoken with on suit construction must have been trained differently from you. But most tailors I speak with have different ideas of what a “natural shoulder” is. For this shoulder, do you think “soft” would better describe it?

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