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In this podcast I look at the phenomenon of James Bond copycats and wannabes, from the CEO who bought the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and is turning it into a submarine to the drone operator recruited by a man talking about Bond movies.  I dissect the age old claim that spy films and TV are ‘just fiction’ and show how the intelligence agencies themselves acknowledge their untruths.  I also analyse the 2003 film The Recruit that was made with CIA assistance, and how it employs the same kind of doublethink as a BBC documentary when answering the question of whether real life spies are like James Bond.


PBS Frontline: Top Secret America (video)

PBS Frontline: Top Secret America (transcript)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk buys James Bond’s ‘submarine car’

Modern Spies Episode 1

Modern Spies Episode 2

FBI – The Insider Threat: An introduction to detecting and deterring an insider spy

The Recruit (2003)

Ex-drone operator with PTSD: ‘We see everything’

The Trip S01e02