With as many martinis as he was downing at his peak, James Bond would have been a debilitated drunkard—or so says the new edition of the British Medical Journal. Here comes science to ruin the fun.
In analyzing Ian Fleming’s 14 Bond novels, Doctors in Derby and Nottingham, UK found that the books’ namesake character would have been drinking the equivalent of 1.5 bottles of wine each day (or five martinis, as was his preference). That’s roughly 1,150 drinks in the 88 days the series covers. That’s “top whack” levels of drinking, as one researcher put it.
Another put it more simply, calling Bond’s behavior through the series the “lifestyle of an alcoholic.” The first step, after all, is admitting you have a problem.
Suffice to say, you wouldn’t want a sauced-up secret agent jet-setting around the globe, defusing nuclear bombs or whatever else incredibly dangerous nonsense any barfly would do best to stay out of. But, then, there are probably unique pressures that apply to the secret agent job description with which us civilians aren’t familiar. Saving the world has got to be a lot of pressure for one guy.
However, the British docs still say that’s no excuse:
"Although we appreciate the societal pressures to consume alcohol when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers, we would advise Bond to be referred for further assessment of his alcohol intake."
Otherwise, Bond looks forward to a future of impotence, liver damage, and an eventual early death. Though, to be fair, Bond probably always expected an early death at the hands of one international villain or another. So, in that sense, he doesn’t expect not to die. He expects to drink.
And, given the longevity of the series, he’ll still be at work tomorrow.