Announcing an archive project

The HMSS Weblog Spy Command has begun an effort to archive at least some articles from the former Her Majesty’s Secret Servant website.

So far, only three articles are back online: IRON MAN, THE COLD WAR YEARS (originally published in 2010), MATT HELM, AMERICA’S LOADED WEAPON, originally published in 2000 with an update in 2007, about the Dean Martin movies, and IOWA: SPY CENTRAL, about the University of Iowa’s collection of papers by 007 screenwriter Richard Maibaum and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. executive producer Norman Felton.

We have the text and art for several other articles and will try to get those up as time and real life permit. There’s no way for the blog to preserve all the stories but we’re trying to do what we can.

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant was published from 1997 until 2014, with the last new issue in 2011. The HMSS Weblog, now The Spy Command, started in 2008, formally became a separate entity last year. The name Her Majesty’s Secret Servant is copyrighted by Paul Baack and Tom Zielinski.

UPDATE (Feb. 8): Two more stories have been archived:

THE BOND TOO BIG FOR 007: The first draft of Moonraker was so big, it was too much even for James Bond. Story looks at that script as well as drafts for Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale and Tomorrow Never Dies. Originally published in 2011 in the final issue of Her Majesty’s Secret Servant.

QUANTUM OF FLEMING: How much “Fleming content” is in each James Bond film? A feature article expanded from posts in The HMSS Weblog originally written in 2010. Updated to include Skyfall. The expanded article never ran until now.

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant marks its 16th anniversary


This month marks the 16th anniversary of Her Majesty’s Secret Servant. It was in April 1997 that the Web site debuted. HMSS’s first year included a variety of features. Among them: Raymond Benson on Hong Kong near the start of his tour of duty as 007 continuation novel writer.

Last year, while noting the 15th anniversary, we said a “best of” issue of the webzine was in the works. It didn’t work out that way as real life has a way of intervening. If that changes, we’ll let you know.

Still, this blog (which has its own fifth anniversary in October), the HMSS WEBLOG TWITTER FEED and HMSS Facebook page are still active. The Twitter feed and Facebook pages include links and short comments that don’t show up on the blog. Anyway, thanks to the readers who frequent HMSS on its various platforms. (And if you’re interested in HMSS swag, there’s always the HMSS shop.)

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant celebrates its 15th anniversary

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant celebrates its 15th anniversary this month. The Web site began as the “toy train” of founders/co-publishers Paul Baack and Tom Zielinski. The duo decided it’d be “rather fun” if some of the regular posters on the old newsgroup could contribute to an “e-magazine” centered around the special world of James Bond.

The format, then as now, was to divide the site into sections: Editorial (one or more commentaries, similar to the editor or publisher’s letters at the start of a print magazine), Films, Books, the Bond Market (all about collecting 007 items), Lagniappe (“a little something extra,” including THIS EXAMPLE done during the period when Die Another Day hadn’t gotten a title yet), F1rst Person (personal experiences with some element of 007) and the Other Spies.

Why the toy train analogy? It was always meant to be fun. Nobody is making a living off this corner of cyberspace (not unless THE HMSS SHOP suddenly takes off). Its contributors even have opinions that can vary greatly except for one thing: an affection for the world of James Bond.

Over the years, Raymond Benson presented photographs he took in Hong Kong when he was preparing his first 007 continuation novel, 1997’s Zero Minus Ten. Tom Zielinski interviewed the 007 screenwriting team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The site also featured a Mark Henderson interview with Jeffery Deaver, author of the 2011 007 novel Carte Blanche. Outside of 007, the site ran an interview with film and television music expert Jon Burlingame about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the years he put in to produce original soundtracks from the 1964-68 show.

There’s a lot more to look back on. So, a “best of” issue of HMSS is in the works.

Since the first issue, HMSS has expanded with this weblog, which debuted in October 2008, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Still, the main site remains the heart and soul of the operation, especially Paul Baack’s distinctive design work.

So, 15 years later, here’s a note of thanks to the founders on behalf of everybody they’ve let play with their toy train.

The new issue of HMSS has arrived!

The publishers and editors of Her Majesty’s Secret Servant are pleased to announce the publication of our latest issue. This one — our best yet, we think — is packed with interesting reading about all matters Bondian.

We have some old friends returning and some new ones joining us for the first time. Our good pal Deborah Lipp checks in with two fascinating articles; one about Live and Let Die‘s monkeying around with tarot cards, the other about recurring themes of voyeurism and concealment in You Only Live Twice. Ron Feyereisen returns with a contrarian view of the ongoing Daniel Craig “reboot” tenure; suffice it to say that he’s not a satisfied customer. Speaking of reboots, regular contributor Derek Austin Johnson casts his gimlet eye on the latest 007 literary adventure, Jeffery Deaver’s Carte Blanche (the James Bond watches man, Dell Deaton, offers a rebuttal). On the subject of the latest Bond novel, we’re rerunning Mark Henderson’s excellent interview (first published last April here on the blog,) with the author. We’re excited to welcome Stuart Basinger (that’s “Dr. Shatterhand” to you civilians) to the fold with his imaginary interview with former CIA director (and friend of Ian Fleming) Allan Dulles. James Bond is discussed. Ian Fleming Foundation member Colin Clark regales us with the story of the discovery and acquisition of Franz Sanchez’ escape plane — the Cessna we saw Timothy Dalton’s 007 lasso in Licence to Kill. And our stalwart senior editor Bill Koenig unearths the amazing story of what 1979’s Moonraker could have been like, if only Eon’s budget had matched the screenplay’s requirements. Bill’s story also covers script-to-screen changes in Diamonds Are Forever and Tomorrow Never Dies.

So set aside a little time, mix yourself a cool martini, and point your web browser to, for some thought-provoking entertainment and a heaping helping of, as the French say, le jamesbonderie (even though they probably don’t). Enjoy!


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