It was in GoldenEye that Dame Judi Dench first ripped into the “sexist, misogynist dinosaur” that is James Bond, telling the suave superspy, “If you think for one moment I don’t have the balls to send a man out to die, your instincts are dead wrong!”
Back then, it was Pierce Brosnan — not Daniel Craig — who was smirking beneath M’s withering glare, but 18 years later, she delivered on that threat in Skyfall. Stepping into the field after six previous Bond adventures that limited her to cold disapproval from behind a desk, M’s promotion into the heart of the latest story, which featured Javier Bardem as a rogue ex double-0 agent committed to exacting vengeance upon his former boss, raised the stakes for the characters and made Skyfall one of the most popular Bond movies ever. It’s already grossed more than a billion worldwide, nearly equaling the two previous Daniel Craig 007 adventures combined.
In the end, Dench proved to be the most fascinating and important Bond Girl of them all, not only proving herself his equal is every way, but bringing colors out of his “blunt instrument” of a secret agent that no bikini-clad babe ever could. Skyfall arrives on video next Tuesday, and Dench and Craig discuss their special relationship in an exclusive Blu-ray extra below.