The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

James Bond is most likely a Time Lord

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,784 times Debate No: 32716
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (4)




The Pro will here argue that James Bond is most likely a Time Lord. The Con will argue that he most likely is not. This is meant as an entertaining debate so arguments along the lines of "Ian Fleming didn't even know what Doctor Who was when he created the character" will not only be inadmissable but will warrant derision and name calling.

Time Lords refer to an alien race of humanoids who uesd to rule the planet Gallifrey in the science fiction program 'Doctor Who'. James Bond is a character created by Ian Fleming who works for the British secret service and who is the object of a number of novels and films.

Opening arguments begin in R2. R1 will be used only for acceptance and clarification.


Whilst my opponent did specifically say he meant time lord in the sense of the rulers of Gallifrey, though in the spirit of the debate, I will also accept any evidence which suggests he was Gallifreyan, rather than solely accepting evidence that he was a member of the Oligarchical ruling elite of Gallifrey.

Further in the spirit of the debate, my opponent need not prove that it is likely in the conventional sense of the word, but rather that it is possible, without requiring to many improbable things* to be true, whilst also holding all canon elements of both series to be true. Should I provide a counter proposal, however, he must prove it is more likely than that.

*if you have to stack up an excessively long series of handwavey assumptions that won't really count as fulfilling your burden of proof.

What is considered canon is up for debate, however, certain elements such as both the modern and classic Dr Who series, the main James Bond films and novels are indisputable. Generally, extra officially produced sources should be considered canon unless they contradict the indisputable parts of canon.

And to finish; despite this rather dry first round, this debate is for fun. What is likely must be considered within the framework of the worlds we are examining :)
Debate Round No. 1


Before we begin it must be noted that there is a problem in need of addressing in regards to the James Bond canon. That is, there's a need for some sort of explanation as to how so many actors have portrayed the same character (or codename) for the last fifty+ years. Dating back to as early as 1954, several actors have taken up playing the character. But within the "James Bond universe" this doesn't sit well. How can one person not only change their appearance so radically so many times but continue to perform the physically/mentally demanding challenges of an MI6 agents for fifty-nine years? A number of theories have been forwarded, three of which shall be considered here. They are as follows:

  1. T1: James Bond is a code name for an elite group of MI6 agents. When one dies (or retires), another one takes their place and assumes the name "James Bond".
  2. T3: The "person" James Bond is in reality a Time Lord and his regenerative abilities are what allow him to (a) change appearance and (b) live for so long.

Over the course of this debate I'll undertake to show why T1 is false (or highly unlikely) while simultaneously defending T2 as most plausible. My opponent is free to endorse/defend his own view (T1 or otherwise) while refuting my own.

===Refutation of T1 or "The Codename Thesis"===

In the most recent Bond film ("Skyfall"), we learn a bit about Bond's childhood and past when he and M seek refuge in his childhood home (and family estate). While there we see the tombstones accompanying James' parents. One can see clearly the names on the tombstones.


The tombstones read "In Memory of Andrew Bond and Monique Delaoroix Bond". Furthermore, upon M and Bond's arrival at Skyfall, the gamekeeper Kincade refers to Bond by the name "James Bond"[1]. This part of the movie clearly shows that this James Bond IS THE James Bond. At the very least it can be inferred that Bond wasn't taking up an elite code name when he entered MI6.

Furthermore, the "codename thesis" comes under even more pressure when we look at scenes which either implicitly or explicitly reference things which a previous Bond actor has done. For instance, James Bond's marriage to Tracy Bond was referenced in three movies after her initial performance (and death) in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". In the films "The Spy Who Loved Me", "For Your Eyes Only", and "License to Kill", references to Bond's previous marriage to her are made. These references are also found in the novels "Diamonds are Forever" and "You Only Live Twice". Further credence is lend to the "anti-codename thesis" when we see the new Bond actor in "For Your Eyes Only" placing flowers as Tracy Bond's grave. The grave clearly reads "Teresa Bond" which makes sense if Bond is his real name but appears awkward and unexplained in the event that the "codename thesis" rings true.

The James Bond canon quite clearly supports the theory that "James Bond" refers to a specific man, not a code name.

===Affirmation of T2 or "The Timelord Thesis"===

Affirmation of any specific explanation will necessarily involve more effort than simply pointing out logical errors in a rival view. However, the argument purported here will (hopefully) show why Galifreyan (or some other Time Lord origins- see River Pond[3]) best explain the seeming discontinuities in the James Bond canon. Timelord status (and the accompanying ability to regenerate) would explain the numerous changes in Bond's age, personality, and physical appearance. Just as the Doctor has gone from this:

to this:

so James Bond's seemingly immortal status can be made sense of in light of him simply regenerating when he gets close to death. Moreover, the multiplicity of gadgets which would be highly unlikely to exist in the time they were set in. The jetpack[4] in Thunderball (1965),X-ray glasses[5] in The World is Not Enough, or the invisible car[6] in Die Another Day would all be better explained by the fact that MI6 has an agent of extra-terrestrial origins (thus opening up the possibility of Bond either outright handing over such technology or using his intelligence as a Timelord to help facilitate its creation*). Bond being a Timelord at least brings some explanatory apparatus to the problem of how these seemingly insane pieces of technology were actually harnessed.

*We know that Timelords are more intelligent and better equipped to understand physics, technology, etc. by both Donna Noble's experience after absorbing part of the Tenth Doctor's reincarnation energy[7] and River Song's experience through being conceived aboard the TARDIS in the time vortex[3].


The "Codename Thesis" of James Bond's fifty-nine year on-screen lifespan has thus been shown to be wanting both in that Bond's real name was shown to be "James Bond" in Skyfall and when taking into account the numerous references to Bond's marriage to Tracy Bond (as well as her grave marker carrying the surname Bond). Moreover, Timelord status brings to light a coherent explanation for Bond's changes in age, physical appearance, and personality over the years while also bringing in a possible explanation for some of the "Bond gadgets" which would appear otherwise laughably absurd.


[2] Photo found at:


I entirely agree that the code name argument is not a strong thesis, whether it is weaker than the time lord thesis is questionable, but shall not be explored in much depth here. I am upset that my opponent wasted half his round. I feel this was an issue that I could have prevented via more effective communication.
I intend to provide the flaws in the time lord thesis (TLT), thus fulfilling my burden of proof. I will also provide several more likely hypotheses in brief.

Note Bene
River Song is not a gallifreyan let alone a time lord , but a human in possession of time lord traits ( and any proof that Bond is a "time lord" would not fulfill SP's burden of proof. My opponent did not make this claim, and I'm sure is far too knowledgeable on the subject to make such a folly, but I thought it worth pointing out for the unitiated

Unlikeliness of being another accessible time lord
To be blunt, Britain between the 50's and the modern era is sort of the Doctors hangout zone. The fact that the Master, who is batsh1t insane is the only other accessible Time Lord, has been making the Doctor lonely for what feels like four seasons plus now. Its practically the nu-who's whole companion motivator. So if there was an accessible Time Lord just chilling in the Doctor's favourite space on galactic foursquare, it would seem highly improbable he hadn't shuffled up and said hi before having an exciting and excellent adventure.
Furthermore, the Doctor used a De-mat gun at "the moment"; this wiped out all traces of the time lords at every point in time ending the time war, but destroying all time lords.

In addition to this, the existence of the Doctor is well known amongst British Military intelligence, through such divisions like Torchwood. Bond being aware of his own condition and its similarities to the Doctor's would surely seek him out if he were a timelord.

Physiological issues
Time lords have two hearts. James Bond has undergone a huge number of physicals (off the top of my head Skyfall or the hospital scene in The World is Not Enough). Any mildly competent physician would notice this, yet they don't.

Time Lords age much, much slower than humans. When artificially aged 500 years, the Fourth Doctor looked like an elderly human (The Leisure Hive and the 11th doctor looked the same for 200 years. This is in sharp contrast to Craig's Bond who is constantly reminded of how old he is getting in Skyfall, despite only being chronologically about a decade from Casino Royale (2006)

Low body temperature is another Gallefreyan physiological feature. Their average body temperature is a cool 16 degrees. Any remotely competent physician, or hell, woman he slept with would notice this.

Gallifreyans also possess a photographic memory. I haven't found an egregious example of Bond forgetting something so feel free to ignore this one for now, but it also is a skill never demonstrated, despite it being something which would obviously be very useful to Bond.

Gallefreyans have different blood. It is darker, orangey and lacks antibodies. These too would be very obvious to a physician.

Gallefreyans reject subcutaneous implants. I have no example for this one due to time constraints, but I have a distinct memory of a Bond film where a tracker is placed under Bond's skin so if I can find the example this may come up next round. Similarly aspirin kills Gallifreyans. I have a vague recollection of Bond taking aspirin, but until I can recall the film feel free to ignore this.

I must confess this round I have been rather lazy on this section, and only found a few examples of continuity errors out of many which would not be solved by having Bond be a Time Lord;
+ Lazenby refers to the other bond "this never happened to the other fellow" in For Her majesty's secret service)
+ Bond meets M (Judi Dench) for the first time, whilst being set chronologically ahead of the others, and earns his 00 status in Casino Royale (2006), whilst also having it many years prior. (At this point it is worth noting that the TARDIS is the last type 40 in the universe)
+ Miss Moneypenny and Felix Leiter would also need to time lords for this theory to make sense, given their vast changes in appearance and behaviour throughout the years

Alternative hypotheses

James Bond is a shape-shifter. This would give him longevity and allow the changing of his body, but also allow him to have human physiology and an incentive to avoid the Doctor. Furthemore, shapeshifters haven't undergone a near total genocide in either the Bond or Who canons.

James Bond is a single man, but in several different dimensions. Slight changes have caused each reality to be slightly different (maybe a different sperm reached the egg so he looked a bit different, maybe another was conceived later) but have many overarching similarities such some marrying the same woman, or being part of MI6. It would explain differences in character, period and other issues solved with the time lord thesis, as well as keeping him human so eliminating the inherent issues with Bond being a time lord and explaining issues with the continuity far better than the time lord thesis.

To conclude, the nature of the Who canon makes another accessible time lord impossible, and the nature of the time lord's is incompatible with Bond canon. James Bond existing accross several dimensions is vastly more probable than the TLT.
Debate Round No. 2


The reason I moved to refute the "code-name thesis" is because it is generally the most popular alternative to the idea that Bond is either just a normal person (prima facie unlikely by itself) or, as in my case, to the idea that he is of alien/otherwise non-human origins. Refuting the "code-name thesis" straightaway better allows us to focus on points relevant to the debate at hand. Though I admit that the debate might have been better served if I had asked for an exposition of your counter-thesis in R1.


Con argues that it's unlikely that there could be two Time Lords simultaneously working for the British government in a more or less overlapping time period. Con provides three arguments, each of which in turn will be refuted below.

(1) Proximity.

Con questions why the Doctor (or conversely Bond I assume) wouldn't simply seek another Time Lord out. The problem with this isn't that the Doctor holds no motivation in doing so, but that he simply isn't aware that another Time Lord exists on the planet. Look no further for evidence than the fact that the Doctor had no idea that the Master was Prime Minister of Britain for a time. Hugely popular and always in the public eye, the Doctor didn't piece together his identity until the Master had been an active member of the British government (and the public eye) for at least a few years. It is true that the Master used the "Archangel Network" to make humans trust him which could have been why the Doctor failed to recognize his presence for so long. However, this point brings to light the fact that Time Lords are able to conceal their existence from other Time Lords given the proper motivation. It doesn't appear too implausible that a Time Lord in Bond's profession would have some incentive to keep his identity hidden from outsiders.

(2) De-Mat Gun.

The use of the De-Mat gun clearly didn't erase the existence of all Time Lords given that we see appearances of both the Master in normal space [] and the entirety of Gallifrey able to make its way to this universe [].

(3) Awareness.

Furthermore, Con's contention that Bond 'would' seek out the Doctor if he knew of his existence is an unsupported assertion. Con is guilty of transposing the longing characteristics of the Doctor to all Time Lords. As I already pointed out, Bond appears to possess a professional incentive to keep his existence/true nature a secret from outsiders. Furthermore, Con hasn't attempted to show why Bond must have some burning desire to find other Time Lords. It seems possibly reasonable to assume but not necessitated by any means.


-First, it must be noted that the Time Lord thesis doesn't preclude close confidants at MI6 from knowing of Bond's true identity. So the points regarding the untenability of him hiding his "condition" from physicians at MI6 doesn't hold weight.

-Second, we have no idea when Bond's last regeneration cycle was. So it's presumptuous to assume that he had regenerated right before the events depicted in Casino Royale. Furthermore, Bond's "age" can reference either his physical or mental weakness. Note that Bond was shot in 'Skyfall' (towards the opening) which could reliably explain his physical deficiencies. Moreover, credence is given to the point that Bond's psyche is deteriorating (to some degree) with age, much like the Doctor himself who continuously laments about his "old eyes" and lifetimes of experience. The Doctor 'feels' old and thus acts that way (to a degree). Cross-apply that to Bond.


The observations Con has brought don't appear to necessarily detract from or affirm the Time Lord thesis. (1) The Doctor on a number of occasions has spoken of his past (or present) regenerations as if they were a different person entirely (for instance in the running gag of the Doctor complaining that [this new regeneration] still isn't ginger). (2) Other Time Lord's existence isn't impossible and would actually satisfy Con's contention that Bond would want to seek out other ones. (3) I confess I don't have an answer (yet) for Bond's meeting of M (after?) doing so previously. However, it still stands to reason that the Time Lord thesis is, on balance, the most reasonable abduction of (available)facts [].


(1) Con's "shape-shifter thesis" is also open to his discontinuity found in the "time-lord thesis" regarding Bond's meeting of M for the first time after they had supposedly already met. Con's discontinuity, if it obtains, is just as inconvenient to any thesis asserting that Bond is, basically, the same person in different "incarnations".

(2) Bond existing across multiple dimensions (in slightly variating forms) is vulnerable to a number of problems. (1) There are continuous references to Bond's previous incarnations (for instance in light of Tracy Bond's death) which wouldn't make sense if he was alone in each universe incarnation. (2) The "universe variation" thesis doesn't bring to light an explanatory model to make sense of Bond's (sometimes) ridiculous/futuristic weapons and gadgets. The "time lord" thesis better explains our own observations of the temporal discontinuity of the state of MI6's weapons cache.


I would remind my opponent that a counter hypothesis is not required to meet my burden of proof. Nor can he shift his BoP to being the idea that Bond is of alien or otherwise non-human origins.


"Con questions why the Doctor (or conversely Bond I assume) wouldn't simply seek another Time Lord out
"The problem with this isn't that the Doctor holds no motivation in doing so, but that he simply isn't aware that another Time Lord exists on the planet."

This would be highly unlikely for three reasons:

- the time and location is extremely familiar to the Doctor. He would inevitably run into Bond at some point particularly when the third bullet point is taken into account.
- the people that James Bond knows work for the same people in the same area that the Doctor does. Torchwood is military intelligence. They are pretty chummy with the doctor. Hell, most of Britain seems to be chummy with the Doctor nowadays. It is unlikely that they would either not know about Bond being a time lord (important member of military intelligence keeps regenerating - hmmm who would that remind them of) or them not telling Bond.
- TARDIS takes the Dr where he needs to go - he doesn't always have explicit control, the TARDIS takes him where it is important for the Doctor to be. If there were another good time lord in existence, having dangerous adventures, it would be exceptionally unlikely for the TARDIS to never take him to him. (


My opponent seems unfamiliar with the events of the time war; every time lord was destroyed from time save two renegades and the council; the Doctor as the user, and the Master, using a chameleon arch at the end of time ( and the council escaped the time lock using the master (they sent a signal to him in 2009 before the use of the moment and escaped that way. The council were sent back almost imediately; the white point star was destroyed by the doctor and they went straight back in the time lock.
It is given that Bond cannot be a member of the council (as character wise they are all accounted for and all sent back).
Let us make the very unlikely assumption that there could even be another unknown renegade; for James Bond to have survived he would have needed to be renegade, which would not fit with his character (he fights for his country as a spy, why the hell would he not fight for his planet? And he certainly doesn't have any aversion to violence or war) and be using a chameleon arch at the end of time. Therefore with the master at the same tim. Yeah. These two events would be exceptionally unlikely and alone would fail your Burden of proof.

My opponent makes the claim that there is no way to know if Bond would care; addmitedly true. However, the debate is about likeliness. What are the chances that if there were essentially the only other of your species, readily accessible due to the time and place, and well known by your colleagues (torchwood are a function of Military intelligence and the Doctor works with other parts of the British military frequently) you wouldn't even say hi? Furthermore, Bond evidently has a strong regard for people and kinship, as evidenced by his patriotism.
For the purpose of the debate the idea he just doesn't want to is so unlikely it should be disregarded.


"First, it must be noted that the Time Lord thesis doesn't preclude close confidants at MI6 from knowing of Bond's true identity. So the points regarding the untenability of him hiding his "condition" from physicians at MI6 doesn't hold weight."

Fair enough, however, Dr Who is pretty knowledgeble about British Military and military intelligence. Furthermore, it would guarantee that members of Torchwood and other allies of the doctor would know about him. (Unless you are suggesting that they are confidants on a personal rather than professional level which is extremely unlikely given the number of people required to be in on it, and the magnitude the secret). Furthermore, it would be exceptionally unlikely that characters who would know the truth would lie about his background whilst the only other present character is Bond (for example M discussing Bond's childhood in Skyfall)
However, Bond hasn't only been examined by members of MI6 for example He was held by the North Korean's in Die another day ( for 14 months. I know they're a little rubbish, but they'd almost certainly take a blood test or something similar at some point. He also ends up in a hospital in Casino Royale. They'd have checked his blood or taken his pulse or even felt how cold his body temperature is.

I will concede that it is possible that references to his age could be refering to mental or physical weakness. However, that is exceptionally handwavy and these things add up in terms of probability.

" Moreover, credence is given to the point that Bond's psyche is deteriorating (to some degree) with age, much like the Doctor himself who continuously laments about his "old eyes" and lifetimes of experience. The Doctor 'feels' old and thus acts that way (to a degree). Cross-apply that to Bond."

Other characters refer to Bond's age (such as M). It is clear that Craig's Bond has physically aged in far too short a period for a time lord.

The nail in the coffin; I remembered when Bond was given a subcutenous implant. In casino royale M gives him an implant in his arm. A time lord's body would quickly reject this. Bond's did not.


1) Conceded as entirely possible to mean anything
2) Impossible (see previous section) and either way exceptionally unlikely. Three time lords all working for military intelligence? Not likely at all.
3) Dropped - but my opponent will address next round

Dropped arguments (addmitedly 2 is weak enough to ignore)

- Women noticing how cold Bond is (literally - 16 degrees is damn chilly)
- photographic memory never being used or demonstrated

Addmitedly it would suffer the same issues regarding continuity, however, it would no suffer the conflicts or assumptions required to fit it into Whovian canon. Hence it is more likely.

Multiple dimensions
1) Under this thesis, they aren't references to previous incarnations, just that in that dimension events occured the same way. There are no explicit references to previous individuals experiencing the same events.
2) Different dimensions, different time-lines. Certain things are invented before their time in other dimensions.
This theory is superior in terms of explaining continuity of the Bond universe and would not conflict with Whovian canon.
Debate Round No. 3


Noumena forfeited this round.


All arguments extended.
Spinko is a busy guy and considering the difficulty of his burden of proof performed admirably.
Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Noumena 4 years ago
Meh. After this ended I remembered fog watches and realized I missed a huge opportunity.
Posted by Gogie 4 years ago
I know this debate is over but, as far as the physiology part of the argument, with the Binary Circulatory System and body temperature, blood stuff, etc. Didn't either of you guys remember when he regenerated into the tenth Doctor (David Tennant, my personal favorite) he explained to Rose that they don't always come out on the other side of a regeneration as a Time Lord. They could be anything. Maybe all of Bonds' regenerations just happened to be human. Or Maybe he just inhabited a human body and took his regenerations with him. It is proved that they can take over other bodies and keep regeneration abilities.
Posted by Noumena 4 years ago
We learned that Time Lords can change gender upon regeneration in "The Doctor's Wife".
Posted by YellowPandaBear 4 years ago
Sort of a problem with the theory that James Bond lives so long and changes appearance because he is a time lord. That would imply that M also is a time lord but not only that, but can change gender while regenerating as well because I do recall an old James Bond movie where M was a man (played by Robert Brown, movie: "A View to a Kill").
Posted by Noumena 4 years ago
Sorry about the forfeit Thaddy. Though yer R3 was quite formiddable.
Posted by GeekiTheGreat 4 years ago
I never thought about this xD
Posted by Noumena 4 years ago
Their hearts aren't the only thing that comes in pairs?
Posted by Thaddeus 4 years ago
I'm gonna get Gallifreyan physiology on your arse. That came out wrong.
Posted by Thaddeus 4 years ago
I will accept in a day or two. A few essays need to be taken care of first.
Posted by Thaddeus 4 years ago
I'll probably take this.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: If not for that F.F. in R5, I think Pro would have won. What a waste.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: He is more likely a time lord than just an agent... However con has found several holes in the argument that he's that exact type of alien, namely the North Koreans trading him for that albino freak (granted an argument could be made about that, since they're crazy enough they might think the different blood and all that is just a white people thing). While con is in better conduct, the overall conduct in the debate was good enough, the the debate was so close that I am forgiving pro missing the closing comments round.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: super awesom and interesting debate, con was doing better prior to pros last round forfeit which sealed the deal for him
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff, although this debate looks like is deserves a read through so I'll try to get back to it.