Website last updated: 17-7-2024

Exclusive interview with writer Christopher Wood

By: Anders Frejdh
Christopher wood 2012 interview
For the 50th anniversary of James Bond on the big screen, From Sweden with Love (Anders Frejdh) caught up with Christopher Wood, screenwriter of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).


About Christopher Wood:
Christopher Hovelle Wood was born in London 1935. He is a screenwriter and novelist best known for the Confessions series of novels and films which he wrote as 'Timothy Lea'. Under his own name, he adapted two James Bond novels for the screen: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) (with Richard Maibaum) and Moonraker (1979).

Wood has written many novels. His novels divide into four groups: semi-autobiographical literary fiction, historical fiction, adventure novels, and pseudonymous humorous erotica.

In 1960, Wood graduated from Cambridge with degrees in economics and law. He did his military service in Cyprus, which inspired his second novel Terrible Hard, Says Alice. Wood's African experiences inspired two novels: his first, Make it Happen to Me and his 1983 adventure novel A Dove Against Death. Of A Dove Against Death, he recalls, "I was helping to conduct a plebiscite in the Southern Cameroons under U.N. supervision in 1960. An old man came out of a hut wearing what at first glance I thought was a brass coal scuttle. Then I realized that it was German helmet with a spike on it. My interest began then. Many years later came the story." After considerable research, Mr. Wood discovered records of a Dove that was sent to South-West Africa and a wireless station in Togo-land that the Germans built and the English destroyed, all of which he wove together to create the novel.

Wood was the first author to write novelizations of Bond films. His novelization of The Spy Who Loved Me, renamed James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) to avoid confusion with Ian Fleming's original novel, has nothing in common with the Fleming book. Similarly, the plot of Moonraker, renamed James Bond and Moonraker (1979), is almost entirely written by Wood, although it does share some similarities with Fleming's original novel, in particular the villain Sir Hugo Drax. Bond fans generally rate Wood's novelizations highly. Kingsley Amis wrote in The New Statesman that, despite several reservations, "Mr Wood has bravely tackled his formidable task, that of turning a typical late Bond film, which must be basically facetious, into a novel after Ian Fleming, which must be basically serious. ... the descriptions are adequate and the action writing excellent."

Wood was also responsible for the Confessions series of novels and their film adaptations, written under the pseudonym 'Timothy Lea'. They are Confessions of a Window Cleaner, Confessions of a Driving Instructor, Confessions from a Holiday Camp, Confessions From a Hotel, Confessions of a Travelling Salesman, Confessions of a Film Extra, Confessions From the Clink, Confessions of a Private Soldier, Confessions From the Pop Scene (adapted into the movie Confessions of a Pop Performer), Confessions From a Health Farm, Confessions From the Shop Floor, Confessions of a Long Distance Lorry Driver, Confessions of a Plumber's Mate, Confessions of a Private Dick, Confessions From a Luxury Liner, Confessions From a Nudist Colony, Confessions of a Milkman, Confessions of an Ice Cream Man and Confessions From a Haunted House.

Wood also created a female counterpart, Rosie Dixon, and these were likewise written in the first person perspective and published pseudonymously under the name "Rosie Dixon". Although nine Rosie Dixon novels were published, only the first one was made into a film, Rosie Dixon - Night Nurse (1978) based on Confessions of a Night Nurse. The other titles were Confessions of a Gym Mistress, Confessions From an Escort Agency, Confessions of a Lady Courier, Confessions From a Package Tour, Confessions of a Physical WRAC, Confessions of a Baby Sitter, Confessions of a Personal Secretary, and Rosie Dixon, Barmaid.

This was his second series to feature a female protagonist as he started the Penny Sutton books a year previously with The Stewardesses. The other books in the series were The Stewardesses Down Under, The Jumbo Jet Girls, I'm Penny Fly Me and Penny Sutton Supersonic.

Wood also wrote three pseudonymous books featuring the teenager Oliver Grape: Onwards Virgins (later reissued as Forward Virgins), Crumpet Voluntary and It's a Knock Up.

As "Frank Clegg", Wood also wrote Soccer Thug (Sphere, 1973).

In 1979 LWT screened his 13 part situation comedy Lovely Couple, produced and directed by Derrick Goodwin.

He also wrote the 1985 action film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins starring Fred Ward, and which was directed by former Bond director Guy Hamilton.

His daughter Caroline Wood is a film producer and literary agent.

His autobiography, James Bond, The Spy I Loved, was published by Twenty First Century Publishers in August 2006.

Photo above:
A personal portrait of writer Christopher Wood.

For a full listing of Christopher Wood's career in films, check out his profile on IMDB:



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