Bond is 007. WE have seen 006 and 008 in Bond movies. My question is how is this naming done to the agents in MI6? Does the number signify the serial no of an agent or the aptitude or the seniority? What is it?
Bond's number—007—comes from the English spy and polymath John Dee, who signed his letters to Elizabeth I with 00 and an elongated 7, to signify they were for her eyes only.
The number was also assigned by Fleming in reference to one of British naval intelligence's key achievements of World War I: the breaking of the German diplomatic code. One of the German documents cracked and read by the British was the Zimmermann Telegram, which was coded 0075, and which was one of the factors that led the US entering the war.
Although pronounced "Double-O", the O refers to zeros. In the British and Commonwealth armed forces, soldiers and officers are assigned identity numbers; the United States military does likewise. During Ian Fleming's work in Vichy France, an agent's anonymity was imperative, and, when the agent was military, it was convenient to use the last three digits of the agent's number as identification.
In World War II, Britain's Special Operations Executive agents did not have identifiers assigned to them such as the 00 or related 'systems' of nomenclature. Specific agents would be known to high command by their own names, and when deniability was at stake, their service numbers in long form, or else by invented codenames.
For the sake of romance and memorability, Fleming used the 00 and mystical number 7 for James Bond – himself a shell for the reader to inhabit.
There is little doubt that the intent of Fleming and the Bond producers in using
00 is to emphasize the exclusivity of the agent number and it is explicit that his category is "licensed to kill", certainly a rarity in government agents. There can't be more than ten of them (presumably), though often he interacts with special forces with dozens of members on a single team.
The specific choice of
7 almost certainly relates to his incredibly good luck: lucky at games of chance, women, and getting out of tight squeezes.