Sylvia Trench – The First Bond Girl
Sylvia Trench is and always will be the first ever Bond girl after her starring role in the first Bond movie Dr No (1962), and also returned for the second instalment From Russia with Love a year later.
Played by actress British actress Eunice Gayson, Trench is a sophisticated and confident woman, who meets Bond in the casino scene early in the movie where her conversation with 007 leads to the iconic ‘Bond, James Bond’ introduction.
The character Sylvia Trench was initially considered to be James Bond’s longterm girlfriend until a change of plans by the producers, and she was dropped after the second movie.
Sylvia Trench in Dr No
The first we see of Sylvia Trench is a few minutes into the movie, when we also get to see Sean Connery as Bond for the first time.
The two are engaged in a game of Baccarat at London’s prestigious Les Cercle casino, with Bond regularly winning and taking money from Trench. She doesn’t know Bond, and expresses frustration before ordering another round of chips.
Watch the iconic ‘Bond, James Bond’ introduction
Bond compliments her courage, and requests her name to which she replies, ‘Trench, Sylvia Trench…. I admire your luck, Mr?’ to which Connery delivers the iconic introduction, ‘Bond, James Bond.’
They up the stakes in the game and have a brief flirt before Bond is need elsewhere after being told about Strangways murder. On his way out of the casino, she follows him and he asks her if she plays any other games. ‘Golf among other things,’ Trench tells him, and they arrange a meeting the next day.
Bond goes back to his home that evening and can hear someone has broken in. He goes into the room with his Walther PPK only to discover Sylvia Trench playing with his golf clubs, dressed only in his shirt and her high heel shoes.
Bond tells her it’s bad timing as he has to ‘leave immediately’, and the two start kissing before the scene closes out with Bond saying ‘almost immediately.’
Sylvia Trench in From Russia with Love
Sylvia Trench returns in as part of the From Russia with Love cast, picnicking semi-naked with Bond on a punt and sipping Taittinger Blanc de Blanc.
A punter sails past and shouts to his passenger how great a sport punting is, and Bond alludes to their love making in the punt, telling Trench ‘I couldn’t agree with him more,’ to which Trench agrees, saying she ‘may even give up golf for it.’
Trench then notices a scar on Bond’s side and asks whether it’s a ‘souvenir from another jealous woman?’
Bond is then called by Miss Moneypenny, who asks where in the world he is. Bond tells her, ‘I’ve just been reviewing an old case,’ alluding to Sylvia Trench, before telling Moneypenny he’s on his way to the office.
Trench grabs the phone from Bond and tells Moneypenny ‘he is not on his way.’ Bond slaps her hand and promises her they’ll do it again, leaving Trench frustrated saying the last time he was called away he went to Jamaica (to investigate the Strangways murder in Dr. No).
It was the last we saw of Sylvia Trench as a Bond girl. She was originally cast as being an irregular girlfriend for Bond, one where Bond is regularly called away as thongs are about to get hot between them. However, the production team decided to take Bond in a different direction and so she was dropped for the next movie Goldfinger.
Eunice Gayson was a British actress born in London on March 17, 1928. She started acting at 14 and made and her first feature film credit came at age 19, when she was cast in the 1948 production of wartime romance flick My Brother Jonathan.
She starred in other films won roles in various films throughout the 1950s, with a role in British comedy film series, Carry on Admiral (1957) and she enjoyed a lead role in Hammer Horror film, The Revenge of Frankenstein in 1958. .
After her success in the Bond films, Eunice Gayson’s film career was limited, but she appeared in TV series The Saint alongside the future Bond, Roger Moore, and she also appeared in The Avengers with future Bond girl Diana Rigg.
Gayson married twice and had a daughter, Kate, with her second husband, actor Brian Jackson. Kate even appeared in Goldeneye (1995). Gayson passed away on June 8, 2018 at age 90.
Random Facts About Sylvia Trench
Sylvia Trench was the first Bond girl.
Eunice Gayson first cast as Miss Moneypenny, but instead was handed the part of seductress Sylvia Trench.
Her voice was deemed too posh for the part so it was dubbed by Nikki Van der Zyl in Dr. No, and From Russia with Love.
Eunice Gayson had a daughter Kate, who appeared in Goldeneye in 1995.
Sylvia Trench was the only actress to appear as a Bond girl in the same character until 2021, when Léa Seydoux played the same character in No Time to Die that she’d played in Spectre.
The name Sylvia Trench is a double entendre: Sylvia means ‘Saliva’ and Trench is ‘Vagina’. I’ts not like the Bond producers and Ian Fleming to have fun with Bond girl names, hey?
Trench, Sylvia Trench
Sylvia Trench is an iconic and memorable Bond girl, and despite her limited screen time, she has left a lasting impact on Bond fans, and arguably the first Bond girl.
At a time when female actresses were cast in more homely roles, her role as a sophisticated, independent woman was a symbol of strength.
Trench’s appearance and demeanour were ahead of her time and helped to set the tone for future Bond Girls. Her confidence and assertiveness paved the way for other female characters that followed in her feet.
Euncie Gayson’s career was relatively limited after appearing in the Bond films, but after playing a large part of one of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history, her legacy will live on forever.