SPECTRE is a fictional organisation featured in the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, the films based on those novels, and James Bond video games. Led by criminal mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the international organisation first formally appeared in the novel Thunderball and in the film Dr. No. SPECTRE is not aligned to any nation or political ideology, enabling the later Bond books and Bond films to be regarded as somewhat apolitical, though the presence of former Gestapo members in the organisation are a clear sign of Fleming's warning of Nazi fugitives after the Second World War first detailed in the novel Moonraker. SPECTRE began in the novels as a small group of criminals but became a vast international organisation with its own SPECTRE Island training base in the films, to replace the Soviet SMERSH.
Philosophy and goalsIn Ian Fleming's novels, SPECTRE is a commercial enterprise led by Blofeld. The top level of the organisation is made up of twenty-one individuals, eighteen of whom handle day-to-day affairs and are drawn in groups of three from six of the world's most notorious organisations—the Nazi German Gestapo, the Soviet SMERSH, Yugoslav Marshal Josip Broz Tito's OZNA, the Italian Mafia, the French-Corsican Unione Corse, and a massive Turkish heroin-smuggling operation. The remaining three members are Blofeld himself and two scientific/technical experts. Their début is in the ninth Bond novel, Thunderball. When Fleming was writing the novel in 1959, he believed that the Cold War might end during the two years it would take to produce the film, and came to the conclusion that the inclusion of a contemporary political villain would leave the film looking dated; he therefore thought it better to create a politically neutral enemy for Bond. Fleming's SPECTRE has elements inspired by mafia syndicates and organised crime rings that were actively hunted by law enforcement in the 1950s. The strict codes of loyalty and silence, and the hard retributions that followed violations, were hallmarks of American gangster rings, the Italian Mafia, the Unione Corse, the Chinese Tongs and Triads and the Japanese Yakuza and Black Dragon Society. During the events of Thunderball, SPECTRE successfully hijack two nuclear warheads and plan to hold the world to ransom.
The organisation is next mentioned in the tenth novel, The Spy Who Loved Me, when Bond describes investigating their activities in Toronto before the story begins, though they play no part in the story itself. The organisation's third appearance is in the eleventh novel, On Her Majesty's Secret Service where Blofeld, hired by an unnamed country or party—though the Soviet Union is implied—is executing a plan to ruin British agriculture with biological warfare. Blofeld, with a weakened SPECTRE, would appear for the final time in the twelfth novel, You Only Live Twice. By this point, the organisation has largely been shut down, and what remains is focused on maintaining Blofeld's alias as Dr. Guntram von Shatterhand and his compound in Japan.
In the films, the organisation often acts as a third party in the ongoing Cold War. Their objectives have variously ranged from supporting Dr. Julius No in sabotaging American rocket launches, holding the world to ransom, and demanding clemency from governments for their previous crimes. The goal of world domination was only ever stated in You Only Live Twice, and SPECTRE was working not for itself but on behalf of an unnamed Asian government whose two representatives Blofeld speaks to during the film; this is strongly implied to be Red China, who earlier backed Auric Goldfinger in the film of the same name.
Its long-term strategy, however, is illustrated by the analogy of the three Siamese fighting fish Blofeld keeps in an aquarium aboard SPECTRE's yacht in the film version of From Russia with Love. Blofeld notes that one fish is refraining from fighting two others until their fight is concluded. Then, that cunning fish attacks the weakened victor and kills it easily. Thus SPECTRE's main strategy is to instigate conflict between two powerful enemies, namely the superpowers, hoping that they will exhaust themselves and be vulnerable when it seizes power. SPECTRE thus works with, and against, both sides of the Cold War. For example, in the film Thunderball, it simultaneously blackmails a Japanese double agent, distributes Red Chinese narcotics in the United States, kills a defector to the USSR on behalf of the French Foreign Ministry, and threatens NATO with stolen nuclear weapons, while continuing ordinary criminal operations such as advising on the British Great Train Robbery.
In both the film and the novel Thunderball, the physical headquarters of the organisation are laid in Paris, operating behind a front organisation aiding refugees. Organisational discipline is notoriously draconian, with the penalty for disobedience or failure being death. Furthermore, to heighten the impact of the executions, Blofeld often chooses to focus attention on an innocent member, making it appear his death is imminent, only to suddenly strike down the actual target when that person is off guard.
LeadershipSPECTRE is headed by the criminal mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld who usually appears accompanied by a Chinchilla Silver Persian cat in the films, but not in the books. In both the films and the novels, Emilio Largo is the second in command. It is stated in the novel that if something were to happen to Blofeld, Largo would assume command. Largo appears in the 1961 novel Thunderball, the 1965 film version and its
1983 remake, Never Say Never Again, where he is renamed Maximilian Largo and is said to be Romanian rather than Italian.
The SPECTRE cabinet had a total of twenty-one members. Blofeld was the chairman and leader because he founded the organisation, and Largo was elected by the cabinet to be second in command. A physicist named Kotze and an electronics expert named Maslov were also included in the group for their expertise on scientific and technical matters.
Members are typically referred to by number rather than by name. In the novels, the numbers of members were initially assigned at random and then rotated up by two digits on a once-a-month basis to prevent detection; for example, if a SPECTRE operative is titled "Number 1" in the present month, the security system will designate them "Number 3" in the next month, "Number 5" in the following month and so forth. However, in the EON films the number indicates rank within the organisation: Blofeld is always referred to as "Number 1" and Emilio Largo, in Thunderball, is "Number 2". This particular example of numbering is perhaps deliberately borrowed from revolutionary organisations, wherein members exist in cells, and are numerically defined to prevent identification and cross-betrayal of aims. By deliberately drawing attention away from the true leader of the organisation, he is protected by masquerading as a target of lower importance, and the structure of the organisation is also obscured from intelligence services.
Members who fail missions are immediately executed, usually in gory and spectacular ways. In the novel, Blofeld electrocutes one member in his chair for sexually molesting a girl who had been kidnapped by the organization; he had previously strangled a second to death with a garrote and shot a third through the heart with a compressed-air pistol. In the film, Number 9 is electrocuted at the Thunderball meeting where he and Number 11 report on the proceeds from a narcotics-related operation; he was killed for embezzlement, which resulted in SPECTRE only receiving $2,300,000, rather than the higher figure Blofeld had anticipated. The merciless killing of assistant Helga Brandt in You Only Live Twice, for failing to kill James Bond, horrifies even visiting Red Chinese agents; she is thrown into Blofeld's piranhas pool and dies in terror as she is eaten.
NovelsIn the original Bond novel series, SPECTRE's first and last appearance as a worldwide power is in the novel Thunderball, published in 1961. In the novel, SPECTRE, headed by Blofeld, attempts to conduct nuclear blackmail against NATO. Apparently disbanded afterwards, SPECTRE is said to be active again in the next book, The Spy Who Loved Me, although the organisation is not involved in the plot. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the second chapter of what is known as the "Blofeld Trilogy", Blofeld has revived SPECTRE where he attempts to carry out biological warfare against the United Kingdom. Blofeld's final appearance is in You Only Live Twice, where SPECTRE has largely disbanded.
Later, the John Gardner Bond novel, For Special Services introduces a revived SPECTRE led by Blofeld's daughter, Nena Bismaquer. Although Bond ultimately prevents SPECTRE from reforming, it continued, under the leadership of Tamil Rahani, to play a part in Role of Honour and Nobody Lives for Ever. The next Bond novelist, Raymond Benson, reintroduces Irma Bunt, Blofeld's assistant, in his short story "Blast From the Past", which is a sequel to You Only Live Twice.
FilmsIn the EON Productions James Bond series, which began in 1962 with Dr. No, SPECTRE plays a more prominent role. The organisation is first mentioned in Dr. No as the organisation for which Dr. No works, though the main villain organisation is No's personal army. This was changed from Fleming's novels, which had Dr. No working for the USSR. In the films, SPECTRE usually replaced SMERSH as the main villains, although there is a brief reference to SMERSH in the second EON Bond film, From Russia with Love. The film adaptation of From Russia with Love also features the first on-screen appearance of Blofeld, although he is only identified by name in the closing credits of the film and his face is not seen at all. SPECTRE also serve as the primary antagonists of the film, orchestrating a plan to humiliate and kill James Bond as revenge for the death of Dr. No.
After being absent from the third film, Goldfinger, SPECTRE returns in the fourth film, Thunderball, which closely mirrors the events of the novel, and subsequently is featured in the following films. During the events of the fifth film, You Only Live Twice, they attempt to incite a war between the nuclear powers, the United States and Soviet Union. In film number six, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Blofeld develops a germ warfare programme and plans to demand clemency and recognition of a claimed title of nobility. SPECTRE's final appearance is in the seventh film, Diamonds Are Forever, where they attempt to forcibly disarm the Cold War powers. SPECTRE was dismantled for good after Diamonds Are Forever. Following Diamonds Are Forever, SPECTRE and Blofeld were retired from the EON Films series, except for a cameo by Blofeld in film 12, For Your Eyes Only in which said character is finally killed. Partly owing to a copyright dispute between rival Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Kevin McClory, the character is never referred to by name and is credited as "Wheelchair Villain", though the closed captions for the film later referred to him as Blofeld.
The organisation returns in the Daniel Craig series of Bond films, which are set in an entirely separate story to the earlier movies. In the 2015 film Spectre, the eponymous committee is simply referred to by that title. In the film, Bond is posthumously sent by Judi Dench's M to assassinate Marco Sciarra, which in turn leads him on the trail of the organisation. It is revealed throughout the course of the film that Spectre, and in turn Ernst Stavro Blofeld, have been responsible for the villainous events of the previous Craig films. The Quantum organisation from 2008's Quantum of Solace is revealed to be a subsidiary of Spectre, while Raoul Silva from Skyfall is shown to be affiliated with the organisation. In addition to Silva, Le Chiffre, Mr. White, and Dominic Greene are all revealed to have a direct connection to Spectre. The organisation behind Le Chiffre in 2006's Casino Royale was revealed to be Spectre in the 2015 film through retroactive establishment. This iteration of Spectre will return in the upcoming 2020 film No Time to Die.
Non-EON film appearancesIn 1983 Warner Bros. released Never Say Never Again, starring Sean Connery and based on the same original source material as Thunderball. The film retells the basic story of Thunderball, albeit with some new characters and in an updated setting. It also reintroduces both SPECTRE and Blofeld. Though the film was not made by EON Productions, it nevertheless makes every attempt to fit into the continuity already established in the EON series and there is no suggestion that the Blofeld and SPECTRE in this film is in any way separate or different from the SPECTRE long established by earlier Sean Connery films. The film is essentially another chapter in the continuing series.
Video gamesSPECTRE is shown, but never mentioned by name, in the game . Instead, it is referred to as a "powerful criminal organisation". It is depicted as being much more powerful than it was in any of the films or books, possessing a massive undersea black market known as "The Octopus", resembling Karl Stromberg's Atlantis lair from The Spy Who Loved Me, a large lair built into an extinct volcano akin to the films which is used as the main base of operations, and also the personal structures of its members such as Auric Goldfinger's Auric Enterprises facility and casino and Dr. No's Crab Key, also returning from the films. SPECTRE also possesses extremely advanced technology, such as virtual reality and energy generators in its volcano lair.
Although the From Russia with Love video game mirrors much of the plot of the eponymous film, it uses an organisation called OCTOPUS rather than SPECTRE to avoid copyright issues.
ComicsA version of SPECTRE similar to the novels was featured in the comic strips published in the Daily Express newspaper between 1958 and 1983. The organisation however didn't appear in the comic books until Eidolon, a miniseries published by Dynamite Entertainment in 2016, written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Jason Masters. In this comic, SPECTRE has a World War II organisation that is mostly defunct. Loyalists endured as plants and sleeper agents in the aftermath of a Warsaw Pact surge, waiting for the right moment for SPECTRE to have a reformation and resurgence.
Copyright issuesSPECTRE and its characters were at the centre of long-standing litigation between Kevin McClory and Ian Fleming over the film rights to Thunderball and the ownership of the organisation and its characters. In 1963, Fleming settled out of court with McClory, which awarded McClory the film rights to Thunderball, although literary rights would stay with Fleming and thus allow continuation author John Gardner to use SPECTRE in a number of his novels.
In 1963, EON Productions producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman made an agreement with McClory to adapt the novel into the fourth James Bond film, also stipulating that McClory would not be allowed to make further adaptations of Thunderball for at least ten years after the release. Although SPECTRE and Blofeld were used in a number of films before and after Thunderball, the issue over the copyright of Thunderball prevented SPECTRE and Blofeld from becoming the main villains in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me. In 1983, McClory released a film based on his Bond rights entitled Never Say Never Again.
In 1998, MGM/UA took legal action against Sony and McClory in the United States to prevent Warhead 2000 AD from going into production. MGM/UA abandoned the claim after settling with Sony. McClory's Bond rights, including his rights in SPECTRE, were unaffected.
On 15 November 2013, MGM and the McClory estate announced that they had formally settled the issue with Danjaq, LLC and MGM had acquired the full copyright to the characters and concepts of Blofeld and SPECTRE. Having lost its mantle of acronym, now simply called Spectre, the organisation and Blofeld were the main antagonists in the first Bond film released after the settlement, Spectre.
SPECTRE henchmenHenchmen working for SPECTRE, one of its members, or directly for Ernst Stavro Blofeld:
- Emilio Largo – Second in command of SPECTRE and designated by Blofeld to oversee all field operations for Thunderball; killed by Domino Vitali
- "Giuseppe Petacchi" – A man surgically altered to look like Domino Vitali's brother; kills the crew aboard the NATO test flight carrying the bombs and flies it to rendezvous with SPECTRE, only to be killed upon delivery.
- Vargas – The assassin who kills Petacchi
- Fonda – "Number 4", an Italian Artiq who recruited Petacchi for the plot
- Pierre Borraud – "Number 12", of the Unione Corse; had sex with a girl that he kidnapped for ransom. As a punishment, Blofeld electrocuted Borraud and returned half of the ransom money to the girl's father as compensation. While Blofeld considered the possibility that the sexual relationship was consensual, it was more important that SPECTRE was reputed to keep its word.
- Marius Domingue – "Number 7", another Unione Corse man; highly trustworthy, but singled out by Blofeld for a lecture to throw Borraud off guard
- Maslov – "Number 18", formerly known as Kandinsky; a Polish electronics expert who resigned from Philips AG
- Kotze – "Number 5", formerly known as Emil Traut; an East German physicist who defected to the West
- Strelik – "Number 10", a former SMERSH member; shot dead by Largo for questioning the loyalty of the other SPECTRE members
- "Number 11" – Another ex-SMERSH operative
- Count Lippe – "Sub-operator G"; expected to send the Thunderball ransom letter, but his fight with Bond and subsequent injuries led to a delay in the plan.
- "Number 6" – Kills Lippe at the behest of Blofeld for being unreliable
- "Number 14" – A former Gestapo officer
- "Number 17" – Finds Domino scanning the Disco Volante with a Geiger counter in search of the stolen atomic bombs; reports her to Largo, who takes her prisoner and tortures her.
- Irma Bunt – Henchwoman in the novel and film On Her Majesty's Secret Service
- Black Dragon Society
Operatives; By order of appearance and fate:
- Mr. Jones – takes his own life with cyanide capsule in cigarette.
- Professor R. J. Dent – shot by James Bond.
- Miss Taro – arrested by Jamaican police.
- Dr. Julius No – boiled alive in his own nuclear reactor.
- Donald "Red" Grant – stabbed and garrotted by Bond.
- Morzeny – burned in boating accident.
- Tov Kronsteen – killed on Blofeld's orders by Morzeny with poisoned stabbing shoe.
- Colonel Rosa Klebb – shot dead by Tatiana Romanova.
- Colonel Jaques Bouvar – killed by James Bond.
- Emilio Largo – shot with a speargun by Domino Derval.
- Fiona Volpe – shot dead accidentally by her own henchmen as they attempted to kill James Bond.
- Pierre Borraud – electrocuted by Blofeld for embezzling from Spectre.
- Marius Domingue – at large.
- Count Lippe – killed by Volpe on Blofeld's orders.
- Angelo Palazzi – killed by Largo on Blofeld's orders.
- Vargas – killed with a speargun by James Bond.
- Janni – killed when Largo's yacht explodes.
- Professor Ladislav Kutze – last seen jumping into ocean with lifebuoy.
- Quist – thrown by Largo into shark pool.
- Helga Brandt – killed by being dropped into piranha pool by Blofeld as a punishment for her failure to kill Bond.
- Hans – thrown into piranha pool by Bond.
- Mr. Osato – shot and killed as "a price of failure" by Blofeld.
- Number 3 – blown up in volcano explosion.
- Number 4 – fate unknown.
- Irma Bunt – fate unknown.
- Grunther – killed by Tracy Bond.
- Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd – Mr. Wint is killed by James Bond by tying his "bomb surprise" to his coat tails and tossing him overboard, exploding before he hits the water. Mr. Kidd is set on fire and last seen swimming afloat on the sea after he jumps overboard to put out the flames.
- Bert Saxby – shot and killed by CIA Agents.
- Le Chiffre – shot dead by Mr White after Le Chiffre lost his money to Bond in the poker game.
- Dominic Greene, head of the subsidiary organisation Quantum – left in a desert with no water by Bond. Later revealed to have drunk a can of motor oil Bond left him, before being shot in the head off screen.
- Raoul Silva, stabbed by a knife thrown by Bond.
- Mr. Hinx – pulled off a train in North Africa by weighted rope; final fate unknown
- Max Denbigh, a.k.a. 'C' – while resisting arrest, flung to his death from the top of Nine Eyes Tower by M
Non-EONVesper Lynd are in league with a crime syndicate that is behind Mr. White and subsequently identified as Spectre in the 2015 film of the same name led by Ernst Stravo Blofeld in this rebooted continuity as well. Blofeld reveals to Bond he was behind Le Chiffre and the organisation known as Quantum from the 2008 Bond film, it being a subsidiary of Spectre. Blofeld was also behind Raoul Silva's rampage in Skyfall. The film Spectre presents the organisation as a conspiracy of legitimate businesses and organised crime, moving to become a private intelligence agency.
Due to the embargo placed on the series as a result of the copyright dispute, the rebooted series initially introduced the terrorist cell Quantum as a replacement, but was then retconned to be a subsidiary of Spectre.
Members and acquaintances
- Franz Oberhauser / Ernst Stavro Blofeld – the mastermind behind Spectre and its subsidiary Quantum. Attempts to secure a monopoly on the "Nine Eyes" global intelligence initiative and establish Spectre as a supra-national world power. Detained by M after Bond shoots down his helicopter.
- Mr. White – high ranking Spectre agent and supervisor of Quantum. Acts as representative between Obanno and Le Chiffre. Kills Le Chiffre and is implied to have killed other failed agents. Grows disenchanted with Spectre, and is poisoned with thallium. Commits suicide after betraying Blofeld to 007 in exchange for his daughter's safety.
- Le Chiffre – though not a Spectre member, he was a private banker to major terrorists who are introduced through Spectre, until Mr. White executes him with a shot in the head.
- *Kratt – Le Chiffre's right-hand man. Presumably killed by Mr. White.
- *Valenka – Le Chiffre's girlfriend. Presumably killed by Mr. White.
- *Leo – henchman of Le Chiffre. Arrested after being framed for the deaths of Steven Obanno and Obanno's bodyguard.
- *Steven Obanno – high-ranking member of Lord's Resistance Army who had ties to Spectre through Mr. White. Entrusted his money to Le Chiffre, who lost it and was forced to organise a high stakes poker tournament in Montenegro to recoup his losses. Strangled by Bond.
- *Alex Dimitrios – a Greek terrorist associated with Le Chiffre who employs two bombers: first Mollaka then Carlos to explode the prototype plane of Skyfleet on the behalf of Le Chiffre. Stabbed with a knife by Bond
- *Mollaka – a bomb maker from Madagascar employed by Dimitrios to explode the Skyfleet plane. Shot by Bond before starting his mission.
- *Carlos – a bomb maker employed by Dimitrios to replace Mollaka in the attack on the Skyfleet plane. Accidentally blows himself up after Bond puts the bomb destined for the plane onto Carlos' belt.
- *Adolph Gettler – a Spectre operative acting as Vesper Lynd's handler; Mr. White's second-in-command. Shot with a nail gun by Bond.
- *Craig Mitchell – an undercover Spectre operative placed inside MI6 who deceived both M and Bond. Shot by Bond.
- *Vesper Lynd – Blackmailed by Mr. White to embezzle Bond's winnings. Drowned herself.
- Dominic Greene – leader of Quantum's Tierra Project and a major official in the organisation. Ran an environmentalist corporation called Greene Planet. Assassinated for betraying Quantum.
- *Edmund Slate – a freelance assassin hired by Greene to murder Camille Montes. Stabbed in the neck and then the leg with scissors by Bond.
- *Elvis – Greene's main subordinate. Blown up by Bond.
- *Greene's driver – a Quantum operative who served as Greene's chauffeur and bodyguard. Shot by Bond.
- *General Medrano – an exiled Bolivian dictator who associates with Dominic Greene to come back to power in Bolivia in exchange of a piece of land in the Atacama desert rich in water that will allow Quantum to have the monopoly of the water and sell it to Bolivia at twice the market price. Shot by Camille Montes.
- *Lieutenant Orso – lieutenant to General Medrano. Falls to his death of the top floor of the Eco Hotel when pushed by Camille Montes.
- *Carlos – the chief of the Bolivian Military Police and a friend of René Mathis who betrays him and has him killed on the orders of Greene and Medrano. He is killed with a shot in the head by Bond as revenge for betraying Mathis.
- Yusef Kabira – a Quantum operative who functions as a honeypot to deceive foreign intelligence agents. Arrested by MI6.
- Guy Haines – Quantum leader, is a special envoy of the Prime Minister and is one of the PM's most trusted advisers. Is a member of the Quantum identified by Tanner using Bond's photos from the opera Tosca. Still at large.
- Gregor Karakov – Quantum leader, a former politician, owner of several mines in Siberia, is a member of the Quantum identified by Tanner using Bond's photos from the opera Tosca. Still at large.
- Moishe Soref – Quantum leader, former Mossad agent, and Telecom giant. Is a member of the Quantum identified by Tanner using Bond's photos from the opera Tosca. Still at large.
- Raoul Silva – an MI6 agent turned cyberterrorist. With support from the organisation and Blofeld, attempts to gain personal revenge on M for her betrayal. Indirectly succeeds, but is stabbed in the back by Bond before M dies.
- *Severine – the mistress of Raoul Silva who works for him by fear and tries to be free from him by sending Bond in his pursuit in hopes that Bond kills Silva. She is executed with a shot in the head by Silva for her treason.
- *Patrice – a mercenary for hire that is employed by Raoul Silva to steal the drive with the identities of the MI6 cover agents in the NATO missions around the world. Falls to his death from the top of a building after a fight with Bond.
- Max Denbigh/C – a Whitehall government bureaucrat appointed as the director of the Joint Intelligence Service and the driving force behind the Nine Eyes program, but is secretly passing intelligence on to Spectre. Falls to his death while trying to avoid arrest.
- Mr. Hinx – an assassin and high-ranking member of Spectre. Pursues Bond and Madeleine Swann. Thrown out of a moving train by Bond. His fate is unknown.
- Marco Sciarra – a Spectre assassin co-ordinating terrorist attacks around the world. Thrown out of a helicopter by Bond.
- Moreau – Spectre member, seen during the Rome meeting informing other members about Spectre involvement in distribution of illegal drugs. Still at large.
- Guerra – Spectre member, seen during the Rome meeting who volunteers to replace Marco Sciarra in the chase for Mr. White. He is killed by Mr. Hinx to have the assignment of the mission.
- Dr Vogel – Spectre member, seen during the Rome meeting. Still at large.
- Lorenzo – One of Spectre's guards seen during the Rome meeting. Thrown to his death by Bond from a balcony onto a large meeting table.
- Marco – One of Lucia Sciarra's bodyguards who secretly works for Spectre with orders to kill her. Shot in the head by Bond.
Acronym in the rest of world
- Italy: SPeciale Esecutivo per Controspionaggio, Terrorismo, Ritorsioni e Estorsioni.
- * In some Italian movies, the organisation is called SuPremo Esecutivo per Controspionaggio, Terrorismo, Vendette ed Estorsioni, but is called anyway "SPECTRE".
- Spain: Sociedad Permanente Ejecutiva para el Contraespionaje, Terrorismo, Rebeldía y Aniquilamiento
- France: Service pour l'espionnage, le contre-espionnage, le terrorisme, la rétorsion et l'extorsion – incidentally, the French word spectre means "ghost".
Parodies and clones
- The Belgian comics series Spirou & Fantasio features an international criminal organisation called the Triangle whose members also address each other by numbers.
- Prior to Dr. No, The Road to Hong Kong featured a "third force" organisation the Third Echelon.
- In the video game series No One Lives Forever a man simply called "The director" leads a similar organisation called "H.A.R.M.". A running joke during the series is that no one actually knows what H.A.R.M. stands for. H.A.R.M may jokingly refer to Human Aetiological Relations Machine, the name of a fictional intelligence agency featured in the 1960s spy film Agent for H.A.R.M..
- The TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. had, as its adversary, a shadowy organisation known as THRUSH. THRUSH was opposed by the titular organization.
- The TV series Rambo: the Force of Freedom featured a neo-Nazi organisation known as SAVAGE.
- The James Bond spin-off animated series, James Bond Jr., featured a clone of SPECTRE called "S.C.U.M.".
- The animated series Inspector Gadget featured a clone of SPECTRE called "M.A.D.". Dr. Claw, the head of M.A.D., is also based on the villain Blofeld.
- The Mexican films Chabelo y Pepito vs los Monstruos and Chabelo y Pepito Detectives feature a criminal organisation named S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M., which carries two plans to dominate the world. In "Vs the Monsters", they extract uranium from a hill in the Mexican countryside, while in "Detectives" they sell toys that hypnotise children to make them work for them.
- The young adult book series Micro Adventure featured a shady organisation known as BRUTE. Its adversary was ACT.
- The TV series ' featured a shadowy organisation called CHUMP. It was opposed by APE.
- The TV series Get Smart featured a SPECTRE-like organisation called KAOS.
- In 1983, a highly successful James Bond tabletop RPG was released. With the films as inspirations, the stories were adapted for players. Minor changes to plots and villains were made; for example, Wint and Kidd were freelance assassins working for SPECTRE. They in fact leased out services to other terrorist organisations and various crime syndicates. The most noted changes were to SPECTRE: Blofeld's name was changed to Karl Ferenc Skorpios, and he was given a greyhound instead of a white cat; the organisation itself was renamed TAROT, with the face cards representing various departments. This was due to the copyright issues referenced above. Victory Games worked with EON productions for the rights to Bond, and were told they were not allowed to negotiate with McClory for the rights to SPECTRE, hence the hasty renaming.
- The Disney animated series Darkwing Duck featured a masked crimefighter who often worked with an agency called S.H.U.S.H. against the forces of F.O.W.L..
- The THUNDER Agents comic featured an enemy called S.P.I.D.E.R..
- The Galaxy organisation features in Our Man Flint where "Agent 0008" tells Flint that Galaxy is "bigger than SPECTRE".
- Tom Clancy's novel Rainbow Six features a terrorist organisation that the characters compare to SPECTRE once they learn that the terrorists are using chemical warfare similar to that in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
- The video game Evil Genius places the player in command of a SPECTRE-like organisation, complete with a rocket-launching base inside a volcano. Additionally, one of the player's choices of leader is almost identical in appearance to SPECTRE's leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- In the British television series The Secret Show the evil organisation T.H.E.M. is similar to SPECTRE.
- The CBBC series MI High features the criminal organisation "SKUL", led by a man known only as "The Grandmaster" who is always seen stroking a white rabbit called General Flopsy.
- The Spanish comic book Mortadelo y Filemón features a parody of SPECTRE called ABUELA.
- The Matt Helm films featured the Brotherhood of International Government and Order abbreviated as "BIG O".
- Synthesiser company "Waldorf" has a synth named "Blofeld". The computer based "virtual editor" for the Blofeld is called "Spectre". One of Waldorf's virtual synths is called "Largo".
- In the SpyDogs cartoon, the evil leader of cats, Katastrophe, always appears fondling a rubber mouse.
- An evil organisation named STENCH is featured in the film Carry On Spying.
- An organisation known as SCORPIA appears in the Alex Rider series of novels. Near the end of the Cold War, several secret agents and law enforcers abandoned their loyalty to their countries, and became effectively criminals for hire. Their actions range from supplying biological weapons to engineering terrorism.
- James Earl Ray, the killer of Martin Luther King, used the alias Eric Starvo Galt, almost certainly a mixture of Ian Fleming and Ayn Rand. "Ernst" and "Stavro" are peculiar sounds and spellings to American ears and eyes, and he mentally transposed them into "Eric" and "Starvo."
- In The Simpsons episode "You Only Move Twice" appears an organisation called Globex Corporation directed by supervillain Hank Scorpio who successfully takes control of the East Coast.
- The Marvel Universe has the organisations HYDRA and AIM, which are both opposed by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., and are sometimes also opposed by Captain America and the other Marvel heroes, while the DC Universe came up with the organisation H.I.V.E. as an analogue to SPECTRE.
- The Disney Channel's TV series Kim Possible has the organisation WEE, which is opposed by GJ and Kim Possible herself at times.
- In ', Spy Fox battles LeRoach – a member of the Society of Meaningless Evil, Larceny, Lying and Yelling.
- In Disney Channel's TV series Phineas and Ferb, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz is occasionally seen as a member of the League Of Villainous Evildoers Maniacally United For Frightening Investments in Naughtiness. Doofenshmirtz is not aware of the acronym until one of the other members points it out.
- In an episode of Nickelodeon's TV series SpongeBob SquarePants, BarnacleBoy turns to the dark side and teams up with Man Ray and The Dirty Bubble and they form an alliance called Every Villain is Lemons.
- In the G.I. Joe toyline, cartoon and comic franchise, there exists an international terrorist organisation known as Cobra, which is similar to SPECTRE.
- In Archer, there is a spy agency called the Organization of Democratic Intelligence Networks.
- Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog features a supervillain organisation called the E.L.E., whose unseen leader Bad Horse is feared by all the members. The main protagonist of the film attempts to join the League, and eventually succeeds in doing so.
- The Japanese tokusatsu series Kamen Rider features a Nazi-connected terrorist group known as Shocker. Employing a vast range of genetically-modified agents known as "modified humans" and henchmen known as Shocker Combatmen, the organisation was headed by a mysterious figure known as "The Great Leader" who mainly contacted his agents via voice. Shocker was eventually disbanded after one too many defeats at the hands of the show's protagonists and became known as Gel-Shocker after merging with an American criminal group known as Geldam. Gel-Shocker was eventually defeated as well, but subsequent entries of the franchise portrayed the Great Leader in various incarnations to lead various successor organizations, including Destron, Black Satan, the Delza Army, Neo-Shocker, the Badan Empire, Dai-Shocker, and Space Shocker. The film Kamen Rider 1 also features a splinter group known as Nova Shocker. The Great Leader also claims to have been the driving force behind two separate terrorist groups known as the Government of Darkness and Geddon, though it has never been confirmed.
- The novel 19 by Roger Hall, published in 1970, is about an American unauthorised counter-intelligence group. Several regular intelligence services, though unsure if this rogue group actually exists, nicknamed it "19" because that number repeatedly came up, by apparent coincidence, in their investigations of what might have been 19's activities. When first told about 19 by a CIA friend, the narrator remarks that it sounds like SPECTRE gone straight. Rumor credits 19 with major roles in exposing Kim Philby and Rudolf Abel, among other achievements.