Senior KGB officer who became a recurring character in the James Bond series. Portrayed by actor Walter Gotell, who first appeared in From Russia with Love as SPECTRE field commander Morzeny, General Gogol was introduced as M’s opposite number in The Spy Who Loved Me. Pitted against freelance madman Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), James Bond (Roger Moore) joins forces with KGB agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach). This alliance—a tip of the cap to Cold War détente—includes their respective bosses, M and Gogol, the latter of whom operates offices in the underground chambers of an Egyptian tomb.
Portrayed as a humanistic Soviet military man, Gogol is definitely a new breed of Russian character in Western cinema. As the series evolved, he became even more sympathetic. After brief appearances in Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only (in the latter, he arrives by helicopter only to discover that the ATAC computer has been destroyed), Gogol returns in Octopussy as the counterpart to fanatical General Orlov (Steven Berkoff), who is ready to create a nuclear “accident” on a US Air Force base in West Germany in order to force unilateral disarmament throughout Western Europe. Determined to avoid confrontation with the West, Gogol stands firmly against Orlov and eventually wins over his Russian superior (Paul Hardwick). When Orlov’s smuggling activities are exposed, Gogol launches the investigation to find and arrest the renegade Russian general—which leads to the final confrontation on the train tracks near the West German border, where the fleeing Orlov is machine-gunned by border guards.
Gogol returns in A View to a Kill to warn Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) that his murderous activities are not sanctioned by the KGB. When Bond kills Zorin, Gogol is delighted to award 007 (Roger Moore) the Order of Lenin. In The Living Daylights, Gogol made his final appearance in the series, this time as a high-ranking foreign service bureaucrat who allows Kara Milovy (Maryam d’Abo) to perform in Austria.
Note: Although the character is credited in his final appearance as “General Anatol Gogol,” the only mention of his given name in the films themselves is in The Spy Who Loved Me, in which M calls him Alexis and he refers to M by his first name, Miles.