A pricey health clinic in rural England that is a principal location in the early scenes of Thunderball and Never Say Never Again. In Thunderball, Bond (Sean Connery) goes to Shrublands to recover from wounds suffered in his fight with SPECTRE agent Jacques Bouvar (Bob Simmons). There he meets the very suspicious Count Lippe (Guy Doleman), who happens to have a telltale tong sign tattooed on his wrist. That, plus the appearance of the mysteriously bandaged “Mr. Angelo” (Paul Stassino), starts 007 on an investigation that leads to an incredible nuclear blackmail scheme. Along the way he battles Lippe and beds sexy Shrublands physical therapist Patricia Fearing (Molly Peters).
In Ian Fleming’s original novel, Shrublands was patterned after the author’s own experiences in the spring of 1956 when he was a recuperating patient at Enton Hall, a health resort located in a large, well-maintained Victorian mansion at the heart of the Surrey stockbroker belt. Production designer Ken Adam and production manager David Middlemas had visited Enton Hall and had found it to be old, run down, and highly uncinematic—hardly a proper location for a James Bond film. They were looking for something a bit more streamlined and modern. Returning from Surrey, they discovered a converted hotel not far from their headquarters at Pinewood Studios. With its concrete driveways and well-trimmed hedgerows, it became the perfect Shrublands.
The clinic returns as a more dignified old-style English manor house in Never Say Never Again. This time Bond (Sean Connery again) has been sent to the health clinic to “purge” his body of free-radical toxins caused by too much white bread and red meat and too many dry martinis. While suffering through “lentil delight” and “goat’s cheese,” Bond smuggles in his own cuisine: beluga caviar, quail’s eggs, fois gras from Strasbourg, and vodka—a meal that seduces the very willing nurse Patricia Fearing (Prunella Gee). During his stay, Bond also observes the suspicious activities of SPECTRE agent Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera), who’s masquerading as a private-duty nurse with a fearful corneal transplant patient named Jack Petachi (Gavan O’Herlihy). And Bond battles another SPECTRE agent, a giant named Lippe (Pat Roach), who comes after him with a razor-sharp belt. In an extremely violent encounter that practically destroys half the health clinic, Bond kills the SPECTRE assassin, first stunning him with a vial of 007’s own urine to the face, and then impaling him on a group of glass laboratory instruments.