For the first time in the Bond series, a female actress plays the character of M. Initially unsure about the new M, Bond soon finds out that his boss is now as formal as ever. In Goldeneye there is serious tension between M and Bond. M asserts her authority over Bond, especially when he tells her that she is a bean counter, who is only interested in her numbers. M then gets straight to the point by telling Bond that he is a "relic of the cold war" and whose "boyish charms" won't cut it with her.
In Tomorrow Never Dies, M is present at a technological communications centre, where Bond is feeding back live information from his mission to a video screen. M later argues with Admiral Roebuck in relation to his hawkish impatient methods and convinces him to give her 48 hours to investigate before sending the British fleet to China. M later appears in a police-escorted car along with Miss Moneypenny who discusses the mission with Bond. Her attitude has mellowed somewhat since Goldeneye, as she interacts with Bond in a much more informal manner.
The World Is Not Enough finally sees M involved in an extended role. Initially giving Bond a briefing at MI6, and then at headquarters in Scotland, M becomes a pivotal character in the plot. After she travels to Turkey to assist in the protection of Elektra King, M is kidnapped and held hostage. However she manages to use a battery out of a clock to power the tracking device in a nuclear warhead locator card, thus allowing Bond to track her, and Elektra's location. It's the first time that M admits that Bond is her best agent, although would never admit it to him for obvious reasons!
After being released from a North Korean prison when he is suspected of leaking government secrets in Die Another Day, M coldly tells Bond that he is no use to anyone now and proceeds to revoke his 00 status. Clearly disappointed, she is lead to believe that Bond has been disclosing government secrets. Her attitude towards Bond has improved slightly when M meets up with him later in the underground tube station, although the atmosphere is still icy, but slowly thawing. M is clearly relived at the end of the film, when she feels she can trust her top agent once more.
While Casino Royale is played out at the beginning of the series, Judi Dench returns to play the role of M. The character of M has no previous history with Bond - he is just another agent. She promotes Bond to 00-status, a decision she soon regrets, angrily criticising Bond's activity to Villiers when they exit a parliament meeting.
Shortly afterward M gets a chance to release her tension when she discovers Bond waiting for her at home; the first time in the Bond series M's seemingly penthouse apartment is revealed. When asked how he knew where she lived, Bond replies that he also knows her name, something which M interrupts him promising to have him killed if he finishes the sentence. She informs Bond of her concerns that he was promoted too soon, and tries to educate him so his ego is left out of the equation.
M later accompanies Bond to the Bahamas after he manages to foil Le Chiffre's plan to destroy the Skyfleet S570 prototype. As M describes the plan to bankrupt Le Chiffre, her angry attitude has certainly mellowed, allowing the professional relationship between herself and Bond to establish once again. At the end of Casino Royale, M informs Bond of the situation surrounding Vesper Lynd, mentioning she hopes he has learnt his lesson that no-one can be trusted. §