Killing Blofeld in FYEO was a way to make NSNA illegitimate. They knew Blofeld would appear in NSNA and so killed him off - without referring to him by name, of course - in FYEO.
Not sure I buy that theory. FYEO began shooting in the summer of 1980. The script was probably finished earlier that year. By this point "Warhead" was dead in the water. I don't think Jack Schwartzman had yet contacted McClory.
Eon knew McClory had been trying to make his own Bond since 1976. They were trying to put the nail in the coffin.
Yeah, I know that McClory had been trying to make his own Bond since 1976. However your theory still holds no water. By 1980/1981 McClory's hopes appeared to be dead in the water. And your credible source for Eon's intentions is...?
Not wishing to be unpleasant, but it's really perfectly obvious that this is why Eon did it. Why else would they?
Not wishing to be equally unpleasant, but it's not really perfectly obvious that this is why Eon did it. The fact that you have to ask "Why else would they?" proves it's not anywhere near close to being a fact.
If the PTS was in any way a poke at McClory, it was for a much different reason then what you cite - which let's face it would mean the producers had a crystal ball. AVTAK and LTK clearly prove that they don't.
But I thought long and hard about your pet theory and this is what I came up with. By this point Paramount and Sean Connery had conclusively walked away from Warhead. And yes, Warhead is the project's title and not Never Say Never Again. Without a studio and without Connery, McClory's pet project was dead in the water. Therefore this conclusively proves that EON could not know that Blofeld would appear in NSNA as they had no reason to believe that NSNA could happen. Again, they'd need that crystal ball. However, let's pretend that Blofeld is - warning, pretentious literary term coming up! - an objective correlative for Kevin McClory himself. Blofeld is Bond's enemy. McClory was Ian Fleming's and EON's enemy. McClory had a hand in Ian Fleming's death (as did the smokes and booze). Therefore IF equals Tracy Bond. Bond visits Tracy's grave. The Bond producers pay tribute to the memory of IF by exhuming Fleming's short story collection for a back-to-the-basics film that has more Fleming in it than anything we've seen in over a decade. McClory tried to hijack the Bond franchise. Blofeld tries to hijack Bond's helicopter. Blofeld is in a wheelchair, thanks to Bond. McClory is
, whoops, let's try that one again. McClory is hamstrung thanks to EON's lawyers and that "ten year non-exploitation" clause. (Now you know the real reason the producers excised the infamous "I thought we should celebrate the tenth anniversary of our last meeting." Believe me, it had nothing to do with DAF!) Bond foils Blofeld and dumps him down the chimney stack. The Bond producers (and their high-priced lawyers) foil McClory's plans dumping Warhead's prospects down a chimney stack. The end for both.
At which point I can hear John Glen saying "Don't be so bloody daft. We didn't give it that much thought. It just seemed a nice idea for a bit of action, really."
I too think the PTS was nothing more than a way to introduce a new Bond actor while saying, don't worry, it's the same old Bond.