The 2012 Olympic Games in London have begun with Friday night's opening ceremony. Although the eight-hour spectacular actually took place earlier in the day, NBC opted to tape-delay the broadcast at 7:30 p.m. ET and then tape-delay the broadcast yet again for those of us on the West Coast.
The opening ceremony, which was directed by Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire auteur Danny Boyle, began with a celebration of England's long history, focusing on the green English countryside giving way to the industrial revolution that forged their current empire. The long, theatrical endeavor featured an appearance by Kenneth Branagh and culminated in the appearance of massive, fiery Olympic Rings.
Following that, things got a little bit silly, as Craig James-as-James Bond and Queen Elizabeth appeared on a pre-taped video that showed them riding in a helicopter from Buckingham Palace to the Olympic Stadium and cut to skydivers -- dressed as James and Elizabeth -- leaping from the live helicopter and parachuting down to the Stadium using Union Jack chutes.
For more on the 2012 London Olympic Games, make sure that you check out SB Nation's dedicated Olympics hub.