Friday's Opening Ceremonies mark the official launch of the 2012 London Olympics, and Britain called in a bevy of performances for director Danny Boyle's grand party.

The festivities started with an illustrious trip through England's early years and the industrial revolution. Kenneth Branagh performed an excerpt from Shakespeare's "The Tempest," which Boyle had said inspired the show.

Other characters figuring prominently included Daniel Craig's James Bond, who appeared in a pre-recorded skit with the Queen. A stunt version of the pair parachuted into the stadium as the Bond theme played.

Among the surprises was Mr. Bean himself. Rowan Atkinson appeared among the London Philharmonic, looking annoyed at the dull keyboarding duties he was assigned. He then went joined some athletes for training, though he tired quickly of a beach run and called for a taxi. A cab promptly appeared and took him zooming past the supposed Olympians.

Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort also appeared during the proceedings, but fear not: He was vanquished by a fleet of Mary Poppinses. The segment included a number of villains from children's books, including Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Dizzee Rascal performed during a musical montage, rapping his 2009 hit, "Bonkers." After the athlete march, the Arctic Monkeys took the stage to perform a medley of their song "You Look Good on the Dance Floor" and The Beatles' "Come Together."

Of course, the biggest music moment of the evening was Paul McCartney's performance. The Beatle sang "Hey Jude," eventually leading a gigantic sing-a-long with the entire crowd in the stadium. It was a special moment, as the beautiful and intricate Olympic torch had just been lit.

McCartney implored "just the men" and then "just the women, just the girl" to sing the song before bringing the entire crowd in for a cathartic final few verses.

It's hard to imagine how expectations for Friday's event could have been higher. London's Olympiad follows Bejing's 2008 masterful ceremonies, during which, for example, over 2,000 drummers worked in unison to create a once in a lifetime light show. Boyle and the Olympic committee repeatedly said they were not trying to mimic the scale of 2008's proceedings.

The renowned "Slumdog Millionaire" filmaker pleaded with those present for dress rehearsals to not tweet or leak details from the show. Though a surprisingly small amount of information has made it out, here's what the Associated Press was able to gather in advance:

The ceremony will open at 9 p.m. with the sound of a 27-ton bell – the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world – forged at London's 442-year-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which made London's Big Ben and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell.

A pre-recorded segment has been filmed inside Buckingham Palace, reportedly involving Queen Elizabeth II and Daniel Craig as secret agent James Bond. If rumor is to be believed, a stuntman dressed as 007 will parachute into the stadium to start the show.

The opening sequence will evoke a pastoral idyll, the "green and pleasant land" described in William Blake's poem "Jerusalem," which has been set to music and is regarded as England's unofficial national anthem. There's a meadow, livestock, a farmer plowing his field, a cricket match – and, in a nod to Britain's plethora of rural summer music festivals, a mosh pit.

A leaked playlist was also floating around in advance of Friday's events. Most of the usual suspects (The Beatles, Stones, Duran Duran) were included, but Elton John, Sting (and The Police), The Smiths and The Cure were among the noticeably absent names on the pre-ceremony version of the list.

Photos From Today's Events:

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  • Opening Ceremony

    The five Olympic rings rise above a scene depicting the era of the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    An artist performs during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    An artist performs as huge chimneys emerge from the ground to symbolise the industrial revolution during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Performers depict a view of the English countryside during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A general view of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A drummer performs during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony Danny Boyle speaks whilst standing next to the Olympic Bell during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Chimneys erupt from the centre of the field during The Age of Industry scene in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    An artist performs as a chimney emerges from the ground to symbolise the industrial revolution during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    An actor climbs a giant chimney during The Age of Industry scene in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A performer climbs along a chimney emerging from the ground to symbolise the industrial revolution during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Huge chimneys emerge from the ground to symbolise the industrial revolution during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Drummers drum during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Performers depict a view from the change of the English countryside to the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Artists perform around chimneys during The Age of Industry scene in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Freshly 'forged' Olympic Rings fly above the chimneys during The Age of Industry scene in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    The Olympic rings are assembled above the stadium in a scene depicting the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Rings representing both the Olympics and the Industrial Revolution are lit during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A general view of the the set depicting the English countryside during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    The Olympic rings are assembled above the stadium in a scene depicting the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Actors perform in the scene The Age of Industry during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Rings representing both the Olympics and the Industrial Revolution are lit during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Artists perform as the Olympic rings are pictured above the stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Rings representing both the Olympics and the Industrial Revolution are lit during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    An actor dressed to resemble Britain's Queen Elizabeth II parachutes into the stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    The Olympic rings float above artists performing during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Aerial view shows the Olympic rings being raised in the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Performers depict the industrial revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Performers depict the industrial revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    General view of the Olympic Stadium as the Olympic rings float above artists during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Inflatable yellow submarines float above artists performing during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A young performer holds a balloon during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Performers depict a view of the English countryside during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Actors and dancers play Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital staff and patients during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Dancers playing Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital staff perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Dancers perform in the Gosh and NHS scene during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Dancers perform in the Gosh and NHS scene during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A general view of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Performers depict a view of the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A general view of the interior of the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    Performers depict a view of the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A performer in the role of Daniel Craig as James Bond parachutes out of a helicopter with a Union Jack parachute during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    The Union Flag is presented during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A general view is seen while performers depict a view from the change of the English countryside to the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

  • Opening Ceremony

    A general view is seen during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

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