James Bond (literary character): Difference between revisions

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[[Image:YoungJamesBond.jpg|left|thumb|An illustration of James Bond as he appears in the ''Young Bond'' series by Charlie Higson]]
 
[[Image:YoungJamesBond.jpg|left|thumb|An illustration of James Bond as he appears in the ''Young Bond'' series by Charlie Higson]]
   
James Bond is an [[Floating timeline|ageless]] character in his late thirties. In ''[[Moonraker (novel)|Moonraker]]'', he admits to being eight years shy of mandatory retirement at age forty-five, therefore, James Bond is thirty-seven years old.<ref>{{cite book
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James Pond is an [[Floating timeline|ageless]] character in his late thirties. In ''[[Moonraker (novel)|Moonraker]]'', he admits to being eight years shy of mandatory retirement at age forty-five, therefore, James Bond is thirty-seven years old.<ref>{{cite book
 
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Revision as of 04:40, 23 December 2008

James Bond
Ian Fleming's image of James Bond; commissioned to aid the Daily Express comic strip artists.
Information
Gender Male
Occupation 00 Agent
Affiliation MI6
Relatives Father: Andrew Bond
Mother: Monique Delacroix Bond
Aunt: Charmian Bond
Uncle: Max Bond
Wife: Teresa Bond, Kissy Suzuki
Son: James Suzuki

Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR is a fictional character created by novelist Ian Fleming in 1952. He is the protagonist of the James Bond series of novels, films, comics and video games. He is portrayed as an SIS agent residing in London. From 1995 onwards, SIS would be officially acknowledged as MI6.

Bond holds code number 007, except for in You Only Live Twice, where he temporarily becomes "7777". The "double-0" prefix indicates his discretionary licence to kill in the performance of his duties.[1] In the films, he is famous for introducing himself as "Bond, James Bond" whenever the opportunity arises and for ordering his vodka martinis "shaken, not stirred"; his usual and characteristic formal clothing is a dinner jacket, usually also wearing a Rolex watch or, in later films, an Omega.

He has been portrayed on film by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig, the last interpretation being the only one with an official fictional biography of the character. However, Bond was first portrayed by Barry Nelson in a 1954 American television film based on the novel Casino Royale, and next by Bob Holness in a 1956 South African radio series based on the novel Moonraker. David Niven played Bond in Casino Royale, a 1967 satire, which was lightly based on the Bond novel of the same name. Several other actors, including Peter Sellers and Woody Allen, were also designated as James Bond in the satire.

Biography

Family and early years

An illustration of James Bond as he appears in the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson

James Pond is an ageless character in his late thirties. In Moonraker, he admits to being eight years shy of mandatory retirement at age forty-five, therefore, James Bond is thirty-seven years old.[2] The actors who have portrayed Bond have varied greatly in age. George Lazenby was 29 when On Her Majesty's Secret Service was released, while Roger Moore was 58 when A View to a Kill was released.

James Bond's birth year is unknown because Fleming changed the dates and times of events. Most researchers and biographers concluded that he was born either in 1917, 1920, 1921, or 1924 (see more). Ian Fleming never said where James Bond was born although people have speculated, based on derivative works.

You Only Live Twice reveals Bond is the son of a Scottish father, Andrew Bond, of Glencoe, and a Swiss mother, Monique Delacroix, of the Canton de Vaud. The boy James Bond spends much of his early life abroad, becoming multilingual in German and French because of his father's being a Vickers armaments company representative. When his parents are killed in a mountain climbing accident in the Aiguilles Rouges near Chamonix, eleven-year-old James is orphaned.[3]

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the Bond family motto might be non sufficit Orbis (Latin for "The world is not enough"). The coat of arms and motto belonged to the historical Sir Thomas Bond; his relation to James Bond is unclear and neglected by the latter. In fact, he is indifferent to his potential genealogical relationship to Sir Thomas Bond, demonstrated by his abrupt response to Griffin Or on being told of the motto:

Griffon Or broke in excitedly, 'And this charming motto of the line, "The World is not Enough". You do not wish to have the right to it?' 'It is an excellent motto which I shall certainly adopt,' said Bond curtly. He looked pointedly at his watch. 'Now I'm afraid we really must get down to business. I have to report back to my Ministry.'

— On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Chapter 6: Bond of Bond Street?

After the death of his parents, he goes to live with his aunt, Miss Charmian Bond, in Pett Bottom village, where he completes his early education. Later, he briefly attends Eton College at "12 or thereabouts" (13 in Young Bond), but leaves after two halves because of girl trouble with a maid. He recounts losing his virginity at sixteen, on a first visit to Paris, in the short story "From a View to a Kill". Bond is removed from Eton and sent to Fettes College in Edinburgh, Scotland, his father's school. Per Pearson's James Bond: The Authorised Biography and an allusion in From Russia with Love, Bond briefly attended the University of Geneva.[4] Some of Bond's education is based on Fleming's own, both having attended Eton, and the University of Geneva. In the film You Only Live Twice Bond asserts having a First in Oriental Languages from Cambridge University; in the film, The Spy Who Loved Me, an acquaintance identifies him as a Cambridge graduate; in the film Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond attends Oxford to study Danish. The polyglot Bond speaks German, French, Russian, and Japanese — yet, Ian Fleming's novel series, the films, and the post–Fleming continuation novels contradict each other about which languages. In Quantum of Solace, Bond speaks some Spanish fluently.

In 1941, Bond lies about his age in order to enter the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II, from which he emerges a Commander. He retains that rank while in the British Secret Service of Fleming's novels, and the continuation novels, and the films. Continuation novelist John Gardner promoted Bond to Captain in Win, Lose or Die. Since Raymond Benson's novels are a reboot, Bond is a Commander, and a member of the RNVSR (Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve), an association of war veteran officers.[5]

In the SIS

Bond is a civil servant, working in the Ministry of Defence as a Principal Officer,[6][7] a civilian grade equivalent to a Captain in the Royal Navy.[8]

It is never stated when James Bond became a 00-agent, though references in Casino Royale suggest during World War II while Goldfinger suggests 1952. After joining the RNVR, Bond is mentioned travelling in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Jamaica, and that he joined another organisation, such as the SOE or the 00-Section of the SIS or as leader of a Royal Marine unit on secret mission behind enemy lines in the war or in (Fleming's) "Red Indians" 30 Commando Assault Unit (30 AU). One supporting fact is Bond in the Ardennes firing a bazooka in 1944.[citation needed] The 30 AU were the only British small unit attached to the US Army in Europe. In Bond's obituary, his commanding officer, M, alludes to the rank as cover:

"To serve the confidential nature of his duties, he was accorded the rank of lieutenant in the Special Branch of the R.N.V.R., and it is a measure of the satisfaction his services gave to his superiors that he ended the war with the rank of Commander." — You Only Live Twice, chapter 21: "Obit"

Bond earns his 00 status with two tasks, outlined in Casino Royale. The first, assassinating a Japanese spy on the 36th floor of the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The second, assassinating a Norwegian double agent who betrayed two British agents. Bond travels to Stockholm to stab and kill the man in his sleep. In James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007, Pearson suggests Bond first kills as a teenager. Throughout the films, Bond's attitude towards his job is similar; he dislikes taking life, resorting to black humour relief.

It was part of his profession to kill people. He had never liked doing it and when he had to kill he did it as well as he knew how and forgot about it. As a secret agent who held the rare Double-O prefix – the licence to kill in the Secret Service – it was his duty to be as cool about death as a surgeon. If it happened, it happened. Regret was unprofessional — worse, it was a death-watch beetle in the soul." — Goldfinger, chapter 1: "Reflections in a Double Bourbon"

In the novel Goldfinger, James Bond is haunted by memories of a Mexican gunman he killed with bare hands days earlier. The cinematic Bond is at ease with killing until Brosnan's tenure; GoldenEye suggests the brutality of his job troubles him while, in The World Is Not Enough, he admits cold-blooded killing is a filthy business. Nonetheless, he kills when needed, and on film commits murder in shooting the unarmed Elektra King, and assassination in killing Mr. Big, a national leader, in Live and Let Die. The literary James Bond is reserved in his licensed killing, sometimes disobeying kill orders if the mission might be accomplished otherwise, as in "The Living Daylights" where he makes a last-second decision to disobey orders and not kill an assassin. Instead, he shoots the assassin's gun and accomplishes the mission. Later, he feels so strongly about that decision that he hopes M will fire him for it. There are Fleming works in which Bond does not kill anyone. Bond hates those who kill non-combatants, especially a woman. He forsakes Queen and Country in avenging the deaths of innocent victims Felix Leiter and bride, Della, in the film Licence to Kill.

In both literature and cinema, James Bond has a cavalier attitude toward his death, accepting that he most likely will be killed if captured, and expects MI6's disavowal of him. He withstands torture in Casino Royale, The World is Not Enough, and Die Another Day without talking.

The cinematic James Bond (introduced in 1962) already was a veteran Secret Service agent. In Dr. No, when ordered re-equipped with a 7.65 mm Walther PPK pistol replacing his Beretta automatic pistol, agent 007 protests that he has used the weapon for 10 years. In the novels preceding Dr. No, Bond uses a .25 ACP Beretta automatic pistol carried in a light-weight chamois leather holster, however, in From Russia with Love, in the draw, the gun snags in Bond's jacket, and, because of this incident, M and Major Boothroyd order Bond re-equipped with a Walther PPK and a Berns-martin triple-draw holster made of stiff saddle leather. He continues using this pistol until John Gardner's Licence Renewed, where he uses different weapons, choosing the ASP 9 mm in later books. According to Gardner in the novelisation for Licence to Kill, the Walther PPK is not Bond's favourite weapon. With Raymond Benson, Bond begins using the PPK again until being updated in both the film and novelisation Tomorrow Never Dies with the Walther P99. In Quantum of Solace, Bond uses the Walther PPK again. James Bond: The Secret World of 007 reports that Bond is a judoka and knows other martial arts.

Description and personal life

The tombstone of James Bond´s wife, Teresa, which Bond visits. Shown at a James Bond convention in 1992.

In the novels (notably From Russia with Love), Bond's physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch, vertical scar on his right cheek (absent from the film version); blue-grey eyes; a "cruel" mouth; short, black hair (long in the Timothy Dalton films, and in the revamped version with Craig, Bond has blond hair) , a comma of which falls on his forehead (greying at the temples in Gardner's novels); and (after Casino Royale) the faint scar of the Russian cyrillic letter "Ш" (SH) (for Shpion: "Spy") on the back of one of his hands (carved by a SMERSH agent). In From Russia with Love he is also described as 183 centimeters (6 feet) in height and 76 kilograms (167 lb) in weight.

In film, Bond is portrayed as highly intelligent. In Goldfinger, he calculates how many trucks it takes to transport all the gold in Fort Knox. Also, in the film version of Casino Royale, he is shown to have skill at calculating probabilities of draws from a deck in a Texas hold'em tournament in Montenegro.

When not on assignment or at headquarters, Bond spends his time at his flat off the Kings Road in Chelsea. His flat is looked after by an elderly Scottish housekeeper named May, who is very loyal and often motherly to him. According to Higson's Young Bond series, May previously worked for Bond's aunt, Charmian. Bond hardly ever brings women back to his home, happening only once between the novels Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia with Love when he briefly lived with Tiffany Case;[9] and once in the film series: in Live and Let Die, M and Moneypenny visit Bond at his flat, forcing him to hide his female company in the wardrobe. According to Pearson's book and hinted at in From Russia with Love, Tiffany often got into arguments with May and eventually left. At his home, Bond has two telephones. One for personal use and a second red phone that is a direct line between his home and headquarters; the latter is said always to be ringing at inopportune moments.

In both the literary and cinematic versions of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, James Bond marries, but his bride, Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo, is killed on their wedding day by his archenemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld; the loss resonates in both versions of the character for many years thereafter. In the novels, Bond gets revenge in the following novel, You Only Live Twice when, by chance, he comes across Blofeld in Japan, while the cinematic Bond takes on Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever with an ambiguous result. Later, in the pre-title sequence of For Your Eyes Only, Bond dispatches a bald, wheelchair-bound Blofeld.

Bond and Kissy Suzuki bear a child, although Fleming's novels do not state his existence. Bond is obviously aware of his son's existence by the time of Raymond Benson's short story "Blast From the Past" in which his son asks him to come to New York City as a matter of urgency before being killed by Irma Bunt.

Bond is famous for ordering his vodka martinis "shaken, not stirred." In the novel Moonraker, he drinks a shot of vodka straight, served with a pinch of black pepper, a habit he picked up working in the Baltic region. He also drinks and enjoys gin martinis, champagne, and bourbon. In total, Bond consumes 317 drinks of which 101 are whisky, 35 sakes, 30 glasses of champagne and a mere 19 vodka martinis. This is an average of one drink every seven pages.[10] Bond occasionally supplements his alcohol consumption with the use of other drugs, for both functional and recreational reasons. For instance, in Moonraker Bond consumes a quantity of the amphetamine benzedrine accompanied by champagne, in order to gain extra confidence and alertness during his bridge game against Sir Hugo Drax; and in On Her Majesty's Secret Service he consumes the barbiturate derivative seconal in order to induce a state of "cosy self-anaesthesia" in his London flat.[11]

In Fleming's novels, Bond is a heavy smoker, at one point reaching 70 cigarettes a day.[12] On average, Bond smokes 60 a day, although in certain novels he attempts to cut back so that he can accomplish certain feats, such as swimming. He is also forced to cut back after being sent to a health farm per M's orders in Thunderball. Bond specifically smokes a blend of Balkan and Turkish tobacco with a higher than average tar content from Morlands of Grosvenor Street called "Morland Specials." The cigarette itself has three gold bands on the filter signifying Bond's (and Fleming's) commander rank in the secret service. Additionally Bond carries his cigarettes in a trademarked monogrammed gunmetal cigarette case. In continuation novels by John Gardner, Bond cuts back by smoking low-tar cigarettes from Morlands and later H. Simmons of Burlington Arcade. Later works by Raymond Benson has Bond continuing to use this brand. Cinematically, Bond has been off and on usually going with changes in society. During the films starring Connery, Lazenby and Dalton, Bond was a smoker, while during Moore's and Brosnan's tenure he does not smoke cigarettes, although he does occasionally smoke cigars. In Brosnan's second portrayal of Bond, in Tomorrow Never Dies, he remarks upon a Russian who is smoking by saying "Filthy habit". The last time Bond smoked on film was in 2002 in Die Another Day, and he was smoking a cigar, not a cigarette. In Daniel Craig's tenure, he is never seen smoking at all.

Although Fleming states in the novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service that "James Bond was not a gourmet," he clearly appreciates food and has a sophisticated (if perhaps idiosyncratic) palate. When in England, Bond "lived on grilled soles, oeufs cocotte and cold roast beef with potato salad," his favourite food is scrambled eggs served with coffee (particularly as served by his housekeeper) although "the best meal he had ever eaten" is enjoyed in Miami during the novel Goldfinger, and comprises stone crabs with melted butter served with toast and iced rose champagne. In the same novel Bond also articulates his hatred of tea, which he describes as "mud" and considers partially responsible for the decline of the British Empire.

In both novel and film, Bond has meaningless affairs or one night stands with virtually every woman he encounters, and discards them the minute they become an inconvenience. Fleming had a tempestuous love life; he had numerous affairs even though he was married, and there were frequent accusations of sado-masochistic acts in his relationships with women.[13] This has led critics to speculate over how much Fleming projected his own character into the figure of James Bond as Bond, too, has a dismissive attitude towards women. For instance, Bond does not desist from hitting women and his rough handed treatment of women has been noted.[14] His suave, chauvinistic charm even seduces women who initially find him repellent, such as Holly Goodhead in Moonraker or Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies. While the women he sleeps with do willingly give in to him, he does not take the initial 'no' for an answer. In the film version of Goldfinger, Bond forces himself upon Pussy Galore in a barnyard, to which she fights back at first, though she eventually relents. Bond also is not above blackmailing a female employee of the spa he is sent to in order for her to have sex with him in the film version of Thunderball.

In more recent incarnations, his attitudes toward women have softened somewhat; he respects the new, female M, while a few female characters, such as Elektra King and Paris Carver, have gotten under his skin. When the film canon was rebooted with Casino Royale, James Bond's sexual appetite had somewhat cooled though he somewhat jokingly admits to an attraction to married women, reasoning it "keeps things simple." His pursuit of Solange Dimitrios is merely for the purpose of collecting information on her husband, Alex, to stop a terrorist plot. Once he retrieves the information, he leaves her immediately without having sex with her. When they meet, Vesper Lynd predicts that James sees women as little more than sex objects to be used and James later jokes that Vesper isn't his type due to her being single (ironic given Vesper in fact has a boyfriend kidnapped by Mr. White's organisation). Nevertheless, James falls deeply in love with Vesper to the point of attempting to quit the spy business to be with her, becoming genuinely heartbroken and bitter when it is revealed she is a mole for Mr. White.

In Daniel Craig's recent portrayals of Bond, it can be noted that, once he sleeps with a woman, she will end up dead during the events of that film. All of the girls (3) that Craig's Bond has slept with have had odd or uncommon first names (Solange, Vesper, Strawberry).

Bond is an avid boating enthusiast. He is seen on boats both for business and leisure. Bond is seen boating in Dr. No, From Russia with Love,Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The World Is Not Enough, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace.

Birth year debate

According to Pearson, Bond was born on November 11, 1920. However, the novel You Only Live Twice implies the birth year as 1924. In the novel, M writes an obituary for James Bond after believing him to be dead. M writes that Bond left school when he was 17 years old and joined the Ministry of Defence in 1941 "claiming an age of 19." If Bond was 17 in 1941, then he was born in 1924. Also Tiger Tanaka, a Japanese secret agent, states that Bond was born in the year of the rat, which hints at 1924. However, the novel Moonraker (which is set in 1954) states that Bond's age is 37. This would place Bond's date of birth in 1917-1918 and indeed in the novel "From Russia With Love" the KGB dossier on Bond states a birth year of 1918.

A more complex date of birth, according to John Griswold and his book Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies is November 11, 1921. Griswold notes that Bond's joining of the Ministry of Defence was originally written in Fleming's manuscript as 1939 and later changed to 1941. Briefly, Griswold contends that Bond joined the Admiralty in 1939 (the same year Fleming joined) and 1941 is a year marker that places his recruitment into an organisation that was later attached to the Ministry of Defence by Fleming. Griswold believes that a lot of details in Bond's timeline make better sense with the original 1939 date. For instance, if one computes Bond's age for when he was admitted into the Admiralty to when his parents died, then Bond would have been 11 in 1933 from January 1 through to November 10 if he was born in 1921. 1933 is the year mentioned in Casino Royale for when Bond "bought" his first Bentley. Since all of the years claimed for when Bond was born would have made him too young to purchase this Bentley, a more likely scenario is that he "inherited" it from his late father. Griswold presented this idea to Ian Fleming Publications in February 2003. The company recognised this issue for its Young Bond series of novels featuring Bond as a teenager in the 1930s and along with its author, Charlie Higson, defined Bond being born in the year 1920. In Higson's series, the Bentley in question was purchased and used in December 1933 in Double or Die by Bond with money he had received for helping someone win a lot of money at a roulette table. Previously Bond had inherited a Bamford & Martin Sidevalve Short Chassis Tourer around Easter 1933 from his Uncle Max.

Modern film biography

The 2006 film Casino Royale is a reboot of the film series that depicts Bond's first mission as Agent 007. The film's official website[15] gives a biography of the Bond that parallels the backstory of Fleming's literary character, but it is updated to reflect Bond's new birth date of April 13, 1968; April 13 being the day in which Casino Royale was published in 1953 and 1968 being the year in which Daniel Craig was born. This version of the character was born in West Berlin, Germany. His parents, Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix Bond, died in a climbing accident, so he was brought up in Kent, UK, by his aunt Charmain.

Like the original character, Bond is kicked out of Eton College and attends his father's alma mater, Fettes College. Bond attends the University of Geneva while at Fettes through an exchange program. After Fettes, Bond joins the Royal Navy and attends Britannia Royal Naval College at the age of 17.

The modern biography clarifies Bond's military service by stating he joins the Special Boat Service while in the Regular Royal Navy, where he obtains the rank of Commander, and then is placed in the 030 Special Forces Unit (a reference to Fleming's 30th Assault Unit during World War II, a unit he nicknamed his 'Red Indians'; see Casino Royale). Bond serves covertly in Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Libya and actively in Bosnia. He is then recruited by the RNR Defence Intelligence Group. Bond attends specialized courses at Cambridge and Oxford universities during this period, earning a degree in Oriental Languages from Cambridge. Bond is noted to be fluent in English, French, German, Russian, and Italian, and writing passable Greek, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese at the time he joins MI6. In training, he receives exceptionally high marks for physical endurance, logic, and Psychological Ops exercises. He serves in the Royal Navy from age 17 to 31, joining MI6 at age 30, and is promoted to 00 Agent at age 38 in 2006.

Alternative biographies and theories

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

A wholly non-canonical conjecture about the Bond lineage can be found in Alan Moore's comic book series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, set in Victorian Britain. In it the portly, sinister, and secretive MI5 agent placed in charge of the League is named Campion Bond. His superior, the overall director of the top-secret team, is code-named M, an obvious reference to the James Bond series. Although Moore makes no overt connection between Bond and Campion (due to copyright issues), the code Double-O Seven being engraved in morse code on Campion's walking stick and keys,[16] has led fans to propose that Campion is meant to be an ancestor of the modern secret agent. Another character in the comic notes that the Bond "Family's got a reputation. A bad 'un." In the recent The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, a young MI5 spy named "Jimmy" appears, possessing Campion's 007 cigarette case and clearly meant to be Bond, with another character comparing him to his grandfather (Campion). Jimmy is presented as an incompetent psychotic rapist whose daring exploits against Dr. No are no more than a cover story for him to commit double agent work against the United Kingdom on behalf of the United States. The Black Dossier also hints that Campion and Jimmy are both descendants of Sir Basildon Bond, an underling of Sir Jack Wilton, the original M, who in 1558 established Prospero's Men (the original League) for Queen Gloriana I. Prospero, the head of the organization, was the original 007. Further evidence is the presence of Auric Goldfinger, who is mentioned in The New Traveller's Almanac.

Wold Newton

In his fictional biographies, author Philip José Farmer suggests that Bond belongs in the Wold Newton family tree along with Tarzan, Doc Savage, and many other fictional heroes.[17] Followers of Farmer's speculations have greatly elaborated on Bond's family.

Code name

One proposal long debated by fans of the film series is the notion that "James Bond" is merely a code name used by a long line of British secret agents. While it does explain Bond's longevity and frequent changes of appearance, this idea has always been highly controversial.

Die Another Day director Lee Tamahori believed that the name "James Bond" is a code name (like 007) which is given to the best and most accomplished secret agents. The theory is meant to explain the changes in actors (e.g., Roger Moore vs. Timothy Dalton) and Bond's apparent agelessness. The idea was created so that Tamahori could get Connery to make a cameo appearance in the film, and thus explain how it was possible that Connery and Brosnan as Bond could both be on film at the same time.[18]

Tamahori explained the theory: "My idea was basically that there have been several Bonds. It's just a prefix and a code name. Even James Bond is not the guy's name. That's the way I've always been able to view these things from when Connery left and Lazenby and Moore took over, right up to Brosnan. How could this guy be so young still? Of course to me, it is just a prefix and a code name. That means that Connery either died or retired, Moore died or retired and so on. Following that, that allows you to have possibly two James Bonds in a movie. What happened to the others? Were they retired from active service or were they killed? That's where I came from."

The theory, as well as the intent to have Connery cameo in Die Another Day, was rejected by producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (although a televised news report during production reported erroneously that Connery had filmed a cameo as Bond's father). One and probably the only evidence to support this theory is Lazenby's final line in the pre-title sequence of On Her Majesty's Secret Service where the Bond girl runs away after Bond is ambushed on a beach: "This never happened to the other fella." The theory is denounced by most fans due to continuity in subsequent films when Bond's wife, Tracy (from On Her Majesty's Secret Service) is mentioned — most notably in The Spy Who Loved Me, where Moore's Bond reacts emotionally when the death of his wife is mentioned. In the later For Your Eyes Only Bond is seen attending Tracy's grave, and Felix Leiter refers to Bond's marriage in Licence to Kill. Also in The World Is Not Enough, when Electra inquires Bond whether he ever lost a loved one, Bond does not give an answer and changes the subject immediately. In addition to this, once in a while, Bond is seen with gadgets and weapons, such as Honey Rider's knife, from previous films that he obviously kept as souvenirs. In the game Everything or Nothing, Brosnan and Moore's Bond at least are intended to be the same individual, as the Brosnan's Bond recalls encountering Jaws and Max Zorin.

A scene was apparently originally planned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service that would feature Bond having plastic surgery as a means of explaining his new appearance, but the scene never made it into production. The idea that the James Bond name — in addition to the 007 number — has been given to subsequent agents was also featured in the Casino Royale satire, where the original James Bond is a retired, legendary British spy who won a VC at the Siege of Mafeking and who berates M for having given his number and name to a brash young agent whose description appears to match Sean Connery's Bond. Later in the film, six further MI6 agents are assigned the name "James Bond 007", including Vesper Lynd and baccarat master Evelyn Tremble.

The theory is by the status of some actors in their final appearance as a particular. In Timothy Dalton's last film (License to Kill) he resigns in order to pursue a personal agenda, and in Pierce Brosnan's final film (Die Another Day) he is abandoned by SIS only to be secretly approached by M offering reinstatement. One could also argue that these films refute the theory because in those films, Bond lost 007 status but was still James Bond.

However, the film Quantum of Solace indirectly alludes to the code name when René Mathis is dying and Bond ask to him "... Mathis... that's your name of agent?".

Actors

File:Bonds-6.jpg
All the actors who portrayed James Bond in order, from top left to bottom right: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore.
Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

The first actor to portray James Bond in the EON series was Sean Connery in Dr. No, released in 1962. Connery played the role in four further films before resigning. Australian actor George Lazenby was cast in On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969. However, Lazenby resigned, and Connery returned for the next film, Diamonds Are Forever, in 1971, and later in Never Say Never Again in 1983. Connery had the longest run, appearing in seven films over a 21-year period. 1973's Live and Let Die featured Roger Moore's debut as Bond. Moore also appeared in seven films.

After Roger Moore's retirement, the role subsequently went to Timothy Dalton, who was contracted in 1986 for three films (with an option for a fourth) as James Bond. Dalton starred in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), with the third film planned for 1991. However, legal ownership problems of the James Bond franchise delayed release until 1995, by which time Dalton had resigned. Persistent rumours state that Dalton's third film was going to be The Property of a Lady, but the story, treatment, and draft screenplays were called GoldenEye.[19]

In 1994, Irish actor Pierce Brosnan was hired as James Bond. Brosnan's debut, GoldenEye (1995), was the franchise's highest grossing film at that date, and he starred in three more films. Brosnan is the only actor who did not star in a James Bond film titled after an Ian Fleming novel and is the second actor not to have been from the United Kingdom, also the only actor who did not resign from the role.

The latest actor to play the role is Daniel Craig, hired in 2005. Craig's debut in Casino Royale was successful both critically[20] and commercially. Craig's performance was also the first in the series to earn a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor.[21] The 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Solace, was released in 2008 and the 23rd is scheduled for 2010.[22]

Before Sean Connery was cast as James Bond, Harry Saltzman favoured Roger Moore for the role, while Cubby Broccoli preferred Cary Grant (but the producer ultimately decided against Grant because he knew that if he succeeded in signing him, it would be a one-year deal and the next film would necessitate a search for another Bond).[23][24] Before George Lazenby was cast in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Timothy Dalton was offered the part, but turned it down as he then felt himself to be too young for it. Pierce Brosnan was initially approached after Roger Moore relinquished the role, when Timothy Dalton was unavailable, but his contract with the TV show Remington Steele made him unavailable.[25]

In the course of the official series, American actors have been engaged to play James Bond on two occasions — and have been approached at other times as well. John Gavin was contracted in 1970 to replace George Lazenby, but Connery was well-paid to re-appear in Diamonds Are Forever.[26] James Brolin was contracted in 1983, to replace Roger Moore, and prepared to shoot Octopussy when the producers paid Moore to return. To date, the only American to play James Bond is Barry Nelson, in the 1954 American television adaptation of Casino Royale, though Brolin's three screen tests were publicly released for the first time as a special feature named James Brolin: The Man Who Would Be Bond in the Octopussy: Ultimate Edition DVD.[27]

References

  1. ^ "The double 0 section". Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  2. ^ Fleming, Ian (1955-04-04). Moonraker. Cover art by Ian Fleming and Kenneth Lewis (1 ed.). Jonathan Cape. 
  3. ^ Higson, Charlie (5 January 2006). Blood Fever. Cover artist Kev Walker (U.S. 1st hardback ed.). Puffin Books. 
  4. ^ Pearson, John. James Bond;: The authorized biography of 007; a fictional biography. Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 0283979461. 
  5. ^ "Chapter 4: The 'Shiner'". Moonraker. 
  6. ^ Ian Fleming, Moonraker, Ch. 1
  7. ^ Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice, Ch. 21
  8. ^ UKDS 2007 - Chapter 2 - Personnel
  9. ^ Fleming, Ian (1957). "ch. 11, 12". From Russia, With Love. MacMillan. 
  10. ^ http://www.atomicmartinis.com Accessed: 20 Jan 2007
  11. ^ On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Pan, London, 1965 printing), pp77
  12. ^ 1985 Holy Smoke By Guillermo Cabrera Infante - University of Texas ISBN 0060154322 Page 212
  13. ^ "The Real James Bond". Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  14. ^ "Understanding 007". Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  15. ^ Casino Royale: Dossier: History
  16. ^ Jess Nevins; Heroes & Monsters: The Unofficial Companion to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (paperback, 239 pages, MonkeyBrain, 2003, ISBN 193226504X, Titan Books, 2006, ISBN 1845763165)
  17. ^ “A Reply to ‘The Wold Newton Theory Alternative Universe.’” ThrillerUK No. 19, July 2004.
  18. ^ "Lee Tamahori Talks Die Another Day". Archived from the original on 2003-04-16. Retrieved 2006-10-14. 
  19. ^ "MI6.co.uk: Bond 17 — History". 
  20. ^ "BBC News: 'Brilliant' Bond seduces critics". Retrieved April 29.  Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  21. ^ "BBC News: Queen rules over BAFTA hopefuls". Retrieved April 29.  Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  22. ^ Dave McNary, "Hollywood films' dating game. Opening weekends being set for '09, '10", Variety 7-13-2007
  23. ^ Dr. No DVD documentary: Inside Dr. No
  24. ^ "YouTube: Cary Grant as James Bond". 
  25. ^ Last, Kimberly (1996). "Pierce Brosnan's Long and Winding Road To Bond". Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  26. ^ McDonagh, Maitland (2006-04-19). "The James Bonds who might have been". Retrieved 2007-02-22. [dead link]
  27. ^ "DVD Times: Octopussy: Ultimate Edition DVD". next jamesbond santhanapandiyan

External links