One of the most iconic, cool, competent, cocky but confident, fashionable, and well mannered, truly psychopathic and ultimate protagonist characters has to be James Bond. Created by Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964), English author, journalist, and naval intelligence officer, Bond appeared for the first time in the novel Casino Royale, published in 1953. Until his passing in 1964, Fleming would write another twelve novels and two short story collections about the spy James Bond, with his wartime service and his career as a journalist providing much of the background, detail, and depth of the James Bond novels.
The Bond character was further developed by the over two decades now perseverance of the Broccoli family of American film producer Albert R Broccoli, and dozens of writers and screen writers. The first Bond film Dr. No was released in 1962, when I was four years old and I’ve been hooked ever since. I have read all of Fleming’s books and some of the books that have been written since his passing, by new authors that are carrying on the Bond folklore. President John F. Kennedy was also a James Bond fan, and watched a preview screening of From Russia with Love at the White House on November 21st, 1963. He was killed the next day in Dallas.
The following is based on the combined facts of Bond, in literature and filmdom, with a “wee bit of artistic wherewithal”, said of course in a Scottish accent, with beer foam dripping from my moustache. Chronologically, I try to follow Ian Fleming’s books as they were written, but also for continuity, use some of the release dates of Bond films including those not associated with Fleming/Broccoli, and to a very small extent, the books written by various authors of the “young” Bond. I’m sure loyal James Bond aficionados, may take issue with the continuity of this story, but the recent Daniel Craig as Bond series of films throws a wrench into things by rebooting to the beginnings and Bond’s first missions. While Fleming’s introduction of Bond was Casino Royale, in film Bond was introduced in Dr No, Fleming’s sixth Bond novel. As far as M goes, M was Rear Admiral Bernard Lee for the first eleven missions. After his death, Robert Brown took over for four, and then M Judi Dench was brought on for Bond’s next four missions, and then was transported back in time for Bond’s last four films, which chronicle his first few years with MI6. There are also too many Alex Leiter’s, Moneypennys and Blofelds.
Then there is the dilemma that there has been numerous individuals who have played Bond, but then this issue can be dealt with sensibly, by suggesting that since Bond would be recognized fairly quickly, as he was well known to the underworld and most all intelligence and secret service organizations, so to further the secrecy and stealth needed to carry on such heroic and often insane actions as he does, and have to infiltrate their organizations, every so often Bond gets a face replacement. In this scenario Bond has had seven face transplants and still looks good. Rumour has it that in a few years from now, Bond will be undergoing not only another face transplant but a skin transplant as well, for a mission, which as of yet remains undisclosed. The story to follow is not sensible so there are no face alterations, rationally on the other hand, Bond probably looked like Daniel Craig at the start of his MI6 career but as he aged he started looking more like Sean Connery.
All of these things make it difficult and confusing to get some sort of continuity in Bond’s career timeline, but I have simply done the best I could and tried to stay with what makes sense, and lean towards Fleming’s novels as to storyline and details. And mean him no disrespect whatsoever of his original brilliance. Continue reading