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The Name's Bond... James Bond...

Updated: Jan 13


From an alter-ego character from Ian Fleming's Secret Service days, to the big screen sensation everybody knows, James Bond has been a staple in the cultural conscience. Since 1953's Casino Royale was published, to 2021's No Time to Die twist ending putting a new look on the whole portrayal of the Bond character, Bond has kept the same basic formula throughout, but always thrown in new ingredients, dependent on the time era.

Here, I go through my worst-to-best Bond actors from 1962 when Sean Connery became the first to play the role.

Sixth - George Lazenby

It will probably come as no surprise to most, if not all, Bond fans that the second face of Bond, George Lazenby, lands in a far distant bottom of the pile. The Australian had been a model in his homeland and having only acted in a few commercials, had never been on the big screen before. Why they then chose him to replace Sean Connery's initial incarnation of the Secret Agent is only in their knowing. 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service was not a particularly good film in anyway, but Lazenby was wooden and seemed distracted by the occasion. He got the taste for film though, and while he was lined up to star in The Man with the Golden Gun a few years later, he ultimately felt ignored and demeaned by the producers. So he left.

Fifth - Timothy Dalton

Honestly, I do feel for Tim here. He was a great Bond. He played it with a suave, debonair swagger, made his anger cut through M like a knife and had the ego pin-pointed. I felt his chemistry with Robert Davi (playing the villain Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill) was amazing. My trouble with Dalton was one thing... he didn't have the right look. He looked less like a suave secret agent and more like your local MP! He had been considered before as, perhaps slightly ironically, Sean Connery's replacement before Lazenby was chosen, and then again as Lazenby's replacement. He could have done more films and been just a successful as the others, but his two films, Licence to Kill and The Living Daylights are far from the worst of the Bond films. The were gritty and showed the fearlessness of the character. He could have gone on to be the best, had he had more of a chance.

Fourth - Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan was my first Bond. He was in the role when I discovered my love of films and my fondness for the franchise. Having now watched every Bond film, I feel the franchise wanted a step back to the old-school Bond. Fun but deadly, suave and snappy. I get the impression that they hadn't felt that Timothy Dalton was working for them. I've only put Brosnan above Dalton because he was MY bond, and he had a longer run with the role.

Of course, with this new Bond came a new boss, in Dame Judi Dench as 'M'. A modernising move on the part of the producers, and Judi did not disappoint.

Third - Roger Moore

Moore was the funniest Bond. Longest running in the role, appearing in seven films across 12 years, a lot of people will name him either first of second when you ask them to name the Bond actors. He was suave, cocky, cheeky and there was always the raised eyebrows at subtle double entendres that were snuck in. The Bond series became physically comedic here as well, notably the car jumping over the river in Live and Let Die (1973) with the accompanying whistle, as well as more slapstick fighting.

The franchise did take a few more risks, such as casting Hervé Villechaize as Nick Nack in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), a dwarf, which at the time would have likely turned heads as his role was not the comic relief role. We also saw Maud Adams appear twice, in different roles. Firstly, as Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun and then as the title character in 1983's Octopussy. She also makes a cameo as an extra in 1985's A View to a Kill.

However, Moore took the role by the scruff and milked it for everything he could. Iconic and entertaining.

Second - Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig came into the role as the franchise decided to reboot itself. He wasn't seen as a replacement for Pierce Brosnan, more as a new face for a new start. And he made it his own.

From 2006's remake of Casino Royale, Craig's Bond was far grittier, darker and unafraid to put everyone at risk. Bond is constantly at loggerheads with M and her superiors. Of course, Judi Dench kept her part as 'M'.

As Craig's films progressed, the franchise took bigger twists to show they are not afraid to make big changes. Story lines weave through multiple films, far more than they ever used to, and Bond was far more human, showing his emotions on multiple occasions.

As we know, Dench as 'M' met a sad end, but it gave us a glimpse into the future. Then with Craig's physical death, which I am still processing and don't know how I feel about it, showed us the this new iteration of Bond is going in a very different direction.

It also means that, should the franchise now die itself, it's a suitable and fitting end.

First - Sean Connery

Of course. The first face of Bond is my number one. He is the epitome of the character. Sean Connery is the face everyone thinks of when they know Bond. It was his role and he made it iconic. The others have slowly come close, but it will always be Connery as THE look of James Bond. He was just superb in a new type of filmmaking and cinematic phenomena.

So what next for Bond? Well, personally, I don't know who should be the next James Bond. I like some of the names (Tom Hiddlestone, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba have been thrown in) but they are well established and already have franchise they are tied to. I feel that the next star needs to be established but still on the rise. Someone who can take the role and live it, make it theirs and carry the baton high. I look forward to it with great anticipation.

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