I saw a very clever caricature of the various actors who have played James Bond over the years on Facestalk the other day (thank you, Intrepid Allen) - which is reproduced here, and it started me thinking, as I do, about inane and trivial stuff.
A lot of people got all hoity-toity and up in arms about Daniel Craig when he was first announced as the new Bond five zillion years ago.
'He's not tall enough!'
'He's not smooth enough!'
And the killer blow...
'HE'S BLONDE! YOU CAN'T HAVE A BLONDE BOND!'
Well, fine. But if you take it to Ian Fleming's literal description, Bond is also supposed to permanently have a cruel sneer, blue eyes, smoke like a chimney and have a Cyrillic letter for 'spy' carved in one of his hands, and resemble Hoagy Carmichael. If you can find more than five people who can tell me who Hoagy Carmichael is without using Google, or who the agency were who carved the character in his hand, then call me Vesper Lynd (feel free to call me Vesper anyway, I quite like it).
I don't think any of the actors who have played Bond have embodied all of the literary Commander B's physical characteristics. If anything, he looked like a 30s Jeremy Irons with contact lenses. Old Dan the Man certainly has the blue eyes. And he is pretty good at the sneer as well. Did you ever see Roger Moore manage anything other than a smirk? Poor old George Lazenby (why did he have to be Australian) just about got the height right, Pierce was quite creditable and Timothy Dalton wasn't heinous but when it comes down to it, it's a toss up between old Thunderballs Sean C and Mr Craig for Best Bond Ever.
With one very big difference.
Daniel Craig as Bond, as the cartoon accompanying this entry shows, actually gets hurt. And more to the point, stays hurt. He doesn't get fabbo weaponry. The villains do - he gets his Walther PPK and that's pretty much it. He gets bashed, and shows said bashing. He limps. He has bruises. He doesn't get punched in the face, rub his jaw ruefully, then stroll off looking immaculate.
Bond, as written by Fleming, is also, quite frankly, a misogynistic pig. There is a hell of a lot of 'she looked like she wanted to be raped' (I do not tell a lie) in those earlier books, and I speak as someone who loves Bond, so it's hard for me to reconcile. I try to put it down to the times and Fleming being a misogynistic pig himself, who just happened to write some bloody good stories - but sometimes - I think he could do with a thump on the head with the butt of a Walther PPK himself.
He'd be rolling in his grave at the thought of a female M.
Hee hee hee.
But back to Blonde Bond.
Daniel Craig plays Bond mean. And merciless. And a bit broken. I'm not quite sure why anyone who has read the Fleming Bond would have any issue with this. But I notice that with the announcement of the new movie that they are still moaning about the light haired Lothario.
When the sky falls (ahem) I want someone who looks as though they might actually be able to save the world, not just drink a martini and shoot their cufflinks as they get sawn in half by a laser.
Maybe he could even name a drink after me.
The Vesper is sounding a bit old.