Mark Gatiss and Matthew Sweet slip on a tuxedo, sip a few cocktails and discuss the six actors who have held the licence to kill as the barman gingerly tiptoes around in the background.
The duo go through the Bond actors in chronological order and we start with Sean Connery who set the benchmark as the rugged 007. Gatiss highlights how as a kid going to see the Bond films from the mid 1960s onward was a family outing but as the years went by it was just him and his dad that carried on this tradition.
You always get to see how good a programme like this is when they get to George Lazenby. The consensus from the duo was a would be classic film let down by a lead actor who lacked the acting chops to take on such a big role. The sad thing is that Lazenby excels in the action scenes.
They note how OHMSS bookends the 1960s, set at that time. Whereas when Connery returns for Diamonds are Forever in a new decade, the film is a little unsure of itself. Connery is older, slightly fuller and wearing a pink tie.
Connery was the first Bond I saw when his films were shown on ITV. The first Bond I saw in the cinema was Roger Moore and I took to him very naturally when I saw him on the big screen.
Moore's first films were rather unsure about his characterization. The films themselves were tied to the fashionable genres of the time. Kung Fu and Blaxploitation, with Moore's Bond having a nastier edge but comedy introduced via side characters such as Sheriff Pepper.
Moore found his feet and got the right balance of action and comedy in The Spy who Loved Me and in subsequent films the comedy got broader and Moore got older.
Dalton is regarded as the proto-Craig. A tougher Bond with a hint of romance underneath. Dalton gets a rough deal in some quarters these days but Gatiss and Sweet set the record straight as they enjoyed The Living Daylights which in my opinion ranks as one of the great Bond movies.
Pierce Brosnan regarded as a future Bond actor as soon as he hit it big as Remington Steele is slightly cruelly labelled as Roger Connery. A Bond designed by committee but his films re-established the franchise as big box office especially in the USA.
This leads to Daniel Craig, a rugged Bond who took over from Brosnan and took the Bond franchise to another level and the films went slightly more back to basics.
Who is the Premium Bond, the duo were split between Dalton and Connery.
The programme is in essence both men talking, rather intelligently with clips from the Bond films. Amiable and enjoyable.
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