I don’t know if this has been done already but if it has I have never seen it. So I was watching Licence to Kill on tv and while watching Bond set up the ill-fated Milton Crest, I had quite an epiphany. I was going to figure out the evolution of James Bond as a human being. How did his traits and personality develop? What’s the chronology of his career as an agent? Now due to the fact that each movie takes place in the present day of whenever it came out I can’t make the movies themselves fit in a timeline but I can fit the actors in this timeline. Hopefully it makes sense to fans as I focus on the development of 007.
To begin we have to have only one assumption of both character and film: Casino Royale is the true beginning. And that it is a character prequel rather than reboot.
Daniel Craig’s Bond begins Casino Royale as a blunt instrument. Even though he has his 2 kills to give him 00-Status. As M tells him his ego is part of the equation and needs to remove it. He is unrefined, in a ways uncomfortable and reckless in his actions. By the time he gets to Skyfall, he has fully come into his role as the agent M expected him to be.
This brings us to Timothy Dalton. I always considered Dalton to be the precursor to Craig in his no nonsense style. Here we see Bond a bit more refined yet still gruff. He also appears to have no regard for authority which I would attribute to the death of M in Skyfall. We see the makings of a better agent but still areas to work on. Years of service bring us to…
With a little help from a fellow Bond fan on Twitter I was able to incorporate Brosnan into the mix. I actually had the formula work without him I just forgot. But he is official so I have to include him. It was brought to my attention that Goldeneye was originally planned for Timothy Dalton so it would be logical that Brosnan is the next step evolution wise. Gone is the anger and dissatisfaction with his superiors that Dalton carried. I see Brosnan’s Bond as someone who has become self-aware of his capabilities, but perhaps no longer carries the arrogance that preceded him in Casino Royale. I always felt that Brosnan was the most refined Bond in terms of social interactions. He always knew what to wear, what to drink, how to schmooze with the people.
They portrayal of Bond by Pierce Brosnan brings to close the effective early years of Bond’s career. In Part 2 I will discuss what happens to Bond over the years to bring us to the seasoned agent in Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore.