Of the many fan theories floating around the various hive-minds of pop culture, one of my favorites is the notion that “James Bond” is not a man so much as a designation; no matter what year, no matter where the hotspots are, MI:6’s top agent is always James Bond, and James Bond is always MI:6’s top agent.  Of course, as new recruits arrive and old spymasters are phased out and/or murdered by villain’s deathtraps, the face may change, but there will always be a Bond.  (Of course, this theory doesn’t take into account the changing faces of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but my theory of James and Ernie’s Time Lord origins is a little too involved to go over just now.)  Each new Bond is given the gadgets, the cool car and the basic briefing and sent out to protect Crown and country, though some are a bit more Scottish than others.  This, in turn, begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) isn’t sure how to vote on this one, due to a love of Brosnan arguing with a deep passion for Connery impersonations, asking: Which Bond is the best Bond?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

10 Comments

  1. I can’t decide. Craig and Connery are my top two. I like the smarmy Connery and the gritty Craig and I’m not sure who to pick. Also, I now want to see/read some Dr. Who & James Bond crossover. That would be awesome! If anybody can point me in that direction that would be great.

  2. Connery. Of course he has the advantages of: being the first, plots vaguely similar to the original material, and not being overshadowed by too much technological goofiness. Any portrayal of Bond is going to be affected by things outside the actor’s control, whether script, plot, camera work, stunt sequences or whatever. I think Connery has a huge advantage in that his performances are less overshadowed by other sorts of movie magic. To me, they seem a little more spy-like.

    Doesn’t hurt that he’s also good looking, projects a sense of humor well, and ages well.

  3. All have their charms (though Moore & Brosnan are my least favorite), while Connery is the definitive Bond, my favorite is Timothy Dalton. I really like the harder edge he had, without going Craig-gritty, plus the Living Daylights has Bond at his most secret agenty. Second pick would be the more romantic George Lazenby.

  4. For me it depends on the film in question. For example, I think Craig is great in Casino Royale and Skyfall, Brosnan is great in Goldeneye, and Connery is great in From Russia With Love and Thunderball. Yet at the same time, each of these Bonds have been part of films that, since I don’t care for them, the portrayal of Bond seems weaker as a result.

  5. Novel Bond tops my list as I’m not really a fan of the movies. I don’t hate them or anything, I just don’t care for them personally.

    Although I will admit as a kid I really liked “James Bond Jr.”, the cheesy cartoon about Bond’s nephew (so why was he called Junior?) with equally ridiculous 90’s style versions of villains.

  6. Up until recently, I would have held fast for Sean Connery being the best Bond, and he’s still near the top of my list. He was the Bond I first saw in the theaters as a boy. I originally liked Roger Moore but each of his movies progressively became more of a parody of a James Bond movie than a real Bond Movie and I ended up coming to dislike his portrayal. Then there were, what, a series of mini-Bonds – Dalton and Broslin with George Lazenby thrown into the middle of Connery’s run, none of whom were given enough screen time to really make the role their own. And then Daniel Craig came along. I wasn’t prepared to like him, but now he is my favorite Bond. It might be that he has been given superior scripts and superior direction, but I also think he brings something to the role that nobody’s brought since Connery – a grounded sense of realism, a human sense of fallibility and, lastly, he doesn’t play the role as a magical chick magnet, when he gets together with a girl it seems natural. Even Connery fell down in this department, turning evil Bond girls to the side of good with a single kiss. So Craig edges out Connery by a nose.

    And yes, for those of you who missed it, I AM old enough to have seen Sean Connery’s Bond films on their first release. :)

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