Commander James Herbert Bond, or 007 as you may also know him continues to inspire social media meltdown. Today’s topic? Should there be a Jane Bond?
During the Brexit debacle, it’s nice to have something else to turn your attention to but in doing so, I’ve basically found a similar “style” of debate.
Many of the same “liberals” – like myself – who wish to remain in the EU are for the most part on the same page about anyone being able to play 007, while the same “conservatives” who want to leave the EU are against anyone but a white male playing Bond.
Who is right? Well like Brexit, there is no definitive answer but you see the same lies, misinformation and hard-headedness on both sides.
I’m no expert on Bond – let’s get that out of the way for a start. I’ve seen all the films and I’m handy in a pub quiz on this topic but of course there are those that know far more than I do.
It is with this in mind that I have held the steadfast belief that anyone can play Bond. Why? Because Hollywood have already suspended reality with the character of Bond in enough ways to prove that it can be so.
For us to believe the time span of Bond, he would logically need to be a shape-shifter with a time machine. It is therefore logical to assume that Bond isn’t one person.
As always though, it’s not as simple as all that.
According to the canon in the books, Bond is one man and 007 is one man throughout. The writer Ian Fleming clearly intended for Bond to have his story told in one continuous timeline and there is evidence of this from wife Tracy Bond being buried with his name and her then being mentioned in “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “For Your Eyes Only”.
In “Skyfall” – which of course was not a Fleming iteration – he returns to the family home in Scotland where we see the graves of his parents Andrew and the superbly named Delacroix Bond. So why would they have his codename? (If you look up DFLovett’s piece here https://whatwouldbaledo.com/2015/02/24/yes-indeed-james-bond-is-a-codename/ there is a an interesting theory he poses that potentially answers this)
Showing the gravestones was more than likely the screenplay writer’s way of stating that, while they’ve gone off kilter in terms of canon, the idea is that you are supposed to suspend reality and identify with James Bond as one single person.
This is one theory, probably the most plausible but obviously with the medium of film there is no binding contract to interpret the information you are given in this exact manner.
At the end of the day, what you believe about Bond is a bit of fun. It’s not a real person, there are numerous plot holes and nuances that can be debated ad infinitum and yet in the end it matters to no one beyond entertainment.
In the past it would have been a fun topic with a few disagreements but now such is the world we live in, it’s apparently the be all and end all for race and gender relations.
Funnily enough, like Brexit though – after giving it due consideration – the answer is not as definitive as one side being right and the other wrong.
The conclusion I have come to is both sides are right about the Bond debate. I believe Ian Fleming’s original intention was for James Bond to be one man and that there is overwhelming evidence that proves this.
I also believe that 007 is a codename that was held by Bond and given that we’ve already suspended reality in the Bond films time and time again, I can see no reason why we can’t write in a “Bond” of any ethnicity or gender.
To do this, you’d have to kill off the original Bond, be it old age or however else – which would also cause outcry no doubt – and then explain how the new Bond came to take over.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Bond debate led to people realising that nothing is absolute and that there are reasons for and against and that compromise is the way forward?
Maybe, just maybe, one of the most British symbols around has the answer to the toughest political problem Britain has faced in years? Wouldn’t it be poignant if Bond’s death saved Britain just one last time?