Tom S and Marsh don a tux, down a martini and inexplicably detonate a telescope array as they look back at Daniel Craig’s 15 years in the role of James Bond. Does the blue-eyed man-slab manage to escape the deadly traps laid by the series’ own outdated idiom? Which of the films would they happily consign to a shark tank? And what would they do if they were in charge of 007?
Expect spoilers throughout! We synopsise the films before discussing them, so if you haven’t seen them in a while, this may be enough to jog your memory.
- Alan Moore’s brilliant comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has an especially excoriating version of James Bond as an amoral agent of the state.
- Casino Royale (2006)
- Directed by Martin Campbell (Edge of Darkness, Edge of Darkness 2010, GoldenEye)
Screenplay by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Plunkett & Macleane, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Johnny English & credits on all Craig-era Bonds) and Paul Haggis (Crash as director, Million Dollar Baby as writer
Letters from Iwo Jima as writer, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as co-writer!)
- Starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Judi Dench,
- Cinematography by Phil Méheux (The Long Good Friday, Edge of Darkness 2010, GoldenEye)
- Edited by Stuart Baird (Lethal Weapon, Demolition Man, Edge of Darkness 2010)
- Quantum of Solace (2008)
- Directed by Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, World War Z)
- Written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
- Starring Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Giancarlo Giannini, Jeffrey Wright, Judi Dench
- Cinematography by Roberto Schaefer (Best in Show, Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland)
- Edited by Matt Chesse (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland), Richard Pearson (The Bourne Supremacy, United 93, Iron Man 2)
- Skyfall (2012)
- Directed by Sam Mendes (lots of theatre, lots of TV Shakespeare, American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, 1917)
- Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan (Any Given Sunday, Gladiator, The Aviator, Hugo)
- Starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Judi Dench
- Cinematography by Roger Deakins (Coen brothers films, Shawshank Redemption, Sam Mendes films)
- Edited by Stuart Baird, Kate Baird
- Gangs of London, and specifically episode 5, does the Home-Alone-with-guns-in-a-dilapidated-rural-mansion thing even better
- Line of Duty is a twisty British drama about an anti-corruption unit which may be total bollocks but sounds dead clever, or at least very confusing.
- Spectre (2015)
- Directed by Sam Mendes
- Screenplay by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth (theatre: Jerusalem, Edge of Tomorrow, Ford v Ferrari, Untitled fifth Indiana Jones film)
- Story by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
- Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Andrew Scott, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes
- Cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema (Let the Right One In, The Fighter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Interstellar, Dunkirk, Ad Astra, Tenet)
- Edited by Lee Smith (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Batman Begins and the majority of subsequent Nolan films, The Way Back, 1917)
- No Time to Die (2021)
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin nombre, Jane Eyre, Beasts of No Nation, It as writer, True Detective Season 1)
Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve, Untitled fifth Indiana Jones film)
- Story by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga
- Starring Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes
- Cinematography by Linus Sandgren (American Hustle, Joy, La La Land, First Man)
- Edited by Elliot Graham (Steve Jobs, Molly’s Game, Captain Marvel), Tom Cross (Whiplash, Joy, La La Land, First Man)
- Don Draper is a character in Mad Men, and a suave douchebag who slowly becomes a hollowed-out, despicable wreck across the course of the show.
- Walter White is a character in Breaking Bad, and a hapless, somewhat downtrodden everyman who becomes a monstrous, amoral terror across the course of the show.
- Vince Gilligan is the showrunner for Breaking Bad.
- Utopia is a weird 2013-14 British TV series dealing in surreal conspiracy and ghastly hyperviolence. Great theme-tune, too!
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a John le Carre spy novel set in the 1970s and adapted multiple times for film and TV.
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