Building a better Bond

I'm a bit disappointed in the recent semi-rebooted gritty James Bond movies.

They're good films, and they're far better than the burgeoning silliness of the last of the old run of movies ( invisible car? Really?). But a lot of that silliness was just misapplication of one of the hallmarks of the classic Bond movies: Gadgets.

The gadgets played a large role in making Bond films what they were, but they sort of stayed phase-locked in the Seventies. Bond might have been remote-controlling his BMW [shudder] with a Nokia or something, but the Third Doctor had a frickin' remote-controlled car in 1971. Bond didn't even have a gadget with a cutting laser on it until 1983.

If you're going to have Bond gadgets again beyond the low-key stuff in the rebooted films, you have to make them truly impressive. Not something, like an invisible car, that could have been dreamed up in 1970 as easily as 2002.

This is the secretest of secret agents going on the most important missions ever, after all. He should be kitted out with and backed up by with the very best superblack reverse-engineered-from-crashed-flying-saucers ultra-technology that can be created by the distinguished successors to Bletchley Park (and all the other people whose discoveries went into Tizard's briefcase).

So, say:

Bond has been shepherded into a lift by Q, and they descend. For a rather long time.

On the way down, Q explains that MI6 and, ah, some higher-numbered agencies, rather suspect that certain developments in mechanical augmentation of human strength, for military and industrial purposes, may have fallen into the wrong hands.

And that there is no real reason for these systems to be limited to only a man-sized exoskeleton, or indeed for constructors to tolerate the weakness of a normal human body within it, if one is willing to take certain rather drastic steps to ameliorate this problem.

And that Her Majesty's Secret Services have been working on their own systems to combat this threat, but have faced certain ethical obstacles.

The lift doors open to reveal a warehouse-like space, harshly illuminated by overhead fluorescents, and dotted with computer installations, machine tools, and agglomerations of technology of unclear purpose.

The giant room is dominated, however, by a looming object in its centre. A mad profusion of cables and pipes and screens and scaffolding and catwalks surrounds, and obscures, a metallic shape about the size of a terrace house.

Q turns to Bond, and says, "For this project to succeed, 007, we needed someone with great familiarity with our most advanced systems; otherwise the training process would be impossibly difficult. There were several candidates, but owing to the... the nature of the project, none were acceptable."


"Well, not to put too fine a point on it, we needed their brain, and about six inches of spinal cord, which is rather-"

"You needed...?!"

"Which is, is of course, more than we were prepared to ask any servant of the Queen to volunteer. But then-"

"What the hell are you-"

"But then, the previous Q had, well, he had a car accident. And, fortuitously..."

He waves vaguely at the huge shape in the middle of that mass of pipes and cables.

With a subsonic hum, the shape changes.

It stands up.

Many of the cables and pipes drop away, as the giant machine takes a step forward. The concrete floor trembles noticeably as its foot comes down.

The machine stops.

It speaks.


5 Responses to “Building a better Bond”

  1. Itsacon Says:

    Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

    But seriously: You are aware that the reason the Daniel Craig Bond films are more serious, is because they've decided to go closer to the original source material? If you read the Fleming books, you'll find nothing of the slapstick that Roger Moore made Bond famous for, they're dark and gritty, right from the start of the Cold War, when we were still certain the world was about to be turned into a radioactive wasteland. If you watch a Connery and a Moore next to each other, you'll notice the earlier movies were much more serious as well. Moore was really keen on a `funny' Bond. I guess that explains the clown make-up in Octopussy.

    I'm not saying this is the right choice, nor am I putting forth that `The books are always better'. But it is a valid artistical choice, imo.

    • dan Says:

      Yeah, in the books he's pretty much a complete bastard, which would actually make for a divertingly different sort of blockbuster-action-movie hero.

      Ideally, I'd like the Bond universe to be as diverse as the Star Wars one, with umpteen people taking a poke at it. Many of the results would be as immemorable as the crappier Roger Moore movies and the lousier books by some of the seven people other than Ian Fleming who've written Bond stories. But every now and then you'd win the lottery. And you could have your gritty Bond, and your power-armour Bond too.

      And while we're bringing back past characters with cybernetic augmentation, it should be noted that Richard Kiel is still alive...

    • cr Says:

      Sean Connery's Bond had humour, but it was sardonic black humour. Moore was too lightweight to be an effective Bond, just a couple of his last movies (when he'd aged enough to acquire some gravitas) were passable. Such as, ironically, Octopussy. But Sean Connery had 'it' (that indefinable quality that made Bond) right from Dr No on. (My wife still thinks Sean Connery's name is 'James Bond').
      The only other Bond I could really accept was Pierce Brosnan.

  2. TwoHedWlf Says:

    Q-Bot: Please put down your weapon, James. You have 20 seconds to comply.
    Q: I think you better do as he says, Mr. Bond.
    Q-Bot: You now have 15 seconds to comply.

  3. diskgrinder Says:

    You should write more of this. The pre-roll has me hooked.

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