Timothy Dalton is the “Forgotten James Bond” Worth a Second Look Image

That’s a wrap. With filming complete for No Time to Die, Daniel Craig has filmed his last ever scene as 007. Post-production work is already in progress, so be ready for Bond-mania to engulf the world over the coming weeks.

As well as excitement over the new movie, there will be plenty of discussion over Daniel Craig’s legacy and how his performances rank alongside those who went before him. Is he the best Bond ever? According to votes cast on Ranker, that’s exactly what he is, his 648 upvotes placing him 68 ahead of Pierce Brosnan and 82 in front of Sean Connery.

However, there’s one Bond who captured the secret agent of Ian Fleming’s original novels more closely than any of those fine actors, yet he is the 007 that everyone forgets. 30 years after he last played Bond, it’s high time Timothy Dalton received the credit he deserves.

A new 007 for a new era

Every new Bond actor has the challenge of making 007 relevant to the current era. That’s inevitable when you have a character created in the 1950s and transport him forward in time 30, 50 or 70 years. 

For Dalton, this was particularly challenging. The Living Daylights was produced in 1986, when the AIDS epidemic was at its height. The casual one night stands that were a standard feature of Bond movies in the Connery and Moore era would have looked jarringly out of place and irresponsible. 

This gave us an opportunity to see a new side to Bond. Gone was the ready wit and charm, to be replaced by a brooding, dangerous intensity. Bond’s relationship with Kara Milovy, played by Maryam D’Abo was also given time to develop, which made it all the more believable. 

But he’s still Bond

The new edginess that Dalton brought to the role was exactly what we needed as an antidote to Roger Moore’s increasingly comic-book portrayal. However, all the classic ingredients were still there in Dalton’s two movies. If you enjoy playing blackjack at online at sites like Haiper, you will love the casino scene in Licence to Kill and maybe even pick up a few tips – Ian Fleming loved casino games and discussed strategy at length in the Bond novels.

Other classic ingredients include the cars – 007 drove a muscular Aston Martin V8 Vantage in The Living Daylights and while it is a Willy’s Jeep that steals the show in License to Kill, also watch out for lead villain Franz Sanchez in a beautiful Maserati Biturbo. 

Whatever was happening in the real world, a Bond film wouldn’t be a Bond film without beautiful women. As well as Kara in The Living Daylights, Dalton displayed great on-screen chemistry Carey Lowell, who played CIA informant Pam Bouvier in License to Kill.

Gone too soon

Daniel Craig has avoided the trap of overstaying his welcome, something that can be leveled at Sean Connery and Roger Moore. That’s something that also influenced Dalton’s short tenure. Legal wranglings behind the scenes meant a six year wait for the next Bond movie. Dalton was offered the role, but on the proviso that he would stay on board for another four or five. That would have led him down the same path as Moore, playing Bond well into his late 50s, so he turned down the chance. Dalton’s time had come and gone, yet we had only just started getting to know him. 

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  1. Ahmad Hussain says:

    Timothy Dalton was the best 007

  2. ANN ALMOND says:

    Oddly enough, my husband and just watched “The Living Daylights” the other night for the first time…and loved it! We are 007 fans and enjoy all the films, with older Connery and Daniel Craig being out favorites. But, I must say, Dalton was great in “Living Daylights” so now we are ready to watch “License to Kill”! (As a teen Dalton was my “man” in “Flash Gordon”!)

  3. Gisela Cruz says:

    Of all “Bond” actors before and after him, he is in my mind the most convincing elegant, exciting yet controlled performer. His slightly brooding portrayal has just the right amount of expectation of what might happen next. His decision to stop playing this character was totally correct, avoiding to become a repetitious performance for the viewer. He is a magnificent actor and it is a pity that we do not see much of him any more.

  4. Ngotho Gilbert says:

    Dalton’s portrayal as Bond is the ABSOLUTE CLOSEST to the Bond character as Fleming intended.In fact:
    -Broccoli and Saltzman had considered Dalton as a replacement for Connery as far back as 1969.
    -Dalton,an avid reader,actually read ALL of Fleming’s novels beforehand and routinely carried the Bond novels to the set at all times for reference.

  5. Pong says:

    The worst bond actor in the history of bond films ever Timothy Dalton sucked the big one

  6. Dennis says:

    Timothy Dalton ist ein sehr guter Schauspieler….Er könnte oder sollte grössere Rollen spielen…besonders als Neville Sinclair in The Rocketeer war super…Er wäre auch gut in einem Harry Potter Film.

  7. Andrew C says:

    Best Bond, totally underrated. Very disappointing we didn’t get to see more than just two films.

  8. Robert M says:

    He was the best bond, not too comical and serious enough. Don’t really like the Daniel Craig bonds…they don’t feel like they are part of the series

  9. Mike Agostinelli says:

    In 1987 When I first saw The Living Daylights,I knew I had finally seen a true representation of Ian Fleming’s character.The locations were great,Vienna, Gibraltar and Morocco.The score was Barry’s last and best Bond score.The film was part Len Deighton and part LeCarre….fast moving …and perfect for the 80s…

  10. BMR says:

    Dalton has always been my favorite Bond. As a Rada trained actor, he was the best of the bunch, and he had the look and carriage of a public school boy, so he was believable in the role. It’s a shame he didn’t do more. A friend of my husband met Dalton at a special event and asked about him leaving the role, and he responded that he didn’t want to be typecast, which I suppose would have happened had he been in another four Bond films. The litigation period robbed the public.

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