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.