Today James Bond (M) turns 50. Well, kind of. It was on October 5th 1962 that Dr. No premiered in London. This commemoration (Global James Bond Day) is in anticipation of the latest Bond film Skyfall which will be released in Canada next month. James Bond has been brought to life in print by a number of authors, including, of course first and foremost Ian Fleming (M). Bond is Fleming’s creation born out of his war experience as a Naval Intelligence operator.
We first met Bond in 1953 in Casino Royale (M), in which his mission is to bankrupt Le Chiffre in a high stakes game of baccarat (rather than the more recent Daniel Craig film version with poker). The first Bond girl, Vesper Lynd, reveals herself to be a double agent and Bond steels himself coldly against her betrayal, although later novels reveal that some feelings still remain.
Following Fleming’s early death, several other authors continued the franchise including Kingsley Amis (this was news to me!), Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver.
In 2013 William Boyd (M) will be releasing a new James Bond novel marking 30 years since the publication of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. Boyd anticipates an older more mature Bond. In a interview in The Telegraph he says “I’m a realistic novelist and what interests me about Bond is the human being. There will be no mountains filled with atom bombs or global plagues, no gadgets, no superpowers or preposterous enemies – there will be an entirely believable psychopath, not a preposterous psychopath. And similarly with love affairs – in my novel they will be entirely believable.”