I might prefer sci-fi but James Bond is a sci-fi of its own. Daniel Craig is my favorite Bond by far!
A 007 Introduction
While I am a fan of hard and high science fiction, growing up with my grandparents had many pluses.
For example, I grew up watching one of the ever-growing cult classic, James Bond. I watched it from its somewhat “big” screen beginning with Sean Connery as 007 in 1962.
I grew up watching a soft sci-fi action movie cult and developed an affection for the British agent. It was an affection I didn’t know would last to this day and creeps in my writing. I am quite thankful for the inspiration and the style it gave me.
However, the rollercoaster of a life 007 has, is unique and is not what we know him to be today. Like every old character, his origin and story changed and evolved with time. That’s how we make those beloved characters legendary and feel realistic.
James Bond didn’t mark only one generation. He defined many. So, why not go back to its beginning?
The Man Behind The Man
However, he always had a spot for the classy and unforgettable Sean Connery. He introduced me to the sharp and semi sci-fi classic, James Bond.
Ian Fleming, the man behind the creation of the everlasting character of James Bond, is a British journalist and novelist from the fifties. The role of 007 is a protagonist and leading cast of a novel series.
Fleming himself wrote a total of twelve novels for his James Bond series. His writing ending with The Man with the Golden Gun in 1965, followed by Octopussy and The Living Daylights in 1966.
The name eventually spread to movies and comic books, as well as video games. Fleming, unaware, created a character that would transcend time and revive a spy’s genre in many ways. He created something special, something that would never die.
Fleming, who worked himself in the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II, got his inspiration for James Bond from various people, mostly, commandos who worked alongside him during the war itself.
We all know that James Bond works for a British Secret Service as an Agent, code number being 007. The character lives in London, England. However, his rights extend as far as the entire globe. It is with his license to kill when away on a mission that makes him so compelling.
While some say the name James Bond came to Fleming from the American ornithologist who shared the exact name, new sources believe he received the inspiration from a Welsh agent he served with during the war, named James C. Bond.
However, Fleming came up with the name, one this is for sure: it is now part of humankind’s history as one of the greatest names in entertainment, from literature to movies. No one could ever forget the name James Bond.
The Novel Series That Never Ends
When Fleming passed in 1964, many authors received a green light to write James Bond novels. John Gardner alone wrote fourteen novels and two novelizations.
Others wrote between six, and some would only write one. From his life as we know it to be, to his youth, and what he becomes. The bottom line is, the written experience of Bond never seized to exist.
His name alone would inspire authors to try their hand at writing a piece of this secret agent’s life.
The original literary work of Casino Royale inspired a television series adaptation, where Bond is an American agent. Who knew? I thought he was British. Curious.
James Bond is a secret agent for British intelligence. He is a sophisticated man, with quite exciting gadgets, drives an Aston Martin, never has trouble finding a good looking woman to accompany him, and what else? Oh! Yes, he drinks his martini shaken, not stirred.
The name itself, Fleming, wanted it to be forgetful, dull, and uninspired. To him, James Bond was the most unattractive and uncreative name.
However, that reported being untrue when he revealed that James Bond could be the result of an agent he worked with in his younger years.
The overall look of James Bond was meant to be cold and detached. Black hair, grey eyes, a cruel mouth, and a three-inch vertical scar on his right cheek. Fleming described his mouth as cruel.
The 007 Appearance
His height is six feet and closer to the 200 lbs. So, quite active, which would be logical for the type of job he has to do. Initially, he had a Russian mark on the back of one of his hands, depicting him as a spy. I guess those details got lost in the movies.
Fleming never provided James Bond with a specific birth date, only mentioned that he was in his mid to late thirties. Like a comic book character, Bond does not age throughout the novel series. However, later, John Pearson decided to give the secret agent his birthday on November 11, 1920.
Fleming also never gave a factual background to his secret agent. Only years later, an author decided to render an “unauthorized” biography of Agent 007.
He depicted him as an orphan who grew up with his aunt at the age of eleven, in the village of Pett Bottom. Born of a Scottish father and Swiss mother, James Bond becomes fluent in German, French, English, and other languages.
Other fun facts are that in Paris, at the age of sixteen, he lost his virginity and later attended the University of Geneva.
From Holmes to Bond
While James Bond is a secret agent, I do find he resembles Sherlock Holmes in a few ways. His penchant for drinking, smoking, and drugs are quite reminiscent of his detective predecessor.
The desire to be alone, detached, and smarter than everyone, also reflects in the James Bond persona.
I find it proof that none of us reinvent the wheel when writing; we use inspiration from stories and characters we love and make it our own. In a way, we pay tribute to those creators we admire.
Each case differs from the one before, one arch-nemesis, Sherlock and James seem to be quite alike, yet they couldn’t be more different.
I wonder if Fleming was unconsciously loosely inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes. Regardless of a possibility or not, James Bond remains one of the most significant characters created in history.
Remember, the name is Bond, James Bond.