Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR, is a fictional character. He is the protagonist of the James Bond series of novels, films, comics and video games. — Wikipedia
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
My grandfather was a big fan of blockbuster action movies starring big action stars. Those being. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and more. 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, was the man behind the creation of the everlasting character of James Bond. He was a British journalist and novelist from the fifties. The character of 007 is a protagonist and leading character 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 the genre of a spy in many ways. He created something special, something that would never die.
Fleming worked in the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II. As a result, he got his inspiration for James Bond from various people. More specifically, he mostly got them from 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 with his license to kill when away on a mission.
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.
No matter how 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, we know who James Bond is. No one could ever forget 007.
The Novel Series That Never Ends
When Fleming passed in 1964, many authors received a green light to write James Bond novels. As a result John Gardner alone wrote fourteen novels and two novelizations. Others wrote between six and some, would only write one.
“Be polite. Be courteous. Show professionalism, and have a plan to kill everyone in the room.”James Bond
From his life as we know it to be, to his youth, and what he becomes. The bottom line is, the written life of Bond still exists. 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.
Above all, James Bond is a secret agent for British Secret Service. Also, he is a sophisticated man, with quite exciting gadgets. Moreover, we know that most recently he drives an Aston Martin, and never has trouble finding a good looking woman to accompany him. What else? Oh! Yes, he drinks his martini shaken, not stirred.
Fleming wanted the name to be forgetful, dull and uninspired. To him, James Bond was the most unattractive and uncreative name. However, that ended to be false. Findings revealed that James Bond could be the result of an agent Fleming worked with in his younger years.
The overall look of James Bond is cold and introverted. Black hair, grey eyes, a cruel mouth, and a three-inch vertical scar on his right cheek. Fleming described his mouth as cruel. His height is six feet and closer to the 200 lbs.
So, quite athletic, 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 hand depicting him as a spy. I guess those details vanished in the movies.
Candles on a Cake
Meanwhile, Fleming never provided James Bond with a specific birth date. For instance, he mentioned that Bond in his mid to late thirties. Similarly to a comic book character, Bond does not age throughout the novel series. However, later, John Pearson decided to give the secret agent his on birthday, being November 11, 1920.
Fleming also never gave an accurate background to his secret agent. It is only years later that an author rendered 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. 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. For instance, his penchant for drinking, smoking, and drugs are quite reminiscent of his detective predecessor. The desire to be alone, introvert and smarter than everyone, also reflects in the James Bond persona.
I find it to be the proof that none of us reinvent the wheel when writing; that is to say, we use inspiration from stories and characters we love and make it our own. Further, we pay tribute to those creators we admire.
Each case different than the one before, with one arch nemesis. As a result, Sherlock and James seem to be quite alike, yet, couldn’t be more different.
But, I wonder if Fleming, unconsciously loosely inspired himself 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.