Commander James Bond, 007, Licence to KillThe James Bond actors each had a different version of the character. An overall discussion of the whole character of Bond is a subject that has had entire books dedicated to it.
Weapon of Choice: The legendary Walther PPK normally equipped with a suppressor. Different Bonds had a preference for different calibres; Connery, Dalton and Brosnan carried it in .32ACP, while Moore and Craig opted for the .380ACP version. Later in Tomorrow Never Dies, Brosnan's Bond gets a brand new Walther P99 which is used up until Casino Royale. Then in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, the PPK returns due to "artistic reasons".
As the first cinematic Bondnote but not the first person to play him — that title goes to Barry Nelson in the 1954 TV movie Casino Royale, while the first person to play a British Bond was Bob "I'll have a Q, Bob" Holness in a 1956 South African radio version of Moonraker, Connery is perhaps the best known. When people think of Bond, they often think of his distinctive accent and his suave sophistication. In fact, it was due to Connery's portrayal that Bond was canonically established as half-Scottish. First to employ the Bond One-Liner, naturally.
Good Is Not Nice: Connery's Bond isn't exactly a pleasant chap, but he's incredibly charming and still a good guy.
Handsome Lech: Domino and Tatiana are the only women he shows much affection to. The others are merely rides in the hay. He was quite good with the two girls in Japan, Aki and Kissy. He seems happy to marry either of them, and is actually a little disappointed when he learns his marriage to Kissy is a sham.
No Indoor Voice: A fairly restrained version. It's not so much that he shouts a lot, but his voice certainly packs a lot of baritone power.
Lazenby was an obscure actor and an obscure Bond. He only appeared in one movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, it is well liked among hardcore Bond fans and casual viewers alike. The film is widely assumed to be bad, since if it had been good, Lazenby would have made more, right? Well, not really. Lazenby's problems were primarily behind the scenes, and the fact that he was replacing Connery made it a no-win situation with some critics, but most of that criticism has faded with time. The film is well regarded these days among those who have seen it. Lazenby says that he didn't return because he was given advice not to. Apparently his agent told him that the Bond franchise was on its way out, but boy was that wrong. Lazenby fired his agent soon afterwards.
The Casanova: He seduces an entire RESORT of beautiful women.
The Cast Show Off: George Lazenby is the only Bond Actor to date who is an actual Martial Artist (Black Belt in Shotokan-Ryu Karate, to be exact), not to mention being a former student and friend of Bruce Lee himself. This he gets to spectacularly show off on several occasions throughout his turn as 007.
Chivalrous Pervert: Played straight this time: Tracy starts out as suicidal and emotionally unbalanced, but Bond gives her a reason to live.
Combat Pragmatist: Even more so than Connery, and possibly to Craig's levels. When Lazenby's Bond fights you, you're in trouble.
Moore tended to play his Bond more for comedy, but he did do it pretty serious at times, as in For Your Eyes Only. He probably hung around too long, and was older than Connery when he took over the role, and is tied with Connery for the number of Bond movies made. He's perhaps the most polarizing actor on this list, since two of his movies—The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only—are among the most well-received Bond flicks, while Film/Moonraker and A View to a Kill are considered among the worst.
Awesome, Dear Boy: Moore loved playing Bond enough to star in a record of 7 movies over 12 years. There were other reasons for maintaining him in the role though.
Badass Bookworm: Roger Moore's character compensated for not being as tough as Sean Connery by acting like 007 had an IQ in the excess of 200 and expertise on every subject in the world.
Badass Grandpa: He was the oldest and longest running actor in the series, starting at the age of 46 and ending at the age of 58.
Berserk Button: People who take pleasure in senseless murder, especially that of women and innocents. Scaramanga and Zorin both found that out the hard way.
Beware the Nice Ones: When you push him to far, he's completely ruthless and won't stop till the person that's pissed him off is dead.
The Dandy: Roger Moore loves his clothes, and used his own tailors for his version of Bond. Also, the tradition of Bond wearing a tuxedo in the gunbarrel sequence started with him.
Disposable Woman: Roger Moore's Bond is even more heartless than Sean Connery's version in his early films. He improved as time went on, and by For Your Eyes Only he probably had as healthy a relationship with women that he's ever had (a 16 year old girl trying to seduce him notwithstanding).
Does Not Like Guns: Roger Moore kills a ridiculous amount of bad guys on screen. 167 according to at least some counts. However, he only rarely does so using a gun. He prefers to toss them off buildings or use elaborately odd weapons like a explosive air pellet. That said, he's also actually shot the Big Bad on at least two occasions, something other Bonds have not done.
Mood Whiplash: Like Brosnan's Bond movies would be, Moore's Bond movies were interlaced with some very serious scenes and some very silly scenes.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Roger Moore's James Bond was always playing nicer than he really was, as his many cold-blooded executions across his movies proves.
Older and Wiser: Especially in For Your Eyes Only, where he warns Melina about the double-edged nature of revenge, speaking as though from experience (having avenged his wife by killing Blofeld in the pre-titles sequence, this was likely intentional).
Nothing will start an argument among Bond fans as quickly as praising Timothy Dalton, the Marmite of Bond actors. He began the trend of portraying Bond with a darker tone, and is still considered the darkest of all of them (rivalled only by Daniel Craig), which some felt was needed after the sometimes overly comedic Moore films. He was also a fan of the books and tried to create Ian Fleming's Bond on-screen twenty years before Daniel Craig and the Bond producers ever thought of doing so. At the same time, he has also been praised for having the most realistic love scenes. The producers actually considered him for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but he felt he was too young at the time, and didn't want to be the one that replaced Connery.
Berserk Button: Hurting his friends is the best way to make him angry.
The Charmer: Oddly not as much a Chick Magnet as his predecessors. To compensate, however, he tends to form closer attachments with women than the others, especially his predecessors.
Cursed with Awesome: Dalton's character seems awfully annoyed that he has a fabulous life of impossibly beautiful women and world travel.
Honey Trap: One of the few occasions that Bond is explicitly identified as being such.
It's Personal: Sanchez destroyed Felix Leiter's life almost completely. Bond is NOT pleased.
Knight in Sour Armor: More than the previous versions, takes a cynical view toward his missions and his MI6 superiors. That still won't prevent him from doing the right thing, whether part of his assignment or not.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Although all the Bonds are willing to disobey orders to do what's necessary, Dalton's Bond seems more inclined to take ethical and moral objections to some of his orders. He merely wounds a sniper instead of killing her in The Living Daylights because he can tell at a glance that she's inexperienced and out of her depth rather than being a professional. In the same movie, he's reluctant to assassinate General Pushkin because he respects the Soviet and doesn't believe that he's a murderous psycho, only agreeing out of honour ("If it must be done, I'll do it."). His Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Licence to Kill is prompted his disgust that his superiors and the American authorities aren't going to do anything to avenge Felix Leiter, but the fact that Leiter's wife was brutally murdered as well really seems to outrage him.
Brosnan is the other person whom people think of when they imagine Bond these days, especially among viewers who came of age in The Nineties and GoldenEye was the first Bond flick they saw. He was supposed to appear in The Living Daylights, but the production staff of Remington Steele decided to pull a fast one on EON Productions. Brosnan was just what the franchise needed after the six-year hiatus due to legal issues. He rates second on the Bond poll. He also scores points for looking the most like Bond as Ian Fleming described him (Black hair that falls into a comma over the right eye, cold blue eyes).
The Ace: Has a habit of upstaging people (but usually the villain) at whatever their skillset is. No matter what they can do or how long they've been doing it, Bond will do it better than them with no prep time or practice.
Badass: Out of all the Bond's he has the highest bodycount. He may seem like an affable Idle Rich playboy but he's also a highly competent agent who actually does good surveillance work and can find unique solutions to problems which is demonstrated in Tomorrow Never Dies with his use of a clothes line to cause a helicopter to crash.
Bad Ass Driver: One of the franchises best, a prime example being his remote control back seat run through a parking lot in Hamburg in his BMW during Tomorow Never Dies.
Berserk Button: Betrayals and killing people he cares about. Elektra King and Elliot Carver paid with their lives when they slammed down on this.
The Charmer: Like his predecessor, mostly he focused on one girl at a time.
Cheshire Cat Grin: When Pierce Brosnan's Bond smiles at you, you know you're in trouble.
Composite Character: Of Moore's snarky British gentleman and Dalton's gritty secret agent, with a hint of Lazenby's vulnerability and Connery's masculinity.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Brosnan's Bond is the same arrogant chauvinist that Connery's and Moore's were, but the world around him is a lot more forward-thinking and fed up with his politically incorrect attitude.
'80s Hair: He kept his poofy Remington Steele hair (but toned down a bit) for GoldenEye; in fact, the easiest way to tell that he only filmed one gun barrel scene for his run as Bond is his big hair. He changed to a more modern style by the time Tomorrow Never Dies rolled around.
Hurting Hero: Throughout the Brosnan films, it's clear that Bond is not a happy man.
Iconic Characters: For movie audiences who first saw Bond in the 1990s, when Bond is mentioned, this incarnation has about as much recognition as the classic Connery original. Also because the generation that grew up with Brosnan as Bond also coincided with the branching of the franchise into popular spin-off video games, thereby increasing his exposure.
Hidden Depths: Like all Bond incarnations, he's a playboy. Unlike many of them, he's one of the few who is actually good at the more mundane aspects of spying such as surveillance and breaking in and entering.
It's Personal: 006, Elektra, and Elliot Carver all get under Bond's skin.
More Dakka: Pierce Brosnan expended more ammunition than all other Bonds combined. When he is in action, he was mostly seen with an automatic weapon.
Mood Whiplash: The Brosnan films have some of the darkest moments in the entire series; for example Bond's execution of his own lover Elektra King. Yet mixed in with this a dependency on puns and gadgetry.
Promoted Fanboy: Pierce Brosnan decided to become an actor after his parents took him to see Goldfinger as a child, and has also mentioned being influenced by Roger Moore's performance in The Saint.
Real-Life Relative: His wife Cassandra Harris played Countess Lisl von Schlaff in For Your Eyes Only. She even hoped that someday he'd get to be Bond. Unfortunately, she passed away before it came true.
Shoot the Dog : Willing to kill former lover Elektra. But then again, she is the villain and had just tried to break his neck.
When Daniel Craig was cast as 007, he got a lot offlak from the press. He was blond. He was short note Well, 5'10". The other Bonds were all over 6 feet. He wore a life jacket on a speedboat ride to the announcement. A "Craig Not Bond" movement started up. Then Casino Royale came out, nobody even remembers the furor anymore.
Combat Pragmatist: Notably so. No Bond fights fair, but Craig's employs everything from knives to nail guns to fire extinguishers. Probably reaches its apogee in Quantum of Solace, in which in the space of one 35-second fight, he puts his knife-wielding opponent through two glass doors, pummels him with two different improvised blunt instruments, and finally stabs him to death with a pair of nail scissors.
What Have I Become?: According to the DVD commentary in Casino Royale after he killed Obanno and his bodyguard he looks himself in the mirror while he changes his shirt asking to himself these exact words.
All There in the Manual: Assuming Robert Brown's M was Admiral Hargreaves, Judi Dench's M holds the distinction of being the only M whose name is not revealed in the entire film series (she apparently didn't like it, since her response to Bond about to say it was "Utter one more syllable and I'll have you killed). A prop from the end of Skyfall reveals that her name is Olivia Mansfield.
The first M (Admiral Sir Miles Messervy) was Bernard Lee. As he died before For Your Eyes Only, M is absent and Bond is briefed by the Minister of Defence and Bill Tanner. (a painting of Lee even appears on the MI6 headquarters during the Brosnan years).
Dench dies in Skyfall, but in the film's ending, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) becomes the new M.
Moment Killer: Bernard Lee's M constantly interrupts Bond and Moneypenny's flirting.
Noodle Incident: In From Russia with Love M and Moneypenny are listening to an audio recording sent to them by Bond. When Bond starts to mention an embarrasing incident involving M in Tokyo, M immediately pauses the recording and dismisses Moneypenny from the room.
Miss MoneypennyM's secretary, who has a not-so-secret crush on Bond. Played by four different actresses in the official films : Lois Maxwell (the longest-running, 1962-1985), Caroline Bliss (1987-1989), Samantha Bond (1995-2002) and Naomie Harris (2012-).
Badass: Graduates to this in 'Skyfall'', where she starts out as a field operative.
Casting Gag: The Brosnan era Moneypenny actress was named Samantha Bond.
QCodename for "Quartermaster". He is the man who gives Bond all those wonderful toys. Played by Peter Burton in Dr. No, before being played by Desmond Llewelyn for a very long time—1963 to 1999, in seventeen of the eighteen pictures released during that time.note Live and Let Die didn't feature the character at all. When Llewelyn died in 1999, the character had already retired in The World Is Not Enough and one of his subordinates became the new Q, played by John Cleese, in Die Another Day. The character did not appear in Casino Royale, nor did he in Quantum of Solace. He was reintroduced in Skyfall, this time played by a much younger actor, Ben Whishaw.
Break the Haughty: In Skyfall, Silva shows Q that he's not quite as smart as he think he is.
Insufferable Genius: In Skyfall the incoming Q shows disdain for field agents like Bond, believing his computer and hacking skills are more valuable for espionage in the modern age, although he does admit that "every now and then a trigger has to be pulled." He also mocks the idea of fantastic gadgets like an "exploding pen", instead opting to give Bond simple, (but useful) gadegts instead.
Just a Kid: Bond's opinion of the new Q in Skyfall.
Legacy Character: Like M. John Cleese's Q was previously the assistant to the old Q. Ben Whishaw's Q is explicitly mentioned by M to be the new Quartermaster.
Not So Different: Ben Whishaw's Q and Daniel Craig's Bond. They are both very talented but they both started out in MI6, without that much experience, which makes people question if they are too young to be in their positions.
Old Retainer: Desmond Llewelyn's Q was the sole element that made the transition from the classic Cold War-era films to the Brosnan films.
An Arm and a Leg: He gets his leg fed to a shark in Licence to Kill. Perhaps as a result, he never appears again until the Daniel Craig reboot and is substituted by another American agent, Jack Wade, in the Brosnan era.
Overshadowed by Awesome: A subversion for the most part, since his job is usually to provide CIA support for Bond while MI6 handles the mission. It's played straight in Licence to Kill and the Daniel Craig films, however.
Race Lift: Beginning with Casino Royale, Felix is black, whereas he was white before.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Notably averted. Since the producers didn't want him to become an Ensemble Darkhorse (for American audiences especially), they deliberately recast the role in every film he appeared in (except for Licence to Kill, where a familiar Leiter was considered crucial for the story to work).
Trauma Conga Line: In License To Kill Felix not only loses his legs, but his new wife is raped and killed. Needless to say, this is Felix's last appearance in the 007 franchise until it was rebooted with Casino Royale.
General Ripper: Averted. In Octopussy Gogol wants to avoid going to war with the West, insisting that "world socialism will be achieved peacefully."
Graceful Loser: Subverted in For Your Eyes Only. He takes Bond destroying the MacGuffin astoundingly well... but then again, it was a piece of British technology that he was on his way to steal, so the British ended up losing overall.
Bond: That's detente, comrade. I don't have it... you don't have it.