There is a theory, which probably has a point, that the actor who you most identify with playing Bond, will be the Bond you grew up watching. Like chicks, we imprint on the first 007 we experience and a lasting, er bond is formed which is difficult to break.
While Daniel Craig seems to have done a stand up job in recent times, the Bond I grew up with was Roger Moore. Although I did see my fair share of Sean Connery films, I was probably too young to really appreciate them. It was Live and Let Die, with its voodoo threat, its manic car chases and, quite frankly the best Bond tune of all time (sorry, Adele, I liked Skyfall but it does not quite have the complexity of the multi-movement McCartney job).
There was a lovely nod to Live and let Die in Craig’s escape from the Komodo pit in Skyfall. Craig may have been wearing a slightly less beige and brown outfit (the curse of the 70s) but Moore did it first.
While I did not find Roger Moore dashing in the role – I have never found Bond an attractive character, though I think the dark and brooding Connery was probably more overtly sexy – I loved the humour, the tongue-in-cheek angle that he brought to the part. I think I remember Moore saying in an interview that there was absolutely no point in trying to out-Bond Connery on sex appeal and machismo, so he had to find another way to go to make the part his own, which was to have a bit of fun with it all.
So just as Tom Baker will always be my Dr Who – although I did like David Tennant – Moore will always be my Bond. A Bond of the 70s, a Bond when things were a little brasher, a little more colourful and crass and a time when the UK endured its hottest summer and we watched in amazement as the grass turned brown and we heard the term, ‘hose pipe ban’ for the first time.
Moore came across as a kind and self-effacing man, who after over a decade in the role of Bond, took on another role as a UNICEF ambassador, which he devoted himself to. I shall miss his occasional tweets. He never took himself as seriously as he took his charity work.
And he was right to feel that way, because anyone who recognizes the importance of protecting the rights and well being of children around the world is more of a real-life hero than any fictional Bond could ever be.