This week’s entry has been inspired by my eldest son, Ollie.
Admittedly, my blog is often inspired by our boys, it’s just that they don’t usually know about it. They are an endless source of comedic material, as they each stumble from one inadvertently-hilarious situation to the next (very much like their father).
On this occasion, however, whilst Ollie didn’t necessarily come up with the idea I have moulded into this week’s entry, he certainly ignited the spark in my twisted little mind.
On Wednesday morning, as he got ready for school, Ollie randomly starting talking about James Bond, and asked me whether I thought a good replacement for Daniel Craig would be Sean Connery. I immediately laughed at this suggestion, and his little face dropped.
“But you said Connery was the best Bond ever!”
I had to explain to Ollie that, whilst that is indeed the case (and anyone who suggests otherwise is mistaken), there are two very good reasons why, when Daniel Craig does eventually hang up his Beretta, and trades in that Aston Martin for a Honda Jazz (the vehicle of choice for the modern pensioner), Sean Connery is not really a feasible replacement.
Firstly, and surely the main reason why Connery is no longer suited to the role of James Bond, is that he is really fucking old. Hang on, let me check…. Yeah, he’s 87. Even the most die-hard Connery fans must now accept that his age effectively rules him out of an unlikely return as 007. I guess he could perhaps make a cameo appearance somewhere, but I get the impression Sean might not be up for that, as, by all accounts, he was a miserable git forty years ago, and his mood has seemingly deteriorated with each passing year.
Secondly, Connery has already returned to the role of Bond twice – officially, in 1971’s hugely disappointing Diamonds Are Forever, and then unofficially, in the 1983 abomination which was Never Say Never Again.
If we were to plot those two films on a ‘Disappointment Graph’, and continue the ‘Curve of Failure’ as it descends down past Stockport County’s start to the 2017-18 season, every Radiohead album since Ok Computer, and the KitKat Chunky with Peanut Butter, Lord only knows how dire a Connery-led Bond film would be now. It might even be worse than Battleship *shudders* (seriously, if you haven’t seen it, just imagine Rihanna – yes, that Rihanna – battling alien sea-monsters in order to save the planet… then lower your already rock-bottom expectations by 80%).
As ever, I digress.
Once I had explained to Ollie that Sean Connery was not a viable replacement for Daniel Craig (who, for what it’s worth, has been an excellent Bond, and I for one am delighted he has agreed to do another film), the conversation went thus:
“Well, what about George Lazenby then? He looks young.”
“No, Ol. He already looked middle-aged in OHMSS, and that was released in 1969. He’s nearly as old as Connery.”
“Also too old.”
“I still haven’t forgiven him for Die Another Day.”
The conversation got me thinking, however, that if any of those actors were to return as James Bond (with the exception of the late great Sir Roger, may he Rest In Peace), the film titles and plot lines would need to be adapted to suit their advancing years in life.
Just imagine, if every Bond film had featured older versions of the actors….
Dr, No, Please (1962) – Following a week or two of suffering with a burning sensation whilst urinating, Bond attends his local GP surgery and undergoes a prostate examination.
From Russia For Love (1963) – An ageing 007 struggles with erectile dysfunction, so purchases some mail order Viagra pills from the Soviet Union.
Coldfinger (1964) – After decades of repeatedly pulling the trigger on his Beretta and Walther PPK, James Bond develops Reynaud’s Syndrome in his right hand, and starts a prescribed course of Nifedipine.
Thunderball (1965) – Bond wins £500,000 on the National Lottery, by successfully guessing five numbers plus the Thunderball. He then wastes the money on pointless things that he doesn’t need, because it’s always old people who seem to win the lottery, when they no longer need the money.
You Only Live Twice More (1967) – Having cheated death on countless occasions – sometimes in extremely unlikely, and physically impossible, circumstances – Blofeld (a relentless cat lover) informs Bond that he has now used up seven of his nine lives, and will shortly run out of luck. He then leaves him in an easily escapable situation.
At Her Majesty’s Secret Pleasure (1969) – Bond inappropriately slaps Moneypenny on the arse, following a meeting with M, and is charged with sexual harassment. Following a public announcement of the charges, 2,453 further women come forward with their own allegations, and Bond is sent to jail. His incarceration is, however, kept secret by the Government.
Diamond Weddings Are Forever (1971) – In a highly improbable alternative universe, Bond actually settled down with Moneypenny at the age of 24, and they now celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary at a swanky hotel in London.
Live A Bit Then Die (1973) – Now in his late 80’s, Bond reflects on a lifetime spent in the world of espionage, and ponders his own mortality.
The Man With The Older Gums (1974) – After decades of smoking, Bond visits the dentist, and is diagnosed with periodontal gum disease.
The Spine Who Loved Me (1977) – 007 undergoes back surgery, to have two discs in his lumbar spine replaced, following which he has a new lease of life, playing golf twice a week with Q, and attending local Council meetings about all the dog poo and litter in the streets.
Manraking (1979) – Roger Moore spends a delightful summer’s afternoon in the garden, something he wouldn’t have been able to enjoy, had he not undergone spinal surgery just two years earlier.
For Your Eye Test Only (1981) – Having written-off a very expensive Aston Martin prototype for the third time this year, and following an unfortunate incident where Bond mistakes a hat-stand for Moneypenny, and is caught indecently exposing himself to it outside M’s office, Q-branch insists 007 undergoes an eye-test.
Octogenarianpussy (1983) – Bond moves into a retirement village, where he meets 86-year-old Maud Adams, who, like all single women in their eighties, is surrounded by hundreds of cats.
A View To A Kilimanjaro (1985) – Following the passing of his fourteenth wife, Bond’s children insist he should ‘get away for a bit’, so he books a Shearing’s Coach Tour of Tanzania.
The Living Room Lights (1987) – Having nagged him for weeks, Bond finally succumbs to Moneypenny’s demands, and fixes the two blown lightbulbs in their lounge.
Licence to Grill (1989) – Timothy Dalton organises a BBQ for the residents of his retirement village, which ends in disaster when one elderly neighbour chokes to death on a spicy chicken wing. Bond immediately assumes foul play, and breaks an ankle whilst trying to vault over the retirement home wall, after he spots a white cat on the other side, and assumes Blofeld has returned once again.
Goldeneyes (1995) – Pierce Brosnan faces his most terrifying enemy yet, after it transpires Sean Bean’s character, Alec Trevelyan, did not in fact die when a 1,500-tonne satellite dish landed on his face in Cuba. Now in his late-sixties, Alec has developed cataracts, which, due to a quirk of nature, have turned his eyes gold.
Tamara Never Dies (1997) – 007 befriends his 102-year-old neighbour, Tamara Titsworth, who claims to have cheated death even more times than he has. Rather inevitably, they sleep together, before enjoying a delightful game of Bridge with Frank and June from across the corridor.
The Waltz Is Not Enough (1999) – Despite a moderately well-received Tango in the first round of their retirement home’s dancing competition, Bond and his partner, 82-year-old former model Betty Bangzer, fail to win a prize after she slips during their Viennese Waltz in the final.
Dine Another Day (2002) – Bond goes on hunger strike in his retirement home, after his carers refuse to allow him to sleep with a gun under his pillow, ‘just in case’.
Chicken Royale (2006) – A decrepit Bond is clearly confused, and increasingly agitated, whilst trying to order lunch at a busy Burger King in the heart of London.
Quandary of Solace (2008) – Having witnessed yet another lover murdered before his very eyes, Bond finally decides that enough is enough, and he would be better off seeing out his remaining years without any female company.
Skyfall (2012) – Bond breaks a hip falling from an unstable ladder in his front garden, whilst trying to re-position his satellite dish in order to watch Bargain Hunt.
Spectacles (2015) – Thirty-four years after failing his eye test in For Your Eye Test Only, Bond finally accepts that it is time he started wearing varifocals, but insists it will only be for ‘close up reading, and the occasional assassination’.
Thanks for reading x
Blog inspiration – my son, Ollie
Blofeld picture (and title) – my good friend, Ant
Everything else – me.