On her Majesty Secret Service was a reboot?

I do like the visual detail of Lazenby carrying the golf clubs before he’s driven to Draco. Which obviously brings GF to mind, and shows this man has the same tastes even if his face is completely different.

In terms of FYEO referencing Tracy, I actually don’t really consider that to be the Diana Rigg version, per se. But more of a generalised reference to Bond’s history. I like the idea the event did happen to Moore, and Dalton, but in their own timelines, and long ago. It gives them grounding.

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I couldn’t stand it anymore! The constant comparison! Do you have any idea what it’s like living in someone’s shadow?!

Says the bad guy King in Batman Beyond.

King is voiced by George Lazenby.

I bring this up purely because it raises OHMSS only real problem - the fact that they wanted to emphasise that this wasn’t a reboot and was very much the same man as the previous 5, on a level that no other Bond movie would do for over 3 decades, with the clips in the starting credits and looking lovingly at props from Connery’s films - and even when it does happen with other actors, they don’t do it in the actors first film. It forces Lazenby into Connery’s shadow.

Edit: I’ll say the only other film to emphasise it’s the same person from all the other films is Die Another Day and that film didnt stick clips in. Even A View To A Kill got rid of it…

Spectre did, but to emphasise that Craig’s films are connected in their own little Bond Bubble.

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I’m understanding on that front given it was uncharted territory for the franchise. I think the route they took was very much preferable to the plastic surgery idea. They wink at the audience - “this didn’t happen to the other fellow”, and then carry on like business as usual.


This didnt happen to the other fellas should’ve been it.

The clips and props from previous films end up being a Sean Connery sounding elephant in the room.


In Germany, it actually did sound like Sean Connery, because they gave him the same dub voice, Gert Günther Hoffmann. He was a legend among the German dub voices, among his regular jobs were the voicing for Connery, Paul Newman, Rock Hudson, William Shatner (yes indeed, in Germany, Captain Kirk sounded like James Bond and vice versa) and the narrator for the Pink Panther cartoons. But he also did Patrick McGoohan, Frank Sinatra, Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Marlon Brando at times. And Patrick MacNee in AVTAK.


That is awesome!

Since OHMSS was their first transition, they tried to a) acknowledge in a low-key way a new Bond actor; and b) reassure the audience that while there was a new story, the character was the same. Lazenby’s lack of experience as an actor meant that he did not have the tools or the presence to compete with the reminders of Connery’s portrayal. Moore, in contrast, had an established presence which could work in dialectic with the Bond template as established by Connery. Part of the pleasure of watching Moore is seeing how he shapes the role to suit him.

Moore also had the advantage of a new decade: he was the 70’s Bond–a new 007 for a new era. Lazenby had to be a continuation of the 60’s Bond, which was not an easy task. Possible moral: change your Bond in tandem with shifts in the zeitgeist.


Also,while Eon tried to sell Laz as Connery 2.0, they didn’t want to make that same mistake twice and intentionally had Moore-Bond do things differently than Connery-Bond: he never drove an Aston, heck, he didn’t have a proper car until TSWLM (OTOH, it also took until Connery’s third movie to get the Aston). Roger smoked cigars instead of Connery’s cigarettes. Moore never ordered a Vodka Martini shaken not stirred. And he didn’t wear a tux before TSWLM…


I do get why - I mean if anything speaks higher for OHMSS, it’s that even their “mistake” (And it is relative) is COMPLETELY understandable in its context - and as @stromberg pointed out whilst I was typing, Eon did learn that wasn’t the way to go! They deserve plaudits for learning through experience.


I agree. I think the reason that the series has survived is that never traveled the Lazenby Path again (among other smart choices).


Personally, I would very much welcome if the model after Craig went the same basic route Moore‘s did: avoid the tropes of the Craig era, no Oh-mee-gah, no Aston, no single malt and no office shenanigans. When things start out getting personal they do because of what just happened on the screen, not something buried in the past.


And wouldn’t it be nice if M would just give Bond a briefing and his trust, and let him just get on with it without the entire core staff of MI6 tagging along?


He wore a tux to his dinner engagement in MWTGG.

That would be nice. Shame that the tropes of the Craig era are pretty much the same tropes that EON has been using for the better part of thirty years now, and for the entirety of Barbara’s run in charge of the franchise. I have a hard time seeing them changing their approach, especially since they’ve been validated with nearly $2 billion in box office receipts on their last two films.

I think it partially started out with Dench being cast - and, ironically, with the decision this should not be a reboot for Brosnan. So Dench‘s M was the new hand on deck and there had to be ‘issues’ between them. Although everything except Q was new, the Lego headquarters, the interiors. It wouldn’t have been a big thing if had they called this a reboot.

When Craig arrived in his reboot the writers once again went back to their default position of ‘issues’ between M and Bond, this time she supposedly doubting him. Actually, wouldn’t it have been a stronger dynamic if she hadn’t had any doubts regarding Bond? After all, he didn’t arrive in the 00-section because he was employee of the month three times in a row. Let others doubt Bond and blow the top of their heads. M’s the one who sent him and, whoever M is, they will have had their reasons.

Craig’s tenure turned out vastly different from what one may have expected after the last frames of CASINO ROYALE. Some of it was no doubt due to considerations about how genre cinema was received during these years - a version of the series picking up on current trends and playing them with an 007 theme like MOONRAKER. As you said, the success is what justifies these decisions, up to a point.

Since these films have evolved into their own series within the series it’s hard to imagine Craig’s successor will not star in his own reboot again. Maybe that reboot will then look for other themes, will keep its distance from the person of Bond for a time and instead look for its own way of telling a fantasy spy romp. We only can speculate - but we shall see.

It’ll most likely depend on whatever the current trends are at the time. It wasn’t a big thing to “reboot” franchises in 1995, which is probably the only reason that GE isn’t an official reboot, although I’ve always felt that it kind of lies in its own frame of reference outside of the films from Connery through Dalton.

The next Bond, I’m sure, will be a reboot, since Craig’s tenure is most likely going to be entirely self-contained, but whatever takes hold as being popular in a post-Covid world will dictate what direction EON goes. Hopefully that means less Bond/M trust issues and something that leans more towards just allowing the professional do his work, but we’ll see.

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I wonder whether the Bond/M relationship will become less conflict laden from this point onwards.

With the casting of Dench it was a mandate to give her something to do - which led to more involvement between her and Bond, and turning it up even more in the Craig era. With her being killed off in SKYFALL it would have been possible to go back to less personal relationship only if not another A-lister had been cast as M.

After the Craig tenure, it would have to become a total reboot in order to get back to the 60/70/80-relationship. Otherwise critics will ask: hey, now M is just a Mr. Exposition again, what a waste! And Fiennes would say: I’m not playing that.

As for OHMSS - I think back then I would have been quite irritated by the way LazenbyBond suddenly had all the experiences of ConneryBond. In that regard it was not like a reboot at all, it was just shoving the new actor into this universe and acting as if he had been there all along. This is what LALD, TLD, GE and CR thankfully avoided - although they all had parts of the previous cast return. But at that point we were used to the rebuilding of Bond´s world with former parts. OHMSS had to start it, and EON had the good fortune of one of the best Bond stories as a basic element. Just like CR.

For the time after Craig this will be the next film´s biggest challenge. Especially with so many Bond films now already having mined the existing Fleming novels. What would new ideas for Bond be about? Are there new ideas for it? Maybe only if the next arc/tenure will be placed in the changed contemporary reality. One in which the virus is still rampant or overcome. One in which Great Britain has completely changed, with Bond having to fight for someone he does not believe in anymore, yet trying to bring balance to world peace by sticking to his job?

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Everyone’s contract is up, so if there’s ever a time for a reboot, it’s now.

Mark Gatiss would be a good M - and would always be okay being Mr Exposition…given he gave himself that role in Sherlock.


He would be a perfect M. His Mycroft did mention his “opposite number” using a blunt instrument.
Expanding on the theory that the WWI Mycroft was first head of Secret Service and maintained position until succeeded by Sir Miles

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Indeed. I understand why they took this approach, especially as YOLT’s poster proclaimed ‘Sean Connery IS James Bond’. Delaying Bond’s introduction in the pre-title sequence built up the supporting characters such as M, Q and Moneypenny, and we see the Aston Martin before Lazenby himself is fully identified. As you say, the intention was to make the world feel like an authentic continuation.