1. It Takes All Kinds

    By Luke Freeman on 2005-02-11

    If “James Bond fans” be a group of people, then it be a group that contains quite a number of subgroups. With many books by different authors and many films starring different actors, the James Bond series that’s been going for several decades now, so it’s hardly surprising that there are many different types of fans, each with unique likes and dislikes, and each to whom being a “James Bond fan” means something different.

    There are of course the groups defined by their age, like the Moore Generation, who grew up during the 70’s and early 80’s, when “Rodge” was Bond. To them those were the good old days of shameless fun and pure entertainment. And while they may occasional stray over to the Connery or Dalton camps, they can never stay away, and always come back to their sentimental favorite sooner or later.

    Formed in a similar vein are The Brosnan Birgade, an odd mix of young newbies and committed female admirers truly in awe of their hero, spreading the good word and making Photoshop tributes to him while blissfully unaware that there were indeed James Bond films made before 1995.

    With youth and enthusiasm on their side, they’re definitely one of the more vocal groups, but if they (or anyone for that matter) speak out too loudly, too often, you can be sure that they’ll be quickly put in their place by the old-school blazer-and-tie Fleming Traditionalists, to whom the movies as merely “gimmicky, cartoonish twaddle”, completely unworthy of the phrase “Ian Fleming’s James Bond”.

    “Bond’s too much of a super-man” they cry. “We want gritty, back to Fleming, faithful adaptations” they demand. Would you like some cheese with your whine gentlemen? But press them hard enough and they’ll concede that Living Daylights and Licence to Kill “were okay, I suppose, best of the bunch at any rate”.

    But this group are not to be confused with the Daltonites, a small but merry band with a song in their hearts and genuine love for the fourth 007. Still a little bitter towards “The Man”, they consider Dalton’s forced departure from the series the biggest blunder since the Catholic Church elected that Pope who turned out to be a Satanist (I don’t remember his name, but you know which one I mean. Was around during the 50’s, I think. Used to prance around the Vatican in a red frock. Had those big sideburns Anyway, it’s not important).

    Don’t forget the Music Buffs, the most recent subgroup to pop up, interested primarily in the Bond soundtracks, discussing music cues and that “techno number by David Arnold, which is new and fresh but contains just a subtle Barry tribute” or whatever, which has the rest of us scratching our heads and wondering just what the hell they are on and where can we get some.

    Without a doubt, the black sheep of the Bond fan family is The Insider. Passing on to the rest of us fans details about plots, titles and locations, but frustratingly neglecting to mention just where the information comes from. Some believe him to be part of the production crew, others scoff at his claims and are convinced that the only “source” he has is the White wine and Mushroom he puts on his Tortellini (that jokes works better spoken rather than written)(no it doesn’t). Either way, he always causes quite a stir.

    And then there’s Johnny Collector, the envy of everyone, who has managed to get his hands on every paperback edition, every teaser poster, every bit of merchandise ever released (even that rare early Moonraker script where ”Moonraker” was actually the name of the villain’s pet monkey), all of which are proudly displayed on the shelves of his home, a home of which he desperately needs to update the security system of.

    We Bond fans truly are a diverse bunch, and while differences of opinion may see us argue and bicker from time to time, we’re all here for the same reason, James Bond. I like to think of us as a one big happy dysfunctional family.

    Until next time,