Doctor Who News James Bond vs Doctor Who

Published on May 3rd, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds

James Bond: Regeneration vs Evolution

They’re both known to wear bow ties and they both have a certain way with the ladies but Skyfall director Sam Mendes believes that James Bond has something else similar to the Doctor.

James Bond vs Doctor Who

See – bowties ARE cool…

Speaking to the American Beauty director singled out the Doctor’s ability to change as something that he’s always loved about the long running series calling Bonds various incarnations a ‘regeneration’ rather than an ‘evolution’.

“I feel it’s like Doctor Who – there’s a geek answer – I was brought up on the idea of Doctor Who, who at the end of his final episode, he dissolves and a new actor pops up.

He regenerates and it’s a whole other character: sometimes it’s an old man, sometimes it’s a young man, but he just changes. I’ve always loved that idea.”

Its a sentiment that Steven Moffat doesn’t totally agree with. Tweeting in March last year Moffat said to DWM editor Tom Spilsbury:

[blackbirdpie url="!/steven_moffat/status/48760945438240769"]

Which to a large degree is true. The character of Bond was never really front and centre of any of the changes of actor – other than to proclaim that this was the best Bond ever.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was the first film to build the film around the character of Bond – mostly out of fear that no one would pay to see a Connery-less Bond film. The only moment of weakness was the God awful ‘this never happened to the other fellow’ line.

The indecision cost the film in the end and it wasn’t until Casino Royale that Bond was placed back at the centre of his own film franchise.

Still it’s nice to see one old franchise acknowledging validating the decisions made by the various Doctor Who crews who were facing a similar decisive moment in their franchise history.

So what does Bond do? Regenerate or reboot?

For more information on the upcoming James Bond movie Skyfall, pay a visit to our sister site, Cult Britannia.


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

6 Responses to James Bond: Regeneration vs Evolution

  1. avatar TonyS says:

    Until the casting of Daniel Craig, it was simply a change of leading man. There is even a measure of continuity in the first 20 Bond films. With the making of Casino Royale the producers went back to scratch. Even further than Ian Fleming did. If memory serves, in the book of Casino Royale, Bond is already a 00 agent. But I agree with Mr Moffatt, it is a reboot not a regeneration. The only way that regeneration plays any part in this is the suggestion that this reboot regenerated interest in the franchise. And even that is a moot point.

  2. avatar Tangentyou says:

    I read a great fan theory that “James Bond” is a title or codename given to a special agent. Like if Bond died, someone else would get the 007 designation, but in this case, they would get the Bond name as well.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      In the 1967 Casino Royale (completely un-canonical but bear with me) they did just that. The original James Bond became M and every agent in the British Secret Service became James Bond 007.

  3. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    With Bond, I’ve always seen each Bond as existing in a series of parallel universes. Connery’s Bond served in WW2, and though the films pre Craig all connect, you can’t say Timothy Dalton’s Bond could have served in WW2 as the dates and age don’t add up. Therefore all the Bonds have the same or similar adventures – we just don’t see them all. So all Bonds had ‘Casino Royale’ or a version of it as their first mission.

    Hence Daniel Craig’s appearance in the new version of Goldeneye 64 on Wii and PS3 fits in this way.

    Long ago there was a tongue in cheek website that argued Bond was a Time Lord, as was Blofeld. I think it’s long gone.

  4. avatar James McLean says:

    I love the logic that if you are looking at answers in fictional continuity outside of “this is just a set of films made for fun”, people sneer at the idea of there being some sort of transitory movement between Bonds – be it different agents/regeneration(!), as there are a couple of continuity references to Bond’s wife. That of course trumps the idea of different Bonds over the fact Bond actually changes in look and personality over a course of films where, by and large, much of the cast remains constant… if you’re looking for the simplest, most logical answer, Bond either has lots of face changes or is an agent name with an insidious or original unheard backstory that explains the wives. That’s far easier to justify than the changing faces of the same person – unless you go with Mugen’s theory of parallel universes. Which I’ve always enjoyed in the back of my brain.

  5. avatar TonyS says:

    Or we could just go for the idea that James Bond has been played by different actors. Do all the different Draculas, Hamlets, Sherlock Holmes ad naus have to fit into a continuity. As James says, they are a series of films made for fun. Not sure how much fun Tim Dalton had making his two films. But that’s another story.

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