1987-1989 Timothy Dalton Goes Dark
Broccoli’s first instinct post-Moore was to cast another actor with form in a tongue-in-cheek TV show, Remington Steele’s Pierce Brosnan. However, just as the small print had prevented Moore in the Sixties, so Brosnan was tied up here.
So it was that Timothy Dalton – once “too young” but now twenty years older and wiser – got the part, on the proviso that he’d bring a much-needed reality check to proceedings. Dalton was intended as a return to the Bond not really seen on-screen, a fiercely dedicated killing machine.
Out with the gadgets, out with the sex (this being the AIDS-conscious 80s), Dalton was convincingly cold – almost too much, lacking the dry wit of Moore, Connery or even the new generation of wise-guy action heroes like Martin Riggs or John McClane.
The bloody Licence To Kill – the first 15-certificate Bond movie – was a conspicuous attempt to get with the times, but audiences baulked. And then, worse.
After a complicated series of sales and licensing agreements, EON sued MGM/UA to put the Bond series into limbo for the first half of the Nineties.
Dalton was officially still on notice to make his third appearance as 007, but by 1994, even he had had enough and resigned.
Positively Shocking Quip: On seeing bad guy Heller impaled on a forklift truck, Dalton observes, “Looks like he came to a dead end.”
Boys With Toys: Q discovers hip-hop with the Ghetto Blaster: literally, a boombox-cum-rocket launcher. Bring the noise.
Petrolhead: Another Aston Martin in The Living Daylights, this one customised to suit the icy climes of Austria: tire spikes and retractable skies. Alongside the usual array of weaponry, of course.
Girls in Bondage: Maryam D’Abo as Kara Milovy, Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier
Expecting You To Die: Jeroen Krabbe as Georgi Koskov, Robert Davi as Franz Sanchez
Action! Licence To Kill ends with one of the most sustained chase sequences in Bond, as 007 improvises means of destroying four oil tankers loaded with cocaine solution.
Belting It Out: a-ha scare The Living Daylights out of us with 80s European synth-pop.
James Bland: It’s only obvious in retrospect, but The Living Daylights suffers the same socio-political flaw as Rambo 3. Namely making anti-Soviet mujahideen – precursors of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden – heroes of the piece. Oops.