Surprisingly, Bond seems to have lasted the better. Last night's charity premiere of Goldeneye at the Odeon, Leicester Square, was 007's first outing in the Nineties, and it proved exciting enough to delight the celebrity audience, even the Prince of Wales who would have been forgiven for having other things on his mind.
The film already has taken pounds 19m in its first week in the US. Last night a crowd of about 1,000 watched Prince Charles and the film stars arrive.
Pierce Brosnan turned out to be the best Bond since Sean Connery, and the most troubled. His was a post Cold War secret agent, unsure not only who was the enemy, but of his own role and his future.
With a knowing nod to thechanges in Britain's espionage hierarchy, M was played for the first time by a woman, Dame Judi Dench. She castigated Brosnan as "a sexist, misogynist dinosaur". Even the Bond girls were post-feminists, led by a female villain who enjoyed her male conquests before crushing them between her thighs.
The slickly directed film suggested there is a new life for a new-age Bond, even if one visible change since the Sixties is that he now drives a BMW rather than an Aston Martin.
Before the film the Prince of Wales chatted with Brosnan and with his 12-year-old son, Sean, who Brosnan explained was a budding musician who played the guitar. "At least it's not drums," the prince said.