Letter: Shaken and stirred by Bond debate

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Sir: After reading 'Would the real 007 stand up?' (9 June) and many more articles on the subject of the 'new' James Bond, I feel that something constructive should be said about the last 007 - Timothy Dalton. The only mentions of Dalton have been in reference to his films as 'relative flops' and how he was a mere 'stand-in'.

If anyone cared to take notice of him and his films, they would realise that he portrayed Bond as a hard-edged and strong-minded Bond, with his own instincts as a killer and a saviour. He had a mind of his own: both films brought threats to quit the secret service, which he eventually did in Licence to Kill. He was how Fleming often described him, with the infamous cruel eyes - which in other Bonds extended only to the brows. Yet now people are enthusing about how Pierce Brosnan will bring back an 'earthy ruthlessness' to the character. Dalton had all of these qualities.

The references to his films being flops are also unjust. They withstood the massive hype of their over-the-top competition - such as the Indiana Jones movies and Lethal Weapon (which are essentially emulations of the Bond concept) - to perform remarkably well around the globe. For Dalton's films to be able to pull Roger Moore's fantastical and tiring antics back into the more serious area of the improbable and still smash box office records around the world deserves applause - not renouncement.

Yours faithfully,

RICHARD OVERALL

Braintree, Essex

(Photograph omitted)

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