Welcome, Mr. Reader, to the first in my series of contributions to the Blogalongabond initiative, which is re-examining James’s Bond’s back catalogue at the rate of one film per month until the release of the next Bond film in cinemas near you in November 2012.
I firmly believe that the Bond films represent our greatest British cinematic legacy, and over the course of the next 23 months I will attempt to find something in each film which has not only influenced the rest of the series, but also cinema itself. You may wish me luck in advance for when we get to the likes of Octopussy and Tomorrow Never Dies, because I’m definitely going to need it.
So, thirty-nine years on from the original Bond film, what most resonates from Dr. No to this day? It’s not quite the template for every film that followed; somewhere, in a parallel universe, there have been twenty-two Bond films that all started with a series of flashing dots, rather than scantily clad women silhouetted against giant guns, and in that universe there’s probably a much higher epilepsy rate. But thankfully we live in this universe, where Bond has updated and tweaked the template, but the core values have remained the same, and the dots didn’t last. There’s a few things that did, so at the risk of making things even more difficult for myself in the coming months, here’s my top 5 legacies from Dr No. You’ll only get one next month, so make the most of it.
And in case you’re wondering about the selections in my list, there are plenty of iconic repeated moments (such as the opening tracking gun barrel shot and the dripping blood) which are maybe a little too specific to this series, and quite a few standout moments (Bond’s first introduction, Honey Rider emerging from the sea in a bikini) which are fantastic in isolation, but maybe don’t have a lasting impact in the grander scheme.