Forget a James Bond movie – television should be 007’s new home

Alex Moreland
·Contributor

The next Bond movie seems to be in a bit of a troubled state – they’re not sure who the director is, whether Daniel Craig is going to return for a fifth movie, and, if not, who might replace him. (The only thing that does seem to be decided is that it won’t be Tom Hiddleston.)

Following the lacklustre critical reception to Spectre, you could understand why Barbara Broccoli might want to revamp the franchise somewhat, and give this next movie an extra edge – either touting it as Craig’s final outing as the secret agent, or putting a new spin on it entirely by hiring Aidan Turner, Idris Elba or Gillian Anderson to revamp the part.

Another option is open to the producers, though, and it’s one they might want to seriously consider – rather than a James Bond movie, it could be time for 007 to find a new home on television.

Once, that might have been dismissed out of hand entirely – but in recent years, there’s more reason for this idea to give you pause. We’re living in a golden age of prestige television, with TV dramas finding popular acclaim on an international scale, not to mention commercial success.

It’s not difficult to imagine a James Bond TV series, with time, reaching similar levels of success as Game of Thrones – one of the most popular and well known intellectual properties in the world, James Bond would certainly garner people’s attentions. More than that, though, an ongoing television serial would allow for deeper storytelling than we’ve seen in the Bond franchise so far; one of the things Spectre was criticised for was mishandling the conclusion to an ongoing story arc across the movies – a Bond TV show would allow for a far more successful attempt at an ongoing storyline.

There’s a real opportunity to breathe some new life into the franchise, as a TV series would allow for a far greater level of experimentation than we’ve ever seen from the movies. Yes, they could take a safe route, and simply adapt the novels over the course of the show – certainly, it’s been long enough since the movies really adapted the Fleming novels that there’s likely a market for a faithful retelling of the source material.

But really, there’s far more potential than that. Consider a Bond TV show in the style of Fargo or True Detective – a high budget dedicated miniseries each year, attracting talented actors and directors, each giving their own spin on things. You could have Christopher Nolan directing Tom Hardy as Bond in a cutting edge modern thriller, before moving to a new interpretation again with Henry Cavill in the role, bringing the stories back to their Cold War roots. It’d even give an opportunity to bring in a female or non-white Bond for a year, just to test the waters and see what everyone thinks. Creatively, the benefits are clear – it’s immediately obvious how compelling a prospect this would be – but it’s also evident that this could really be a genuine success for the executive producers behind the franchise.

We’ve long since proven that television is the home of quality drama and great stories. Why not let James Bond have a go?

Related:

Rebooting a franchise: Who is James Bond?

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