Barry Nelson, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig—they’ve all been there. Trying to be 007, the man Raymond Chandler said “…is what every man would like to be, and what every woman would like to have between her sheets’".

And yet none of them quite became the character Ian Fleming created in 1953. His CV as given in “From Russia with love":

‘Name: Bond, James. Height: 183 cm, weight: 76kg; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek and on left shoulder; all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily (NB: special cigarettes with three gold bands); vices: drink, but not to excess, and women.’

So our original 007 is a chain smoker puffing up to 70 cigarettes a day, of his own blend created for him by Morland’s. Now who in these politically correct times would do such a thing? Not your regular Daniel Craig. And Bond, the original one, was half Scottish, like Hugh Grant with his droll cynical toss-it irreverence, and half Swiss while Daniel Craig is oh-so-boring British. What’s worse he is blond and just 178 cm in height.

In the novel Moonraker, Fleming describes Bond’s “ambition to have as little as possible in his banking account when he was killed as, when he was depressed, he knew he would be before the statutory age of 45." Would you describe Craig with his cold steely looks as a man who would accept death so easily or even squander his wealth with such abandon? The real Bond actually has little love for his profession and in fact loathes it. Daniel Craig on the evidence of the two movies he’s starred in, seems to revel in it, as befits a workmanlike 21st century-driven professional.

The original 007 was persnickety, the kind who wanted his martini, just so right. For all his womanizing, he was also a bit of a misogynist believing that a woman’s place was in the kitchen rather than in the heat of battle. Daniel Craig sadly doesn’t look the part.

The truth is that the moment Bond steps out of the pages of fiction and becomes a piece of celluloid, we lose the ability to cast him in our own image. So the best answer to the question “who’s the best Bond in movies", would be, “Do I look like I care?"

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