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Dalton's 007 debut 'The Living Daylights' is reviewed in our April Bondathon

03-Apr-2010 • Site News

To celebrate the spate of upcoming Bond film anniversaries and the pave the way to Bond 23, we thought it was high-time the forum (Keeping The British End Up) pulled together for an official review of the whole series.

A film will be presented each month for viewing, discussion and review; running in conjunction with the main site, overall ratings and a selection of the best reviews will be published at the end of the month on mi6-hq.com.

Timothy Dalton makes his 007 debut in the action-packed adventure, 'The Living Daylights', now up for review in the MI6 Bondathon...


Where has everybody gone?

By 1986, Roger Moore was bowing gracefully from the series after a tenure of over 13 years as 007. With the amicable parting of ways, the producers jumped at the opportunity to mix up the Bond formula a little. The rigmarole of the changing of the guard must have, by this time, become a well oiled machine for EON Productions and for Cubby Broccoli there could be no other man for the job.

Timothy Dalton was unveiled as the newest James Bond star on 7th August 1986. Whilst the limelight appears to have been daunting for Dalton at first, the Welshman was adamant that he should bring his own, darker and more Fleming-esque traits to his debut: "The Living Daylights".

The film itself, with the first act inspired the Fleming short story of the same name, was no less adventurous than the previous outings with Moore. "The Living Daylights" appears to tick all the boxes: exotic locations, gadget-laden vehicles and villains you shouldn't second guess. Indeed Q, Moneypenny, M are all present, yet "The Living Daylights" has little less gloss than previous outings. The action is somehow more raw and risky and Dalton does not shy away from showing the audience a dose of anger (or performing his own stunts). In this film, plans do not go picture perfect, and our 00-Agent does not always save the day.

The locations for "The Living Daylights" are varied and suitably exotic, but some of the glitz of the traditional holiday destinations is traded in for a dirty back ally in Bratislava, the inhospitable desert setting of Afghanistan and the military post at Gibraltar. The one treat for Bond and his damsel is an all-expenses paid night out at the opera in Vienna, but even the picturesque Prater Park is soiled by the death of Bond's MI6 colleague.

The ensemble cast includes some famous faces, notably Art Malik and John Rhys-Davies, with Joe Don Baker as the shady arms dealer, Jeroen Krabbé as the double crossing Russian General Koskov and Maryam d'Abo as the General's lovely girlfriend who becomes entangled in the caper.

John Barry lends a powerful and thematic score (his last of the series) that accompanies the various action sequences that involve: jeeps, trucks, a Harrier jumpjet, a cargo plane, horses, tanks, the shiny new Aston Martin Volante, and of course a cello case! "The Living Daylights" also marks a musical first as pop band The Pretenders contribute a song, "If There Was A Man", to the closing titles and perform the haunting "Where Has Everybody Gone" that is a favourite of the assassin Necros.

- Introduction by Q

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