You can watch it all on TV…

: “You can watch it all on TV. It’s the last programme you’re likely to see.”
Bond: “Well, if I’m going to be forced to watch television, may I smoke?”

Roald Dahl had already registered his antagonism towards television in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and it turns up again in his screenplay for You Only Live Twice. Interesting that tobacco seems to be a more acceptable vice.

My first exposure to the Bond films was in 1999 when ITV showed the entire series (including Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again) in the run-up to the release of The World Is Not Enough. Despite being obviously designed for the cinema, I always thought the movies worked better on television. The commercial breaks never seemed particularly disruptive, given how episodic the movies are, and how larded with product placement they can be (that scene in Moonraker where they drive past all the billboards is actually less subtle than an advert).

Now, with YouTube, it’s possible to watch bits and pieces of the films completely divorced of their context, which I don’t see as a particularly bad thing. Most discussion of the Bond films strips them to their constituent parts anyway- best stunt, best car chase, best fight sequence etc. Certainly it’s characteristic of the way we consume culture now, in that very ADD way where we’ll listen to our album collection on shuffle or spend hours downloading pirated movies.

The other brilliance of YouTube is that stuff like this has been dredged up from old VHS recordings:

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1 Response to You can watch it all on TV…

  1. I dont know that they work BEST on TV, but they are good on TV, certainly.

    That’s how I got my first exposure to Bond too, although, LOL. It was considerably prior to 1999. Eesh. I’m old. 😀

    Anyways, yeah. It seemed like when I was a kid the Roger Moore Bonds were constantly on TV. Always. And I watched them quite a bit. Now, looking back, Moore is one of my least favorites in the role, but I’ll probably always owe him that debt of gratitude for introducing me to 007.

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