Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Historical Accuracy of "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond," Episode 1

Nicholas Rankin, author of Ian Fleming's Commandos, offers a review at the Oxford University Press of the first episode of the TV mini-series bio of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.   
The first thing you see on the screen in the new TV mini-series Fleming is Ian Fleming’s own claim that his James Bond novels were based on reality: “Everything I write has a precedent in truth.” Just before the credits we get the drama’s own slightly different claim: “Based on a true story. Some names, places and incidents are fictitious and have been changed for dramatic effect.” Between the two statements is a fast-paced 45-minute farrago that is about 45% fantasy to 55% fact, and very entertaining if you’re not too picky.

The Fleming script-team, creator John Brownlow and co-writer Don McPherson, have pillaged the biographies of the real Ian Fleming by John Pearson, Andrew Lycett, Ben Macintyre, and myself for bones of truth, then made up the rest as they attempt to blend the fictional James Bond with the real life Ian Fleming. So Fleming is dream-stuff; it looks naturalistic, but it is not realistic. Characters are caricatures, actions are metaphors for inner states. It’s a redemptive story of becoming: ”How the war turned a wastrel into a world-famous writer.”

... We flashback 13 years to 1939. Dominic Cooper looks exactly the same age in 1939 as he is supposed to be in 1952, but that’s the point of casting someone who made his name in The History Boys; instead of looking like a melancholy Roman, as the real Ian Fleming did, Cooper portrays a pugnacious boy arrested in adolescence. He’s not really impersonating Fleming, remember, in this dream-world, but embodying the Ur-Bond. 
You can read the rest of the review via the below link:
I interviewed Nicholas Rankin for a piece on Ian Fleming's commando unit in World War II in Counterterrrorism magazine.
You can read the piece via the below link:
You can also read a piece on Fleming film biographies at the James Bond web site MI6 via the below link:
And you can also read my Crime Beat column on Ian Fleming and James Bond via the below link:

No comments:

Post a Comment