Andre Millard, author of Equipping James Bond: Guns, Gadgets, and Technological Enthusiasm, offers a piece on Bond and the threat of technology at Smithsonian.com.
Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels have been enjoyed by a global audience since the 1950s, and the films constitute the longest running and most profitable franchise in the history of the movies. This fictional character is a global icon admired by millions.
What explains 007’s enduring appeal?
Adventure, guns, and girls, surely. But Bond’s long-standing popularity can’t be separated from our relationship with technology. The Bond character consistently embodies our ever-changing fears about the threat of new technology and assuages our anxieties about the decline of human agency in a world increasingly run by machines.
Ian Fleming made Bond a modernizing hero, and the centrality of his gadgets in the films have established Bond, armed with watches capable of creating magnetic fields or Aston Martins with hidden guns, as a master of technology, a practitioner of high-tech equipment in the service of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service. But the reason why we, the audience, admire him and follow his never-ending career is to be found in his inevitable conflict with the machine.
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You can also read my Crime Beat column on Ian Fleming and his iconic character James Bond via the below link: