Thursday, July 30, 2015

The female James Bond

In comments on a friend's Facebook status, I brought up the question of "Favorite Bond?" The topic wasn't Bond, it was dumb e-dating questions.

He responded "Uma Thurman hasn't been given the role yet." My first thought was to say Idris Elba will be Bond before a woman (and I very much like the idea of Idris Elba as Bond). Then my mind did a quick ricochet off of "what would a female Bond be like?" and decided there cannot be a female Bond. James Bond is a misogynistic womanizer. Once you remove that, you've created a different character. It would be silly to call her Bond. So, which woman in spy literature is strong enough to be a female Bond?

Meanwhile, my fingers pointed out that Uma Thurman already has played a stylish spy: Emma Peel. We both paused a moment to drool over the memory of Diana Rigg's Emma Peel. As that reverie began to fade and various threads of thought I was having began to come together (including the realization that my mustache smelled like teriyaki, though this was not part following Hegelian synthesis), I thought, "Emma Peel!"

In The Avengers, Emma Peel and John Steed were partners, but neither was fully dependent on the other. Steed was clearly older and probably her mentor. There was no deep emotional bond (no pun intended) beyond than that held by any team members who must depend on each other for their safety*. This theory is supported by the fact that Rigg's Peel replaced Honor Blackman as Catherine Gale and was followed by Linda Thorson as Tara King and, in The New Avengers by Joanna Lumley as Purdey.

Where did Peel go? The only version I ever saw was the Rigg/Peel so I have no idea if they ever explained that. I'm assuming they didn't. If they did, we're going to ignore it. Let's assume, as a well trained agent, she went off on solo missions. There's your female Bond.

Let's cast the first of movie of the Emma Peel franchise. Obviously, casting Peel is at the top of the list, but we need to cast other recurring characters, villains, and so on.

* Diana Riggs agrees with this interpretation, the late Patrick Macnee did not. His interpretation amounted to "Well, look at her!!!" I will leave a modern feminist analysis of that to you, dear reader. Keep in mind he just died. So cut him some slack.


John McKay said...

I'll start with the obvious. Patrick Macnee died not long ago, so why not start with a cameo by Diana Rigg as Joan Steed?

DynamicLethargyFilms said...

I saw the last episode with Mrs. Peel. At the end of the show, her long lost husband arrives and she goes away with him. You can't see his face, but from behind, he looks a lot like Steed.

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