007: Review: Bond by Design

Bond design frontBy Meg Simmonds

DK, out now

A lavishly illustrated guide to the design of the Bond films, from Dr No to SPECTRE…

If you’ve got any interest in the look of the 007 movies, then you need to buy this book. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny – there are design drawings (from the pencil and felt tip on paper versions of the 1960s up to 3D models for the Daniel Craig movies), costume designs, storyboards, gadget blueprints (build your own 007 Aston Martin or jetpack!) and a plethora of other items. There’s also highly readable text which explains some of the technical terms, fills in the Bond history (the importance of tax credits to Bond history is surprising), drops a few bombshells of less well-known information (do you know which Bond “girl” was described as “Laura Croft” or how many real buildings on the Grand Canal feature in Casino Royale?), and points out where things were different in the final versions of the film.

One particularly interesting thing to look for is the ever evolving look of Bond in the design drawings – quite often it seems as if the storyboard/design artists have gone back to Fleming’s original description rather than depict the actor. Equally, there’s one shot from the Moonraker pre-credits sequence where Roger Moore looks like Archie from the comics! One of my favourite pictures in the book is at the start of the Skyfall section, with a painting of Daniel Craig in the corridor before he finds Ronson – although he’s in casual gear, rather than the suit used in the movie.

Bond design backThere are a couple of areas where more would have been appreciated – there’s no design for the eponymous Golden Gun, for example, and the Dalton films seem to get short shrift compared with the other films – but overall this is an essential purchase ofr Bond fans. Just be careful holding it – the spine isn’t as strong as perhaps it could be and can tear at the top!

Verdict: A stunning contribution to the Bond library. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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