Have you ever wondered why everyone's favorite British Secret Service agent never seems to get any older?
After 52 years of spying, Bond would have to be using some seriously effective anti-ageing cream in order to maintain his striking good looks.
If the same Bond who quelled Cold War tensions in You Only Live Twice also foiled a 21st century cyberterrorist attack in Skyfall, then how come he's not hobbling over a zimmer frame by now?!
A Timeless Hero
Of course, it's a continuity problem endemic to the franchise's long history, with the series' filmmakers having to substitute different actors in as time goes on.
To be honest, I'd always ignored this jarring fact, too distracted by the espionage awesomeness that was happening on screen. But there's an interesting fan theory floating around that may give us a valid answer to this timeless quandary.
I'll say this now - the theory is far from water-tight, and has some logic gaps I'll address later, but it did get me thinking. Prepare for you mind to be shaken and stirred:
James Bond isn't one person, but a codename for multiple agents
'00' is, of course, a rank, with '007' being Bond's particular codename. But what if 'James Bond' was also a codename, passed on to different agents serving as 007 at that particular time?
That would mean Sean Connery and Daniel Craig aren't playing the same character. In fact, none of the actors are playing the same British spy. That's why Bond looks barely a day older now than he did in 1962.
The director of Die Another Day, Lee Tamahori, is himself a proponent of this theory, stating in an interview:
How could this guy be so young still? Of course to me, it is just a prefix and a code name. That means that Connery either died or retired, Moore died or retired and so on. Following that, that allows you to have possibly two James Bonds in a movie.
I like the sound of that - TWO Bonds working side by side!
BUT, as potentially awesome as this theory is, there are some major problems with it, as some particularly eagle-eyed fans have pointed out.
The main problem being...gravestones!
If James Bond isn't actually a real name, why would his parents share it? The shot above is from the latest installment in the franchise, Skyfall, and clearly shows James' ma and pa have the same surname as their son.
Now, you could argue that Daniel Craig's Bond initiated a reboot of the franchise, and thus is part of a separate canon. But, unfortunately a similar problem arises...
The filmmakers just keep shooting themselves in the foot with their fascination of the dead!
In For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore visits the gravestone of Lazenby Bond's deceased wife, Tracy Bond. Doh! It seems that the Bond incarnations are all the same person, which at least is faithful to Ian Fleming's books.
Still, it's a thought-provoking solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem....
Oh well, as long as they keep making cracking spy flicks, I'll rest happy!