For this inaugural entry at Double-0 Aficionado (Part 2!), I felt it appropriate to highlight some of the podcasts that have inspired me to try my chance at blogging about Bond. While this is a gesture some might deem wiser to fit into the article stream further down the road when a new site has picked up steam, I’m of the school of thought that there is never a bad time to spread the double-0 love around as much as possible. There are some terrific contributors to the discussion of 007 across the internet and their efforts deserve recommendation and praise.
There is a swarm of Bond-themed podcasts to download for free. It truly is inspiring and heart-warming to know that so many fans take the time and effort to record episodes that often last well over an hour and offer them for free for other like-minded people to enjoy. While not all existing podcasts will get a mention here, let it be known that, much like how any Bond film is somebody’s favourite, there is a Bond podcast for everybody. These are merely the one’s that I’ve gravitated towards a bit more than others.
Bonding Over Bond
Hosted by Arturo V. Leon and Scott Obermiller out of the United States, these two brothers from Langley get a bit more creative than the typical ‘movie review’ podcast. Yes, while the concept consists of reviewing the films, they do so with a variety of fresh segments that evaluate specific aspects of each film, such as the clothing style (graded on a number of cufflinks) and their treatment of the female characters (graded on a number of suffragettes. Clever). They also challenge one another to recount the entire plot in 30 seconds, the results of which can get comically oversimplified or inaccurate. While the main film review series has ended, they still occasionally upload episodes in which they tie a chosen film with the political and pop cultural high points of its era in a series titled For Your Eyes Only. Setting the mood, the hosts typically begin each episode by revealing what drinks they’re nursing.
Straight out of London, England, Hayden and a revolving door of guests tackle every film in the series with supremely detailed analysis. While not relishing in any clever segments à la Bonding Over Bond, Podcasters Royale simply makes up for that with quality, well reasoned, well spoken debate. Hayden is an amiable, double-0 seasoned host and his guests can make the show rather humorous and exciting since they aren’t always particularly knowledgeable of the franchise. Episodes typically conclude with Hayden reading out tweets from listeners that shared their own thoughts on the movie under review, thus including a smatter of listener interacting into the show.
Bond & Beyond
Hosted by a duo of Englishmen, James and Alex, Bond & Beyond also follows the traditional route of reviewing the films. The two hosts have a solid rapport, and, coupled with their fairly extensive experience with the franchise, their dynamic makes up for what some might consider a lack of originality as far as the structure is concerned. The ‘Beyond’ element to the show’s title alludes to the fact that they will, on occasion, step outside the realm of simple film reviews and discuss a specific subjects in depth, such the variety and diverse interpretations of Felix Leiter throughout the franchise. It should be pointed out that this show did recently (as of this writing) upload one of the more unique episodes of a Bond podcast I had listened to in some time: an entire episode dedicated to the 3rd Timothy Dalton film that never came to be, complete with a reading of a spec script outlining the plot.
Do You Expect Us to Talk?
It could be argued that this is the odd podcast out of the bunch given that it isn’t exclusively Bond-themed. It did, however, originate as a 007 show back in the summer of 2015. Over the course of almost an entire year, hosts Becca, Dave, and Chris, reviewed and ranked all 24 official entries and the unofficial entries, discussed the musical scores with occasional guest spots from music aficionado Charlie, and even recorded a handful of audio commentaries along the way (although for my taste their reviews are bit more interesting than said commentaries). Funnily enough, of all the Bond podcasts I listen to, this is the only one with a female host. Even more interesting, Becca appears to be the one out of the trio that has a greater love for the franchise has a whole, whereas Dave and Chris have picked the films and eras they fancy most.
Double Oz Seven
Whilst the majority of 007 podcasts are either British or American based, here is one featuring two Aussies and a Canadian. Collin (the Canadian), Noah, and Ben started the project in the summer of 2015, some months before Spectre’s theatrical release and have since gone through the entire films series, with a few pit stops along the way to recap the decades, the books, and even discuss the unofficial films. For a few reasons, the show is slightly off the beaten path for those that download Bond podcasts. For one, all three hosts come to the series from different vantage points than British or American. Second, following the review (which can easily last anywhere from 2 to 3 hours), they offer a few unique segments in which they debate the number of kills (said debates turn hilariously heated at times), the number of vodka martinis, and select a trio of scenes to induct into a ‘hall of fame’. Third, the overall tone of this podcast a bit zanier than the rest: a little brash, a little vulgar at times, and very, very self-deprecating (So yes, vulgar and brash, but all in good fun).
James Bond Radio
If MI6-HQ is the leader in 007 websites and blogs, a similar title need be bestowed upon James Bond Radio. Started in early 2014 by Brits Tom Sears and Chris Wright, JBR was at first a simple review show: in depth, well informed, and super geeky. Those qualities remain, but the show itself has taken on a life of its own. First and foremost, of all the Bond podcasts, this one has the largest following. Whether by happenstance or by design, Tom and Chris have successfully reached out to thousands of Bond fans across the globe, regularly keeping in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope.
What’s more, mere months after starting the show, the duo began interviewing personalities involved in some capacity in the world of Bond, such as authors of books that explore the series. Then came interviews with people that actually worked on some of the pictures (Sound editor Norman Wandstall, voice-over actor Nikki Van Der Zyl, Bond Girls Caroline Munroe and Martine Beswick, Mr. Wint himself, Bruce Glover). Finally, in October 2016, the lads interviewed a bloody James Bond: Sir Roger Moore! The show sports incredible variety (quizzes, listener questions, 30-second listener reviews, debates about fictitious battles between popular Bond characters). Lastly, if that wasn’t enough, there are two JBR spinoffs, one concentrating on the franchise’s music (The Music of Bond), hosted by podcaster John Williams (not that one) and Warren Ringham, founder of the Bond tribute Band Q the Music, and a special series of audio and visual documentaries from editor Dan Gale. Whereas the other endeavours mentioned in this article are excellent, high quality podcasts, JBR is practically a fan community experience.
While you’re at it, check out Warren on Twitter here.
Follow Dan Gale on Twitter here.