A bit of an off week here at Double 0 Aficionado. No article this week, but we are working behind the scenes on a project that was announced about 2 months ago: The James Bond Complex, a new 007 podcast that I co-host with partner in crime, Mathieu Auclair.
I hadn’t blogged in a long, long time. Not since perhaps 2012. I had forgotten the extent to which blogging is a different exercise from writing for an online publication. When lending a hand to the latter, there are rules and regulations one must adhere to. The standards, if you will, to which said publication strives for in terms of quality and content.
Maybe it was just the circumstances under which I watched it (the very start of the long Christmas weekend, relieved that work was behind me), but revisiting it was stunningly effortless. It had me hook, line and sinker 30 seconds in.
It has been argued many times over that Goldfinger (1964), directed by Guy Hamilton and the third film in the 007 series, is the one that sent the Bond brand through the stratosphere of popularity and monetary success. The first two entries, DR and FRWL, had met considerable recognition worldwide (Russia’s budget was doubled from that of DN given how well the first turned out), but several factors led to GF becoming, for lack of better term, the gold standard of Bond films.
For the second entry in the Trolley Trouble series, the blog takes a look at another iconic, unforgettable near-death experience for 007 whilst riding the train: his tussle with Jaws in TSWLM.
No dissection of 007’s death-defying encounters on trains is complete without an observation of the granddaddy of them all: FRWL. The FRWL sequence is not only the first of the secret agent’s handful of tense train rides, but serves as a prime example of how the vehicle is simultaneously a dynamic yet frightfully confining location.
Running only 30 pages, Solstice packs a lot of punch. 007 is a property that rarely allows itself to get particularly sentimental, save a few memorable exceptions, and although Solstice doesn’t plead the reader to take out tissues to wipe away the tears, there is something of a beating heart.