Monday, April 28, 2008

"Spider-Man's True Love


For the umpteenth time, I began reading Mad Goblin's article, "Why Did It Have to Be You, Mary Jane?" on his "SPIDEY KICKS BUTT" website.  According to Mad Goblin's article, Spidey creator, Stan Lee has claimed that Gwen Stacy had originally been created to be the main woman in Peter Parker's life whom he would eventually marry. Mad Goblin also added that artist Gerry Conway had decided to kill off Gwen, because he found her character uninteresting by the early 1970s - probably due to Lee's mishandling of her character.

First, let me say that I believe Mad Gobliln. I am quite certain that he genuinely believe Lee and Conway were telling the truth. But . . . I am not certain if I believe either of them.

It is just hard for me to accept that Mary Jane Watson became Peter's main love through some fluke based on Lee's poor characterization and Conway's "Amazing Spider-Man" issue #15 (August 1964) and her character was finally introduced in "Amazing Spider-Man" issue #42 (November 1966). I just find it hard to believe that a female character that had an introduction that lasted for 27 issues and two years, just to be a minor romantic rival of Gwen Stacy? The only other character that had been given such a build-up was Norman Osborn aka The Green Goblin. And he turned out to be Spider-Man's main nemesis.

I don't know. Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps this is just wishful thinking on my part. But the more I think about it, the more I have a growing suspicion that Mary Jane had been created specifically to be the main female in Peter's life (aside from Aunt May), not Gwen Stacy. I think that Gwen had been created to be nothing more than Peter's first love . . . an interim to his more long-lasting relationship with Mary Jane.

Am I wrong? Who knows? Something tells me that my suspicions will never be confirmed one way or the other.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"On the Analyst's Couch" - 2/6

Here is the second chapter of "On the Analyst's Couch":


Several months later, Prue Halliwell is killed at the hands of the demonic hitman, Shax. Her death leaves the remaining Charmed Ones in a state of sorrow and despair. Especially the new oldest sister, Piper Halliwell. Several months later, Piper continues having difficulty in dealing with Prue's death. She is also has trouble with the introduction of the newest member of the Halliwell family, Paige Matthews. Piper eventually becomes Dr. Linnbakker's newest patient.



DR. LINNBAKKER: (Smiles at Piper) Good afternoon, Piper. How are you?

PIPER: (Rolls her eyes) Fine. Which is why I don't understand why I'm here. (Leans back against the chaise in an uneasy manner).

LINNBAKKER: You don't? Then why are you here? In this office?

PIPER: Leo talked me into this. Look, maybe I've been having a few problems lately, but I'm fine now.

LINNBAKKER: Are you? (Opens Piper's file) Then why have you been acting in an obsessive manner, lately? Almost aggressive. Not quite the Piper Halliwell we all know and love.

PIPER: (Peers at the file) I don't recall us knowing each other and what is that? My dossier or something? Where did you get that from?

LINNBAKKER: It's your file. Or your dossier, as you like to call it? It's a record of your behavior and actions as a witch for the past three-and-a-half years. Why? Does it bother you?

PIPER: Well, yeah! And just how did you get all that information?

LINNBAKKER: From the Founders, of course.

PIPER: (Sarcastically) Of course.

LINNBAKKER: You really dislike them, do you? The Founders, I mean.

PIPER: (Shakes her head) I don't dislike them. Just resent them. A little. (Pauses) Most of the time. (Another pause) Maybe some of the time.

LINNBAKKER: In other words, you don't like them.

PIPER: All right! So, I don't like them at times. Why shouldn't I? After all they put Leo and me through!

LINNBAKKER: But you got married, after all. Even your grandmother and mother were able to attend the wedding.

PIPER: (Sarcastically) Yes, and I'm truly grateful. It's too bad the Founders didn't allow me to marry Leo some four months earlier.

LINNBAKKER: You and Leo were about to get married behind their backs. And break the rules. There could have been disasterous consequences for all of you. Who knows how the Founders would have reacted?

PIPER: Isn't that what love is supposed to be about? Taking chances? Risking everything?

LINNBAKKER: (Peers at file) And yet, your first reaction to Leo's proposal was to reject it. What did you call it? Unholy?

PIPER: (Gasps) How did you . . .? (Glances at file) How did the Founders know about that? They didn't find out about Leo's plans until the ceremony.

LINNBAKKER: I know. After he was found out, Leo was forced to tell the Founders everything. Including your earlier rejection.

PIPER: (Sighs) The all-powerful, all-knowing, Founders. It's too bad . . . (Pauses)

LINNBAKKER: It's too bad, what?

PIPER: Nothing.

LINNBAKKER: Come on. What did the Founders fail to do? Save your mother? Penelope? (Pauses) Prue?

PIPER: (Angrily) This has nothing to do with Prue!

LINNBAKKER: Really? Then why have you been acting like a woman possessed, since her death?

PIPER: I haven't been acting . . .

LINNBAKKER: Piper, have you taken a good look at yourself, lately? Look at how you're dressed! Granted a dark brown blouse and black leather pants might suit Prue, but you? Do you feel that you have to dress in Prue's style to be the leader of the Charmed Ones?

PIPER: I'm not . . . (Glances at her clothes and sighs) Okay, maybe my taste in clothes are a little dark . . .

LINNBAKKER: Are you kidding? You're a borderline dominatrix, right now. I don't think even Prue's outfits have ever been so . . . in your face.

PIPER: (Flippantly) Then this has nothing to do with Prue, does it?

LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) Oh, you Halliwells! You never change, do you? I've never known a family so reluctant to face their feelings.

PIPER: I . . . Oh, never mind.

LINNBAKKER: Why don't we move on to another subject. Like Paige.

PIPER: (Frowns) Paige? What does she have to do with this visit?

LINNBAKKER: You tell me. You're the one who keeps treating her like the bastard child.

PIPER: (Coolly) That's funny. I could have sworn she was.

LINNBAKKER: And it's her fault?

PIPER: I didn't say . . . that it was.

LINNBAKKER: Then why do you treat her as if it was? Because Patty was in love with her father and not yours? Do you blame her for that? Do you, like your father, feel that Patty's feelings for Sam ruined her marriage?

PIPER: Of course not! I know that it was Dad's fault. That he left her . . . us.

LINNBAKKER: (Sadly) Do you really believe that? You know, it takes two to break up a marriage. Granted, I can't give Victor Bennett any points for deserting you girls for so many years. As for him and Patty, he can only take half of the blame. Your parents' problems started a long time ago. Patty forgot to tell him that she was a witch before they got married. And Victor has resented her being one, ever since. Sam . . . well, he was just a result of their unhappiness. You can't blame him for their break-up. And you can't blame Paige.

PIPER: (Angrily) I don't blame her for that!

LINNBAKKER: Then what do you blame her for?

PIPER: (Takes a deep breath) I . . .

LINNBAKKER: You what? You blame her for trying to take Prue's place?

PIPER: Oh God! Are we back on Prue again?

LINNBAKKER: Why not? You've been in an emotional tailspin, ever since her death. Why not bring up Prue, again? You blame the Founders for not giving Leo the ability to heal her, after Shax's attack. You blame Phoebe for going after Cole when all three of you were needed to vanquish Shax for the second time. And you blame Paige for taking Prue's place as a Charmed One. But worst of all, you blame Prue, don't you?

PIPER: (Tears form at the edge of her eyes) Why would I blame Prue?

LINNBAKKER: Well, she was the one who insisted upon leaving the manor to track down Shax. It would have been more prudent to remain behind and wait for him to reappear. Not a very wise decision, if you ask me.

PIPER: (Wipes the tears from her eyes) Oh? And you call going to the Underworld to save a half-demon boyfriend, wise?

LINNBAKKER: (Smiles) Ah, so you do resent Phoebe for going after Cole. You feel she's to blame for Prue's death?

PIPER: I didn't say that I resented Phoebe for . . . (Pauses and sighs) Okay, I did blame her a little.

LINNBAKKER: I understand. If Phoebe had been around, you would have had the Power of Three to vanquish Shax after time had been reversed. And Phoebe would have been able to summon Leo in time to save both you and Prue. But you must admit, leaving the Manor to vanquish him without the three of you was also pretty stupid.

PIPER: It wasn't . . . we managed to stop him, anyway. After all, Prue was the strongest . . .

LINNBAKKER: Actually, she wasn't. Not after you received your second power.

PIPER: (Murmurs) Oh.

LINNBAKKER: Is that all you can say? Oh? Why don't you try accepting the fact that Prue was never perfect? Or the super witch you claimed she was?

PIPER: You don't understand! Prue raised us. Well, she helped Grams . . .

LINNBAKKER: Piper, Prue was seven years old when Patty died. Have any of you ever stopped to think that she was too young to be a mother figure? She was at least a year-and-a-half older than you. Not a decade.

PIPER: I know.

LINNBAKKER: And have you ever stopped to consider that maybe you relied upon her just a little too much? Weren't you ever capable of thinking for yourself?

PIPER: Hey! I'm not an idiot or anything! But I'm also not perfect.

LINNBAKKER: No, you're not. But you're not helpless. You can think for yourself. Piper, you have to stop expecting others to think for you. It's time you accept the fact that Prue is gone and you're now the oldest.

PIPER: (Grits teeth) I'm aware of that.

LINNBAKKER: Then consider this. Just because you're now the oldest, doesn't mean you have to act like Prue. Be the oldest sister the way Piper Halliwell would.

PIPER: (Picks at her blouse and murmurs) I understand.

LINNBAKKER: Do you? I wonder. (Pauses) How's Leo?

PIPER: (Glances sharply at Dr. Linnbakker) Leo's fine. I think.

LINNBAKKER: You think?

PIPER: (Shrugs) We've been a little busy, lately. And I . . .

LINNBAKKER: Oh, I see. Not much in the romance department, lately.

PIPER: I didn't say that.

LINNBAKKER: You didn't have to. Your expression alone spoke a thousand words. Busy vanquishing demons?

PIPER: (Shrugs) More like Leo is busy looking over Paige.

LINNBAKKER: Ah, we're back to Paige, again. The interloper.

PIPER: She's not . . . okay, maybe I've been . . . you know, a little short with her.

LINNBAKKER: And why is that?

PIPER: (Sighs) Because I thought she was trying to take Prue's place. Because she's a reminder of my parents' failed marriage. Because Leo seems more interested in her . . . I better end this.

LINNBAKKER: In Leo's case, I think he's just excited to work with another whitelighter. Well, half-whitelighter. But Paige isn't trying to take Prue's place, you know. You do know that, right?

PIPER: (Another sigh) Yes! (Pauses) Yes, I know.

LINNBAKKER: I think she simply wants to be part of a family, again. And this is her second chance.

PIPER: (Sadly) Yeah. I guess that after her foster parents' deaths . . .

LINNBAKKER: I see that you finally got my point. (Examines Piper's file) By the way, do you still have this urge to become mortal?

PIPER: (Stares at the doctor) What?

LINNBAKKER: Well, according to your file, the Source almost destroyed the Charmed Ones by exploiting your desire to become mortal. Do you still have those feelings?

PIPER: (Squirms uncomfortably) Of course not. I've re . . . uh, I've finally learned to . . . accept my Wiccan heritage.

LINNBAKKER: (Stares hard at Piper) Really?

PIPER: Don't you believe me?

LINNBAKKER: I don't know. Remember the time when the Source had kidnapped you? Just before that happened, Cole uncovered a chameleon in your house. And instead of investigating the matter, you decided to attend a baby shower. Even worse, the Source exploited your "inner" desire to give up your powers. I don't know about you, Piper, but that doesn't sound like "embracing one's heritage". More like running away.

PIPER: (Resentfully) Everything turned out fine in the end. Leo and Cole managed to save me from the Source. And besides, I don't regard being a witch as some kind of hindrance, anymore. I now (unconvincingly) consider being magical as . . . well, special.

LINNBAKKER: Uh-huh. (Reaches for her pad and scribbles on it) Let's see. I'll be available for another session, next Tuesday, at 2:00 in the afternoon. Is that okay with you? (Looks at Piper)

PIPER: Wait. You want me to see you, again? (Pauses) That didn't exactly come out right.

LINNBAKKER: It came out fine. And yes, I do want to see you, again. Whether you realize it or not, you need someone to talk to. And I don't mean your husband or your sisters. Here you go. (Hands Piper a slip of paper) Don't forget to be on time. Two o'clock in the afternoon, next Tuesday.

PIPER: (Looks stunned) Yeah right. Thanks.(Stands up and heads for the door) See ya.

END OF CASE #71200

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM" (2007) Photo Gallery

Below is a gallery of photos from "THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM", starring Matt Damon as the amnesiac Jason Bourne:


Monday, April 21, 2008

"LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD" (2007) Photo Gallery

Below is a series of photographs from the 2007 installment of the "DIE HARD" franchise that stars Bruce Wills - "LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD":

"LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD" (2007) Photo Gallery

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"On the Analyst's Couch" - 1/6

Here is a CHARMED fan fiction story I had written between Seasons 4 and 5. It is called "On the Analyst's Couch":

Spoilers: Season 4
Season: 3 thru post-4
Content Warnings: Mild adult language
Disclaimer: The Charmed Ones, Leo, Cole, and other characters related to Charmed belong to Spelling, Kern, Burge and WB. Dammit!

Summary: Dr. Mariah Linnbakker, renowned psychiatrist for the magical and mortal worlds, analyzes the Halliwells and those close to them. Set between Season 3's "Death Takes a Halliwell" and before Season 5's "A Witch's Tail".

Part 1

Dr. Mariah Linnbakker is a renowned psychiatrist with an office located in San Francisco, California. She had earned her Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate in Psychiatry at Standford University in the 1970s. And has been a practicing psychiatrist for the past twenty-seven years.

Born around 1950 to a set of mysterious parents in San Francisco, Dr. Linnbakker is an attractive, middle-aged woman with short, red hair and green eyes. She is also the mother of a half-witch named Hugh.

Although Dr. Linnbakker has taken on a handful of mortals during her career, most of her patients have been of the supernatural variety - witches, warlocks, fairies, daemons, ghosts, whitelighters and darklighters. She does not discriminate. Among her first clients were a young witch and mother of three named Patricia Halliwell. The doctor/patient relationship between the two lasted for nearly three years - from late 1975, up until Patty's death in 1978.

Thanks to Patty and the leaders of the whitelighter world, the Founders, Dr. Linnbakker became very familiar with the Halliwell family history. She even knew about Patty's destiny to become the mother of the Charmed Ones. Yet, she has never met any of Patty's daughters - until the oldest, Prue Halliwell, became a patient in the late winter of 2001.



PRUE: (Stretched out on a maroon chaise, next to Dr. Linnbakker. She glances around in a suspicious manner) What exactly is this place, again?

DR. LINNBAKKER: (Calmly) This is my office. Remember? Your mother had recommended that you pay me a visit.

PRUE: Just how long have you known Mom?

DR. LINNBAKKER: (Sighs) Patty first became a patient of mine right after the birth of your sister, Phoebe. In late 1975. I thought you came here to talk, not ask questions.

PRUE: I don't have anything to talk about.

DR. LINNBAKKER: Oh? Then why are you here? Does it have something to do with the fact that your astral self went bar hopping and nearly destroyed your sister's wedding? Or that you nearly beat a Seeker to death out of sheer rage?

PRUE: (Angrily) Hey! That Seeker was evil. He had killed Inspector Reese.

LINNBAKKER: (Shakes her head sadly) Really? (Examines a file in her lap) And how do you explain that you tried to vanquish Death? Were you trying to stop him from killing . . . innocents, as well?

PRUE: (Sighs) Look . . . okay, maybe my priorities were a little screwed up at the time. I had blamed Death for taking my mother away from me. And Grams. And . . . (Sadly) Andy.

LINNBAKKER: I see. And the Seeker?

PRUE: (Squirms uncomfortably) Maybe I . . . I uh, . . . maybe I went a little too far. Like I said, I saw him and his partner kill Inspector Reese. An innocent. I . . . (Sighs) All right. Maybe I was a little angry at the time.

LINNBAKKER: Angry? Wouldn't you say that you were one step from an all consuming rage? I understand that Belthazor had to stop you.

PRUE: (Suspicious) Where did you get all this information, anyway?

LINNBAKKER: From the Elders, of course. Or to be more exact, they gave me a file on everything you've done since becoming a Charmed One. I also receive information on daemons from various dimensions, whenever I get a daemon as a patient. As for warlocks . . . I usually find a way.

PRUE: (Tense) You have demons and warlocks as patients?

LINNBAKKER: Yes. Daemons, warlocks, darklighters, whitelighters, fairies, witches . . . Didn't your mother or grandmother tell you all this when they recommened me?

PRUE: Why on earth would a demon or warlock need a psychiatrist?

LINNBAKKER: Trust me. They need an analyst as badly as anyone else. I think it has something to do with dealing with the pressures of their own existence.

PRUE: What pressures? They're evil.

LINNBAKKER: Everyone has conflicting natures, Prue. You've already learned that you have a dark side, as well as a light one. After all, didn't Belthazor stop you from indulging in your dark side?

PRUE: (Rolls her eyes) Do you have to keep bringing that up?

LINNBAKKER: Do you have a problem with that? Does it bother you that you nearly killed that Seeker for the wrong reason? Or that Belthazor had to stop you from making a big mistake?

PRUE: Great! Now you bring up Cole.

LINNBAKKER: I see you have a problem with him.

PRUE: Yeah, I have a problem with him. He's a half-demon. And he's dating my baby sister. A demon who tried to kill us is dating my sister. You do the math.

LINNBAKKER: So you still dislike Cole.

PRUE: Why shouldn't I? I certainly don't trust him.

LINNBAKKER: He's in love with your sister. And he'll do anything to protect her.

PRUE: Is that in my file, as well?

LINNBAKKER: No, in Cole's. He was a patient of mine. Not long ago. Quite frankly, I'm looking forward to another session with him, one day. A half-daemon, half-human assasin in love with a witch. Who would have thought . . .?

PRUE: (Snorts) Please? Must we go on?

LINNBAKKER: What? You don't think he and Phoebe are in love?

PRUE: Okay, maybe they are. But how long do you think that relationship will last? I mean . . . love between a witch and a demon? A lot can go wrong. People can get hurt. Especially Phoebe.

LINNBAKKER: Interesting. You're worried that your sister might get hurt in her relationship with Cole. Did you feel the same about your relationship with Brendan Rowe? Or Bane Jessup? You remember those two, don't you?

PRUE: (Squirms in the chaise and looks away) They were different.

LINNBAKKER: May I ask how? Brendan Rowe was part of a powerful coven of daemons. The evil equivalent of the Charmed Ones. (Examines Prue's file) Come to think of it, he nearly killed you . . . even when you were trying to help him.

PRUE: (Continues to squirm) I remember.

LINNBAKKER: (Examines file once more) As for Bane Jessup, do you remember him? Granted, he was a mortal, but he was also very familiar with the supernatural world. And he was a professional hit man for certain daemons. He even hired a hit woman named Ms. Hellfire to kill the Charmed Ones. Still, you fell for him. And I believe that you once dragged your sisters into helping you stop an old school friend, who tried to become a daemon.

PRUE: (Sighs) Okay, what's your point?

LINNBAKKER: I'm just curious as to why you've been so hostile toward Belthazor, considering your past history. I don't know. I have this feeling that your reluctance to accept Cole has very little to do with concern for your sister. Why were you so reluctant to give him a chance, when you weren't so reluctant with Brendan and Bane?

PRUE: (Sits up) Okay, this session is going too far. I'm leaving.

LINNBAKKER: Still running away, huh?

PRUE: (Angrily) I don't run away! Okay, I've always faced my responsibilities. Whether I'm fighting demons and warlocks or protecting my sisters. When Mom . . . when she died, I had assumed responsibilities for Piper and Phoebe. I helped Grams raised them.

LINNBAKKER: Why? You were barely seven years old when Patty died. Why did you think that your grandmother needed help? From what Patty had told me, Penelope was a strong-willed woman. Very together. Why would she need your help? You were too young to be assuming responsibility for your sisters.

PRUE: (Blinks) I . . .


PRUE: Grams took Mom's death, pretty hard.

LINNBAKKER: And you didn't?

PRUE: Of course, I did!

LINNBAKKER: Then why did you assume that Penelope needed help? And not you? (Pauses) Were you running away, even back then?

PRUE: (Leans back against the chaise) Running away from what?

LINNBAKKER: I don't know. You tell me. From your emotions, perhaps? Perhaps you couldn't deal with Patty's death. I understand that you wanted to give up being a witch after your friend, Andy Trudeau, died. Is that true?

PRUE: (Sighs) You tell me. You have the file.

LINNBAKKER: Yes, I do. But I want you to tell me. Why did you want to give up being a witch, over a year-and-a-half ago?

PRUE: (Tears form in her eyes) Look, Andy . . . he died because of me. Okay? Because I was a witch. And I couldn't save him.

LINNBAKKER: (Softly) Like you couldn't save Patty from that water demon. You were there, weren't you?

PRUE: (Tears run down her cheeks) Yeah, I . . . (sniffs) I was there. I didn't see Mom get killed. (Pauses) (Softly) But I was there. I wish I could have saved . . .

LINNBAKKER: Save her? Prue, you were a little over seven years old. Patty thought she could take on that water daemon on her own. Just as you thought you could save her. And Andy. And help your grandmother raise Piper and Phoebe, even though you were too young to be anyone's parent. (Sighs) I wish Penelope had realized that. I don't know. Perhaps she thought that allowing you to assume some responsibility would help you become leader of the Charmed Ones.

PRUE: (Whispers) Maybe . . . maybe I was too young. (Wipes the tears from her eyes)

LINNBAKKER: (Nods her head) Hmmm. (Pauses) You know, you never did answer that question about Cole.

PRUE: (Sighs and rolls her eyes) Oh God! Must we bring 'him' up, again?

LINNBAKKER: I'm sorry, but I still cannot understand your attitude toward him, especially after Brendan Rowe and Bane Jessup. Even Andy, although a very decent man, had a tendency to be a little . . . well, unorthodox. You didn't put up a fight when Leo talked Piper into marrying him behind the Elders' backs.

PRUE: Leo had good intentions. He was in love with Piper. He wanted to marry her.

LINNBAKKER: Well, you know the old saying - 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'. Remember Dr. Williamson? It's odd that you saw nothing wrong with Leo's plans, yet (peeks into file) Piper's first instinct was to call them unholy. She thought it was the wrong thing to do. So did Phoebe.

PRUE: Well, I have . . . I mean, I thought dating Cole was the wrong thing to do.

LINNBAKKER: And yet, you were able to detect Cole's love for Phoebe. When you were an empathy.

PRUE: (Snorts) He arranged all that.

LINNBAKKER: He arranged for you to become an empath. As for his feelings toward Phoebe . . . I believe they were genuine. And still are.

PRUE: Okay! Yes, I now realize that Cole does love Phoebe.


PRUE: (Sighs) Maybe I was a little jealous that she found love and I had lost my chance. I mean, Phoebe has never been the relationship type.

LINNBAKKER: Okay! And what else?

PRUE: (Frowns) What are you talking about?

(Dr. Linnbakker gives Prue a hard stare.)

LINNBAKKER: I'm talking to the woman who has redeemed one of the Rowe brothers and a top-notch mortal hit man for daemons. You've done all that, and yet Phoebe has managed to redeem the infamous Belthazor. One of the upper-level daemons and a favorite of the Source's.

PRUE: (Shrugs) What? Are you trying to say that I'm jealous of that? I could care less. (Squirms under another one of Dr. Linnbakker's stares) Okay, maybe I did experience a little bit of professional jealousy.

LINNBAKKER: (Sarcastically) No kidding. (Pauses) You really have a bad habit of suppressing your emotions, do you? Look Prue, I just want to remind you that you're not some super-witch. There's no such thing - even for the Charmed Ones. You're strong, yes. But you have to remember that you're also vulnerable. Charmed One or not, you cannot control everything or everyone. Stop trying to be the perfect Halliwell and try to be Prue. I'm not saying that it's going to be easy, but it doesn't hurt to try. (Places file on a nearby table and picks up a pad. Scribbles something and tear a sheet of paper from the pad) I think we need to see each other at least on a weekly basis. How about next week? Same day - Friday. And at the same time - 1:00 PM. Okay? (Hands Prue the slip of paper)

PRUE: (Looks at the slip uneasily) Yeah, sure. Thanks Doc. (Gives Dr. Linnbakker a wan smile) I'll see you next week.

END OF CASE #71103

Who Was the Best James Bond?


Recently, I have been perusing the Internet for articles and forums on EON Productions’ newest Bond flick, “CASINO ROYALE”. Naturally, I came across scores of articles and reviews on both the new and past Bond movies. I also checked several forums that focused upon the Bond franchise. The one topic that popped up without fail seemed to be the question of which actor portrayed the best James Bond.

The character of James Bond, Agent 007, has been portrayed by six actors for EON Productions and in two unofficial Bond films during the past 52 years. In 1954, American actor Barry Nelson portrayed the famous spy (as “Jimmy Bond”) in the CBS television production of “CASINO ROYALE” (the first of three adaptations of Ian Flemming’s first Bond novel). Eight years later in 1962, EON Productions – created by Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman – produced and released “DR. NO”, starring Sean Connery. Connery did four other Bond films before he temporarily gave up the role in 1968. A year earlier, Connery starred in his fourth Bond movie, “YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE”, while Columbia Pictures and Charles Feldman released a second version of “CASINO ROYALE”. This latter film spoof starred David Niven and he portrayed Bond as a retired superspy who is coerced into accepting command of MI6. Meanwhile, Australian model, George Lazenby, took up the Bond mantle in one film – “ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE”. Connery returned in 1971 for one last film before Roger Moore – formerly known as TV’s Simon Templar (aka “The Saint”) assumed the role of Bond for twelve years. Welsh actor, Timothy Dalton appeared in two Bond films in the late 1980s. Following a period of six years that saw no Bond films, Irish-born Pierce Brosnan portrayed the superspy in four movies from 1995 to 2002. Four years later, the blond-haired Daniel Craig became the eighth actor to portray Bond.

Barry Nelson

So, which actor portrayed the best James Bond? Most Bond fans have forgotten Barry Nelson’s 1954 performance. Aside from one memorable line, many recent critics have viewed his performance as bland and unforgettable. I found this to be regrettable, considering that I have seen Nelson in other characters in which he has projected a cynical yet humorous air. It is a shame that Nelson was prevented from injecting this style into his performance in “CASINO ROYALE”.

Sean Connery

The year 1962 introduced the first actor to successfully portray Bond – namely Sean Connery. The Scottish-born actor seemed to be the popular choice for many as the best Bond in the entire franchise. Connery injected an air of machismo, light menace and sardonic humor. In many fans’ opinion, Connery was the perfect Bond . . . a man’s man. Although his attitude toward women boarded on sexism, Connery never took Bond’s sexist attitude to the level of rampant misogyny reflected in Fleming’s literary counterpart. And Connery’s Bond seemed to be a balanced mixture of his own rugged personality and the elegant sophistication introduced to him by his first (and possibly best) director, Terrence Young. Despite the popular regard for Connery, other fans have expressed their preference for other actors who have portrayed Bond. Someone on one of the Bond forums had suggested that the reason many viewed Connery as the best Bond, may be due to the fact that he was the first to make a success out of the role. I had expected many to reject this theory. To my surprise, others have considered it as possible. As I have earlier pointed out, Barry Nelson had failed to make a success from playing Bond. And there have been fans who have complained about Connery’s overt masculinity . . . and machismo, claiming that it bordered on sexism. When I learned about all of this, I had no idea that there were others who might prefer another actor as Bond, over Connery. The Scottish actor did portray Bond for one last time in 1983’s “NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN”, a Bond movie produced by one of the original authors of the “Thunderball” story idea, Jack Whittingham. However, many Bond fans consider this movie as a poor remake of the 1965 film.

David Niven

David Niven, longtime Hollywood idol from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, became the third actor to portray James Bond. Unfortunately, his turn appeared in the 1967 spoof, “CASINO ROYALE” (the second version of Fleming’s first novel). I say unfortunately, because the movie is regarded as a jumbled and confusing travesty in the history of the Bond franchise . . . and it has overshadowed Niven’s witty and amusing portrayal of the super spy. Niven had been in his mid-50s around the time he filmed the 1967 spoof. And for a man his age, he did an excellent job of dealing with some of the film’s action sequences. He also managed to turn in a witty and elegant performance as the aging intelligence legend coerced by “M” and the latter’s American, French and Soviet counterparts to return to MI-6 and lead the investigation into the shenanigans of the infamous “Dr. Noah” (a hilarious Woody Allen). Niven, who is known for uttering one of the most wittiest comments in the history of the Academy Awards (think of a streaker), also managed to utter one of the wittiest lines in the history of all Bond movies. But no one remembers this, due to the low reputation of the 1967 spoof.

George Lazenby

Australian model George Lazenby, has suffered from a low opinion of his acting abilities ever since his all too-brief tenure as James Bond. One strike against Lazenby seemed to be his lack of acting experience when he became EON Productions’ second actor to portray the super spy. He also had the bad luck to follow on the heels of Connery, following the latter’s refusal to do a sixth film. Even worse, Lazenby appeared in a Bond film – 1969’s “ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE” - that deviated from the Bond formula that had been established by “YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE”, possessed a longer running time than its predecessors, hardly featured any gadgets and featured Bond in a serious relationship with the movie’s leading lady, portrayed by Diana Rigg. And unlike the previous Bond movies, “OHMSS” ended in tragedy. For the next decade or two, critics, Bond fans, and EON Productions heaped scorn upon Lazenby’s performance and the movie, itself. However, during the last ten to fifteen years, “ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE” has come to be regarded as one of the finest Bond films in the franchise. And even Lazenby has enjoyed a revision of opinion by those who not only seemed impressed by his humanistic performance, but who have also expressed regret that he did not continued in the role in 1971’s “DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER”. There are those who still insist that “OHMSS” would have been better off with Connery in the lead. But it is not a general opinion.

Roger Moore

After Connery did his last Bond film for EON Productions in 1971, Broccoli and Saltzman hired Roger Moore to assume the role of James Bond in “LIVE AND LET DIE”. Moore continued in the role for twelve years and in seven movies, ending with 1985’s “A VIEW TO A KILL”. Moore proved to be very popular with the fans. He brought a cheeky and light sense of humor and sophisticated interpretation to the role . Yet, he could also portray Bond as a deadly, cold-blooded and ruthless agent. In the twenty-one years since his last film, there has been a serious backlash against Moore. Many fans and critics have accused him of injecting too much humor and a cartoonish element to the Bond franchise, citing his fourth film – “MOONRAKER” – as a prime example. I have always found this accusation rather amazing. Looking back on the films before 1973, I have noticed that the franchise’s cartoonish element had first been established in 1964’s “GOLDFINGER” – a Connery film. And it continued in other Connery films like “YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE” and “DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER”. These same fans have also failed to notice Moore’s darker interpretation of Bond in movies like “THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN”, “THE SPY WHO LOVED ME”, “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY” and “OCTOPUSSY”. Despite the increasingly negative opinion of Moore as Bond, he still remains popular with a good number of fans.

Timothy Dalton

Following Roger Moore’s departure from the franchise, EON Productions had hired Pierce Brosnan to assume the Bond mantle. Unfortunately for Brosnan, NBC Television forced him to finish his “Remington Steele” contract for one last season, making him unavailable. EON Productions then turned to Welsh-born Shakespearean actor, Timothy Dalton, to portray Bond. Dalton portrayed the British agent closer to Fleming’s literary interpretation than any of his predecessors – terse, ruthless, dry sense of humor and a great need for a psychiatrist. Fortunately, Dalton’s interpretation left out Fleming’s more misogynist portrayal of Bond. Dalton had the bad luck to follow Moore’s more humorous take on the role. Many die-hard Bond fans found it difficult to accept Dalton’s more serious take on the role, especially since it came upon the heels of Moore’s humorous Bond. Dalton only made two Bond films – 1987’s “THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS” and 1989’s “LICENSE TO KILL”. After the latter’s release, EON Productions found itself immersed in another lawsuit over the much contested “Thunderball” story. By the time the smoke ended, EON Productions was ready to film a third movie with Dalton around 1993 or 1994. However, too many years had passed and Dalton – ready to put the Bond role behind him – rejected their offer. Since the release of films like “THE BOURNE IDENTITY”, the most recent Bond film and shows like “24” and “MI-5” (aka “Spooks”), Dalton’s take on Bond has become more appreciated.

Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan’s desire to portray James Bond finally came to fruition in the mid-1990s. He brought greater profit to the Bond franchise in four films – ranging from 1995’s “GOLDENEYE” to 2002’s “DIE ANOTHER DAY”. Many hailed the Irish-born actor as the best Bond since Connery and saving the Bond franchise. Fans and critics pointed out Brosnan’s interpretation of the secret agent as a mixture of Connery’s grittiness and Moore’s sophistication and humor. Some have even praised him for being able to portray Bond’s angst just as well as Dalton without being too serious. But despite the profit that EON Productions had earned from Brosnan’s films, many fans began to complain about their weak storylines in at least three of them. Some consider “GOLDENEYE” as the only Brosnan film worthy of acclaim. Others felt that “THE WOLRD IS NOT ENOUGH” was his best film. And there are a few who are willing to give that honor to 1997’s “TOMORROW NEVER DIES”. Interestingly enough, 2002’s “DIE ANOTHER DAY” is considered to be Brosnan’s worst film – despite the fact that it earned more profit for EON Productions, until 2006’s “CASINO ROYALE”. And like Moore and Dalton, Brosnan has suffered a backlash from fans and critics since the end of his tenure as Bond. Many have complained that his “multi-faceted” portrayal of Bond was nothing more than a rehash of his predecessors’ styles without any development of his own. Others have accused him of being too generic or too much of a dandy. Despite this latest backlash, Brosnan still has his fans. And many of these fans believe that EON Productions should have never dumped him for the younger Daniel Craig.

Daniel Craig

The most recent actor to assume the mantle of James Bond is 40 year-old Daniel Craig. He is the first Bond actor who was born after Ian Fleming’s death in 1964. He was the first actor to be born after the creation of the Bond franchise. He is the first Bond hired by EON Productions to stand under six feet tall. He is the first Bond actor to sport blond hair. Barry Nelson was a redhead when he portrayed Bond and Roger Moore possessed light brown hair. But for some reason, many fans had objected to Craig’s blond locks, when he was first hired by EON Productions. Many fans also objected to his height – at 5’11”, he was the Bond actor who stood under six feet tall. And many objected to his rugged countenance that made Connery’s look like a GQ model. In the end, there were many fans, who were not simply ready for Brosnan to give up the role of James Bond. Craig endured criticism and ridicule on the Internet for his looks, his heights and the light injuries that he suffered during the production of “CASINO ROYALE” (the third version of Fleming’s story and EON Production’s first version). However, there were fans who had seen Craig in films like "ELIZABETH", "LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER", "THE ROAD TO PERDITION", "LAYER CAKE", "MUNICH" and "INFAMOUS". They believed that he had the presence and talent to make a credible Bond. More Bond fans began to accept this view following the release of the movie trailers for “CASINO ROYALE” in the late summer/early fall of 2006. But Craig finally won over the opinions of many fans and film critics following the movie’s release in mid-November 2006. Not only did the movie and Craig win rave reviews and a British Film Academy Award nomination, “CASINO ROYALE” became one of EON Productions’ biggest hits. But despite all of this success, there are fans who remain unimpressed by the movie. Like “OHMSS”, “CASINO ROYALE” featured very few gadgets (perhaps one or two that seem very credible), a long running time and a tragic romance with the film’s leading lady. And Craig still seemed to go against the grain from what they expect in a Bond film. At the moment, these disappointed fans seem very few at the moment. Only history will tell us how future fans will judge Craig’s tenure as James Bond.


Despite all of what I have written, the question of who was the best Bond still remains. I am going to make two things perfectly clear about my personal opinions. Until the 2006 release of “CASINO ROYALE”, I never had a “favorite” Bond. Thanks to Daniel Craig’s performance, I have finally found my favorite Bond. He seemed to combine the ruggedness of Connery, Lazenby’s humanity, Moore and Brosnan’s humor and Dalton’s angst neurosis without looking like some copy cat. For me, he has a well-rounded style that appealed to me on a personal level. Yet, I still remain a die-hard fan of the other actors who played Bond. Does this mean I believe that Craig was the “best” Bond? No. Each actor had brought something to the role that made their performances very memorable. Even Nelson had a one-liner that many still remember to this day, fifty-two years later. Who was the “best” Bond? Who knows? In the end, it is all subjective and not a question that can be answered as a fact.