Posted:
07/28/14

The History of James Bond

Since he was first created in 1953, the character of James Bond has evolved extensively over the years in terms of the weapons he uses, the characters alongside him, and more. Take a look across history at how this character has evolved, and what changes have been the most important. Whether you are a fan of the Sean Connery James Bond or the Daniel Craig, there is something to be gained at each stage.

The Creation

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James Bond was first thought of by Ian Fleming in 1953. Through twelve novels and two collections of short stories, Fleming took James Bond through numerous situations creating the basis for the character today. In his books, Bond is referred to as MI6, or his code number 007. The character was based on the real people Fleming met during World War II while he was in the Naval Intelligence Division.

Fleming named his now famous character after James Bond the American ornithologist. As Fleming was also a birdwatcher, he was familiar with Bond and his work. After thinking through his character, he realized that James Bond was a name that fit just what he was looking for. The simplicity of the name appealed to the writer more than other complex options.

After Fleming’s death in 1964, many other writers have expanded on the series, bringing more to the character. In addition to this, television adaptations were made starting in October of 1954. Since then radio, comics, films, parodies, music, and video games have all been mediums for the James Bond character.

The Weapons Evolution

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There have been a number of different firearms used by James Bond. These have become almost as iconic as the character himself, driving many of these handguns into the spotlight. The first five novels have Bond using a Beretta 418. It wasn’t until a fan of the series, who also happened to be a gun enthusiast named Geoffrey Boothroyd, contacted Fleming and informed him this was a poor choice that Bond had a change in gun. At this time Bond upgraded to a Walther PPK 7.65mm. Boothroyd would continue to give Fleming advice on firearms in his novels with everything from the holsters used to the weapons other characters fire.

The first Bond film sees James Bond with a Beretta, but he is soon told to leave it by M and instead goes to his trusted Walther PPK. This handgun is used in eighteen of the James Bond movies, while a few of them use the Walther P99 semi-automatic pistol instead.

The James Bond franchise has expanded dramatically since the passing of Ian Fleming.
The twenty-third film was released in 2012, with a strong chance of more based on the success this film found. Pay special attention to the firearms used in the Bond movies, and how they compare to the originals that Fleming planned to use.