TV Show Idea: Young James Bond Prequel Series
I’ve always been a huge fan of James Bond movies, and considering it’s the longest running movie series in film history, many other people are big fans as well. The current string of movies has been an assortment of remakes and retellings of familiar storylines.
My TV show idea is to go back to the early days of James Bond, let’s say – a young man fresh out of university, coming off of World War II while London dealt with the German Blitzkrieg.
The James Bond timeline has always been a fluid one, of course, as he has battled Russians during the Cold War in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ’80s, then an international assortment of bad guys from dozens of other countries.
But one thing we all agree on, even though his age during Daniel Craig’s movies don’t, is that Bond’s pre-spy days were in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. Creator Ian Fleming created Bond’s character in 1953 with the first book, “Casino Royale.”
So before someone does a feeble attempt at a 120-minute telling of Bond’s life before MI6, I thought that a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon could do a fantastic job telling Bond’s story in four or five 10-episode seasons.
Bond, Young James Bond Prequel TV Series
First, let me point out that British author Charlie Higson already wrote several books about a young James Bond. The first book in the young Bond series is “SilverFin,” which follows Bond as a teenager in the 1930s. Since Fleming never discussed Bond’s actual year of birth, Higson chose 1920 as his official birth year for this series. That works perfectly for our James Bond prequel TV series idea.
That means Bond would have been just 19 years old in 1939, when Britain and France officially declared war on an aggressive Adolph Hitler-led Germany, who had just invaded Poland.
I’m going to cast British actor Matthew Lewis as our young James Bond. You might remember Lewis for his role as Neville Longbottom in the “Harry Potter” series. The dude went from a gangly looking young man into a handsome and stately fellow. Who could ever imagine a Longbottom-to-Bond transformation!?! This guy followed the path of American actor Jerry O’Connell, who went from the chubby kid in “Stand By Me,” to Trip McNeely, the stud in “Can’t Hardly Wait.”
Lewis is young-looking enough to start the series as a 19-year-old and then finish it somewhere in his mid-30s, assuming the series jumps ahead a few years every season.
If we mark the start of WWII as the time period for the first season of our Bond prequel series, then we could follow Bond’s early career in the British Royal Navy. Obviously, much of the action following him in that first season or two would be following his attempts to learn from his officers, and his antics in thwarting the Nazis.
My guess is he would serve as a protégé for an officer that finds him different from the rest of the British soldiers. That mentor would teach him how to outsmart his foes, how to work as a singular force when he’s separated from his fellow soldiers, and maybe even some judo!
Another Bond mentor could be an older Englishman that helps Bond learn how to become a gentleman, which includes his dress, social skills, and maybe even how to become a master at baccarat.
As the series progresses, we could watch a young James Bond go from season to season battling first the Nazis and possibly even the Japanese in the Pacific Theater, then on to the Russians at the start of the Cold War. Let’s say the Russians are coming somewhere around Season 3 or 4!
A young James Bond prequel series streaming on Netflix, Amazon or Hulu could be a great way to help the movie series continue on into its next iteration, assuming Craig has played in his last movie. This TV show idea could be as enjoyable and intoxicating as a dry martini – shaken, not stirred, of course.
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