The name’s Bond, box-set Bond Laurence Mackin
Mark Gatiss, saviour of all things British and TV, threw a very interesting “come hither” look the way of BBC executives at the weekend.
The actor and writer is perhaps the most successful man on the small screen in recent years. He was a particularly slick Peter Mandelson in Channel 4’s
Coalition and a brilliantly derisive Stephen Gardiner in
Wolf Hall. Behind the camera, he co-created the smash hit reboot of Sherlock, and had a major say in the latest iteration of Doctor Who.
So what’s left to do? Well, in a recent interview for the Guardi
an, Gatiss said his only unfulfilled dream is “James Bond”. He might be a terrific actor, but given his slight build and slightly rangy air, we assume he means from a writing rather than acting point of view. So could the BBC pull it off?
A Bond TV series is far from fanciful. It’s a well-honed template that’s recently been given a fresh lease of life by Daniel Craig and co (though we are still adamant that the average Quantum of Solace is still superior to the preposterous
Skyfall). The November release of Spectre looks set to be one of the most lucrative at this year’s box office, and if TV show Spooks can make the jump to the big screen (see page 10), couldn’t Bond follow in Sherlock’s footsteps and do the reverse?
Obviously, rights for any TV series would have to be negotiated with Danjaq, which owns the copyright to Bond characters and elements on screen, and is run by the Broccoli family.
But with the BBC having to plug a large hole in its finances in the wake of the Top Gear farrago, the corporation might well be looking for some big ideas to get into production.
And if Gatiss’s beloved BBC won’t step into the breach, there are probably several US networks that would be willing to place a bet on this secret service formula.