The name’s Bond, box-set Bond Lau­rence Mackin

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKET STUBS -

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.

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