When news broke earlier today that Roger Moore had passed away, we didn’t just lose a man who had dedicated his later years to helping others, we also said a final farewell to the greatest 007 of all time.
Moore took over the role from the universally loved Sean Connery after a brief cameo by George Lazenby. Although most regard the first official Bond as the greatest, and there is no doubt that the Scot did a wonderful job of bringing the British secret agent to life on the big screen, for me it was always the third 007 who perfected the part of the globe-trotting Lothario.
Moore first played Bond in 1973’s Live and Let Die. Featuring an outstanding title track by Paul McCartney as part of his Wings ensemble, the film was hugely different from the movies of Moore’s predecessor.
Looking back, the film was steeped in the decade’s influences and tinged with Blaxploitation cinema. Moore later became something of a punchline for his dry delivery and quintessential ‘Englishness’, but that was the charm of the man. More importantly, for me, it was what made Bond work.
It’s widely believed that 007 creator Ian Fleming wanted Moore to play the role in the first place, and he was delighted to finally land the actor, who was best known for his roles on the small screen at the time, for Live and Let Die.
Although the author eventually warmed to Connery and even went on to become a fan of his portrayal, to him the character had to be English. We can argue for as long as we want about what ‘English’ means in this context, but just watch the peak-era films that Moore starred in and you’ll understand exactly what we mean.
Britt Ekland, who starred opposite Moore in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun, told The Telegraph that ‘Roger [Moore] is the best Bond, of course – not just because of being my Bond, but because if you read the early Ian Fleming books describing him, that’s how he was’.
Subsequent actors to fill the part have had mixed success. Current 007 Daniel Craig has the brutish mannerisms needed but lacks the class of Moore. Timothy Dalton was hampered by a turn to the dark side and Pierce Brosnan was a victim of increasingly ludicrous plot lines that included the infamous invisible car of Die Another Day fame.
Then there was Aussie George Lazenby, who stepped in after Connery quit the role, for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. History might have been kind to that film: while it’s now regarded as one of the best of the ongoing franchise, the actor himself is seen as a massive mistake. With Moore stuck in a seemingly inescapable TV contract (something we would see happen again when Brosnan was tapped up for the role), Connery returned looking older for a half-hearted outing in Diamonds Are Forever.
Two years later, the stars aligned and Moore finally got to play the part he was born for.
Having given us a taste on the small screen with The Saint and The Persuaders!, the actor would go on to play 007 seven times in total. His final film, 1985’s A View to a Kill, is another highlight of the series.
Moore was a reassuring and somewhat safe pair of hands. He could convince you he was the man who was about to save the world while focusing just as much on bedding a string of women. If his character came across as a misogynist, then that was more to do with the era he occupied rather than the man himself. Let’s be honest, Fleming wrote the character to have those attitudes towards women, and perhaps that’s why he liked those films best.
For me the thrills and spills of a Moore James Bond film trump everything before and since. The most iconic stunts come in the Roger Moore films, be it stepping on the backs of crocodiles to escape death to jumping a broken bridge with a corkscrew flourish.
When thinking of James Bond, I will always think of Roger Moore.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.