Daniel Craig 2006-2026

The sixth official James Bond made his debut in 2006's Casino Royale. As hard as it is to believe now, Craig was a controversial choice when unveiled. Some fans with far too much time on their hands even started websites to give voice to their grumbles. Many years ago I contributed to one myself. We realised the game was up when Craig won the Nobel peace prize. I ended up running the Daniel Craig fan club but was removed and forced to serve a short jail sentence on the grounds of embezzlement, stealing money from the club's funds and two counts of attempting to rob an off-licence whilst dressed as a traffic warden.
Casino Royale became the third highest grossing film of all time. Craig was named 'Hunk of the week' in tv quick magazine and AKB, the scamp behind an infamous website called ate a pair of underpants live on the internet to show how foolish he'd been. Praise was widespread although Christopher Tookey in The Daily Mail wasn't convinced by Craig's English accent. "Bond should be fun," he said. "This is just depressing cobblers."
Lord Craig of Chester showed his extraordinary range in his next project: 'Dibnah'. This heart-warming turn as the Victorian enthusiast/steeplejack earned Craig the first of many Baftas. Reviews were outstanding although Christopher Tookey in The Daily Mail opined that Craig in Dibnah make-up looked like a cross between "The Incredible Hulk and Victor Borge."

In a surprise move it was announced that Craig's second Bond film would be directed by Barbara Broccoli. The film 'Aquagator' found Bond investigating an industrialist called Cliff Thorburn who is secretly plotting to overthrow the world's governments by making household appliances radioactive. Craig had a hand in the screenplay and the exciting climax saw him fighting to the death with henchman Dr Mungo, brilliantly played by the imposing British actor Rupert Grint. "Is it just me or where there a lot of unnecessary close-ups in that film?" said Christopher Tookey in The Daily Mail. "The plot made as much sense as a man attempting to walk from pole to pole with an anorak and a pot noodle."

As Craig began work on the much anticipated 'Some Voices 2: Voice Harder' news of a rival Bond emerged. 106 year old Kevin McClory announced 'Warhead 2010' and said "We have a script, a director and a flask of soup...but no Bond." All eyes were on Pierce Brosnan but Brosnan's tv series 'Grey Owl Adventures' was re-commissioned at the last minute and he was unavailable. Various names were rumoured although Clive Owen ruled himself out by inserting a microphone into a reporter who asked him if he was going to be the new James Bond. The film eventually collapsed through lack of finance. "I turned up for the first day of shooting at the location I'd been given and found no one there," said director Jonathan 'Captain Picard' Frakes. "A man told me to get off his lawn and threatened to set his hosepipe on me."

Craig's third Bond film 'Today Is Yesterday' became the first film in the series to be shot in black and white. German director Actung Hello, most famous for his four hour epic 'Ice Of The Antarctic', brought a cold, detached air to proceedings. Too detached for some. Indeed Craig can barely be made out in the film's numerous long shots. In Today Is Yesterday Bond is charged with carrying a precious diamond cut into the shape of a monkey. The diamond contains a microchip which, if activated, will make everyone in the world claustrophobic and allergic to mushrooms. Again Craig had a big hand in the story with screenwriter Barbara Broccoli. The film's villain, a mystical cult-leader called Tony Drago (wonderfully played by Ricky Tomlinson) proved a memorable foil and the climatic chess game between he and Bond a series high-point. Craig won sixteen Baftas for the film although Christopher Tookey in The Daily Mail poked fun as his "ludicrous toupee" and suggested that Bond girl Ambrosia Rice-Pudding had all the acting range of "an overripe banana."

Speculation was rife that Craig would not return for a fourth film. Back on the boards, Craig showed his immense range by playing both Farmer Oak and Bathsheba Everdene in a stage version of Far From The Madding Crowd. The play was updated to present day Los Angeles and Daniel delighted audiences with his masterful command of rap jive. "I shall be up before dawn and amaze you know what I'm saying? homie". Meanwhile, Barbara Broccoli announced that they wouldn't dream of making a fourth Bond without him. Broccoli was now in sole-charge of the series after Michael G Wilson sold out his share and started a new life as owner and President of a small Island called Bermuda.

In 2012 Barbara Broccoli announced that the next three James Bond films would be shot back to back. The story arc would see bond framed for the murder of the Queen and end the first film in the Tower of London where, in a scene straight from Fleming, evil Defence Minister Eddie Charlton fires ping-pong balls at his bare-buttocks. Craig won a Bafta and the cliffhanger ensured that the follow-up 'Double Triple Shot' would be a big success. This film introduced the real villain, an arms-dealer called Tony Knowles and superbly played by Windsor Davies. It was a strain on director Mel Smith but he maintained a good humour on the set. "It was a tight schedule on Bean, he said. "And that comedy I made with Jeff Goldblum...what was that called again?" Craig won another Bafta and completed filming on the final part of the trilogy 'Double Decker Triple Double Cross'.

In 2016 Craig took a break from Bond and played both Nelson and Winnie Mandela in a searing stage performance before starring as the late comedian Marty Feldman in an acclaimed biopic co-produced by Barbara Broccoli. Judi Dench had a hilarious cameo as Dom Deluise. Then Broccoli courted controversy by refusing to release the original James Bond films anymore. Instead new Super Deluxe Ultimate Whopper editions were put out and featured Daniel Craig CGI'd and dubbed over the other Bond actors. Craig made numerous changes to the films. He refused to say "Balls Q?" in Moonraker and had Topol digitally removed from For Your Eyes Only because he didn't like cashew nuts. The only Bond to comment on this was Timothy Dalton. He called Eon "First degree muppets." Dalton was especially perplexed by Craig's decision to move the pre-credit sequence of The Living Daylights from Gibraltar to The Isle Of Wight.

In 2018 fifty year old Daniel Craig started work on 'Tommorow Is Never Yesterday'. His seventh Bond film was set in Hong Kong and directed by asian helmer Hwang Hock Sock. "He spoke no English," said Craig in an interview. "One morning I asked him a question in the Chinese I'd learnt and an interpreter told me I'd just called him a grilled shrimp. It as a very tough shoot." The film's extensive wire-work was widely praised although Christopher Tookey in The Daily Mail compared him to Albert Steptoe and called his review 'Hong Kong Brambell.'

In 2020 Barbara Broccoli was honoured with a lifetime achievement oscar at the Academy Awards. Choking back tears, she was fulsome in her praise for Craig. "It's been an incredible journey," she said. "They laughed when I announced Daniel but, as I said at the time, they laughed at Alexander Bell when he invented the toaster."

In a bold move the next 007 adventure 'Die Another Wednesday' was given away free with the News Of The world. The extras included a recording of Daniel reading his poetry. Indeed Craig's collection of poems 'Emphemeral Mist In a Foggy Sunlit Glade' won the Hugo Guthrie award for cultural enlightenment and scarf wearing. 'Die Another Wednesday' rebooted the series and saw Craig playing a seventeen year old Bond who'd been transferred to MI6 from the Cub Scouts. This was the entry where we found out that Bond's middle-name was Alan and, in a shock ending, Bond was married to the Countess Spaghettia Dolmio. The film was a restrained and daring take on Bond with Craig in top form. The scenes where Bond went undercover in a bureau-de-change were some of the best in the series. With that Craig announced his retirement from the role and despite public disorder and a personal appeal from the Prime Minister, his mind was made up. No more Bond.

In 2024 Australian swimwear model and barbecue chef Owen Flapjack was unveiled as the new James Bond. To introduce the new man Eon brought back director Martin Campbell. "I suppose," joked Campbell at the press conference (held in a hot-air balloon) "I am to Eon what Field Marshall Von Runstedt was to Hitler...I'll always end up back here." Campbell called Flapjack "A terrific actor. The best we've ever had as Bond and the others would all agree especially the short one. What was his name? Cray?" The film 'Never Say Gold is Golden Tomorrow' was, whatever its merits, doomed to failure. Critics and fans lambasted Flapjack for being too 'tall' and 'handsome'. 'A James Bond with black-hair?" said Quentin Dipstick in The Telegraph. "The mind boggles." Flapjack would not return although Christopher Tookey in The Daily Mail called the film "The best Bond in years. I might be talking out of my arse but I liked the f****r... homie."

By popular demand, and at the age of fifty-eight, Daniel Craig was lured back by producer Barbara Broccoli for one last Bond. Craig's lucrative contract saw him paid a flat $100 million fee. In addition he was given an Aston-Martin, made of gold!, and ownership of a biscuit factory in Huddersfield. The film 'Bond Ends' is to finally wrap up the series. At the time of writing the film is still under production. Hopes are high that director Muculay Caulkin will deliver a memorable film. It certainly looks like Craig's final bow but public demand means that he may never be allowed to retire. With technology and the skill to recreate famous stars from the past Craig may be James Bond for all eternity. Let's drink to that ! Make mine a Lucozade, stirred but shaken!

- Luke Quantrill
c 2006 Alternative 007