Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond - Episode 4

The final episode of the mini-series brings an end to the war, and Ian Fleming's (Dominic Cooper) time with Naval Intelligence, but not before Fleming makes it into the field for his only real action and begins inventing the final piece of the puzzle in the various gadgets used by the spy the world would come to know as James Bond.

Fleming's storyline with Ann (Lara Pulver) is continued as well, but despite reminding us that the pair eventually get together (as seen in the mini-series opening scene) it leaves much unsaid about the years in-between the end of the war and their eventual marriage years later. Given how large the subplot became over the course of the series, and how integral Ann's presence became to his life, I would have expected the series to give this thread of the story a more satisfactory conclusion (especially given that the ending which somehow suggests Fleming started working on his first Bond novel immediately and during his honeymoon 7 years later?).

On the spy front the final episode works better as we see Fleming's ingenuity and casual disregard to authority continue to get him into and out of trouble, even with German, and later Russian, soldiers pointing guns at him. Offering the origin of the name "James Bond" and reusing the images we first see of Ian and Ann's honeymoon the series ends at the verge of the spy's creation built on Felming's own experiences and imagination. As a glimpse into the life of the man who created the world's most fictional spy, Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond is worth a look, particularly for the performances of Cooper and Cooper, but the final two hours of the four-hour series do struggle with offering a truly satisfying end to the story.

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