Gary Oldman as George Smiley.
Jack English/Focus Features/AAP
Alexander Howard stumbled on spymaster John Le Carré soon after relishing a James Bond film. And he was instantly hooked on George Smiley, Le Carré’s unglamorous bureaucrat-detective – an unlikely hero.
John Le Carré in a scene from The Pigeon Tunnel.
John le Carré and Ian Fleming, the world’s most famous spy novelists, share experience in UK intelligence and difficult childhoods. But their heroes, George Smiley and James Bond, are very different.
Daniel Craig as James Bond in the 2006 film adaptation of Casino Royale.
We don’t look to James Bond for accurate depictions of spycraft, but at least some of his adventures are grounded in reality.
Actress Lashana Lynch, pictured here in Captain Marvel, is rumoured to be playing 007 in the next Bond film. The films, which have consistently relied on misogynistic tropes, are in need of an update.
Rumour has it British actress Lashana Lynch will play 007 in the next Bond film. If true, the move will be a welcome change to a franchise that has long remained the epitome of conservatism.
Tall, dark and handsome: Idris Elba.
Why can’t fiction’s most famous secret agent be played by Idris Elba? Just use your imagination.
Moonraker movie poster from 1979 created by Dan Gouzee.
The tensions between North Korea and the US over its long range ballistic missile programme echo a well-known James Bond plot.
Sexist and altogether out-dated, the same old James Bond.
Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images
Why are we so desperate to cling on to the heterosexist, misogynistic, and racist character?