Finally – television gets a bit of Bond style glamour and sex appeal, and not just because of those endless film repeats. Ian Fleming, creator of the world’s most famous fictional spy, gets the biopic treatment here in an episode oozing charm, wit and a huge budget.
Though not quite the international man of mystery that Bond was, Fleming is still pretty damn interesting all by himself. The loser younger brother, who spends his time womanising, drinking and charming his way around town. Once World War Two breaks out, Fleming gets the chance to step into the limelight as part of Naval Intelligence – in essence, a spy.
Despite some backlash against the casting of Cooper, who has little resemblance to the real life Fleming who was tall, angular, aloof and charming. Cooper himself seems to fit into the more Daniel Craig Bond mould of Bond casting. Shorter, muscular and with a great deal of swagger/smarm. The rest of the cast are also on top form. Lara Pulver in particular as Ann O’Neill, who we see married to Flemming at the beginning of the episode and then see their rather passionate courtship throughout the episode.
Director Mat Whitecross seems to forget he’s not making a Bond film at times and you half expect Daniel Craig to wander across the set.
Whether or not the series will get under the skin of the man responsible for creating one of the most iconic literary and film characters of the last 100 years remains to be seen. But it should be fun finding out.