A View to a Kill – Was this Roger’s Bond’s Final Mission Before Retirement?

He fought, he loved, he triumphed, and he kept the British end up.

Roger Moore’s portrayal of James Bond fascinates me. He wasn’t a mean bastard like Sean Connery’s Bond, but he wasn’t quite the hair sprayed pretty boy that was Pierce Brosnan. He was rather a caricature of the suave English gentleman. He projected that image so well, his enemies underestimated him, and women couldn’t resist him.

He had a long haul of seven films starting with Live and Let Die (1973) until A View to a Kill (1985), and even though he was in relatively reasonable physical condition in his final Bond film at 57-years-old, Moore admits his age was showing its wrinkly head by then and it was time to call it quits. But what about his character? In most aspects, it was the end of an era for Bond films, not only was it the last Moore film, it was also Lois Maxwell’s last film as Miss Moneypenny; so did Moore’s Bond retire as well after the mission against Max Zorin’s (Christopher Walken) plan to flood Silicon Valley?

To begin this deep and thorough analysis (!), it is important to understand that Timothy Dalton’s Bond is not the same character as Moore’s, as I like to think of The Living Daylights (1987) as a “reboot” in the same sense that people view Daniel Craig’s debut in Casino Royale (2006). The same can be said for GoldenEye (1995), since Brosnan’s initial outing bares little relation to any previous incarnation in terms of continuity. With that said, Moore’s Bond isn’t even the same as Connery’s. The Con finished his run in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), but picked it up again in the unofficial Never Say Never Again (1983), the same year as Octopussy (although some like to ignore Never Say Never Again and to consider Connery, Lazenby and Moore as a single line of continuity). That just leaves George Lazenby’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). It’s constantly referred to in proceeding films (The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Licence to Kill (1989), The World Is Not Enough (1999), etc.) so its purpose down the track was to provide a link to the pain in Bond’s past. Sybock would have had a field day with him.

I know, if you want linear continuity, just read the novels.

However that brings us to the end of A View to a Kill, and Moore’s long stint at playing the character calls for the question to be answered, what happened to his character after the events of this film take place? I’ve been hard-pressed to find fan fiction that deals with any of this – the best you can find is the tired old theory that MI6 gives a new agent the designated “007” and “James Bond” codes, but this is so far-fetched and overdone, it’s not worth an ounce of exploration. All we can do is speculate and ask questions as to what happened to this aging agent.

The film ends with Q remote controlling his “Snooper” (think of a mini version of the robot from Rocky IV, what a decade) into the bathroom spying on Bond and his lovely blonde companion Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts) taking a shower together. Q is an old perv. My friend Hitch told me it would have been better if Zorin made a surprise reappearance and slashed them with a knife for revenge, ala Psycho, complete with a John Barry reworking of Bernard Herrmann’s squeaky “The Murder” cue. Alas it wasn’t to be, and we’re stuck with the paradoxes of the Bond franchise. Even this alternate ending might have been preferable.

It’s probably safe to assume that afterward, Bond sent a memo to MI6 declaring his resignation from being a Double-0 agent, and why wouldn’t he? He got the hot blonde! He could have settled in San Francisco with Stacey, who would eventually become his trophy wife and live in that ridiculously nice house she had with no furniture and a small supply of rock salt and ingredients for a delicious quiche, although Bond would have had his own material possessions imported from England, a convenient coincidence!

However, maybe Stacey turned out like the other Bond girls, and he just discarded her like what happens to every other in existence (a feminazi couldn’t resist this). Another idea is that he returned to India and picked things up with Octopussy on that island populated exclusively by women. She was closer to his age, and they had something good going. Hey, they were “two of a kind”, right? He would have been in eternal paradise.

I can’t see him going back to Melina Havelock, Holly Goodhead, Anya Amasova or Mary Goodnight. They all came across as a bunch of career-minded opportunists, too stuck-up for Bond to put up with in the long haul, and Melina, well that chick had problems. Goodhead would have still been working for the CIA, so it’s possible he might have run into her again, but Anya was a Soviet, and would have become a relic of the Cold War, and far too devoted to Mother Russia – more trouble than it’s worth. It would have been funnier in A View to a Kill if Bond had run into Anya playing a cameo role instead of Pola Ivonova in the Soviet plot to thwart Zorin’s evil plans – it would have brought that part of the franchise full-circle to a certain extent. And Solitaire, eh, I doubt she made much of an impact on Bond’s memory banks besides the fact that he coerced her virginity away – you sly devil, you!

Perhaps he tossed them all aside and still lusted after young girls while on his retirement pension. His womanizing, while admirable from the perspective of the common man, was almost like a chronic mental disease, and no pills have been invented for this unique form of addiction. Come on, Jim. It was the 80’s, STDs were at the height of everyone’s fears, and you were on the frontline. Shape up or ship out, 007!

There’s also the possibility that he just returned to England and took Miss Moneypenny for a night on the town like he’s always promised. Give the old girl a break, she’s wanted Bond for years and years; she cried for Bond at his wedding to Tracy, and she cried when she overheard M talking to General Gogol that Bond was missing in A View to a Kill. They played up this unrequited infatuation in Die Another Day (2002), which was very amusing.

Someone out there write a fanfic that chronicles Moore’s Bond after the Zorin mission, someone with talent, who can capture the escapism and tongue-in-cheek humour of that era in 007 movies. This two-dimensional character does offer a lot to the imagination, and one must delve deeply into its treasures.

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One Response to “A View to a Kill – Was this Roger’s Bond’s Final Mission Before Retirement?”

  1. Brownie Says:

    Great article, cracked me up. And that “alternate ending” to A View To A Kill is priceless.

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