May 11, 2015

James Bond Returns to Radio in Diamonds Are Forever Adaptation

Website Bond Miscellany has scored a scoop via Twitter that the next James Bond adaptation for BBC Radio will be "Diamonds Are Forever." Lucy Fleming confirmed that to the site. In her Tweet, she teased "an amazing cast" and a possible July airdate. Presumably, this radioplay will once again star Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) as 007 and hail from Jarvis & Ayers Productions, like the previous radioplays of "Dr. No," "Goldfinger," "From Russia With Love," and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." I have to admit, as happy as I am to learn that the series (which began as a one-off to celebrate Ian Fleming's Centenary in 2008) will continue, I'm a bit disappointed in the choice. For me, Diamonds Are Forever (along with Goldfinger, which they've already adapted, and The Man With the Golden Gun, which they haven't) ranks among Ian Fleming's weakest novels. With five radioplays to date, it's a bit of a shame that two of them will be of weak books. I was hoping they would follow up their excellent "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" chronologically with a new adaptation of You Only Live Twice, following James Bond's mission of revenge after his wife's death at the hands of Blofeld. You Only Live Twice has, however, already been adapted for radio, back in 1990 starring Michael Jayston (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) as James Bond. So maybe that's why they didn't opt to do it again? Whatever the case, Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Thunderball and Moonraker all would have ranked ahead of Diamonds Are Forever as my personal next choice. But I'm sure the amazing cast Fleming teases will knock it out of the park (as Ian McKellen & Co. did with "Goldfinger") and make "Diamonds Are Forever" a terrific listen! I look forward to hearing that cast announced in the coming months.

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