Fleming: Episode One Review

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By Will Barber – Taylor

Dark. Deadly. Brutal. Charming. Sadistic. These are all adjectives that perfectly sum up not only James Bond but his creator, Ian Fleming. Sky’s new TV series, Fleming follows the adventures of Fleming from roguish playboy to naval intelligence officer. Starring Dominic Cooper as the titular Fleming with the ever wonderful Lara Puller as Fleming’s future wife Ann Charteris, the series takes us back to the Second World War via Fleming reminiscing on the origins of Bond.

The episode begins in true Bondian style with Fleming and his wife spending their honeymoon on Fleming’s Jamaican estate, Goldeneye.  Fleming is finishing off the first draft of Casino Royale and we are suddenly sent back to just before the war. We see him travelling through Europe just as the Nazis are taking hold. Fleming returns to England and we see his playboy lifestyle before he is taken into Naval Intelligence. The episode ends with Fleming vowing to woe the heart of Ann Charteris even though she is already married.

Fleming is great drama in the fact that the protagonist is a dick yet we still are interested to see what happens. Cooper excellently plays Fleming as a realistic, flirty playboy with no cares in the world. He seems to be rather like Bond, a stylish but sadistic brute who can charm women as easily as he can charm German Spies so that he can get information out of them. Cooper is believable in the role and seems to be enjoying playing the inspiration for Bond immensely.

Fleming’s first episode gets off to a great start drawing you into the world of playboy cares and espionage that personify the character of James Bond. If you enjoy the original Bond stories or just want to see an enthralling, interesting and compelling period drama then this is the show for you.  However a minor quibble would be that the “Coming Soon on Fleming” is overly long and almost gives away the plot for the next episode. If you don’t like spoilers then turn off as soon as the episode has finished.

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