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.
In this final episode Fleming comes to the end of his tenure in Naval Intelligence by going on a mission to Germany to retrieve documents relating to the Germans Atom Bomb project. The whole episode builds up to this great sequence by continuing to mention Fleming’s lack of action and the fact that his hero brother, Peter is now stuck behind a desk. When he hears of some action, Fleming insists to his new commanding officer that he is the only man who can go behind the lines to collect the papers and save the day. Convincing him that this is the truth, Fleming is sent off to Berlin to capture the documents.
After meeting up with a member of his 30 Squadron, Fleming embarks for the German’s abandoned base. After meeting some Americans who warn him about rogue German officers, nicknamed “werewolves” hanging around the forest, Fleming enters the complex but he soon finds that the Germans are on their way. What follows is a tense, wonderfully filmed sequence in which the Germans chase Fleming down the corridors of the castle in which the papers are located. The whole scene is probably the best shot, acted and directed of the series keeping us interested throughout what otherwise could have been a boring action sequence (like every scene in any Die Hard film) into a wonderfully thrilling sequence.
After this the show begins to wrap up with Fleming resigning his commission with Naval Intelligence. We see a few near misses but as the series ends, Ann marries Rothermere which of course is not permanent as we know from the beginning of the series.
Fleming has proven to be a fantastic show, with much depth, drama and atmosphere. It does not present us with a lily white goody goody figure or someone who is presented as Richard III. It shows us a real human being with all the faults and virtues that any person has. Fundamentally, that is why I’d recommend Fleming. It gives us a great vision of a human being interacting with other people around him without any of them being a jaundiced stereotype.