Double-o Heaven! The new issue of the popular UK sci-fi and fantasy magazine Starburst for March 2020 is an eye-catching No Time To Die special, celebrating the 25th entry in the EON franchise with ten glossy pages of thoughtful coverage.
In addition, the magazine also has articles on the music of James Bond, the history of 007 comics, and some light-hearted speculation on who will replace Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s famous and iconic secret agent.
The coverage of No Time To Die, which has some beautiful stills to accompany the article, is by John Townsend and Gareth Welsh, and traces the sometimes bumpy evolution of what became the latest Bond adventure: the signing of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade in 2017, the appointment of Danny Boyle as director in 2018 (meaning that he brought in his own scriptwriter John Hodge), and then Boyle’s subsequent departure over apparent ‘creative differences’.
When Cary Fukunaga was appointed as director, Purvis and Wade then found themselves back in the fold, Paul Haggis was dragged in to also do some work on the script, and then (at the urging of Daniel Craig) Phoebe Waller-Bridge was recruited to further polish the script. As Townsend and Welsh note in their article, ‘What we can hope for is that Craig is given the send-off he deserves’, as the actor has made the role his own and ‘reinvigorated’ the franchise.
Their article is then followed by a ‘Dossier’ guide on Who is Who in the new movie, with sort profiles of the main characters. Next up is a Starburst interview with Jeffrey Wright, who returns as Bond’s ally Felix Leiter. Interestingly, Wright reveals that he is a huge fan of how Jack Lord played Leiter in the very first EON Bond movie, Dr. No: ‘He was just so magnetic and slick. As well, he was my first introduction to Felix’.
The article on the music of James Bond is penned by Ed Fortune, who has particular praise for the James Bond theme by Monty Norman: ‘It’s instantly recognisable, partially due to a great guitar hook and a rhythm that speaks of something dangerous and new’. The coverage of the history of Bond comics, by Alan Boon, is also a real bonus, with some rare images from 007 comics past and present, starting with the first comic-strip which appeared in the UK’s Daily Express newspaper in 1958. Looking at the evolution of the comic-strip version of Bond, Boon argues that comic books are a ‘natural fit’ for James Bond.
All in all, this Bond special edition will be a worthy addition to the collections of avid Bond magazine aficionados. The new issue of Starburst (issue no. 470, March, 2020) is available now, priced £4.99 UKP in all good retailers or it can be purchased direct from STARBURSTMAGAZINE.com
Please note: This issue of the magazine was produced before the news broke that the release of No Time To Die was being delayed until November, 2020.