In college, I became a die-hard 007 fan. It happened freshman year, watching those "Seventeen Days of Double-Oh-Seven" that TBS/TNT always showed around finals time. I got to see the Dalton-Bond movies, as well as some of the better Connery ones.
Let us not mention Roger Moore, from this point on.
I eventually had to rent On Her Majesty's Secret Service, because they didn't show it that month, and I got to see Lazenby's Bond. Somewhere (Barnes & Noble), I managed to pick up two compilations of three Ian Fleming novels a piece. I read them my sophomore year, or junior, I believe, and fell in love. This was a shock to some, this whole 007 fandom thing. I don't usually go for "big things" like that; things that everyone else likes, but it was something I could really wrap my head around; something I could grok deeply.
Yes, I said grok, and no, it is not because I am a geek so much as because it fits. It's straight up author-to-author respect for Heinlein. And yes, I am enjoying Stranger in a Strange Land. It's a great political novel, and the retro sci-fi camp just adds to the charm.
I like the character of James Bond. The man who is authorized, by his government, to kill for a living. I said I like the character. This is why I deeply adore the respective depictions of Dalton and Lazenby. Pan their movies, if you will, but those two did the best job of acting James Bond you will probably ever see. Unless the role is offered to me. I would make a killer Bond. No pun intended.
Connery almost was Bond. But he also wasn't; he had a lot of the more agressive and womanizing and brutal aspects, but not as much of the sensitivity; the humanity. He played the larger-than-life Bond, which is why movie fans love him. But Dalton will always be Bond to me. I'm young enough that the first Bond movie I remember coming out was Octopussy, and when my parents rented it a few years later, I couldn't understand why he didn't look like James Bond (who was, to me, Tim Dalton).
Ha ha, I called him "Tim." Like I know him and shit.
That said, I just scored 100% accuracy on the last mission in Goldeneye. 100% head shots. I also like the action. I'll admit it. But it's much more gripping to watch Dalton, someone who can get hurt (emotionally, not just physically), go through hell, than to watch Connery, who can get hit on the head and knocked out, but it might as well be as painless as nitrous oxide. Being "knocked out" is a lot more innocuous than "having the shit beaten out of you and then losing consciousness." When Dalton gets hit, you can feel it. When Connery gets hit, it's like, oh, that guy up on that screen got hit.
And I said I wouldn't speak more of Moore, but when he gets hit, I cheer. God, I so hate him as Bond. Never send an Englishman to do a Scotsman's job.