Part II – Is it time for a few Bond boys?
My debut thriller, The Chemical Detective, was described as ‘an audacious, female-led thriller which took the disposable women of the James Bond franchise and flipped the concept entirely on its head’ (2).
Dr Jaqueline Silver is most definitely not the new James Bond. She hates guns. She’s not an employee of a government agency. She has no licence to kill. A reluctant hero forced into action in a search for truth, Jaq retains her integrity as she blows things up to keep people safe.
Jaq is also flesh and blood; she desires and is desired. As she races around the globe, pursuing villains to far flung places, she comes across a few Bond boys.
What are Bond boys?
The male equivalent of Bond girls.
In a typical early movie, James Bond will tangle with three Bond girls: The one he wakes up in bed with, the mid film dalliance, and the one he ends up in bed with. At least one of the three must be a villain and at least one of them must die.
Bond girls conform to a type: younger than Bond – between 18 and 30, always beautiful, often athletic, usually sexually experienced. They are eye candy, ‘the attractive, punnily-named women thrown Bond’s way in the course of his duties for Queen and country’ (2) conquered by the charm of Commander Bond.
For a magnificent analysis of the Bond girls, read The Evolution of the Bond Girl (or lack therof) by Clare McBride (here)
Some Bond girls fail the Sexy Lamp Test – replacing the character with a sexy lamp doesn’t affect the plot – but most have agency, making choices which affect others and propelling the drama forward.
Occasionally, James even falls in love. George Lazenby’s Bond marries Diana Rigg’s Countess Tracy di Vicenzo while On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Of course, she’s dead before the end of the film.
And in Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s Bond falls in love with Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd, only for her betrayal and death to harden him.
No, James Bond is much more fun single and insatiable.
Just like Jaq Silver.
So, what does a Silver boy look like? (3)
Beautiful and disposable, he is young, athletic, sexually experienced, determinedly masculine but in touch with his feminine side.
Just as Bond girls have jobs and skills that were unusual for women in their time (pilot, spy, criminal mastermind), Silver boys are skilful in traditionally female areas: rustling up delicious food from simple ingredients, keeping their surroundings ship-shape – cleaning the bathroom and hanging up clothes.
Oh, and driven to provide mind blowing sexual satisfaction to their partner ahead of their own needs.
Too good to be true?
Or about time.
Fiona Erskine’s thrillers “The Chemical Detective” and “The Chemical Reaction” are published by the Oneworld imprint, Point Blank Books, available in all good bookshops and online here.
(1) Chemistry World Review and Podcast Aurora Walshe August 2019
(2) Clare McBride – the-evolution-of-the-bond-girl-or-lack-thereof in syfywire
(3) The idea of a Silver boy was first coined by Jill Doyle