A British cultural icon, beloved across the globe, which has lasted for 50 years. Action and adventure, supervillains (one in particular who keeps getting killed but still comes back - played by several actors), and implausible gadgets. Ladies covered in gold...
An iconic swirling tunnel image after the pre-credit sequence. And that sublime music...
He's a loner, a maverick, who plays by his own rules.
Changing actors periodically to keep the franchise fresh and reinvigorated. One pour soul only getting a single outing, mind you. A Northern one, a Scottish one. Sometimes they come back after they have left.
The first one you saw is usually your favourite. Younger fans tend to favour whoever the latest one is.
Who am I talking about?...
To celebrate the release of Skyfall, the latest James Bond film, here's a look at Bond / Doctor Who crossovers.
Bond goes back to 1953, when Ian Fleming's first novel featuring the British secret service agent was published - Casino Royale. Fleming got the name from a book - "Birds of the West Indies" by the ornithologist James Bond. He was a "twitcher" himself, and had been involved with the the secret service in WWII.
However, the 50th anniversary relates to Bond in the cinema. It was in 1962 that Sean Connery brought the character to vivid life in Dr. No. A former male model and milkman from Edinburgh, he once appeared on stage with Barbara Wright actress, Jacqueline Hill. His son, Jason, appears as Jondar in Vengeance on Varos. Jason would go on to play Fleming in a 1990 drama.
Terry Nation was obviously a big Bond fan. As well as writing for the numerous ITC sub-Bonds, when he created the Space Security Service for Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks' Masterplan he gave them a "licence to kill".
Original story editor David Whitaker was also a fan, apparently, as he wrote a certain story called Enemy of the World for Patrick Troughton's Doctor, which is pure Bond. We have a supervillain - Salamander - who wants to take over the world, and has a weapon hidden in a secret underground base that can trigger earthquakes and volcanoes. It is a story that crosses continents and includes sequences involving chases with helicopters and hovercraft, plus trendy sixties heavies kitted out in their boss' particular choice of latex uniform.
Helicopter pilot Astrid is definitely a pseudo Pussy Galore.
The director is future producer Barry Letts, who has admitted that he was trying to do Bond - but on a shoestring budget.
A year or so later, Kevin Stoney most certainly has a touch of Bond villain about him when he plays Tobias Vaughn in The Invasion, but it's the Pertwee era - Letts again - when Doctor Who gets most like Bond.
Every overview of the Third Doctor's tenure mentions Bond. There's the physical action - Venusian Aikido - the chases with various forms of transport, often unusual ones, and the gadgets. Chief of the latter is, of course, the Sonic Screwdriver. Bond has his Q-Branch wristwatches that seemingly do everything, and the Doctor has his screwdriver.
Those chases include the use of motor boats, hovercraft, gyro-copters, hydro-bikes, and the Doctor's own personal "Aston Martin" with built-in special features - those vehicles commonly known as "Bessie" and the "Whomobile".
A lot of this was down to Pertwee himself, but Bond was the defining cultural character when it came to adventure in the 1970's - certainly from a British perspective.
Do you remember the helicopter exploding when it hits the heat barrier surrounding Devil's End in The Daemons? That little bit of footage is actually lifted from From Russia With Love.
The Master is often referred to as a Moriarty to the Doctor's Holmes. He could equally be a Blofeld to the Doctor's Bond.
He is at his most Blofeld in The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords. A supervillain who actually gets to take over the world (not just dream about it) and rules it from his high-tech base in the sky.
When the Doctor worries about wearing his unlucky tuxedo in The Lazarus Experiment, Martha reassures him by saying that he looks like James Bond - which does the trick.
The ultimate Bond / Doctor Who crossover is probably the appearance of a Bond actor in Who. Timothy Dalton, of course, played Rassilon in The End of Time.
Some time ago, I did a post on Carry On... actors who have appeared in Doctor Who. Well here is a list of the Who actors I've spotted in the Bond movies. These are the credited ones. There will be a fair few extras and stunt artists as well. If there's anyone I've overlooked, do drop me a comment. Let's start with the Sean Connery years...
No-one in Dr No from what I can see, but when we get to From Russia With Love we have George Pastell (Tomb of the Cybermen) and Francis de Wolff (The Keys of Marinus and The Myth Makers).
Goldfinger features Honor Blackman (the Vervoid section of Trial of a Time Lord) and Burt Kwouk (Four to Doomsday).
Thunderball has George Pravda (Enemy of the World and The Deadly Assassin), Philip Locke (Four to Doomsday) and Andre Maranne (The Moonbase).
You Only Live Twice only has Ronald Rich, who is in The Time Meddler and Mission to the Unknown.
Connery handed in his Walther PPK and it was picked up by George Lazenby. His sole contribution to the franchise is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It features George Baker (Full Circle), Bernard Horsfall (The Mind Robber, The War Games, Planet of the Daleks, The Deadly Assassin), Catherine Schell (The City of Death) and Diana Rigg - soon to be seen in the second half of Series 7.
Connery returned to the role for Diamonds Are Forever, which features Joseph Furst (The Underwater Menace).
The Roger Moore era begins with Live And let Die. It features Roy Stewart (Tomb of the Cybermen and Terror of the Autons).
The Man With The Golden Gun appears to be Who-free.
The Spy Who Loved Me has Shane Rimmer (The Gunfighters), George Baker (again), Edward de Souza (Mission to the Unknown) and Cyril Shapps (Tomb of the Cybermen, Ambassadors of Death, Planet of the Spiders and The Androids of Tara). Jeremy Bulloch (The Space Museum and The Time Warrior) makes the first of three consecutive appearances in the films as Q's assistant.
Moonraker - Who-free.
For Your Eyes Only guest stars Julian Glover (The Crusade and The City of Death) as the villain of the piece. The unnamed (for legal reasons) Blofeld-type character at the start - who gets dumped down one of Battersea Power Station's chimneys - is John Hollis from The Mutants.
Octopussy has Stephen Berkoff (The Power of Three) as one of the principal baddies.
The final Roger Moore film, A View To A Kill, features David Yip (Destiny of the Daleks).
Pierce Brosnan's first film, Goldeneye, introduces a new Miss Moneypenny - played by Samantha Bond (from two of the Sarah Jane Adventures).
Tomorrow Never Dies features Geoffrey Palmer (The Silurians, The Mutants and Voyage of the Damned), Colin Salmon (Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead), Jonathon Pryce (The Curse of Fatal Death), Hugh Bonneville (Curse of the Black Spot), Pip Torrens (Human Nature / Family of Blood) and Colin Stinton (The Sound of Drums). Colin Salmon's is a recurring role - as M's assistant.
The World Is Not Enough features John Cleese (The City of Death) as R - Q's future replacement.
I didn't spot anyone in Die Another Day.
Taking us bang up to date, the Daniel Craig era began with Casino Royale, which features Joseph Milson (Maria's dad in the Sarah Jane Adventures) and Tom Chadbon (The City of Death and the opening section of Trial of a Time Lord).
Couldn't see anyone in Quantum of Solace (is that anywhere near the Arc of Infinity???) but I know that Helen McCrory (Vampires of Venice) is amongst the cast of Skyfall.
A couple of non Eon Production tangents - the 1967 Casino Royale spoof has Bernard Cribbins (Wilf Mott from Voyage of the Damned to The End of Time) and Dave Prowse (The Time Monster).
Connery's third return to the role - the Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again has Derek Dedman (Stor in The Invasion of Time) and the alternative Miss Moneypenny is Pamela Salem (Robots of Death and Remembrance of the Daleks).
Which Bond is my Bond? They all have their merits but it's the original for me...
And finally, don't you wish you were James Bond...?