Bond Continuity Theory: DN & CR both reference the original CR from 1954
In this thread I theorise that both DN and the Craig CR make references to the original CR with Barry Nelson from 1954. In the case of DN there are ties-ins during Bond’s mission briefing with M. The connections I make with DN are likely going to upset the Bond purists so you have been warned if you read on. In the case of Craig’s CR, the references are more thematic.
References in DN
When M is giving Bond his mission briefing, they talk about Bond’s berretta. Bond says that he’s been using the gun for 10 years and hasn’t missed with it yet. M then says that it jammed on his last assignment and he spent 6 months in hospital as consequence. This is a rare occurrence in the Bond series since they talk about an incident that is never shown on screen. The theory I put forward is that the two men are actually referring to the events in Casino Royale in 1954.
If we assume Bond has been armed with his berretta for 10 years prior to DN, he armed himself with it in 1952. I deduced in another thread that Bond had his first field assignment in 1953 when he went after Major Dexter Smythe (but he didn’t actually kill Smythe).
In the screen depiction of Casino Royale 1954, Bond ends up unconscious on the floor in his hotel room but the events of how he ends up there are not shown on screen. It’s possible that he pulled his gun out on Le Chiffre to fire but the gun jammed and he ended up getting knocked out by his bodyguard. This would tie in with M’s comment in DN that the gun jammed on his last assignment. Bond is then tortured but ultimately kills both Le Chiffre and his bodyguard. This matches with M’s comment that Bond ends up in hospital for 6 months. I deduce that Bond probably then registered kills using other weapons and not with his berretta on later assignments. M therefore might have been referring to the last time Bond tried to kill someone with his berretta when he talks about his last assignment. Bond’s comment that he hasn’t missed with it yet does not necessarily mean he has killed people and could be referring to target practice.
Of course trying to explain Barry Nelson’s portrayal of Bond is difficult in line with the other actors. My fan theory speculation is that Bond is shadowing as a CIA agent to bluff Le Chiffre and his lack of calmness in some scenes can be explained due to the fact that he is still a rookie.
References in CR
The opening of CR seems to reference the original 1954 from a thematic perspective quite a bit. Firstly, the sequence in the 2006 version is in black and white. I always assumed that the original 1954 was also in black and white but this apparently was not the case. However most people alive today only know the 1954 version in black and white.
In the opening, Dryden goes up in a lift seemingly up to the 6th floor. In the 1954 original, Bond also uses a lift but in this version he never gets to floor 7. I theorise that this could thematically reference that Bond is not a 00 agent in the 1954 version just like the beginning of the Craig version. Bond doesn’t get to the 7th floor in either version as metaphorically speaking he’s not 007 yet in either version.
In Bond’s conversation in the office, Dryden reveals that in order for an agent to get a 00 licence, they first must register two kills. Craig’s Bond does this in the PTS. But this also might be a thematic explanation for Nelson’s Bond as he also gets his first 2 kills in CR 1954 – the bodyguard and Le Chiffre. He therefore also becomes a 00 agent after the mission.