By way of a prelude to this thread I'm of course fully aware that books and films are two very different mediums of storytelling, but nonetheless this is a question that has cropped up in my mind for a long time when considering the James Bond films more in-depth as I am apt to do frequently.
I'm thinking here of the scenes in the original Ian Fleming James Bond novels (and of course the many continuation Bond novels afterwards by various authors) that are fine enough in a novel on the written page. In a book, the dear reader can use their fevered imagination as much as he or she pleases in order to bring the author's words to life in the form of a personalised visual image. However, on film such a scene would cause problems with the censors (the Honey Rider crab scene in Dr. No
for instance which was greatly toned down in the film version) or for reasons of good taste, overly long scenes of dialogue, for political and moral reasons etc.
Another thought is why these scenes or even types of villains are fine in books - e.g. having neo-Nazis as villains in John Gardner's Icebreaker
(1983) and SeaFire
(1994) but would not ever really be countenanced an official Bond film by Eon. Of course other spy films based on books have featured neo-Nazis (one thinks of The Quiller Memorandum
(1966) based on the novel by Adam Hall), so why do neo-Nazis never feature in a Bond film? Probably for the same reason the New IRA, ISIS or Al-Queada will not either - it dates the film, is too overtly political/current affairs-like for the Eon Bond film series. The graphic I posted above illustrates the dangers of making a Bond film which involves, say, Islamic extremist villainy better than I could ever encapsulate it in words!
Anyway, this fine line between what is acceptable in an official Bond novel and an official Bond film is of great interest to me (and hopefully others here, too). So what are the basic differences between the nature of the Bond novels and the Bond films that preclude certain scenes,characters, themes, dialogue, villains, villain organisations etc.? Basically, why is it fine in one of the main two strands of the Bond character construct but not in the other strand? This is the crux of what I want to discuss in this thread.
Take it away, Sam...