I've just returned from a trip to Vienna. One evening I overheard a group of local 20- to 30-somethings decrying the choice of Skyfall for the next Bond film. I was then taken aback by the vociferous condemnation of Daniel Craig as "the worst 007 of all". Noticing my unconcealed interest in the discussion, one of the 13-strong group drew me into the conversation. Their interest heightened when they learned I was from England, "the home of James Bond". After an extremely well-informed general 007 discussion, I asked whom the group rated the top Bond actors. Their emphatic consensus was interesting: 1. Pierce Brosnan, 2. Roger Moore, 3. Sean Connery, 4. George Lazenby, 5. Timothy Dalton, 6. Daniel Craig. Perhaps most interestingly, there was also agreement that the Bond producers, Broccoli & Wilson, have lost touch with their core audience and, in seeking to make the Craig Bond grittier, more violent and more realistic, have lost sight of the fact that James Bond (even in Ian Fleming's eyes) is, at heart, a fantasy figure whose appeal is cross-generational.
I accept, of course, that I am reporting the opinions of a mere 13 Viennese and, as such, this hardly constitutes a true representative section of the Austrian populace. However, I wonder if any other MI6-ers have observed similar international preferences?