I’m shocked. Diana Rigg was excellent in the early Avengers, still good after Emma Peel was toned down to suit US tastes and far better than numbers 2-5 in this list, yet “she leaves this fan behind”???
Won’t not understanding Diana Rigg put people off the Ultimate Fan Book? It’s moved it down my list a bit…
In my experience, every Bond fan has some off-beat opinions. I don’t know a single fan who doesn’t harbor a secret (or not-so-secret) love for a movie that is generally regarded as bad. My “secret” love is Diamonds Are Forever, but I know fans who’ll swear up and down that AVTAK is underrated.
Here’s what I’ve found: If you take a big enough sampling of Bond fans, and ask them for a top five/bottom five, every single movie will appear on both lists. In fact, this robust variety is a big part of what inspired me to write the book in the first place.
In the “Survey Says…” sections of each chapter, I place my personal ratings next to surveyed fan ratings so that you can see where I’m off the beaten track (as in this case). BUT I always respect and validate fan opinion—as I do here, ranking Rigg #1 even though she’s not a personal favorite. And I don’t think it’s bragging to say I have real expertise in fan opinions; I’ve read the details of dozens of surveys and spoken with many, many fans.
No fan likes to feel that they’re being dissed by some author. I hate reading a book that says that my beloved Kara Milovy is a terrible Bond girl. So I structure The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book in a way that includes every fan; you love Rigg, I explain why, and then say hey, she’s not my favorite. Most fans don’t like Kara, I explain why, and then say why I love her. I hope that every fan can see himself in the book because of this structure. The reviews have been pretty favorable in that regard.