The other day, I was musing on the issue of recurring characters. Today, on Robbie Coltraine’s birthday, it’s worth revisiting.

Zukovsky was a different character in his second appearance, and this happens far too often. Jaws, Jack Wade, even Sheriff Pepper got dumber, softer, and more cooperative when they returned to the Bond franchise, whereas at least in the cases of Jaws, Wade, and Zukovsky, they were interesting and edgy characters in their first appearances.

Why is this? Popularity? Affection? Is writing a return to the series inherently more awkward, thus making the character writing awkward in general? I don’t know, but I don’t think characters should return unless they maintain integrity across appearances. They should be recognizably themselves, as people, not just recognizable by name and face.

In any event, I like Robbie Coltraine and I wish him a happy 58th.