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Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond – James Bond’s inspirations

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Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, 4 - Dominic Cooper
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, Episode 4 - Ian Fleming (Dominic Cooper) ©2014 Ecosse

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond for the life of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Along the way we meet some of the people he based the characters in the books on and others inspired his writing.

This is the official breakdown of the series characters.

Ian Fleming (Dominic Cooper)

Ian Fleming is the debonair and enigmatic creator of James Bond, whose real life is as exciting and sexually charged as that of his famous creation. We meet Fleming as a lost young man with only one sure purpose in his life – the pursuit of pleasure. WWII and a position in Naval Intelligence bring about a brilliant man with a hidden dark side.

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, 2 - Lara Pulver and Annabelle Wallis
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, Episode 2 – Ann O’Neill (Lara Pulver) and Muriel (Annabelle Wallis) ©2014 Ecosse

Ann O’Neill (Lara Pulver)

Elegant, independent and alluring, Ann is a leading figure among London’s social elite. She is married to Baron O’Neill, but while he serves in the military she is indulging in an affair with newspaper magnate Esmond Rothermere. When she meets Fleming, they are infatuated and become hooked in a twisted game of passions

Lieutenant Monday (Anna Chancellor)

The inspiration for Miss Moneypenny, Lieutenant Monday is Admiral Godfrey’s secretary and Fleming’s liaison. She’s highly capable at her job and first to spot the potential in Fleming, despite his self-destructive tendencies.

Muriel Wright (Annabelle Wallis)

The very first incarnation of the Bond girl, Muriel is a beautiful dispatch courier who falls in love with Fleming, and hopes (against the odds) that she can be the one to win his heart.

Admiral Godfrey (Samuel West)

Director of Naval Intelligence, John Godfrey is the inspiration for ‘M’. Skeptical, cantankerous and practical, Godfrey hires Fleming for his position in the Navy. He’s an old curmudgeon, with a stern manner, but eventually warms to Fleming and becomes something of a father figure to him.

Peter Fleming (Rupert Evans)

Already a successful author, Peter (Ian Fleming’s older brother) tries to help keep his sibling on the straight and narrow, and can be a little unintentionally patronizing at times. He’s serving in the army during the war and becomes very much affected by the realities of combat.

Evelyn St Croix Fleming (Lesley Manville)

Ian Fleming’s mother, Evelyn, is a force of nature – ice cold, but fabulous. Swathed in furs and colorful scarves, she exudes all the power a woman in her position at that time had, to the extent that she is on first-name terms with Churchill. Always championing Peter at Ian’s expense, she has a very strained relationship with her youngest son and intensely disapproves of his dalliance with Ann.

Esmond Rothermere (Pip Torrens)

Ann O’Neill’s future husband and owner of the Daily Mail, Esmond is posh, rich, and in denial about Fleming and Ann’s relationship.