Charlie Higson has caused a bit of a stir with his drama Jekyll and Hyde, which has drawn hundreds of complaints that it was too violent or graphic for 6.30pm on ITV on Sunday night.
But it seems the writer has not finished there. He now wants to pen some stories for the adult James Bond which would reintroduce “more sex and violence” of the kind he laments has been lost from the more politically correct Bond of recent vintage.
Higson, who has already written a series of five Young Bond novels about the super-spy’s adventures at Eton, says that if he were given a chance to take on the adult 007 his stories “would go back to a lot of sex”.
“That’s why people used to read the Bond books,” Higson told RadioTimes.com. “Fourteen-year-old boys would read them illicitly because suddenly we would hear about her pert nipples. I would come out all guns blazing.”
The second series of Young Bond books has now been taken on by Steve Cole whose first book is due out next month. The most recent adult James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, was written by Anthony Horowitz.
At the Radio Times Festival, Horowitz revealed that his wife has edited out the sexism from early drafts of his book.
“And she was right as she always is and I had to cut back and cut back. I had to really bring it back over the line again,” Horowtiz said. “Bond’s whole attitude to women… although it’s part of his character it doesn’t really play very well these days.”
However Higson has no such qualms. He added that he feels the last two Bond films fell down because they lost sight of the “essence” of a hero known as much for his dalliances with the opposite sex as his derring-do in the world of espionage.
“Casino Royale I thought was absolutely brilliant. We shall draw a veil over the other two. I thought they lost the essence of Bond. I thought that about the last one. How many times can they say ‘You’re too old Bond, you’re past it’. You kind of think, what are they going to do with the next one, an even older Bond, even more past it?”
If they did decide that, it would at least present him with the opportunity of taking on the part himself. At 57, he feels he can have a crack at the role himself. “Roger Moore was 58 when he last played him,” added Higson hopefully. “Who doesn’t want to play Bond?”
Before all that happens, Higson is currently coping with the outcry over Jekyll and Hyde which by lunchtime on Monday had drawn nearly 500 complaints over its depiction of gory scenes.
ITV had received 280 complaints, while 212 people had got in touch with broadcasting regulator Ofcom to express their concern about the show which featured graphic and violent scenes long before the 9pm watershed.
However Higson appeared unrepentant about the fuss, writing on Twitter:
this #JekyllandHyde too scary thing is an interesting variation on “I’m nor personally offended but I’m complaining because others will be”
— charlie higson (@monstroso) October 26, 2015