top of page
  • Rob

ON THIS DAY, 1987...

The Living Daylights premiered in London on June 29, 1987. It is the fifteenth entry in the official James Bond series produced by Eon Productions and marks Timothy Dalton's debut as the iconic British secret agent succeeding Roger Moore.

Plot Summary

The film begins with Bond on a mission to aid the defection of a KGB officer, General Georgi Koskov, from the Soviet Union to the West. During the defection, Bond encounters an assassin who is actually a beautiful cellist, Kara Milovy, who has been coerced into the plot.

After Koskov's defection, he is abducted from a safe house, and Bond is assigned to find him. This leads Bond and Kara on a globe-trotting adventure from Bratislava to Vienna and finally to Afghanistan, where they uncover a larger conspiracy involving arms deals and drug trafficking.

Key Characters

- James Bond (Timothy Dalton): A more serious and gritty portrayal of the character, emphasizing a return to the roots of Ian Fleming's original creation.

- Kara Milovy (Maryam d'Abo): A talented cellist and the love interest of Bond, who becomes entangled in the espionage plot.

- General Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé): A KGB officer whose defection to the West is central to the plot.

- Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker): An American arms dealer and one of the primary antagonists of the film.

- Necros (Andreas Wisniewski): A formidable henchman working for Koskov and Whitaker.

- General Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies): A high-ranking KGB officer who becomes a key ally of Bond.

Key Themes and Style

- Realism and Grit: Timothy Dalton's portrayal is noted for its realism and a grittier take on the character, focusing more on espionage and less on the fantastical elements seen in previous films.

- Cold War Setting: The film's plot is deeply embedded in the Cold War context, featuring typical espionage tropes like defections, double agents, and geopolitical manoeuvring.

- Action and Stunts: The film includes notable action sequences, including a thrilling car chase with an Aston Martin equipped with gadgets, a fight on an aeroplane, and scenes in Afghanistan involving a Mujahideen camp.

Production Notes

- Director: John Glen, who directed several Bond films in the 1980s.

- Screenplay: Written by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson.

- Music: Score by John Barry, featuring the title song "The Living Daylights" performed by the band A-ha.

- Cinematography: Shot in various international locations, including Austria, Morocco, and the United Kingdom.


The Living Daylights was generally well-received by critics and audiences, praised for Dalton's performance and the return to a more serious tone. The film was a commercial success, solidifying Timothy Dalton's position as a worthy successor in the role of James Bond.

Overall, "The Living Daylights" is remembered for its engaging plot, strong performances, and a significant shift in the portrayal of James Bond, paving the way for a more modern take on the character.


bottom of page