Top news: Skyfall has smashed British box office history. This 23rd James Bond movie has become the most successful British film of all time.
As audiences we have played our part in this historic moment.
We were there. We took seats and were not spared. We popcorned in for bombs and bashings; for smouldering moods; for scary music; for back-stabbing; for ‘British is best’; for villains who should be locked away in wheelie bins for life.
We loved it. We swallowed, in minutes, more advertising than our recommended millennium allowance, and we told our friends they stood no chance of rating as mortals if they didn’t love Skyfall. If they hadn’t seen it by the time we had they were doomed, to be treated for at least a fortnight as worms of only murky aspiration.
The rest of us magnificent cinema-goers, although perhaps only moderate models of Daniel Craig and colleagues, have been shaken, not stirred, and we have been left clutching a box office triumph.
However, this is Britain, and even James Bond has not been able to slay all criticism.
On a recent visit to a pale green Specsavers in the south of England we were informed that young genius ‘Q’ did not have anti-reflection coating on his glasses.
We sat stunned. The young man who had delivered the news smiled apologetically back. No need – how had we not noticed? We re-examined the strange blank saucer eye of a lens that we had been asked to consider.
Clearly we now had to tighten up our decision making. This was no longer a simple question of looks and wallet.
If Q had only had that coating applied a whole tube train might have been prevented from crashing through layers of London tunnels; parliament could have continued its pencil stabbing in peace; M’s piggy-bank need never have been subjected to such unpleasantness.
The information and consequences were profound, especially when presented so suddenly on what should have been an innocently soggy Tuesday afternoon.
We studied the lens and we studied the cost, and we were mindful that before us, in his Specsavers tie, sat a distinct vision of excellence – not Bond, but British, and equally unfathomable.
I am pleased to report that it was only a matter of minutes before we had made up our minds. There was no being lilly limp in such company. We opted boldly for the anti-reflection coating – “One equal temper of heroic hearts.”
Who knows what disasters we have averted?