After Roger Moore thought it was time to hang up his Walther and take off his tuxedo, it was time once more for the producers to look for a new Bond. Timothy Dalton was approached a couple of times to play James Bond.
Once to play the part in 1969 for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but Dalton considered himself too young. He was approached once more in 1984 to star in A View To A Kill after Roger Moore talked about leaving, but Dalton's schedule was too busy. Once again Dalton was approached to star in The Living Daylights after Moore's departure, but was tied up with work. Pierce Brosnan was considered the popular choice, but was tied into a contract. By this time Timothy Dalton had more time and so accepted the part.
Timothy Dalton would only appear in two films, The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill. While The Living Daylights enjoyed relative success, Dalton's second film did not fare so well. Licence To Kill was a box office failure ending up as one of the worst Bond films in the series, in terms of sales. After leaving the role of James Bond, Timothy Dalton has appeared in a number of films and enjoys various pastimes like fishing, opera and reading to name a few.
Timothy Dalton's portrayal of James Bond is indeed very controversial. His portrayal of the character was completely different to what audiences had seen before. While fans of Roger Moore had got used to his light, witty, laid-back style, Dalton introduced a hard-edged, serious, ‘dark’ Bond. Dalton announced that it was his desire to be a ‘Fleming's Bond’ and to return to the type of James Bond that the famous author had written about. While many fans of the series dislike Timothy's performance of Bond compared to that of Sean Connery and Roger Moore, people who have read the Fleming novels understand Timothy's portrayal of the character. Unlike the smooth, suave, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton is more serious and has less time for the ladies. Once more unlike Roger Moore we don't get to hear many one-liners, the ones we do hear are more 'refined'.
Licence To Kill was Timothy Dalton's last outing as James Bond; this featured the closest point in the series where the character of James Bond is the same character described in Ian Fleming’s books. While Timothy Dalton was happy to star in a third Bond, the years of legal battles that followed Licence To Kill meant he wanted to pursue other projects, so he left his role as Bond, James Bond. §