Samuel West

Review: 'Fleming' portrays author as a preview of his Bond character

Fleming — Ian Fleming — has become the subject of a biographical miniseries, "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond." Commencing Wednesday on BBC America, it mainly concerns the wartime adventures of the future creator of James Bond when he worked for British Naval Intelligence, dreamed of deeds of derring-do and carried on in London, smoking, drinking, gambling and sleeping with women, anticipating the manner of his future fictional alter ego.

The dramatic theory here is stated in an epigram from Fleming himself: "Everything I write has a precedent in truth." And so writers John Brownlow and Don Macpherson and director Mat Whitecross have done their best to find...