What makes a James Bond film? Is it the enduring appeal of the character? The universal pull of well-written, high-stakes storylines? Or perhaps the familiarity of spending two hours every couple of years in the company of one of the most prolific characters in screen history? In truth, it's a little of all three.
The inter-weaved Bond franchise manages to survive poor outings (even when the studio simply rip up and start afresh entirely) and as long as there are films, you get the feeling that audiences will continue to see the familiar refrain of "James Bond will return." But you don't get to be part of the furniture in such an enduring way without building an immovable foundation for success, and regardless of variations and evolution, a James Bond film will always tick certain boxes.
The character is about mystique and adhering to mythology, and part of that - from the earliest days - has been the way the films have been designed, and how the iconic British spy has announced himself to audiences. And it's not simply a matter of the pre-title sequences acting like thrilling amuse-bouches, or the inevitably intoxicating, heavily stylised opening credits: the title screens themselves are treated with a type of majesty and ceremony that is inherently, irresistibly Bond.
And because so much goes into those decisions, it's time they were given the celebration they deserve...