Then came Hamilton, Guy Hamilton.
Actually, Hamilton's Goldfinger (1964) preceded Thunderball by one year, but Hamilton's James Bond was a rather different kettle of fish from Young's version. That was obvious in the first moments of Goldfinger, when Connery appeared in a wetsuit with a fake seagull on his head. Suddenly, the wetsuit was stripped away to reveal an immaculate dinner jacket underneath. By design, as Hamilton has said many times, this scene was to show right off the top that a fantastic adventure was about to begin, and only the unwary would take a single scene seriously. In addition, it established the idea of a pre-title sequence that had nothing to do with the story to follow.
It was Hamilton who also created the template of Bond films being a series of set-pieces, and many of these set-pieces didn't have to have anything to do with carrying the story. For example, what was the point of Goldfinger singling out one gangster who didn't like his plan, give him a case of gold, only to have Oddjob shoot him, crush him in a car, only to bring the cubed vehicle back to be smelted to get the gold out? Meanwhile, after an elaborate staging to show off his master plan, Goldfinger simply gases all the other gangsters. What was the point? Simple spectacle. This wasn't Terence Young's Bond, even if the same actor was donning the tux. Oh, it was also Hamilton who shaped Desmond Llewelyn's cranky portrayal of Q, a personality that would remain for nearly 40 years.
Hamilton would repeat many of these same tropes in Connery's return in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever, an effort intentionally modeled on what made Goldfinger so successful. Ironically, Hamilton would then be the one to helm the first two Roger Moore outings, Live and Let Die (1972) and The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), two comparatively stripped-down projects. Instead of facing a super-sized Blofeld launching satellites into space or stealing space capsules, the early Moore was tracking drug smugglers in Harlem and Jamaica or going after a master assassin who had his hands on a solar-power unit. That might have been Terence Young territory if not for the flying cars, pot-bellied redneck sheriff, the midget Knick Knack, and other reminders we're not in MI6 headquarters anymore.
But even before Moore picked up the Walther PPK, we got a sense of what was coming in 1967's You Only Live Twice directed by Lewis Gilbert. In many ways, Gilbert out-Hamiltoned Hamilton. After all, YOLT opened with a monster space-ship gobbling up a U.S. capsule in space; the movie ended with a spectacular battle inside a volcano. In between, there are plenty of pointless scenes padding the plot. Bond is captured, tied to a chair, and about to be tortured—but—the seductress (Karin Dior) frees him, takes him up in a helicopter, bails, and leaves him to die in a crash. Yep, a logical sequence. If you're being chased on the streets, call up "the usual"—that is, a helicopter carrying a large magnet that can pick up cars and then dump them in the bay and presumably nobody is noticing on the streets. Yea, that's "usual."