... And then, some people insist on arguing things like Craig's Bond (of course, including Campbell's CR) was based on Dalton's.
Well in the 10 years since Goldeneye the Dalton had improved considerably in public perception, and action cinema was moving more towards serious and realistic fair, so it'd make more sense to be more complimentary towards the Dalton era than it would have been at the time of Goldeneye (when the series looked like it was on its last legs, with the underperformance of the Dalton films being seen as one key reason for this.)
(Off hand I can't remember if Martin Campbell ever talked about the Dalton films in relation to CR, but I definetly remember comments from MGW talking about the tone of the Dalton films and how they and CR are closer to 'Fleming's works.' And they even have a clip of MGW on the CR dvd talking about how Living Daylight's was going to be a reboot at one point, when discussing the history of CR. So there was definetly a concious effort by some people in the production of CR to create a link between it and the Dalton films, even if Campbell adn Craig were not remotley inspired by th
You say that “since GE the Dalton had improved in public perception”…..Maybe that happened within the Bond fandom, but with the general moviegoers I certainly don’t see that supposed change of perception. Otherwise, that would have been reflected on IMDb.com’s ratings where TLD has 6, 7 and LTK 6, 6 numbers that are actually pretty average among Bond movies in that site, and the same could be said in rottentomatoes.com.
Regarding Michael G. Wilson commentaries…. He only has said that they have the intention to do an origin story with TLD, way before 2006 (likely trying to respond to the accusations of jumping into the wagon of “Batman Begins” with CR). And they always have tried to defend the Dalton era, stating things like he’s the closest Bond to the books, so nothing new there really.
The recent Rottent Tomatoes rankings of all the Bond films had Living Daylights at 14, and License to Kill at 10- which is a big jump up from their perception around Goldeneye's release (where the idea of License to Kill being considered a top 10 Bond film would be absurd.) (Fimsite.org also had them ranked 11 and 12th respectively, Digital Spy 12 and 10, while film school rejects ranks Living Daylights quite low at 18, but License to Kill is again ranked 10. Screen crush does a near reverse of this and ranks LTK at 17, while considering Living Daylights to be the 5th best film in the series.)
While none of these lists would be able to properly represent the broader public opinion- the regular placement of one of Dalton's films in recent top 10 Bond film lists certainly indicate that his era is no longer seen as quite the failure it was once believed to be.
(Before Godeneye came out, many believed the failure of LTK was the end of the Bond series. And Martin Campbell's negative comments about the Dalton films during Goldeneye, while very likely reflecting his own views, would also be a very concious attempt to promote Goldeneye as being different from the percieved failures of the Dalton films. They needed to rebrand the Bond films wih Goldeneye, and one way in which they tried to do this was by emphasising how the film was going to be different to the recent prercieved failures.)
And you can see how the view of the Dalton era had changed by the time of CR, by the simple fact that reviewers (Like those in the Times) compared Craig's performance to that of Dalton. (If Dalton's era was still viewed in the same light as it was pre-Goldeneye- the era that nearly killed the series- critics wouldn't have held Dalton up as a positive benchmark to compare Craig.
(And the same applies to MGW's comments- he is also promoting a product. If the Dalton reputations hadn't improved over the years, he wouldn't bring them up in comparison to Craig- as comparing the upcoming film to badly recieved entries wouldn't help to sell the film. Selling the film by comparing it to entries which have seen an improvement in public standing, however, does. A simillar example is the use of the OHMSS in the promotion of Spectre. If OHMSS hadn't been re-appraised ove the years, and was still viewed as a failure, they would never have used its theme to promote a new film.)