Holly Thomas is a London-based writer and editor. Morning editor at Katie Couric Media. She tweets @ HolstaT . The opinions expressed in this comment are solely those of the author . See other articles from opinion on CNN. Like many Bond releases before it, No Time To Die promised something new to its audience. Holly Thomas Daniel Craig had already proven himself to be a far more multidimensional James Bond than we've ever seen - acknowledging in his performance the obvious misery and bloody detachment of a man who kills to win his life, drinks vodka like water and treats women like disposable bait. But in many ways, even with Craig on board, the franchise as it existed until 2015 Specter hadn't gone far beyond its tired, misogynistic roots. The female characters largely came, stripped and went, and Craig 's Bond continued to perform rock-defying stunts. dead (as well as countless henchmenfaceless) regardless of life or physical integrity - including his own. So for all y the hype around the portrayal of Lashana Lynch of the new 007 (replacing a retired Bond), the return of Lea Seydoux in the role of Madeleine Swann, and determination to recognize how old and beaten up he is me being Bond, there was no guarantee that much real cultural progress would be made this time around. Bond Notes: the best and worst of 007 as 'No Time to Die ' marks the release of Daniel Craig But for once, amid the absurd and seemingly endless plot in No time to die there was indeed progress. Read More A welcome change was a move away from the tired, colonial framing for the queen and the country of previous installments, which lasted all throughout Craig's tenure until now.let that not be strictly canon, Craig's skit with Queen Elizabeth at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics further strengthened Bond's on-screen association with the national loyalty that started with the pug bust of Winston Churchill in M's office at the opening scenes of Dr. No. from 1962 in 2012 Skyfall, one of the tests Bond must pass to prove that he is fit for the work involves a game of word association. At the prompt country , he immediately responds England. (His response to woman : provocative ). But in the credits d 'opening of No Time To Die , an old tattered statue of Britannia is falling through the sands of time, buried and obsolete at the Statue of Libertyin the closing minutes of 1969 Planet Of The Apes . Rather than an image of Churchill or the monarch on display at MI6, we see a painting of M by Judi Dench - a most a significant cultural evolution Bond had seen in the The screen before Craig enters. Although the Royal Navy shows up to help at the end of No Time to Die , the film ends with some unease as to where the franchise should next aim its guns. A female James Bond? It's the last thing we need No longer a Cold War relic - as Dench 's M called it Pierce Brosnan 's Bond in GoldenEye from 1995 - Craig 's Bond inhabited his Marvel-cum-DC Villain Universe. There's banker / terrorist Le Chiffre ( Casino Royale ), sadistic ex-agent Raoul Silva ( Skyfall ), surveillance obsessed Max Denbigh ( Specter ), and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Bond The foster brother of and leader of Specter, the modern, all-rounder, and evil organization to which all of the above members reveal their allegiance. Craig 's Bond looked inside, embracing the origin story of a Batman-like (or Iron Man) orphan in Skyfall with the help of his guard. Kincade childhood hunt, essentially Albert the Butler in rougher and ready outfit, defending Skyfall (Bond's own Wayne Mansion). It was self-referential from the moment it emerged of the Sea in Casino Royale, her dripping pale swim trucks as Ursula Andress 'Honey Ryder in Dr. No. At the premiere of Casino Royale in 2006 , the image of Daniel Craig 's twinkling the Hulk's abs and shoulders was hailed as a proEarly Mass of change coming - a Bond sexier and more robust than the brilliant incarnation of Brosnan. But for all of that, the redesign always came with a heavy dose of masculine gaze and a lot of the same sexist tropes. - the reported element of the sadly famous beach scene is that of the sweetheart of Solange Dimitrios (played by Caterina Murino) galloping across the beach on horseback, all hair flowing and bikini barely there. It 's not long, of course, before Bond seduces her, and she dies as collar side damage during her mission to thwart Le Chiffre. JUST WATCHED The latest 007 movie brings changes to 'Bond women ' Proofreading More videos ... A LOOKOUT Latest 007 movie makes changes to 'Bond women ' 03: 00 In contrast, the evolution of love interest in romance is by far the most moving element of No time to die . No Time To Die sees Madeleine Swann - performed with typical depth and beauty by Lea Seydoux - making a historic comeback. For audiences, she adds a critical layer of emotional investment. We see Swann as a child in flashbacsks, let's see the story unfold from his perspective, and the early gates are at least as invested in his fate as Bond 's. While Vesper Lynd of Casino Royale was simply worthy of Bond's love, Swann has his whole life. This only adds to the urgency of their reunion - so much more satisfying than the passing seductions that have dominated the franchise so far. While No Time to Die is not without opportunities to watch her casting - Ana de Armas ' dark blue dress is quickly building up a full fan base - it is safe to pair them with a slap in the face 'humility at every opportunity. The only character to have his kit removed is Bond, and de Armas' character - trainee agent Paloma - defies expectations within minutes of appearing onscreen, showing an aging Bond with his turn chBeautifully choreographed arismatic pulling coin to coin.Receive our free weekly newsletter Subscribe to the new one newsletter. Join us on Twitter and Facebook Bond's age during the film's 2 hours and 43 minutes is largely ignored in previous incarnations. As 1985 A View To A Kill opens with a 57-year-old Roger Moore snowboarding up a mountain in to a dynamic Beach Boys soundtrack, No Time To Die sees a squeaky Bond struggling to keep up with the pace of his younger and fitter colleagues. The reluctance of an older white man to relinquish his 007 designation to an ia well-trained black woman - an agent called Nomi, played by Lashana Lynch - looks familiar. Although much more socially alert than its predecessors, No Time to Die is not without room for to improve. Rami Malek's terrorist villain, Lyutsifer Safin, though suitably nationless, has a poison-inflicted facial distortion. Her scars involve unnecessary association - similar to Silva's revelation macabre in Skyfall - between conventional beauty as good, and ugly as bad. This is by far the most awkward character note in a movie whose main mission seems being to act as a hard stop between what came before and what will follow. And the only thing that No Time To Die doesn't tell us about its intentions is what 'he plans to come next.At the very least, we hope the breadth and depth of the female characters, finally on par with the male cast, are here to stay.