When the young JG Ballard moved to postwar Britain, what he found was "Bucharest with a hangover". An "exhausted ferret-like people" occupied a "wasteland" of "rubble" and "ration books". Apart from the ferret thing, his account tallies with others. Material progress would come but full restoration of the national spirit would wait until — I think we can pinpoint it — the opening credits of Dr No. Instead of porridge-grey: violent colour. Instead of boredom: the sexualised dancing of male and female silhouettes. Even the foreign-ness of the drumming was subversive in 1962.

Had the James Bond films traded on

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