Sunday, 14 October 2012

From The Files Of Q Branch: The Gadgets Of James Bond

Tez has written about the legend that was Desmond Llewelyn and his alter ego Q, the MI6 Quartermaster and the head of Q Branch (the section of MI6 that creates and makes equipment for field agents). It takes a special person to work in Q Branch- you need technical skills and an amount of superhuman powers; the ability to see the future, in fact. Q always has just the gadgets that Bond will need on his next mission. It’s uncanny!

I could fill this blog and write for a few weeks if I was going to try and inform you of every gadget that there ever was- instead, I thought I would highlight the most memorable and some of my favourites.

Agent: Sean Connery
Active Service: 1962 - 1967 and 1971

Missions: From Russia With Love and Goldfinger
Gadget: Attaché Case

A black leather attaché case that contains: .25 calibre ammunition hidden beneath the feet studs; a throwing knife can be detached after pressing the right top latch; the case contains a folding AR-7 sniper rifle, with inferred telescopic sight; a tear gas cartridge disguised as a tin of talcum powder (if you don’t open the case in a precise manner, the tear gas explodes) and in the base of the case are fifty gold sovereigns, for emergencies.

Mission: Goldfinger (first appearance)
Gadget: Aston Martin DB5

Probably the best known Bond gadget. The first video sees Q briefing Bond on the car:

The second video shows the DB5 in action:

Mission: Thunderball
Gadget: Jet Pack

Bond uses this high tech gadget to great effect- a quick get away, in style!

Mission: Thunderball
Gadget: Mini-Rebreather

A mini scuba tank which gives the user four minutes of air under water. Very handy when trying to escape from sharks!

Mission: You Only Live Twice
Gadget: Little Nellie

Q’s masterpiece – a small combat-ready helicopter. Click here to see her in action.

Agent: George Lazenby
Active Service: 1969

Casino Royale started a new era for Bond…’ No, no, it didn’t. During the franchise’s fifty year history, the films have included gadgets and removed the use of gadgets on every occasion to ‘re-establish the character’ or to ‘get away from camp theatrics’. This was done in some respects in the 1980's with Dalton and also with Craig. But On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was the first time they made it about Bond taking on the villains as an agent, not relying heavily on gadgets or cheap tricks. So with only one film to his name, I fail to bring a highlight for him. Anyone?

Agent: Roger Moore
Active Service: 1972 – 1985

Mission: Live and Let Die
Gadget: Rolex Watch

The coolest 007 watch comes from the most gadget-heavy of the Bond films, back when he still sported the Rolex Submariner. Equipped with an electromagnet and a rotating saw, this gift from Moneypenny saved our hero from a pool of sharks.

Mission: The Man With The Golden Gun
Gadget: Fake Third Nipple

Just needed to remind you all of this one!

Mission: The Spy Who Loved Me
Gadget: Lotus Esprit

This version comes with an extra – submarine mode!

Mission: Octopussy
Gadget: Folding Jet

Just what you need for a quick get away, especially when it’s hidden behind a horse’s rear end!

Agent: Timothy Dalton
Active Service: 1987 - 1989

Mission: The Living Daylights
Gadget: Aston Martin V8

Mission: Licence To Kill
Gadget: Dentonite Toothpaste

Bond uses this harmless looking toothpaste, which is actually a strong plastic explosive.

Agent: Pierce Brosnan
Active Service: 1995 - 2002

Mission: Goldeneye
Gadget: Parker Pen Grenade

Handy when it ends up in the hands of your enemies!

Mission: Tomorrow Never Dies
Gadget: Ericsson Mobile Phone

It can make phone calls, it also comes with a handy attachment that can pick any lock in the world, has two metal prongs that slide out and fire electric shocks from them. But, the best part – the phone can be used to remote control Bonds BMW 750iL.

Mission: The World Is Not Enough
Gadget: Ski Suit Escape Pod

You never know when an avalanche will happen, do you, Mr Bond?

Agent: Daniel Craig
Active Service: 2006 - present day

Mission: Casino Royale
Gadget: Medipac

This new age of realism still brings gadgets with it– but more technological aids. This one came in very useful when Bond was poisoned and had to re-start his heart!

So there we are, a few highlights of some of the gadgets from fifty years of Bond. Have I missed any you love? Let me know.


No comments:

Post a Comment