Without Q branch James Bond would have surely been killed on only his second assignment. It’s only using Q’s attaché briefcase that saves his life a number of times throughout From Russia With Love.
Indeed, James Bond’s life has been saved many times throughout the series with gadgets supplied by Q branch. Assigned to produce gadgetry to assist 00 agents ‘in the field’, Q branch is headed by Q, or Quartermaster.
Featuring wild, wacky, bizarre and outrageous gadgets, Q branch has certainly produced a wide multitude of gadgets to assist any 00 agent. It has always been Q’s intention that his creations be returned, intact. Consequently, Bond frequently makes quips to Q when most of his gadgets are destroyed or returned in battle worn condition.
As the James Bond films have progressed so has the technology of the gadgets. In From Russia With Love, Bond uses a pager and a phone inside his car. These so called gadgets might be scoffed at now, but at the time of the film these where state-of-the-art technological marvels. From the first digital watch ever seen, appearing in Live and Let Die to the mobile phone remote control for the BMW 750i, one thing is certain – even today’s most advanced gadgetry will be obsolete some time in the future.
Celebrating Skyfall, here are our top Bond gadgets:
Casino Royale: Briefcase scanner
After returning to the Bahamas from Miami, M decides to keep an eye on our discerning gent, Mr Bond. An unknown member of MI6 arrives and opens up a briefcase. He gets a large and rather unpleasant looking device as he holds it to Bonds arm and injects a small chip. Bond then puts his arm through the scanner in the briefcase. An X-ray style display is seen on a screen in the briefcase of Bonds arm, with details about his location, heart rate and other information.
Much later M and other MI6 officials use the information gathered by the chip to work out what has poisoned Bond, and thus advise him accordingly as to how to counteract the poison. The chip is removed when Le Chiffre captures Bond so he cannot be traced.
Die Another Day: Omega watch
James Bonds 20th watch is presented to him by Q. In Die Another Day Bond’s Omega watch once again features a laser. Bond uses his laser to cut a hole in a sheet of ice, so he can travel underwater using his Underwater Breather to gain entry to the compound.
The Omega watch also contained a small detonator pin concealed as part of the watch, that Bond uses to place into the C4 explosives hidden underneath the diamonds. When Bond is about to be executed by Colonel Moon’s men, Bond twists the bevel of his watch to activate the explosives. The explosion sends diamonds flying out in all directions, giving Zao his diamond scared face.
Goldfinger: Goldfinger’s golden pistol
When Operation Fort Knox starts to go awry, Goldfinger removes his coat to reveal a General’s uniform and takes out a gold-plated revolver. He then proceeds to shoot Red Chinese agent Mr. Ling to convince the incoming troops he is on their side.
Octopussy: Fountain pen
Q gives Bond this 18 carat gold fountain pen that contains a mixture of concentrated nitric and hydrochloric acid that he assures Bond will dissolve all metals. Bond uses the pen to escape from his cell in Kamal Khan’s palace. He uses the pens other feature by taking the top of to reveal an earpiece for the Fabergé egg listening device.
You Only Live Twice: Safe combination cracker
Bond uses this handy device to break the combination of Osato’s safe. As Bond turns the safe’s dial lights would illuminate on the device. Once Bond pressed these lights a number for the combination of the safe would appear. Bond however sets off the safe’s alarm when he opens the door, but manages to steal some papers before guards arrive.
The World Is Not Enough : X-Ray glasses
Whilst in Q’s lab, Bond tries on a pair of glasses that give him X-Ray vision allowing him to notice how many people are carrying guns when he walks into Valentin Zukovsky’s casino later in the film. The glasses also have an extra benefit, allowing the user to see through clothes; a delight Bond enjoys noticing women in Zukovsky’s casino carrying guns in their underwear.
Goldeneye: Laser Omega seamaster watch
Bond uses his multi-purpose Omega Seamaster throughout Goldeneye. Firstly, he uses its powerful laser built into the case to cut through the floor on Alec’s Missile Train when he is trapped with Natalya. The other feature of the Seamaster was like in Tomorrow Never Dies; a button could be pressed to detonate a device controlled by the watch. It brings back memories of the N64 classic game where the Laser Omega was vital in a number of missions!