Friday, April 19, 2013

Q for Q

            Q stands for Quartermaster a fictional character in the James Bond movies

            Q branch is a division of the British Secret Service for research and  development

                     Pierce Bronson as James Bond and Desmond Llewelyn as Q

                                                           Desmond Llewelyn

                                                              The New Q

                                                    Ben Whishaw

I'm a movie buff, and thrillers like the Bond movies which are imbued with fast paced intrigue gets my heart pumping. In Bond, James Bond, one of my favorite scenes is when Q instructs 007 on his new inventions/gadgets, and how to use them. If you feel so inclined to glance over them, they are truly amazing. I've listed the gadgets/inventions from Dr. No, Goldfinger,and the last Skyfall for a comparison in time.

Dr. No

Geiger counter 
Bond has to request one from Britain before using it to determine the radioactivity of Crab Key, suggesting they were an uncommon piece of equipment.
Self-destructor bag 
M tells Bond that the case notes will be sent to him at the airport in one of these.
Rolex Submariner 
on plain leather strap.[1]
Walther PPK 7.65mm
The first appearance of James Bond's signature firearm.


Aston Martin DB5 
This Q-Branch edition vehicle contains the following modifications
  • revolving licence plates
  • spinner hubcaps that doubled as tire slashers
  • passenger ejector seat
  • rear bulletproof shield
  • forward machine guns concealed behind the headlights
  • rearward defences including smoke and oil slick sprayers
AR-7 .22 Survival Rifle With Scope 
Tilly Masterson, Jill's sister, used the AR-7 to try and kill Goldfinger.
Homing beacons 
Bond is given two homing beacons from Q-branch. The first is larger and used when Bond tracks the villain, Auric Goldfinger, to his base. The second is smaller and allows MI6 to know where Bond is. Bond hides it in a secret compartment in the heel of his shoe. Later, Bond removes it from the shoe and attempts to send a message to headquarters by wrapping the note around the transmitter and slipping it into someone's pocket. The plan fails because the pocket's owner is killed and disposed of in a car crusher, which presumably destroys the device.
Attaché case 
Reference is made to Bond having an attaché case (see also previous film) that Bond is told was damaged or possibly destroyed when examined by Goldfinger's personnel. Most likely it was opened improperly and then exploded during the examination.
Bowler hat 
Oddjob, Goldfinger's henchman, uses a special bowler hat with a metal ring inside the brim as a throwing weapon. The hat is capable of slicing through stone and metal or break a person's neck when thrown hard enough.
Rolex Submariner 
on a Nato G-10 strap with grey and black stripes.[1]
Industrial Laser 
Used by Goldfinger trying to kill Bond. Powerful enough to put a laser dot on the moon, but at very close range able to cut through steel. This laser was later used to cut open the vault of Fort Knox. This film showcases the very first of its kind, as this weapon takes on various forms throughout the James Bond series.
Gold Plated Gun 
While not the same one that Francisco Scaramanga uses, this is the pistol with which Goldfinger shoots out an airplane window, inadvertently killing himself.[clarification needed]
Atomic Bomb 
Used to contaminate the Fort Knox gold supply utilizing optimum lethal radiation, but with as least amount of explosive force.
Nerve Gas Canisters 
Outfitted to aircraft belonging to Pussy Galore's Flying Circus. Goldfinger intended to disperse Delta-9 nerve gas to kill the military personnel at Fort Knox ( though he lied to the mafia members it would anesthetise the soldiers for 24 hours, then kills the mobsters with it). Later Pussy Galore replaces the gas with an anesthetic that only lasts ~30 minutes.
Wetsuit with rubber duck on top piece 
An almost comical attempt at stealth (for which Bond displays sharp disapproval in the manner by which he casts it aside). Bond uses this as a cover to infiltrate an enemy facility.


Walther PPK/S 9mm short 
A version equipped with a palm-print reader, only enabling the gun to fire when it detects Bond's palm-print.
Radio transmitter 
A simple radio transmitter that allows MI6 to track Bond's location when activated. Bond expresses his disappointment at the poor selection of gadgets at his disposal from the new Q (Ben Whishaw), who explains that Q branch no longer go in for "exploding pens".
Aston Martin DB5 
Presumably the same DB5 that Bond won in the Bahamas in Casino Royale, the car has since been equipped with familiar features from its first appearance in Goldfinger - Bond jokingly threatens M by exposing the gear lever-mounted ejector seat button while she is seated in the passenger seat, and its hidden machine guns are used during the climactic battle with Silva.
These vehicle gadgets were featured on the film:
  • 2x 20mm .30 Caliber Browning Machine Guns behind the front head lamps (as seen in the film Thunderball)
  • Ejector Seat (as seen previously in the film Goldfinger)
  • Armored bullet-proof chassis and windows able to withstand multiple machine guns with only dents, then rendered unusable by an RPG missile much to Bond's visible dismay, restarting the Bond trend of damaging his upgraded car in every movie (this feature is mentioned in, though seemingly upgraded from the film Goldfinger).
  • The control panel in the armrest of the car for the car's gadgets is featured for a flash of a second, and within it are enough controls to closely resemble the control panel seen in Goldfinger, Thunderball, and other films. This suggests the car may also likely have any of the original gadgets such as smoke screens, oil slicks, caltrops, retractable tire slashers in the hubcaps, retractable reinforced bumper rams, and possibly revolving license plates and hidden firearm compartments in the interior of the car. However, a rear retractable bulletproof screen is less likely due to the strength of the armor seen in Skyfall where Bond anticipated the many machine guns to shoot at the car. It is possible there are features already installed in the car not yet explored in the films.
Sony Xperia T
AW101 Helicopter 
Silva's helicopter, equipped with a Public address system in the undercarriage intended to play music very loud while hovering over its intended target zone.

[edit]Standard signature items (most films)

Walther PPK / P99 / PPK/S 
Walther firearms have had a long and storied history with 007. First issued in the film Dr. No, this semi-automatic double action pistol was intended to replace Bond's .25 ACPBeretta pistol after it backfired and caused him injury to his chest. This pistol has an overall weight of 590 g (21 oz) and a calibre of 7.65mm (.32 ACP). Bond was threatened to be demoted to standard intelligence duties unless he accepts use of the pistol. Bond later upgrades to a Walther P99 9 mm semi-automatic pistol in the film Tomorrow Never Dies before exchanging it for the traditional PPK in the film Quantum of Solace . In Skyfall, Q issues a new weapon to Bond - a Walther PPK/S 9mm short with a built in optical palm reader exclusively encoded to 007's palm print, ensuring 007 is the only one that can fire the weapon, making the new Walther a true signature gun.
Rolex/Seiko/Omega Seamaster Wristwatch 
Standard wristwatch complete with several different gadgets ranging from lasers, communication devices, homing beacons, explosives, etc. Made standard to all 00 Agents and has aided and saved Bond in several dangerous situations. Former 00 Agent Alec Trevelyan also uses a watch similar to Bond's.
Made standard by Major Boothroyd in the film From Russia With Love. Contains several gadgets built in and is used by all MI6 personnel.
Used to contact Bond when needed for new assignments. It comes in many forms from a key chain to a wristwatch.
Safe Cracker 
a pocket device used to open safes.
Mini Camera 
used to take small reconnaissance photos of various blueprints and strategic locations.
Homing Device 
Placed in various different locations on Bond's clothing and/or gadgetry.
Aston Martin DB5
Signature vehicle of James Bond, as seen in several films all containing various Q Branch gadgetry.
Laser Technology 
A number of Bond films have portrayed MI6 and their opponents to experiment with Laser Technology. Laser gadgets could be small enough to fit on one of Bond's many Q-Branch watches to industrial sizes being fitted on various types vehicles and air/spacecraft.



  1. I love, love, love James Bond and Q :) I grew up with Roger Moore as Bond and it was hard to see others in the role, until Daniel Craig - he's great. The old Q will always have a place in my heart, but I took a liking to the new, young, techno-nerdy, but cute Q.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane...

    1. Me, too, Debbie. A friend of ours has the entire Bond collection and we've been watching one a week from the very beginning. I loved Skyfall, also one of my favorites.

  2. PS - Skyfall was one of my favorite Bond movies.

  3. I loved the old Q and I'm thrilled with the new one too. You sure are a Bond buff. -Belinda.

    1. I never thought myself as a Bond buff, but I think you're right. Thanks for dropping by.

  4. I know you are probably going to hate me, but I'm not much of a James Bond fan. I think I've always wanted to be, but never got into his movies.

    1. No skin off my back, Nana. I know plenty of people who don't like Bond or movies in general. I appreciate your comments...

  5. You forgot John Cleese!
    But Llewelyn will always be the real Q.

    1. Yes, there were a few Q's, however, I stuck with the original and the present...

  6. So much imagination goes into creating these "gadgets" they really make the BOND movies so special!

    Thanks for sharing,

    and it's nice to meet you Cathrina...

    1. And thanks for commenting and stopping by, Michael, nice to meet you too!

  7. I loved Skyfall and particularly Silva. He's my villain for S day. :)

  8. Daniel Craig has really breathed new life into this franchise, although I think the writers should get equal credit.

    I liked Brosnan as Bond, but thought the stories were silly.

    But Craig was genius casting.

    When he was asked, "shaken or stirred?" and replied, "Do I look like I give a damn?" I had to rethink Connery as my favorite Bond.

    1. Connery was my favorite, then Bronson, now Craig is really great!

  9. The new Q looks so familiar to me and I can't figure out why. I have to look that actor up and see what I've seen him in, because I haven't seen his Bond movies. Thank goodness for IMDB LOL.

    Happy Friday to you, Cathrina! :)

  10. Haven't seen Skyfall yet but I plan to! My favorite Bonds are Connery and Craig. :)

  11. I've never been able to get that into James Bond, probably because it was "evil" in my house growing up.

  12. I loved that scene, too. Such fun and I think because the Quartermaster was a senior it made it even better.

  13. It's always fun to see what new toys Q has for James.

  14. I'm not exactly a Bond fan, but I really liked the ones Roger Moore did. He understood the intrinsic humor in the situation. (And I thought he was pretty cute back in the day.)
    You sure know your Bond gadgets! :-)

  15. Wow, you are SERIOUS about your Bond love. That is quite a list and some pretty awesome gadgets. They just keep getting more outlandish.

  16. You know your Bond gadgets!
    John Cleese was a fun Q as well, but I like the new one.

  17. Wow. Wish I had some of those cool toys! An ejector seat in the mini-van for when the kids get kinda rowdy-- that would be nice.

  18. Hi Catharina .. thanks for coming over - and I enjoyed watching Skyfall earlier in the year - they made a gadget film on the last Bond 50 years .. that was quite amusing mainly about their cars .. I wrote about it 30 Nov last year ..

    I admire your passion and knowledge for all things Bond! and Q of course .. sad he died in a car accident .. cheers Hilary