Hands up all those who mainly watch Bond for the gadgets?
I saw Quantum of Solace last night and whilst I’m not at all immune to the charms of Daniel Craig I confess the real reason I’m an incurable Bond girl is a secret crush on Q and his amazing inventions. I’m convinced that’s why I run a technology company – all those years of early exposure to the gadgets, gizmos and widgets that Bond invariably ended up wrecking were what got me excited about technology in the first place.
Sadly in the last two Bond films Q hasn’t featured at all and the gadgets have been frankly rather thin on the ground. Maybe technology has finally caught up with MI6 and there are no more futuristic secrets up their sleeves?
It’s a sad state of affairs when we can’t go and see a Bond film and indulge in a bit of crystal-ball gazing about what new gizmos might be around the corner. But for now I’m putting my disappointment to one side and taking a nostalgic look back to the times when Bond got even the luddites amongst us excited about new technology. So, in reverse order my top five Bond gadgets are;
5. The wrist-mounted dart gun (Moonraker)
This first one is unbelievably camp but had to make it into my top five. Strapped to Roger Moore‘s wrist the gun fired cyanide-laced darts into Bond’s opponents. The perfect weapon to ensure Roger could defend himself without messing up his hair…
4. The submarine car (The Spy Who Loved Me)
I loved this car, even though it wasn’t the classic British Bond car the Aston Martin but a Lotus. I just loved the way its wheels turned into fins when it got into water and a periscope popped out the top. It even fired missiles!
3. The lethal briefcase (From Russia with Love)
A typical British gent’s briefcase but packed to the gills with (surprise, surprise) exactly the things Bond would need during the course of his mission. It contained a sniper rifle, gold sovereigns hidden in the hinges, a tear gas cartridge, ammo for the rifle and a knife. OK not so much of a ‘gadget’ this one but a classic.
2. The laser watch (Goldeneye)
Another extremely convenient gadget Q had the foresight to equip Bond with. Trapped on a train about to explode Bond neatly cuts a whole in the floor with his Omega and scarpers. Now there’s an idea for interminable Board meetings…
1. The jet pack (Thunderball)
My all-time favourite. And this was one of the few gadgets that actually made it into production. Bell Aerosystems produced it for the film and it was developed for the US Army so that soldiers could leap over walls, rivers etc but with a maximum flying time of 20 secs it proved slightly impractical. Today TAM sells jetpacks similar to the Bond one for about £65k and Jetpack International plans to launch one capable of around a nine minute flight for £100k. Sign me up now!Tweet