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Q (which stands for "Quartermaster"), is the genius behind James Bond's weaponry and gadgets. He runs the MI6 research and development department. He supplies 007 with whatever equipment he will need for his missions. As such, he has helped Bond out in the most crucial of times.
Peter Burton (1921-1989)
- He did not provide Bond with gadgets but switched Bond's Beretta to what would become his weapon of choice, the famous Walther PPK.
- Due to a scheduling conflict, Peter Burton was not available to reprise the role for the filming of From Russia with Love. He was subsequently replaced by Desmond Llewelyn.
- He appeared in Dr. No.
Desmond Llewelyn (1914-1999)
- His character is reffered to as Major Boothroyd. That name is based off a real life person - Geoffrey Boothroyd - who was a gun expert. Geoffrey came up with the idea to switch the Beretta to a Walther PPK. He stated to Ian Fleming: "I love everything about James Bond except that damn gun!".
- To this day, Llewelyn is the longest-running, the most well-known and probably the most beloved actor to have portrayed the master of gadgets. He played in seventeen movies from From Russia with Love to The World Is Not Enough (Q did not appear in Live And Let Die) alongside no less than five different Bond actors and three different M actors over 36 years.
- The character was annoyed on many occasions because of Bond's casual (sometimes even childish) behaviour, especially when Bond played with the gadgets or came back from his missions with destroyed cars, making the traditional gadget presentation / Q lab moments regularly comedic.
- In spite of Bond's behaviour, the two seemed to be dear friends. It showed particularly in Licence To Kill, where Q did not hesitate to personally come to Isthmus with a case of gadgets to help Bond in his rogue vendetta despite M's orders.
- It seems like he enjoyed setting pranks in his department. Some of his assistants ended up amusingly trapped by non-lethal gadgets, such as one man swallowed by a trapped sofa (on which Q sat) in The Living Daylights, or another one trapped in a phone booth by an airbag in Goldeneye (with absolutely no reaction from Q). R was trapped in the airbag-coat (deliberately triggered by Q) in The World Is Not Enough.
- Llewelyn's character retired on screen in The World Is Not Enough, passing the torch to his successor, R (John Cleese), who replaced him in the next film.
- Sadly, Llewelyn died after a car accident at age 85 shortly after the release ofThe World Is Not Enough...
- Here's a tribute page to him.
- Appeared in:
- From Russia with Love (1963)
- Goldfinger (1964)
- Thunderball (1965)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
- The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
- Moonraker (1979)
- For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- Octopussy (1983)
- A View to a Kill (1985)
- The Living Daylights (1987)
- Licence To Kill (1989)
- GoldenEye (1995)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
- The World Is Not Enough (1999)
John Cleese (born in 1939)
- The character appeared for the first time as R, Boothroyd's main assistant, in The World Is Not Enough.
- He was established as the new Q in Die Another Day following Boothroyd's retirement.
- He adopted a more serious attitude regarding Bond's antics (quite fitting in regard of Cleese's humor style dating back to his Monty Python days) though he probably did not have time to become friends with Bond, unlike his predecessor.
- Nevertheless, he was proud of the department he was now in charge of and provided Bond with the most cutting-edge equipment ever in Die Another Day.
- The video game Everything Or Nothing included the last media appearance of this Q in the Bond universe. Cleese provided his voice and likeness.
- The character was meant to return but the franchise's reboot since Casino Royale prevented it to this day (due to the recent films' more serious tone, most probably). More to read about Cleese's opinion on the subject here.
- Appeared in:
- Everything Or Nothing (2004 video game).
- Everything Or Nothing (2004 video game).
- Just like Moneypenny, Q did not appear in the first two films of the Daniel Craig Bond continuity films, namely Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace. He was reintroduced in Skyfall.
Ben Whishaw (born in 1980)
- The youngest actor to portray Q to this day, the first Q to be younger than 007, and the first Q to wear glasses.
- He is introduced as a computer science genius and masterful hacker who values brains over brawn. He also prefers intellect over Bond's more direct approaches.
- The line "You were expecting an exploding pen ? We don't really go in for that any more." refers to bygone times when Bond used increasignly more fancy gadgets conceived by Q. The ones Whishaw's Q provides to Bond in Skyfall are not fancy and don't look impressive, but they're no less useful.
- His youth and lack of experience make Bond dubious when they meet for the first time, and Q in his turn considers Bond as merely "someone to pull the trigger", at first.
- Later on, his confidence takes a hit when his computer science talents are overwhelmed by Raoul Silva's breach into the MI6 security systems. Nevertheless, he assists Bond in his chase after Silva, monitoring him and telling him where to go. He also leaves a false tracking signal for Silva to follow as Bond and M are heading to Scotland, with the approval of Gareth Mallory.
- Time will tell if their partnership will improve in the next movies, it seems to be shaping up in a good way after they shake hands.
- Major Boothroyd (Desmond Llewelyn's Q)
- The real name of John Cleese's Q is unknown and will most likely stay so
- The real name of Ben Whishaw's Q is currently unknown
Notable gadgets: (more to read about them here)
- Briefcase containing : easily dismantable AR-7 .22 sniper rifle with infrared telescope, 50 Gold Sovereigns, tear gas cartridge disguised as talcum powder (set to discharge when the briefcase is opened incorrectly) and a knife - From Russia With Love
- Shoe homing device, car homing device - Goldfinger
- Breathing capsule - Thunderball
- Magnet-watch - Live And Let Die
- Wrist-gun with poisoned darts - Moonraker
- Teargas/explosive keychain - The Living Daylights
- Palmprint signature camera-gun - Licence To Kill
- Pen grenade - Goldeneye
- Emergency airbag-jacket (in case of avalanches) - The World Is Not Enough
- Virtual reality training goggles - Die Another Day
- Ultra-high frequency ring - Die Another Day
- Palmprint signature PPK/S - Skyfall
Cars and their known gadgets:
- Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Casino Royale, Skyfall) : equipped with radar tracker, revolving license plate, rear bulletproof shield, forward machine guns, smoke and oil slick sprayers, spinner hubcaps that doubled as tire slashers, and passenger ejector seat.
- Lotus Esprit S1 (The Spy Who Loved Me) : cement sprayer (to blind the pursuers' windshield), submarine mode, underwater black dye slick, torpedoes, underwater mines, surface-to-air missiles.
- Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante (The Living Daylights) : radio scanner (to spy on police and military radio frequencies), wheel spinner laser, bulletproof windshield and rear windscreen, Stinger missiles and HUD, tire spikes, snowmobile skis, rocket booster, self-destruction.
- BMW Z3 (Goldeneye) : self-destruction, Stinger missiles located behind the headlights, and the "usual refinements".
- BMW 750iL (Tomorrow Never Dies) : remote-controlled (from Bond's cellphone), reinforced chassis, bulletproof windshield and rear windscreen, concealed compartment (fingerprint-protected safe), security system (capable of delivering electric shocks if door handles are grasped by a intruders), tear gas, missiles, caltrops dispenser, re-inflating tires, cable cutter (concealed under the BMW hood emblem).
- BMW Z8 (The World Is Not Enough) : remote-controlled (from Bond's keychain), surface-to-air missiles and targetting system.
- Aston Martin V12 Vanquish (Die Another Day) : remote-controlled (from Bond's keychain), adaptive camoflage (invisibility), reinforced chassis, bulletproof windshield and rear windscreen, target-seeking shotguns, missiles, tire spikes, passenger ejector seat, radial thermal imaging.
Notable other vehicles:
- Jet-pack (Thunderball)
- Underwater propulsion unit (Thunderball)
- "Little Nellie" autogyro (You only Live Twice)
- Carlson Power Boat
- Amphibious Gondola
- Acrostar Jet
- Alligator Boat
- Hot Air Balloon with cameras
- "Fishing" Boat
- Q: Now, pay attention, 007. (used frequently in the films)
- Bond: Ejector seat? You must be joking!
- Q: I never joke about my work, 007.
- Bond: Balls Q?
- Q: Bolas, 007.
- Vijay: Is he still there?
- Q: You must be joking? Double-0 seven on an island populated exclusively by women! We won't see him till dawn!
- Q: Need I remind you, that you have a licence to kill, not break the traffic laws.
- Q: Grow up 007!
- (Bond picks up a nearby sandwich)
- Q: Don't touch that! That's my lunch!
From The World Is Not Enough:
- Bond: I suppose we all have to pay the piper some time. Right, Q?
- Q: Oh, pipe down, 007!
- Bond: Was it something I said?
- Q: No, something you destroyed. My fishing boat! For my retirement, away from you!
- R: I think...
- Q: You're not here to think! You're here to do what I tell you! Now go put on the coat, and demonstrate it for 007!
- Bond: (visibly worried) You're not retiring any time soon, are you?
- Q: Now pay attention, 007. I've always tried to teach you two things. First, never let them see you bleed.
- Bond: And the second?
- Q: Always have an escape plan.
- (Desmond Llewelyn's Q's very last words, he then uses the car elevator, never to be seen again)
From Die Another Day:
- Bond: You're cleverer than you look.
- Q: Hmm... still, better than looking cleverer than you are.
- Bond: Check the tape. You'll find he's dead and she only has a flesh wound.
- Q: There's always an excuse, isn't there, Double-O-Zero?
- Q: Your new transportation.
- (nothing visible on the platform)
- Bond: Maybe you've been down here too long...
- Q: The ultimate in British engineery.
- Bond: You must be joking...
- Q: As I learned from my predecessor, Bond, I never joke about my work. Aston Martin call it "the Vanquish", we call it "the Vanish".
- (the car appears)
- Bond: (amazed) Ah, very good!
- (Bond destroys the Aston Martin's manual with the car's target-seeking shotguns)
- Q: Wish I could make you vanish.
- Q: I'm your new quartermaster.
- Bond: You must be joking.
- Q: The Walther PPK/S has a nine-millimeter short. It's been coded to your palmprint so only you can fire it. Less of a random killing machine, more of a personal statement.
- (Bond only receives two gadgets)
- Bond: This isn't exactly Christmas.
- Q: Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don't really go in for that sort of things anymore.
- Q: I can do more damage on my laptop in my pyjamas than you can do in one year on the field.
- Bond: Then what do you need me for?
- Q: Every now and then a trigger has to be pulled.
- Bond: Or not pulled. It's hard to know which in your pyjamas... Q?
- Q: (shaking his hand) 007.
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