In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!
10. BMW Z3
Why Great? Who can explain it better than Q? Agile, five forward gears, all-point radar. Self-destruct system. And, naturally, all the usual refinements. Behind the headlights, Stinger missiles. It is a shame that this blue beauty is mostly driven by Bond’s CIA-buddy Jack Wade, and 007 told him ‘not to touch any buttons.’
9. British Balloon
Why Great? This balloon is used to attack villain Kamal Khan’s hideout. Why is it great? We get to see Q in action for one thing. And it has her majesty’s flag, which is the best flag in the world, so thumbs up for this one, Q.
8. BMW 750iL
Film: TOMORROW NEVER DIES
Why Great? The look of the 750 is not the best BMW ever came up with, but the gadgetry Q came up with is. All the usual refinements – machine guns, a roof-mounted rocket launcher, self-sealing and re-inflating tires, a cable cutting device in the front hood emblem and a caltrop dispenser – are there. Add to that a GPS-tracking system with remote control. Bond uses it during a chase sequence in the Atlantic Hotel parking garage. Despite its armour that can easily withstand sledgehammer blows, the car sadly doesn’t make it to the end of the film.
7. Q’s Fishing Boat
Film: THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
Why Great? Hey, it’s Q’s boat, need we say more? Well it’s green for one thing, and it can achieve 80mph on the water. During the making of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, it was discovered only by accident that its 350 horsepower engines could literally force the bow of the boat under water. The move was subsequently written into the film.
6. Acrostar Jet
Why Great? The Acrostar Jet, also known as BD-5 Micro, is the world’s lightest jet aircraft. It has remarkable speed and Bond does the handling fantastically in the opening sequence of OCTOPUSSY. He manages to outmanoeuvre a heat seeking missile that he then uses to destroy the enemy base. He then takes it to the gas station. ‘Fill her up, please.’ Now, that’s James Bond.
5. Lotus Esprit
Film: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
Why Great? Another great car with a few amazing accessories, very suitable for this marine oriented entry in the Bond series. It is a small submarine as well as a super fast sports car. And naturally, it is loaded with missiles for uninvited guests.
4. Aston Martin Vanquish
Film: DIE ANOTHER DAY
Why Great? Bond’s favourite car now has adaptive camouflage. Tiny camera’s on all sides project the image they see onto a light-emitting polymer skin on the opposite side. Furthermore is has all the usual features PLUS added target seeking shotguns. Not bad for a new Q (John Cleese took over from Desmond Llewelyn in this movie).
Why Great? Bond uses the jetpack during an escape from gunmen in the pre-credit sequence of THUNDERBALL. It just comes so unexpected, which makes it surprising besides spectacular. The Jetpack is actually a Bell Aerosystems Rocketbelt model, a fully functional rocket pack device. It was designed for use in the army, but was rejected because of its short flying time of approximately 21 seconds. Powered by hydrogen peroxide, it could fly about 250 meters and reach a maximum altitude of 18 meters, going 55 kilometres an hour and providing 1000 brake horsepower. Despite its impracticality in the real world, the Jetpack makes a spectacular debut in THUNDERBALL.
2. Little Nellie
Film: YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
Why Great? Little Nellie and her father Q arrive in Japan halfway YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE to aid Bond in his mission. Once Little Nellie is put together, it appears to be a toy helicopter, but it’s certainly not. She is equipped with two machine guns, two rockets launchers that fire heat seeking air-to-air missiles, two flame throwers firing astern, two smoke ejectors and a bunch of aerial mines, only to use directly above target. Little Nellie is ready for action and she gets some soon after. Nice.
1. Aston Martin DB5
Films: GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, GOLDENEYE, TOMMOROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, CASINO ROYALE, SKYFALL
Why Great? The Aston Martin is perhaps Bond’s most famous ride. It is just a fine and classy automobile. Off course, Bond’s model usually features some Q modifications. As described in GOLDFINGER: Windscreen bulletproof, as are the side and rear windows. Revolving number plates valid in all countries. A tracking device. Smoke screen, oil slick and left and right front wing machine guns. The highlight according to ‘Q’: The passenger ejector seat, which Bond puts to good use in GOLDFINGER. The car gets an occasional upgrade in later films.