007 movie fans expect every Bond film to deliver on certain levels. The picture would not be complete without the cars, the evil arch-criminal trying to take over the world and of course those brilliant Bond gadgets.
I am aware that any list of the Best James Bond Gadgets should include some of the iconic possessions of Britain's number one spy like the Aston Martin DB5, complete with ejector seat, oil slick and revolving number plates.
Another must-have on the list of Bond gadgets would be, every school boy's dream, the Jet pack seen in Thunderball or the underwater car in The Spy who Loved Me.
However, I admit these are great toys but I feel there must be some rules to what can be described as a 'gadget'. Namely, that they should be small devices that a stereotypical fictional spy could use, meaning that they must be concealed and hidden on the person of the spy.
Underwater cars are great but if I saw a car drive out the sea, or someone descend to earth on a jet pack my suspicions might be raised that the guy in control was not some mid level manager from the planning department. It's hard to be inconspicuous when everyone's looking at you. For me the best gadgets are the ones that can be concealed and are disguised as everyday objects.
So with these rules in mind here is my Top Five James Bond Gadgets.
Yes I admit it. As a true native Scot I am quite biased here but I have decided to put the flame throwing bagpipes in at the number five spot. Taken from the 1999 film The World is Not Enough it is Pierce Brosnan who plays 007 this time and it’s not a gadget he actually uses in the film. No, this gadget is one of the cacophony of different items on trial in the background of Q’s lab when Bond is getting his briefing.
Not only does this gadget conceal a flame thrower but also an automatic machine gun, I suppose just in case the flames didn’t quite do the job.
It’s a pity that Bond never actually got to use the bagpipes to thwart any of his enemies, but I suppose there is never really an occasion when playing the bagpipes can be mixed with the covert work of an undercover spy. Playing the pipes would be especially difficult when quietly trying to seduce a woman and coolly drinking a martini shaken not stirred.
Well it’s a shame and Bond’s loss as the flame-throwing, machine-gun wielding bagpipes takes number five on the list of best James bond gadgets.
4. Wrist Dart Gun
The next entry on my list is a great Bond Gadget and certainly one that most aficionados of the film franchise will approve of. This is in no small part due to the fact that, unlike the bagpipes James actually uses this gadget in the film and also because it saves his life in the process.
The fourth item on our list of best bond gadgets is the wrist dart gun from the film Moonraker.
The gun, which as the name suggests, is worn around the wrist is controlled and fired by flexing the wrist in an upward direction. The darts it fires can either be cyanide-coated or armor-piercing and Bond is given five of each in the film.
Now unlike a lot of gadgets that Bond gets, that he miraculously needs only a few days after first getting them and then discards them forever, this gadget gets used twice in the film. Firstly to disable a centrifuge machine by firing the dart into the control panel, and secondly to kill Hugo Drax in one of the final scenes of the film.
3. Exploding Cigarette
If it comes to a device that can be concealed then perhaps there is none better than the cigarette, especially if that one can explode. Perhaps this gadget would better be described as a rocket cigarette because it doesn’t harm the smoker but an unlucky individual standing close by.
It was seen in the 1967 film You only Live Twice and is definitely amongst my favourite Bond gadgets of all time. This gadget is somewhat special because Bond isn’t actually given the item by Q as it is given to another secret agent ,Tiger Tanaka, who works for the Japanese secret service.
However Bond uses it to escape from Blofeld’s armed guards and lets the Japanese secret service, and agent Tanaka, into the base.
Let’s just assume that this was one time when Tanaka didn’t mind Bond borrowing a smoke.
2. Sonic Ring
The second gadget on our list is another great idea developed by Q in the Bond film Die Another Day. The sonic ring can deliver a blast that can shatter glass, and that includes the bullet-proof kind that so many of those arch villians get installed in their secret bases.
It ‘works thus’ as Q would say, by placing the ring on any glass surface and giving it a simple twist.
James uses it to shatter a glass floor when he is surrounded by those pesky bad guys in the biodomes. While bond uses this effectively he doesn’t exactly fall to safety, and instead lands on the jungle floor, which still gives him a much better chance that he had moments earlier and good old James takes it from there.
I think this is one of my favourite devices because it would be invaluable to me at work. When we’re sitting at that big conference room glass table and the meeting’s been going on for about 3 hours, a quite twist of the gadget and the table would collapse in. That would speed things up a little, as well as waking up a few of my colleges.
1. Scuba pen
Yes I have to say the number one top James Bond gadgets for me is the scuba pen. The scuba pen is a small device that lets Bond breath for up to four minutes underwater, so not really for a long dive at the Great Barrier Reef but more an emergency use only kind of thing.
This gadget was so good that Bond used it in two films nearly forty years apart. Firstly Sean Connery used it, on three separate occasions, in the film Thunderball and later Pierce Brosnan used it in Die another Day.
There are rumours that some dim witted KJB agents thought this device was real and persued the idea of how to copy the device for it's agents use. These I must stress are just rumours but I so wish they were true.
Finally, if I could pick just one gadget.....
If I could have just one gadget that appeared in any Bond film it would be a brilliant device conceived, built and used entirely by Q. It was called the electro-magnetic RPM controller and was stored inside a gold ring worn on the finger.
The RPM controller was a device that altered the randomness of any slot machine that it came near and ensured a jackpot every single time. Bond probably doesn’t need it because he wins every hand at the card tables he plays, but for us mere mortals it would be great.
Anyone fancy a trip to Vegas?
There we have my favorite Best James Bond gadgets of all time. If you feel that I've missed out some great device from your favorite film or disagree with my choices feel free to let me know and write a comment below.