Q (James Bond)

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James Bond chairacter
Portrayed biEon films:
Peter Burton (1962)
Desmond Llewelyn (1963–1999)
John Cleese (2002)
Ben Whishaw (2012–present)
Non-Eon films:
Geoffrey Bayldon (1967)
Alec McCowen (1983)

Q is a fictional character in the James Bond films an film novellisations. Q (staundin for Quartermaster as well as a remit tae the deceptive Q-ships) is a job teetle, unalike M, whit is a cypher for the character's name. He is the heid o Q Branch (or later Q Division), the fictional resairch an development diveesion o the Breetish Saicret Service.

Q haes appeared in 21 o the 24 Eon Productions James Bond films, the exceptions bein Live and Let Die, the 2006 Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. The character wis fenby featurt in baith non-Eon Bond films, the 1967 Casino Royale an Never Say Never Again.

Novelles[eedit | eedit soorce]

The character Q niver appears in Ian Fleming's novelles, an anly the Q Branch is mentioned;[1] awtho Q daes appear in the novellisations bi Christopher Wood, an the later novelles bi John Gardner an Raymond Benson.

In John Gardner's novelles, the post of Q is taen o'er bi Ann Reilly (cried Q'ute bi her colleagues). She an aw forms a relationship wi Bond. It is jaloused that she haudit the post for short anely, acause Raymond Benson's novelles retour Boothroyd tae the post withoot exposeetion.

Charles Fraser-Smith is widely credited as the inspiration for Q[2] auchtin tae the spy gadgets he biggit for the Special Operations Executive. Thir war cawed Q-devices, efter the Royal Navy's World War I Q-ships. In the Fleming novelles the're frequent remittances tae Q an Q Branch wi phrases lik "see Q for gear you need" (Casino Royale) an "Q Branch wad handle aw o that" (Diamonds Are Forever), wi a remittance tae "Q's craftsmen" in From Russia with Love.

Major Boothroyd[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the saxt novelle, Dr. No, the service airmourer Major Boothroyd appears for the first time. Fleming named the character efter Geoffrey Boothroyd, a firearms expert that leeved in Glesga, Scotland [3] that haen writtin tae the novellist suggestin that Bond wisna uisin the best firearms appen.

Ann Reilly[eedit | eedit soorce]

Boothroyd is an aw remittanced occasionally in the Bond novelles o John Gardner, but the author preferred insteid tae focus on a new character, Ann Reilly, that is introduced in the first Gardner novelle, Licence Renewed an glegly dubbed "Q'ute" bi Bond.[citation needit]

Films[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the films, Major Boothroyd first appears in Dr. No an later in From Russia with Love, awtho played bi different actors. Desmond Llewelyn stated that, awtho he wis credeeted as playin "Major Boothroyd", the oreeginal line spoken bi M, "Ask Major Boothroyd tae come in" wis replaced wi "the airmourer" as director Terence Young stated Boothroyd wis a different character.[4]

Beginnin in Guy Hamilton's Goldfinger an in ilk film syne Major Boothroyd is maist aften referred tae as Q; houainver, in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) he is referred tae ance again as Major Boothroyd in twa-haundit crack.[5]

In maist films in whit Q appears, he is restricted tae an "aback the scenes" insnorlment, aither based in Lunnon or in saicret bases oot in the field. Twa weel-kent exceptions in whit Q becomes direct involved in Bond's meessions occur in Octopussy, in whit Q actually participates in field wirk, includin the feenal fecht conter the limmer's backmen, an Licence to Kill in whit he jynes Bond in the field efter 007 gaes rogue.

Eon Productions[eedit | eedit soorce]

Peter Burton: 1962[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the first film, Dr. No, Boothroyd is played bi Peter Burton in anely ane scene in whit he replaces Bond's .25 ACP Beretta 418 pistol wi the seegnatur .32 Walther PPK haundgun. He is referred tae bi M as "the airmourer," an later as Major Boothroyd. Scheduling stours prevened Burton from reprising the role in From Russia with Love, awtho he later makkit twa uncredeeted reappearances in Bond films, first as an RAF officer in Thunderball (1965) an later as a saicret agent in the sateerical Casino Royale.[6]

Featurt in

Desmond Llewelyn: 1963–1999[eedit | eedit soorce]

Beginnin wi From Russia with Love, Desmond Llewelyn portrayed the character in ilka offeecial film except Live and Let Die till his deith in 1999. In the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, as Q delivered the unnerwatter Lotus, Major Anya Amasova/Agent XXX (Barbara Bach) hailses Q as "Major Boothroyd".

While instructin Bond on the gadgets that he is gaun'ae uise on his meession, Q eften expresses irritation an impatience at Bond's smaw attention span, aften telling him tae "pay attention, 007", an Bond's playful lack of respect for his equipment, telling the agent, "I never joke about my work, 007". In Thunderball, Bond can be haurd murmlin "Oh na" whaan Q jynes him in the Bahamas.

Houainver, on occasion, Q haes shawn a wairm an faitherly concern for 007's weelfare, sic as at Bond's waddin in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, whan he ashuirs Bond that he is appen if Bond iver requires his help. Q haes an aw caw taed Bond in a maire acteeve role in his meessions in Octopussy, remeening tae heeze Bond in body e'en efter anither fere is killt. He frequently refers tae Bond as "007", rather than bi his name.

In GoldenEye, Q skares a bourd wit Bond for the first time, an in The World Is Not Enough whan he lat kins his plan tae reteer, Bond is saddened at the prospect. Q signs aff wi "Now pay attention, 007," syne offers some wirds o advisement:

Q: "I've ayeways tried tae teach you twa things: First, niver lat thaim see you bleed."

Bond: "And the seicont?"

Q: "Aye v a winfrae plan." – afore he is lowered oot o view.

This wis the final film appearance o Desmond Llewelyn as Q in the James Bond series, awtho he wad revive the role ance again as Q in a Heineken commercial, a telly cross-promotion for The World Is Not Enough. Llewelyn deed in a caur stramash juist weeks efter the film's release. Atween films he an aw starred as Q in vaurious commercials for a sindrity o products an companies. Thir included Bond hentable merchandise, TV3, Hyundai motorcars, LG video recorders, Highland Superstores, Visa credeet cards, an Reach electric toothbrushes, the latter of whit featurt Q instructin himsel in the keekin-gless.

Featurt in Films:


Llewelyn an aw portrays Q in the Eon Productions-produced 1967 telly special Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond, aw an as portraying Q in the documentary Highly Classified: The World of 007, that is included on the Tomorrow Never Dies Ultimate Edition DVD. Llewelyn's alikeness wis fenby uised tae portray the Q character in 2005's video game James Bond 007: From Russia with Love, awtho the vyce of Q wis portrayed bi Phil Proctor. Llewelyn haes appeared in maire Bond films — seiventeen — than ony ether actor tae date.

John Cleese: 1999 (as "R"), 2002 (as Q)[eedit | eedit soorce]

In The World Is Not Enough a servand to Q wis introduced, played bi John Cleese. His real name wis niver shawed, but he wis initially credeeted as "R" in The World Is Not Enough, shuitting from a bourd in whit Bond asks the aulder Q: "If yer Q, daes that mak him R?"

Atween films, Cleese wis still referred tae as "R" in the video gemmes 007: The World is Not Enough (2000), 007 Racing (2000) an Agent Under Fire (2001). He wis offeecially referred tae as "Q" in Die Another Day (2002) follaein actor Llewelyn's deith in 1999. In 2004, Cleese wis featurt as Q in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing.[citation needit]

Mukle alike his predecessor, R is a consummate professional that is frequent annoyed bi Bond's cavalier attitude. In Die Another Day, Bond at first refers to R as "Quartermaster" but, silently impressed bi the gadgets he is gien, caws him "Q" at the end o thair meetin. (The Die Another Day DVD shaws that Bond initially saw R as an 'interloper', anely awarding the proper title of 'Q' efter R haes proven himsel.)

Accordin tae an interview on the Die Another Day DVD, Pierce Brosnan wis very blythe tae rename Cleese's character 'Q', raither than 'R', acause his native Erse accent makkit it difficult tae pronoonce 'R' wi a convincin Inglis accent.

In the 007 video game, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, Cleese's Q haes a servand, Miss Nagai, portrayed bi Misaki Ito.

Featurt in Films:


  • 007: The World Is Not Enough (2000) (as R)
  • 007 Racing (2000) (as R)
  • Agent Under Fire (2001) (as R)
    • Oreeginally Cleese wis to provide his likeness an vyce for the character o R, an the production footage release contained Cleese.[7] Houainver, aucht tae copyright issues, Cleese's image wis replaced an his lines war redubbed bi Miles Anderson. Anderson uised the same vyce he uised wan imitating the vyce o Llewelyn's Q in foregane gemmes, rather than try to imitate Cleese's vyce. Cleese did, houainver, reprise his role as R in commercials for Agent Under Fire.
  • Everything or Nothing (2004)
  • 007 Scene It (buird game)

In the 2010 video game 007: Blood Stone, Major Boothroyd isna seen, but it is mentioned that Bill Tanner works for Q Branch.[8]

Ben Whishaw: 2012–present[eedit | eedit soorce]

File:Ben Whishaw as Q.jpg
Ben Whishaw as Q in Skyfall

The character of Q daedna appear in 2006's Casino Royale o its sequel, Quantum of Solace (2008). Bond actor Daniel Craig expressed concern o'er the character's absence, an expressed his hope that Q wad return in Skyfall.[9] In November 2011, it wis annoonced that Breetish actor Ben Whishaw haed been cast in the role.[10] Whishaw, eildit 31 in 2012, becam the youngest actor tae play the role. In Skyfall, Q's gadgets we]ar comparatively semple, conseesting o a miniaturised radio an a gun coded tae Bond's palmprint sae anely Bond coud fire it. Q is demonstrated tae be heichly knowledgeable on the subject o computer security tae the pynt war he designed some o the maist sophisticated security protocols in existence. Houainver, he is an aw some pairt short-sichty; while engrossed in the bleck o a security seestem set up bi Raoul Silva, the film's main antagonist, he is unawaur that he is inadvertently facilitatin Silva's evite from MI6 custody till Silva actually evites. Whishaw retours as Q in Spectre, caw taen 007 on his meession, seemilar tae Q's cast tae Bond in 1989's Licence to Kill. Q meets 007 in Austria whaur he outruns SPECTRE agents efter a ring he eventually decodes, kythen the organisation's endurance. Q retourss tae Lunnon tae caw tae Miss Moneypenny an M in habblen corrupt MI6 bureaucrat Max Denbeigh's lench o the Nine Eyes wittins network. At the end he provides Bond wi his remodellt Aston Martin DB5.

Featurt in films:

Non-Eon films[eedit | eedit soorce]

Geoffrey Bayldon: 1967[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the 1967 version o Casino Royale, Q is portrayed bi Geoffrey Bayldon, but insteid o graithin James Bond, he provides gadgets for Evelyn Tremble (wha is portrayed bi Peter Sellers). In the film, Q is caw taed bi Fordyce (John Wells).

Featurt in

Alec McCowen: 1983[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the 1983 film Never Say Never Again, Q Branch is headed bi a man (played bi Alec McCowen) referrt tae bi Bond as Algernon an Algy, tho his appenin line is "Nice tae knaw eildit Q can still surprise you 00s". In the closin credeets, he is named as "Q Algy". Q Branch itsel is depictit as understockt an ricklie compared tae the heich-tech surroondins o the Eon films.

Featurt in

See also[eedit | eedit soorce]

Further reading[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Robert Wallace an H. Keith Melton, wi Henry R. Schlesinger, Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to al-Qaeda, New York, Dutton, 2008. ISBN 0-525-94980-1

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Griswold, John (2006). Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations And Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories. AuthorHouse. pp. 25–26. ISBN 978-1-4259-3100-1.
  2. "Careful Carruthers That Paper Clip Is Loaded". New Scientist. 14 August 1993. Retrieved 2 Mey 2012.
  3. Macintyre, Ben (5 Apryle 2008). "Was Ian Fleming the real 007?". The Times. Retrieved 8 Apryle 2008.
  4. "Desmond Llewelyn". Follyfoot-tv.co.uk. 19 December 1999. Archived frae the original on 17 Februar 2012. Retrieved 2 Mey 2012. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help) "Archived copy". Archived frae the original on 17 Februar 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. Chapman 2000.
  6. "Peter Burton". www.aveleyman.com. Archived frae the original on 24 September 2022. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  7. "Daily Llama - NEWS 2003_09_06 - John Cleese to Reprise Role of "Q" in Next James Bond Video Game". www.dailyllama.com. Archived frae the original on 23 Juin 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  8. "007: Blood Stone – Review – by Sean Colleli". GamingNexus.com. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 2 Mey 2012.
  9. "Daniel Craig talks about the future of JAMES BOND". Collider.com. Archived frae the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 2 Mey 2012.
  10. "Ben Whishaw cast as Q in new James Bond film Skyfall". BBC Online. BBC. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.