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Q (James Bond) - Wiki Article
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Category: Film

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Q is a fictional character in the James Bond films and film novelizations. Q, like M, is a job title rather than a name. He is the head of Q Branch, the fictional research and development division of the British Secret Service.

Q has appeared in 20 of 23 Eon Bond films; all except Live and Let Die, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. The character was also featured in the non-Eon Bond films Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again.

Novels

Charles Fraser-Smith is widely credited as being the inspiration for Q due to the spy gadgets he had built for the Special Operations Executive being called “Q-devices” after the Royal Navy’s World War I Q-ships. In the Fleming novels there are frequent references to Q and “Q Branch” with phrases like “see Q for any equipment you need” (Casino Royale) and “Q Branch would handle all of that” (Diamonds Are Forever), with a reference to “Q’s craftsmen” in From Russia with Love.

Major Boothroyd

In the sixth novel, Dr. No, the service armourer Major Boothroyd appears for the first time. Fleming named the character after Geoffrey Boothroyd, a firearms expert who lived in Glasgow, Scotland. He had written to the novelist suggesting that Bond was not using the best firearms available.

Ann Reilly

Boothroyd is also referenced occasionally in the Bond novels of John Gardner, but the author preferred instead to focus on a new character, Ann Reilly, who is introduced in the first Gardner novel, Licence Renewed and promptly dubbed “Q’ute” by Bond.

Films

In the films, Major Boothroyd first appears in Dr. No and later in From Russia with Love, although played by different actors. Desmond Llewelyn stated that though he was credited as playing “Major Boothroyd”, the original line spoken by M, “Ask Major Boothroyd to come in” was replaced with “the armourer” as director Terence Young stated Boothroyd was a different character.

Beginning in Guy Hamilton’s Goldfinger and in each film thereafter Major Boothroyd is most often referred to as Q; however, in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) he is referred to once again as Major Boothroyd in dialogue.

In most films in which Q appears, he is restricted to a “behind the scenes” involvement, either based in London or in secret bases out in the field. Two notable exceptions in which Q becomes directly involved in Bond’s missions occur in Octopussy, in which Q actually participates in field work – including the final battle against the villain’s henchmen – and Licence to Kill in which he joins Bond in the field after 007 goes rogue.

Eon Productions

Peter Burton: 1962

In the first film, Dr. No, Boothroyd is played by Peter Burton in only one scene in which he replaces Bond’s .25 Beretta 418 pistol with Bond’s signature .32 Walther PPK handgun. The character later appeared in From Russia with Love played by Desmond Llewelyn, due to scheduling conflicts that kept Burton from reprising. He is referred to by M as “the armourer,” and later as Major Boothroyd.

Featured in

Dr. No (1962)

Desmond Llewelyn: 1963–99

Beginning with From Russia with Love, Desmond Llewelyn portrayed the character in every official film except Live and Let Die until his death in 1999. In the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, as Q was delivering the underwater Lotus, Major Anya Amasova/Agent XXX (Barbara Bach) greets Q as “Major Boothroyd”.

The scenes in the films where Q briefs Bond on the gadgets that he is going to use on his mission include dialogue of antagonism between the two, with Q often annoyed by Bond’s wandering attention, often telling him to “pay attention, 007″, and Bond’s seemingly playful lack of respect for his equipment, telling the agent, “I never joke about my work, 007″. In Thunderball, Bond can be heard muttering “Oh no” when Q joins him in the Bahamas.

However, on occasion, Q has shown a warm and fatherly concern for 007′s welfare, such as at Bond’s wedding in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, when he assures Bond that he is available if Bond ever requires his help

Image source and licensing details: http://wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Bond%27s_Qs.jpg
Original article available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_(James_Bond)

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