James Bond: 53 Years of Gadget Evolution

by 8Ball T Shirts Posted on November 13, 2015 0 Comments


Is it his alluring charisma? Rigorous British Secret Service training? Or ability to talk his way out of any old pickle that has contributed to Bond’s survival for more than 5 decades on the silver screen?

With his latest adventure Spectre in cinemas now, Bond’s escapades have been a hot topic here in the 8Ball offices. Something must be contributing to his survival of 4622 shots and we think it must be the gadgets that have actually done the doing, his charm just made the whole thing look pretty smooth.

Bond has the aid of whatever M16’s Q branch has thought up for him and over the years Q, led most notably by Desmond Llewelyn,  John Cleese and most recently, by Ben Whishaw have countlessly defied the law of physics to create some pretty awesome gadgets to support our favourite smooth operator.

From a camera that doubles up as a Geiger counter to a boom box doubling up as a rocket launcher, there’s nothing Bond doesn’t have and as the years have passed his gadgets…err, weapons have evolved to become even more elaborate.

From Russia With Love introduced us to the dagger shoe, the poisonous tip that helped execute Kronsteen. Bond gadgetry sophistication was significantly upped in 1966’s Thunderball, when shooting cigarettes and watches with Geiger counters (Grandfather to the Apple watch we’ll have you know) were introduced to Bonds inventory.

By the mid nineties, Bond joined the digital age in Goldeneye with an x-ray document reader and a pair of digital binoculars. Techy!

Since Daniel Craig rebooted the franchise as Bond, the truly ostentatious gadget catalogue has taken a back seat in favour of a more paired back approach.

As the ‘real world’ revolves around technological innovation, Bond has gone the other way, his gizmos becoming slightly more realistic and practical: A Walther PPK with a sensor in the grip and a standard-issue radio transmitter for sending out a location message. All seems like child’s play to us, all hail the truly outrageous gadgets….Personal jetpack anyone?


Which is your favourite Bond gadget? Leave a comment below or tweet us @8balltshirts

For more Bond, check out our Bond vs. Bauer infographic – Who would win in a battle to the death, Jack Bauer or James Bond?

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