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Q (James Bond)

From Academic Kids

Q is a fictional character in the James Bond novels and movies. Q (standing for Quartermaster), 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. The Q character actually appears only fleetingly in Ian Fleming's novels, but comes into his own in the successful Bond movie series. The character of Q (although not always identified as such) has appeared in each of the 007 films except for Live and Let Die.

Contents

Major Boothroyd

The ancestry of the Q character is rather complicated. In the Fleming novels there are frequent references to 'Q branch' and in sixth novel, Dr. No, the service armourer Major Quentin Boothroyd appears for the first time. Boothroyd is also referenced occasionally in the Bond novels of John Gardner, but the author preferred instead to focus on a new character (see "Other Qs", below).

In the films, 'Major Boothroyd' first appears in Dr. No and later in From Russia With Love, although played by different actors. Beginning in Goldfinger and in each film thereafter Major Boothroyd is most oftenly referred to as Q, however, in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) he is referred once again as Major Boothroyd in dialogue. Some sources, most notably the 1980s James Bond 007 role-playing game suggested that Boothroyd's first name was Geoffrey, although this contradicts Fleming. No first name was ever mentioned on screen.

Peter Burton as Major Boothroyd

Major Boothroyd was first played by Peter Burton in the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962). In the only scene in which he appears, he replaces Bond's Beretta pistol with Bond's signature Walther PPK handgun.

Desmond Llewelyn as Q (a.k.a. Major Boothroyd)

Template:James Bond Character Due to scheduling conflicts, Peter Burton was unavailable to reprise his role as Boothroyd in From Russia With Love (1963) and was replaced by Desmond Llewelyn, who would continue to play the role, with the exception of Live and Let Die in every James Bond film until his death in 1999. In the series, Boothroyd had clearly retired by the time of Die Another Day (2002), but it has never been confirmed on screen whether the character is now deceased.

In the James Bond movies, the relationship between Bond and Q is one of seeming antipathy. The gadgets supplied by Q are almost invariably destroyed as a result of Bond's use of them, and Q is constantly exhorting Bond to take better care of them and to occasionally read the instruction manual. Bond usually responds by displaying an instant mastery of whatever device Q hands to him.

In addition to the tech laboratories, Q occasionally meets Bond in the field to deliver some equipment or to personally handle some specialized devices to assist Bond. This goes so far as in Licence to Kill where Q sides with Bond, supplying him with gadgetry and even helping him operationally despite Bond's having resigned from MI6.

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John Cleese Q (a.k.a. R)

Template:James Bond Character In The World Is Not Enough an assistant to Major Boothroyd (Q) was introduced, teasingly called "R" by Bond and played by John Cleese. His real name has yet to be revealed, but he is initially credited as R in The World is Not Enough stemming from a joke in which Bond asks the elder Q: "If you're Q does that make him R?" (Cleese's character responds, "Ah yes, the legendary 007 wit. Or at least, half of it"). The character continued to be referred to as "R" in videogames produced between 1999 and the release of Die Another Day in 2002.

Following actor Llewelyn's death in 1999, John Cleese's character took over the job of the former Q beginning with Die Another Day, and so from then on was known as Q, although Bond initially refers to him as "Quartermaster", the first official on-screen reference as to what Q stands for.

Cleese's Q is almost a radical departure from Major Boothroyd. From the start, Cleese's Q never liked Bond based simply from Bond's reputation of not returning items in pristine condition. When Bond tries to joke with Q, Cleese's Q is a lot quicker at comebacks than Boothroyd ever was, making him more of a match for Bond in terms of wit.

Though Llewelyn's and Cleese's Qs are different from one another they both share the same attitude towards their professional work. In almost every film one or the other have said either "I never joke about my work" or "Pay attention" to Bond.

Initially portrayed as rather clumsy and obtuse (i.e. referring to a vehicle as "rather stocked" rather than as "fully loaded"), once R was "promoted" to Q he has become more self-assured and more in the style of his predecessor.

As of February 2005, Cleese is still the current Q, although there are rumors the character may not appear in the next Bond film, Casino Royale.

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Other Q's

John Gardner, in his James Bond novels, introduced the character of Ann Reilly, a young female assistant to Q who Bond nicknamed Q'ute and subsequently had a brief romantic relationship. Q'ute had taken over the running of Q Branch by the time Gardner left the book series, and Boothroyd was only mentioned a couple of times, but when Raymond Benson took over the literary series, he ignored the character of Q'ute and gave Q Branch back to Major Boothroyd with no explanation.

In the 1983 non-EON production Never Say Never Again, Q branch is headed by a man referred to as both "Algernon" and "Q". It is unclear whether he is intended to be a successor to the EON Q (like the film's M is said to be).

A comedic version of Q appears in the non-official 1967 spoof, Casino Royale, played by Geoffrey Bayldon.

In the (non-canon) 1991 animated TV series James Bond Jr., Q's adolescent grandson, Horrise (AKA "I.Q.") attends the same high security secondary school as James Bond's nephew.

Parody

Mortadelo y Filemón's Professor Bacterio is a mad scientist providing the TIA agents with gadgets that always work the opposite of what's intended.

Gadgets

For a more complete list see: List of James Bond gadgets

Some of the more memorable gadgets supplied by Q include:

See also

External links

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