Q Section and Desmond Llewelyn Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Q Section and Desmond Llewelyn

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In every single incarnation of Ian Fleming's hero James Bond film 'Q Section' is responsible for all the gadgets that James will use throughout the film. Somehow all of these new gizmos become of lifesaving importance on the mission to follow. As 007 (Bond) and Q (known as Major Boothroyd in the novels) are talking there is usually some unfortunate research assistant in the background who has suffered from some highly explosive mishap. Q has been played in all the films (except Live and Let Die, Dr No (Q/Boothroyd was played by Peter Burton) and Never Say Never Again1) by Desmond Llewelyn despite being a self-confessed technophobe. Q always sighed 'Do be careful, 007', and every fan knew that was the last thing Bond would be.

Although Q section is based in London, Q himself has been known to fly to Bond's location with an extra piece of gadgetry which suddenly is needed to successfully complete the mission. On the odd occasion Q comes to the rescue of Bond himself.

Q section was supplemented in The World is Not Enough (1999) by 'R', played by John Cleese2. This is believed to be because 85-year-old Desmond Llewelyn had insisted they had better get someone ready to take over. Desmond said at the launch of The World is Not Enough that he would continue to play Q until the directors didn't need him or the Lord did. It seems that the latter called time first - Desmond Llewelyn unfortunately died in a car crash on 19 December, 1999.

1Although not played by Llewelyn, this film does have one of the funniest lines said by Q, this time played by Alec McCowen - 'Good to see you again Mr Bond. Let's get back to some gratuitous sex and violence , I say.'2Of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame.

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