Q (James Bond)

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name: Q
Occupation: head of MI6's Q Branch
Fandom: James Bond
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Q is a James Bond character. "Q" is a codename (which stands for "Quartermaster") that is given to the head of the "Q Branch" research and development division of the British Secret Service. Q provides James Bond with his various futuristic spy gadgets.

Classic Films

In the classic Bond films, Q is a recurring character. The first appearance of the MI6 armourer is in the 1962 film Dr. No, where he is portrayed by Peter Burton. His character, Major Boothroyd, appears in only one scene, in which he replaces Bond's handgun.

The role of Q was then taken over by Desmond Llewelyn between the years of 1963 and 1999, appearing in 17 films. Although Llewelyn was credited as Major Boothroyd in the 1963 film From Russia With Love, film director Terence Young had actually intended for Llewelyn's character to be a different individual. Q is also briefly referred to as Major Boothroyd in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. However, to help differentiate his character from the Craigverse Q, this older version of Q has the tag Q | Boothroyd on Ao3.

In the 1964 film Goldfinger, director Guy Hamilton introduced the idea that Q and Bond have a somewhat strained working relationship. Q occasionally expresses irritation with Bond's irreverent behavior towards authority and playful attitude towards the gadgets. Q's primary role is mainly in providing equipment—which Bond rarely returns in working order, if at all. This becomes a running gag throughout the movies: a prized, experimental gadget of Q's will be destroyed in a mishap, either out of necessity or Bond's recklessness. This gag was also preserved in the Craigverse movies.

Q is mostly restricted to behind-the-scenes involvement in Bond's missions, though in Octopussy (1983) and Licence to Kill (1989) Q does have a more active involvement in Bond's missions.

In the 1999 film The World Is Not Enough, John Cleese appears as Q's assistant, and Q introduces Cleese's character as his successor. Bond initially jokingly refers to this new individual as "R", but in the next film John Cleese's character has officially taken over the role of head of Q Branch.


Fan interest in the character skyrocketed after Ben Whishaw was cast as the new Q in the 2012 film Skyfall. Q had not appeared in the first two Craigverse films (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace).

This version of Q is much younger than the Qs of the classic films. Additionally, his clean slate in the reboot films and the lack of a definite backstory was appealing to many fans, who could develop their own interpretations of the character. This has led to a rich variety of characterizations for Q in fanfiction and other fanworks. In the latest Bond!Craigverse movie, No Time to Die Q is revealed as a canon LGBT character, when Bond and Moneypenny show up at his apartment hours before he has a date he identifies as a man.

Whishaw's portrayal led to a preponderance of James Bond/Q, or "00Q", shipping. Q is also, less commonly, paired with Alec Trevelyan, Raoul Silva, or Eve Moneypenny, frequently as part of a threesome with Bond as in popular pairing James Bond/Q/Alec Trevelyan.

Whishaw's Q also commonly features in "Bondlock" crossovers with the BBC Sherlock series. In these fanworks, Q is often portrayed as a third, youngest Holmes brother. Q's precise diction, aloofness, and looks, led many fans to associate the character with Sherlock and Mycroft and consider him a natural addition to the family. Mycroft's canon involvement in the Secret Intelligence Services lends an additional connection.

Example Fanworks


External Links