Official Bond author Charlie Higson reveals the 007 gadget he'd most want
Not only is Charlie Higson the author of the official Young Bond series of novels, he's also always been a massive fan of James Bond, both in literature and on film. So, when Pocket-lint got the chance to interview him on the build-up to the release of Skyfall (in UK cinemas today) we wanted to find out what Bond gadget he'd most want to own.
"It’s a toss up," he told us. "Everybody, surely, has always wanted the jetpack [from Thunderball]?
"That being said, an ejector seat is also a very useful device. And I think the one I enjoyed most in the films was the magnetic watch, where Bond was able to magnetically unzip Madeline Smith’s dress [in Live and Let Die]."
However, that particular gadget has its faults, as Higson explained.
"It’s daft if you think about it. At the time, he’s actually got his arms around her and they’re behind her back - it wouldn’t have been that difficult to do it manually. But you think at the time, ‘Wow, he’s using his watch, that would be really good’. And then you think, ‘Well actually, he’s already got his arms around her – his hand is about three inches away from her zip’.
"So actually, in the long run, a magnetic watch is not that useful and the ejector seat might get you arrested... I think it’s going to have to be the jetpack," he decided.
Owning and operating the jetpack does present one problem - it could be extremely dangerous. The one used in 1965's Thunderball was real but extremely difficult to fly.
"There was one guy who knew how to fly it, who did the actual flying," Higson told us. "Obviously, there was a lot of health and safety involved which is why Bond has to actually stop and put on a little crash helmet. The guy who was flying it for real obviously had to wear a crash helmet, because he was in very real danger of killing himself.
"Yeah, the guy could actually fly it. It was probably the first and last time he ever did," he added.
And what Bond gadget would Pocket-lint most want for real? Well, our favourite is the case Bond uses to beat and contain Scaramanga's dwarf henchman Nick Nack at the end of The Man with the Golden Gun. You can't beat a decent bit of luggage when you want to thwart a diminutive assailant.
"So your favourite gadget is basically a suitcase?" laughed Higson.
We were speaking to the Fast Show star and author Charlie Higson about his being tasked with condensing all 12 of Ian Fleming's full-length James Bond novels into 140 character tweets each. You can see how he got on by following him at @monstroso.
What Bond gadget would you most like to own? Let us know in the comments below...