back to article Better luck next time Blofeld! Five Bond plot myths busted

Keep it simple – if only the villains of James Bond had learned that lesson in Evil Medical School. All too often, though, the Ernst Stavro Blofelds and Karl Strombergs of 007’s world succumb to their maniacal tendencies and plot ridiculously complicated plans to off Bond or take over the world, where a simple bullet or well- …


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  1. DrStrangeLug

    What about moonraker?

    Any mathematical estimates on the probability of launching 6 shuttles within an hour and all of them working as intended ?

    1. MrXavia
      Thumb Up

      Re: What about moonraker?

      Maybe if it was done in the private sector they could achieve it!

      The part that made me laugh was the gravity!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Wouldn't it be easier for the bad guy to just walk up to Bond and shoot him in the back?

      Why faff and try to cut him in half with a laser? Amongst other things.

  2. TRT Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This report worth reading...

    if only for the line "a master criminal trying to twock a submarine."

    1. B4PJS

      Re: This report worth reading...

      Should really be written as TWOC (Taken Without Owners Consent)


  3. Wize

    Speaking of bad physics...

    Obligatory XKCD cartoon

  4. Ryleh

    Helicopters (one) can have eject systems!

    I'm gonna be anal and say - Zero-zero eject systems were introduced in helicopters - actually just one type; Russian Designed Kamov Ka-52 Blackshark.

    It's notably the fastest attack helicopter in service thanks to it coaxial rotor design that allowes for higher Vne (co-axial design compensates for retreating blade stall effect and lift asymetry) and the only attack helicopter that is crewed just by one member (rather then the conventional designs = pilot + gunner)

    And that's why the ruskies put the ejection system in - the way it works - a explosive charge blows and releases the main rotor blades and then the pilot is ejected preventing the unfortunete sould from being chopped to little pieces two sets of composite blades rotating at 200rpm!

    1. Penguin

      Re: Helicopters (one) can have eject systems!

      I fear this is going to be a tad controversial with the rotor heads but it has to be said; The British Army don’t get all the best gear on the battlefield so I won’t let you take away their ‘Fastest helicopter in the world’ accolade despite the fact it is quite questionable.

      Fully loaded with AT then yes, the KA-50 is faster. Yes, in a dive it is faster (I believe it has 15 – 16 mph higher do not exceed limit than the Lynx without BERP rotors) Yes, the KA-50 is a real attack helicopter as apposed to a sky truck with some TOW missiles bolted to the door.

      But darn it! The Lynx is faster. I need to cling to these hopeless, irrelevant numbers to make me feel better.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Re: Helicopters (one) can have eject systems!

        " I won’t let you take away their ‘Fastest helicopter in the world’ accolade despite the fact it is quite questionable....." OK, not EXACTLY a helicopter, but the Convair Pogo had rotors, could hit 610mph, it had an ejector seat, and all back in the Fifties! And it's one of my all-time-fave whacky aircraft designs.

        Now, if Larry Ellison was a REAL man, he'd be saying "Sod the MiG, gimme one of them Convairs!"

      2. My Alter Ego

        Re: Helicopters (one) can have eject systems!

        I also remember being told that the French contested the Lynx record as Westland vectored the turbine exhaust to give an extra few pounds of thrust.

    2. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: Helicopters (one) can have eject systems!

      "... a explosive charge blows and releases the main rotor blades and then the pilot is ejected..."

      Important to get the timing right, then?

      //leather flight jacket, thanks

      1. ArmanX

        Re: Helicopters (one) can have eject systems!

        What's the worst part about helicopter ejection seats?

        Having to wear parachutes for both halves.

  5. Pete the not so great
    Thumb Up

    The have a licence ....


  6. Shakje

    Guys, EMP


    It's not what you might expect, but...

  7. Captain Hogwash


    Worth it just for that. By the way, it's twoc - not twock.

  8. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Oi! Leave Goldeneye alone!

    Frankly, they could have gremlins stealing a B2 for all I care, just as long as they kept the gorgeous Famke Janssen in the movie. Much hotter than the movie's Bond girl, Izabella Scorupco. Unfortunately, whilst Lois Chiles was pretty hot, even she couldn't save Moonraker's "plot" from ridicule.

  9. jai

    The implausibility is what makes them enjoyable, no?

    Isn't it the utterly outrageous nature of the evil schemes that makes the films so enjoyable. Everything about them is beyond belief, from the names of the love interests to Bond himself, that you have no choice but to suspend your disbelief by a large measure. And with that, you're willing to accept anything, and the film becomes a great thrill ride.

    Afterall, the recent Daniel Craig films have been a bit more closer to reality than those films listed here, and arguably, weren't nearly so much fun.

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: The implausibility is what makes them enjoyable, no?

      If you're a fan of the Bond universe as portrayed by most of the films, then probably yes.

      If, however, you prefer the more steeped in reality Bond universe as portrayed in the original Fleming novels, and would prefer to see the film adaptations reflect this at least to some degree, then no, not really. As much as I've enjoyed most of the films as entertainment in their own right, I wouldn't say I've necessarily enjoyed them all as Bond films - it's really only the Dalton and Craig ones which IMO capture the essense of the written-word Bond.

      I think Dalton's portrayal of Bond has been unfairly criticised as a result, with people comparing his films against the Connery/Moore collection and finding them rather dull, yet for me he was the first on-screen Bond who came close to matching up with the description from the novels. Craig has then taken it into a whole new level. OK, so I still haven't been able to watch Quantum of Solace without needing a break halfway to clear my head, but that's just down to the way the storyline flows (or doesn't, as the case may be) - as far as his portrayal of Bond goes, it's a continuation of what he started in Casino Royale, and I'm genuinely excited about Skyfall.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The implausibility is what makes them enjoyable, no?

        Skyfall has no connection with the previous two films; it's as if they never happened. Still a good movie and better than QoS but there's no sense of momentum or continuity from the previous Craig films.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I want to see now is...

    Begbie vs Bond

    Preferably the Roger Moore version

  11. mark 63 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    dipping mechanism

    Begin the unnecassarily slow dipping mechanism!

    You're not even going to watch?

    No I'm going to walk away and assume it all went fine.

  12. Dom 3


    Eight left, 'cksherly.

  13. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    You missed another.

    What about brosnon and the korean laser, golden eye was nothing to a solid single laser being constantly emitted from a space satellite and moving while he did it.

    1. rh587 Silver badge

      Re: You missed another.

      The "korean laser" was a orbital mirror reflecting and focussing sunlight, not a laser.

      Of course that has it's own set of impracticalities, but you avoid the problems of sourcing a suitable power source, engineering for heat dissipation, etc that plagued Blofeld's diamond laser.

  14. HeyMickey

    'We asked our expert – we are forbidden to name him by the Official Secrets Act'

    So that'll be Lewis Page then?

  15. thomas newton

    @ dr strangelug

    an equally big question is 'how could six space launches all go off within minutes of each other and no-one whatsoever on the ground notice?'

  16. Rodrigo Valenzuela


    What have always baffled me is the distance.

    If you put a big laser in space, which as pointed in the article, is a major engineering challenge, would it be useful?

    Doesn't the inverse square law applies to the laser beam?

    At a distance of, say, 2000 kilometers, for a low earth orbiting satellite, you need a lot of power to inflict damage.

    And that is assuming the target is right below the satellite. Add to that the atmosphere.

    And to that, add the precision of the mechanism to keep the beam on target... mmm.

    Nope, laser beams orbiting the earth are, in my opinion, worthless as weapons.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: distance

      >Doesn't the inverse square law applies to the laser beam?

      Yes but it's not such a big effect.

      If you had a little 6inch telescope with a diffraction limit of 1arc-sec then from LEO at 200km you would put a spot about 1m (in ideal case), launch a Hubble size mirror and you can focus it down to about 1/20 of that = 2inches.

      Sunlight is about 1000w/m^2 so your 1MegaWatt Acme space laser would be about 200,000x brighter than daylight

      The atmosphere doesn't have much effect looking down. The distortion puts an angle shift into the light, so if you are looking at a distant star a fraction of degree movement is big, but if you target is only a few km below the atmospheric turbulence layer it's not such a big deal.

      Pointing accurately to 1arc-sec even blind is trivial, with star trackers we can point the Hubble to 1/100 of that.

      But on the whole the best way of killing somebody with a laser still remains dropping it on their head.

      1. BorkedAgain
        Thumb Up

        "...the best way of killing somebody with a laser..."

        Genuine laugh-out-loud moment there. Thanks for that! :)

      2. Colin Brett

        Re: distance

        "But on the whole the best way of killing somebody with a laser still remains dropping it on their head."

        I thought it was to mount it on a shark.


    2. Ru

      Re: distance

      A 550nm wavelength laser pointed at a target 2000km away and using a 10m reflector has a minimum possible focus spot size of ~10cm diameter. I reckon it'll lose a good 50% of its output energy firing though the atmosphere, and probably won't accomplish a whole lot though cloud or dust storms. Still, if you've got good enough optics to focus the beam down that far, you don't have to throw many tens megawatts out of the business end of your laser to chop holes in even quite tough targets (say, a tank) in a second or two.

      It won't, however, be a city razing ravening beam o' death. You'll get results a little more like a precision drone strike... it'll take out a car, or a plane, or a person but it won't level a block of flats. Dropping rocks out of orbit is more appropriate for that.

      The technology for this isn't that far off. I kinda hope we'll be using it for laser launch systems to get stuff in to orbit cheaply rather than frying each other, however.

  17. JDX Gold badge

    Another one?

    Didn't they also have a spaceship which gobbled up other spaceships, like the boat idea?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another one?

      Yes, they did: "You only live twice". Had the secret base in the volcano with the retractable lake. And the bit were the astronaut is spacewalking while his spaceship is being engobbled and his air-lines get cut by the closing doors of the engobbler.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another one?

      No, that was the NASA/USA military collaboration.


  18. disgruntled yank

    jet pack

    "hydrogen peroxide powered model"--I find myself thinking of Paris Hilton.

    1. Steven Roper
      Paris Hilton

      Excuse me, is this yours?

      You dropped your icon. I found it on the floor next to where you posted your comment.

  19. Daedalus

    One small quibble

    Nuclear EMP requires detonation in the ionosphere, because it works by catching the ions in the shockwave to generate the pulse. EMP occurs in atmospheric blasts but it is much reduced. Hence when you nuke a city you don't need as much EMP protection. And frankly, the designers of early delivery aircraft may not have cared that much. The expected return rate from missions was pretty low, and there may not have been anything to return to.

  20. fawlty

    Aaargh! too much information!

    Some things man is not meant to know... Its like finding out how they do those magic tricks on tv.

  21. John A Blackley

    'Analysing' Bond plots is like explaining a joke.

    If you have to do it you've missed the point.

  22. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    So which plots were plausible?

    Off the top of my head, Thunderball, Octopussy, Casino Royale seem to have relatively realistic plots. What else?

    Would a gun made of gold work any good?

    Is cocaine soluble in petrol / diesel?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: So which plots were plausible?

      And if it is, what are you going to do while your car is high?

    2. Azzy

      Re: So which plots were plausible?

      Gun made of gold? Probably only for a few shots, if at all. Gold isn't very strong.

      Gold-plated guns have certainly been made, though, and I assume this is what Bond uses. I think Gadaffi had gold plated vanity guns, and other Arab dictators probably do too (they'd never want to be left behind in an arms-decoration race, right?)

      Cocaine base (ie, crack) is soluble in petrol (and just about any other non-polar solvent), powder cocaine is not. They use kerosene or gasoline (hopefully unleaded) in the production of cocaine from coca plants, for this purpose...

      1. My Alter Ego

        Re: hopefully unleaded

        I love the idea of being concerned about unleaded petrol when it comes to stuffing large amounts of Bolivian marching powder up your nose.

  23. Jamie Kitson

    Well make your mind up

    Diamonds Are Forever... bears the least resemblance to the original novel

    The Spy Who Loved Me, with Moonraker, owes the least to the novel from which it takes its name.

  24. Matthew 3


    I recall being taught (at a very young age so I'm probably hopelessly wrong on the detail) that the Allies captured some Japanese aircraft during WW2 which had gone back to valve technology in order to avoid the EMP risk of a nuclear strike. Is this complete bollocks or was the story true?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Valves?

      Well, at the time there was not really any technology more advanced than valves, and pretty much no one had any idea about EMPs from nuclear bombs, what with there not being any nuclear bombs (until right at the very end of the war), so, yes, that's complete bollocks, sorry.

      However, I have heard the same about soviet technology from the cold war (eg the Mig-25), but that might also be due to their lack of decent transistor based tech.

      (ps, I found more information searching for 'vacuum tubes' rather than 'valves')

  25. Oninoshiko

    Am I the only one that

    can't unsee a collapsable colander every time they see that satellite?

    When I was a tyke my grandmother had one, and I used to play with it sometimes (as we were want to do, since this was before everyone had a supercomputer to play with). So it's been that to me since the first time I saw it.

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: Am I the only one that

      No, you're not.

      Though I always see one of these:

      I had one as a teen...worked well

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Am I the only one that

        ohh.. that is a good one too!

  26. Tim Brown 1

    Laser nuts

    "Do you expect me to talk?"

    "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die."

  27. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Realistic Bond plot

    Bond arrives for work at M's secret headquarters - the big building on the Thames with the 60ft flashing tourist sign saying "secret military inteligence HQ"

    Ah Bond - we have a special job for you.

    We want you to go down to files, pull out all the stories about Arthur Scargil being a Soviet agent paid by Libya, change the name to Alex Salmond and leak them to the Daily Mail.

    Go and see Q I hear he has developed some magical liquid allowing you to change things on a typewriter.

    Afraid I can't says Bond flicking a speck of dust from his C&A casual bry-nylon slacks. I have to attend a course on updating health and safety requirements on working with paper clips in an office environment to meet the new civil service guidelines.

  28. Alan Brown Silver badge


    Not quite. It was Americans in the 70s laughing at the soviets using microvalves in their fighters - then rediscovering EMP.

  29. Mage Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Russian Military Rod Pentodes

    Made till 1991









    Superior to Germanium transistors

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. pentodes


    Tek stuff used these cute things called "nuvistors" which were basically a micro can valve.

    Often wondered whether a VFD based radio would be able to transmit if connected to a decent aerial and ground, if so how far?

    That would be a cool hack, as dead video recorders and hi-fis are an effective source for these useful pieces of technology.

  31. laird cummings

    Nuclear pedantry

    " would need to somehow ram the whole reactor core down into a subcritical mass in a tiny fraction of a second, the way a warhead does."

    That would be a *super*critical mass. Subcritical masses just sit there and do nothing terribly interesting. It's all about critical goemetry - And a core designed to generate use power levels is *very* hard to get to go 'bang.' Excepting in the mundane 'steam expolosion' manner. Which would hardly suit a Bond villian.

    Mine's the canary-yellow one with lead lining. Cheers!

  32. Andus McCoatover

    50 tons of the lid of a reactor?

    When I saw one on HMS Sceptre, the reactor itself was the size of a big wheelie bin. I couldn't believe how such a compact thing could power the boat for 6 months or so. Did I see wrong? Corrections gratefully received.

  33. OrsonX

    Laser them from space

    I've often wondered how many lives would be saved if we really could just laser the nutters from space?

    We could have got Saddam and saved invading Iraq twice. We could vaporise Ahmadinejad and save Mit the bother (oh please let Obama win!!!).

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was all right till #5 - the EMP ray. Just the other day, the US military announced an EMP missile, designed to send a highly focused microwave beam to fry all electronics and electricals in its beam. Apparently they've successfully tested it!

    This myth is not busted!

  35. Random Yayhoo

    "Laser them from Space"


    "...just laser the nutters from space? We could have got Saddam and saved invading Iraq twice..."

    Why space? Don't you get warm feelings from Predators? (Sorry.) The F-35's engine was designed to generate sufficient electrical power to operate antipersonnel directed-energy weapons. I expect that the current 700kg, ~10kW SS laser weapons are sufficient for light(sic) headaches within the "tactical range" (some kilometers) from which those weapons lit off artillery rounds in recent US tests. I expect there shall be capability in a decade (perhaps now), using a long-range UAV, to silently disable any person on earth whose position is above the surface and known. This will be merely another cold incarnation of Ray Bradbury's "mechanical hound" from Farenheit 451.

    "...We could vaporize Ahmadinejad..."

    Or, for artistic effect, inscribe "Haircut by Raytheon" on his noggin.

    1. OrsonX

      Haircut by Raytheon


  36. Webcrowd

    Yes cause the plot holes are the problem with Bond films. I gave up when I saw some turkey wheel stand a semi trailer just by revving the crap outta it and dropping the clutch.

  37. Entropiated

    Here, here for the ionosphere

    As a poster has previously stated, to be effective as an EMP weapon, a nuke must be detonated in the ionopshere. The result will be a shower of high-energy electrons that will destroy any unshielded electronics. As for "not EMPing the bomber," that's not a problem because a nuclear warhead isn't usually detonated until it is a couple thousand feet (or less) off the ground.

  38. Paul 129


    Next you'll be saying people like "Pussy Galore" are fictional make believe.

    I've wasted so many years looking!!!

  39. The Grump

    new Bond movie

    In the new Bond movie "Hard Rain", the BOFH has finally had enough. Using his knowledge of IT systems, he manages to steal his boss's identity, transfer a billion dollars to his boss's bank account from corporations and governments around the world. He uses the money to build his own space shuttle, infilitrate the ISS, kill everyone aboard, and begin building his superweapon - a mass driver to rain astroid death on London, and ultimately the world, unless they give control of all IT systems to his cloud servers on the ISS - for a small service charge of one hundred million a year.

    This Bond film will star the oldest actor to play the 007 agent, Ben Stein. "My name is Bonnnnnd. James Bonnnnnd". The movie opens with a shootout on the top of the London Eye. Explosives shear the ferris wheel from it's axle, sending Bond on a deadly ride through the streets of London while running on the top of the wheel.

    Coming to a theatre near you. Maybe.

  40. Jack Prichard

    Licence to FAIL

    Hey, is it just me of does this, excellent, report mix up The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill?

    I'm sure the plane-lassoed-by-helicopter scene is from the other Tim Dalton Bond outing, which is not half bad if memory serves.

    1. My Alter Ego

      Re: Licence to FAIL

      Where in the article does it mention either of Dalton's films? I can't find anything, but then maybe my brain has knocked off early for Friday.

  41. psuedonymous

    Atomic tomfoolery

    Actually, there ARE nuclear directed energy weapons, or more like nuclear 'shaped charges' really: look up 'Casaba Howitzer', an offshoot of the specially designed gadgets for Project Orion. Basically, jamb a truncated cone of Beryllium oxide onto your device, top it with a thin disk of metal (e.g. Titanium), and that disk get's turned into a narrow lance of high velocity superheated plasma.

    I suppose by carefully manipulating the orientation of this beam (or beams, you can shoot out a few of these from each device) with respect the the Earth's magnetic field as it sprays out charged particles you could maybe focus the resulting EMP somewhat, but you'd still need to deal with the EMP generated by the nuclear initiation itself, and I doubt you could focus it nearly as well as the 'Goldeneye' does.

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