The Schiensh of Bond: Dr No

Movie webbite and Bond obsessive The Incredible Suit has noticed that, not only are there are 22 months ’til the next Bond movie, there are also 22 Bond movies: a movie a month. This seems like a bad idea, but I’ve been talked into BlogalongaBond and doing my own science related take on it.

Tempting as it was to attempt this without re-watching Dr No, I thought I should at least give it a half-arsed attempt.


M pulls 007 into his office, MI6 have been looking into weirdness in the Caribbean. The Yanks are a bit upset because there are problems with Cape Canaveral rocket launch. Apparently the gyroscopic guidance thingy is being disrupted by radio beam something somethings.

A gyroscope is basically a glorified spinning top that tells you which way is up. The gyroscope resists changes in direction, hence their use in aircraft and space craft. Here’s a nice video 

Toppling is what happens when a gyroscope is forced beyond its limits – basically it falls over. I can’t figure out how “concentrated radio beams” would upset this. Radio beams might interfere with rockets guided by “guide beams” transmitted from the ground, and in fact the British did this to German V2 rockets during WWII. So this makes sense, but I’m having trouble putting it together with the gyroscope stuff…

There was cyanide in the cigarettes

Bond gets picked up at the airport in Jamaica by a would-be assassin, when Bond realises, the “Driver” bites down in the cigarette and quickly dies.

Cyanide pills seem to be a standard Cold War suicide method in books and stuff. Interestingly, cigarettes actually do contain small amounts of cyanide. Cyanide is a metabolic poison, this means it stops all cells from using oxygen to generate energy – the brain and heart are the first to go because they are the most active organs. Death occurs within minutes, due to cardiac arrest. Pretty handy if you want to avoid torture and are an unswervingly loyal nameless henchman…

Professor Dent in the Bedroom with the Spider

Dr No orders Professor Dent to kill Bond with a spider. In the next scene, we see Bond in bed with the spider (proving that he will actually sleep with ANYTHING). Bond is a total girl about the whole thing and beats it to death with a shoe. This is all that’s left…

Death by spider occurs occasionally, but most spiders lack the fangs to bite through human skin. Only 200 spider species can actually kill people. The venom is either neurotoxic (attacking the nervous system) or necrotic (causing death by grossness). Neurotoxins cause death by respiratory failure and muscle spasms, necrotic venoms cause damage to tissue that doesn’t heal and can spread to the vital organs. The spider used in the film was, of course, a non-poisonous tarantula.

Oh look, Professor Dent is a lying toad

After claiming that Professor Strangways’ rocks are the wrong kind of rocks (iron pyrite), Bond and Leiter use a GEIGER COUNTER and find out that the rocks are radioactive. And that Professor Dent is LYING.

The Geiger counter has the dubious honour of being Bond’s first gadget (if you don’t include his Walther PPK). We’re still unclear what the rocks actually are, but as they are radioactive they are highly suspicious (this being the 60s). Then there’s the reluctance to let anyone near Crab Key, and there’s this bad guy Dr No. Put 2 and 2 together in a Bond film and hey presto, you have your Bond villain hideout. I’m not entirely sure this sort of deduction would work in real life.

Here be Dragons

Sorry to break this to you Honey, but fire-breathing don’t exist. And your father was a zoologist? W. T. F.?! It’s a tractor with a blowtorch bolted on. Idiot.

There are such things as dragons, namely the Komodo dragons of Indonisia. While not actually being able to breathe fire, they can be rather bitey. Wikipedia talks about a few fatal attacks, primarily a result of bleeding to death. The saliva of Komodo dragons contain virulent bacteria, so anyone not dying from blood loss risks death by septic wound. And then there’s the venom.

“Oh noes, I is covered in radioactive shizzle!”

Bond and Honey Rider, having pootled on the island are radioactive. When they are picked up by Dr No’s men, they have gunk thrown over them, strip and then shower. Would this work?

Presumably, the stuff they’re sprayed with is decon foam as described here. Because it sticks to things, it’s fairly good at getting rid of chemical and biological contaminants. And removal of clothing and showers is pretty standard. On the plus side, no one is showing any signs of burns. So all good then. Except maybe Bond is sterile now. Ooops.

An atomic powered island base

Is it just me or is Dr No’s base a health and safety nightmare. Radioactivity lopes around the complex like so much free-range chicken, no wonder he has no hands. As for his aims, unlike demanding a Dr Evil-worthy $1 billion, all he wants to use all his magical atomic power to mess with the US rocket launches and anything else he can for “sh*ts and giggles”. I don’t get it…

Schiensh on Bond will return February 2011 with From Russia With Love


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  1. #1 by Ivan on January 30, 2011 - 20:39

    I used to think that making Bond sterile (by chaining him to a radiator or forcing him to drive a taxi all day) would be a great achievement for a Bond villain. Then I realised he’d just be free to attempt re-entry more often.

    It would explain why there’s never been a James Bond Jr running about. Unless you count that cartoon series. No-one does.

  2. #2 by followthelemur on January 31, 2011 - 08:32

    Just be glad I haven’t gone into checking the authenticity of Dr No’s title… Is he a medical Doctor or is he a PhD. Or is it one of those fake Gillian McKeith PhDs…

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