We had already seen a new M in this movie that included a new 'old' Bond, in a new version of an old film, so it was with eager anticipation that we awaited 007's obligatory visit to Q Branch.
And we were not disappointed.
A pen is quietly and precisely rotated to a firing position. It is slowly lifted and appears to be aimed at Bond while he is in the shooting range. The pen is fired. A rocket explodes the target. Bond is alive. He was not the target after all. Phew.
The man with the pen was Q, but Bond refers to him as Algernon. And a very glum Q he was too. Complaints about budgets and spare parts certainly didn’t set us up for a bucket load of gadgets and devices in Q Branch’s cold warehouse.
According to Bond, “You could write a very binding contract with this.”
‘This’ being the missile firing Union Flag fountain pen.
As 007 continues his tour of Q Branch with Q he made fully aware of the state of the nation at the time, "Look at this pace, they keep us bloody freezing down here. It plays havoc with my sinuses.
Bond replies, "Ah, we're both humble servants of the crown, Algy."
Q: "If the CIA made me an offer, I'd be off like a shot. Unlimited resources, air conditioning, 28 flavours of ice cream in the restaurant."
Even the watch was confiscated from a KGB defector whizz-kid from their technical section.
Q: "It looks like a watch, but it's really a laser. It keeps perfect time."
007: "But for how long?"
Q: "At least your lifetime."
Cut backs, you see – Q Branch circa 2013 is probably very similar.