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Bond, James Bond Exhibit at the London Science Center

Bond, James Bond

Official Synopsis:
In October of 2002, the London Science Museum opened the doors to its new Bond, James Bond interactive exhibit. Spanning 50 years of history, Bond‚ James Bond explores the science and art of the Bond films through the greatest collection of original 007 objects‚ images‚ concept drawings‚ storyboards and costume designs ever assembled. From Rosa Klebb’s infamous flick-knife shoe through to plans for spectacular stunts and Oddjob’s killer bowler hat‚ this thrilling interactive exhibition gives visitors a behind-the-scenes tour of the creative talents and technical wizards behind the world’s biggest and best-loved film phenomenon.

In the Bond‚ James Bond exhibition visitors actually step inside the movies‚ as a series of spectacular themed areas let you live life as the world’s most famous secret agent. A mission briefing in M’s office is followed by a visit to Q’s gadget workshop‚ where visitors come face to face with the tantalising technology of the spy trade. While training in the dark arts of espionage‚ visitors learn information from video displays and state-of-the-art computer interactives. Before they can claim secret agent status however‚ Bond wanabees must first undertake a death-defying stunt and negotiate the mirrored maze in the villain’s lair.

Exhibit Review:
James Bond is famously knowledgeable about many diverse subjects, such as wine, caviar and even butterflies. However, there are probably things at The London Science Museum's Bond, James Bond exhibition that even he does not knew. The museum is not particularly thrilling, I've been to it before and it was terribly dull. Fun for Victorian medicine enthusiasts, but not for Joe Public. However, it was worth visiting again just to see the Bond exhibition.

Upon entering the Exhibition, visitors are given an access card, which can be used on machines spread throughout the impressive interior. After a briefing given by either M (Robert Brown, I suspect) or Robinson, you proceed into the exhibition proper, filled with incredible Bondian artifacts, such as Ken Adam's sketches of his famous sets, unused posters, a few Bond gadgets such as the Acrostar Jet from Octopussy or the piton gun from Goldeneye, and even some villains' weapons such as Rosa Klebb's poison shoes and Oddjob's bowler hat. If you can drag your eyes away from all this then you can use your card to answer trivia questions at the machines, which if answered correctly, increase your secret agent status, from Trainee to hopefully Master Spy. Unfortunately, these machines are highly prone to freezing, but the technicians work as quickly as possible to fix them. The service is impeccable.

The aforementioned sections alone would be enough, but above the main exhibition is a room filled with more Bond props. I noticed the Ice Palace scale model, an ice dragster, and ice chairs from Die Another Day, several miniatures of Bond vehicles such as the hot air balloon from Octopussy and the flying car from The Man with the Golden Gun. One item I found especially interesting was the full size BMW from The World is Not Enough, split in half.

All in all, the exhibit was excellent, full of smart touches and consistently fascinating. There were flaws, however. Little connection was made between anything scientific and Bond, which you would expect, it being held in London Science Museum and all. Another niggle is that I think I missed some of it, perfectly understandable given the size of the exhibition. Regardless, as a whole the exhibit is worth visiting. Get along there as soon as possible if you live in London (or elsewhere in Britain), it's on until next February.

Exhibit Information/Links:

  • The exhibition runs from 16 October 2002 to 27 April 2003
  • Ticket Prices: Adults £8.95‚ Children/Concessions £6.95 (please note that we are operating a timed ticket system)
  • Combination tickets are available with other attractions within the museum - please call the Booking and information line (+44 (0)870 870 4868) for a full list of prices
  • For more information on the exhibit visit the London Science Museum

Review submitted by Allan Johnstone

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