LONDON (Reuters) – Can you turn a wristwatch into an explosive, or perhaps you’re able to design some X-ray glasses to see who is carrying a concealed weapon? If so, perhaps you should apply to be the next “Q” at Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service.
The head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service said on Thursday that the spy agency was hunting for a new tech chief, “Director General Q”, known to all James Bond film fans simply as “Q”.
“We’re looking for a new ‘Q’. If you want to serve your country by helping MI6 to develop the operational technology of the future, please take a look,” Richard Moore wrote on Twitter.
In the Bond films, “Q” has furnished agent 007 with an array of gadgets from an Aston Martin sports car with passenger ejector seat to a ballpoint pen that turns into a grenade.
However, according to the job description the real-life version will be “responsible for the teams who create and adopt technologies to enable our mission against the UK’s hardest adversaries”.
“You turn disruptive technologies from threats to our operations into opportunities, putting MI6 at the leading edge of digital innovation,” it says.
In the Bond movies, Q has been played by men such as Desmond Llewelyn, Geoffrey Bayldon and John Cleese, but in 2017 the former MI6 chief disclosed that the job was actually held by an unidentified woman.
The ad warned that the successful candidate would “not be publicly avowed”, while there was no mention of any ability to design watches with lasers or bagpipes that turn into flamethrowers.
“Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that anymore,” Ben Whishaw, the current screen version of Q told a disgruntled Daniel Craig as Bond in the 2012 film “Skyfall”.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Jonathan Oatis)