Top Five Diabolical Plots For World Domination

Say what you like about being an evil genius, at least they’re proactive. A villainous mastermind of the Secret World Order (or, S.W.O.R.D. if you want to please them), for example, isn’t just going to be sitting around waiting for the world to change – NO! They will stand up and be counted alongside their colleagues. Yes, okay, so they also happen to be holding the world to ransom with a motherflipping nuclear doomsday weapon, but how are you supposed to forge your utopian paradise without breaking a few civilisations?

No Peace Enforcing Nation is going to be out there changing the world. These bureaucrats are nothing but a bunch of reactionary pencil-pushing spoilsports, right? Right, comrades?

While a ruddy great big bomb is enough to make people sit up and take notice, not every plan for world domination is quite so straight forward as Claymore’s in Spy Or Die Trying. Doomsday Weapon? Pah! These plots would swallow up a Doomsday Weapon for breakfast!

00:05. Incite Nuclear War

I thought about not including this particular plot, but it’s so prevalent, it almost seems crazy to leave it off. A central plot point of several of the James Bond film series, including many of its imitators, including the Austin Powers spiritual predecessor The Silencers (1966). The idea is simple, you get your hands on a nuclear warhead, or two, then you somehow launch this at one or two superpowers, make them believe the other has started a war and BOOM. You’ve just annihilated your competitors!

You Only Live Twice (1967) is probably what really set this in stone, and has been with us ever since. The bonus is, while the naughty men are launched up into space to hijack an American space capsule and launch a warhead at the USSR, Bond himself is leading an army of ninjas in a base inside a volcano. Yep. It had everything, alright.

00:04. Mass Sterilisation

The most ingenious idea a genius ever devised to populate the world… single handed. At least, that’s what the trailer boasts for Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die (1966). To put it as simply as possible, an insanely wealthy Brazilian industrialist has launched a satellite into orbit, and intends to use it to cause mass sterilisation of the human race.

The twist? He’s also kidnapped and frozen a selection of beautiful women in suspended animation, with whom he intends to repopulate the world. Sounds like an awful lot of work to me, but then, it’s no madder than Woody Allen’s Jimmy Bond in Casino Royale (1967) unleashing a virus that kills all men over 4 foot 6 and turns every woman in the world beautiful.

00:03. The Great Flood

Some people enjoy micro-managing. Others, however, prefer to wield the sledgehammer over the toffee hammer. Why fuss with manipulating a society, when you can just go ahead and wipe the slate clean and start over? Such is the plan of various madmen, including Karl Stromberg from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Hugo Drax from Moonraker (1979) and, because no one talks about it enough, the sinister Noah from Star Trek Deep Space Nine S4E10: Our Man Bashir, released in 1995.

Look, if you’re going to do something stupid like melt the polar ice caps to flood the world, at least do it in style. Noah didn’t bother with an underwater base, no! He built his lair on the top of Mount Everest and watched the waters flood in – say what you like, this man had style.

00:02. Puppet Rulers

Human cloning is something that comes up again and again in spy-fi. Variants include actively cloning humans, such as in the Arnie action flick The 6th Day (2000), building robot avatars, such as in virtually ever comic book ever, or just using plain old fashioned surgical enhancements, such as the wonderfully silly In Like Flint (1967).

In this particular example, a group known as Fabulous Face are trying to depose the patriarchy with that of a feminist matriarchy. Naturally, it starts by bumping off the American President during a golf game and replacing him with an actor in order to gain control of a US space facility in the Virgin Islands. Soon, they are able to take control over a nuclear-armed space station thanks to their diabolical Operation: Smooch. Bonus points go to the brainwashing devices installed in every hair salon hairdryer in the United States to bolster the forces of their movement, because nothing says revolution like an army of non-consensual zombies.

00:01. Immortality

Live forever, or die trying. Truly words to live by. But, let’s just imagine for a moment, that you are the sort of person who sits at home and tries to piece together exactly what you would do if you ruled your very own Empire. Looks good, huh? I love what you’ve done with the place. It’s just a shame that, at the end of it all, it’ll all be for nothing and the best you can hope for is your dying breath to confuse people enough to dedicate a film to uncovering the meaning behind the word.

Well, that is unless you work out how to live forever. Such is the plan of Jacob Crow from Timesplitters Future Perfect. A crazed scientist, Crow was obsessed with unlocking the power of immortality, experimenting in eugenics before he is greeted by a younger version of himself with a time machine, sending Crow into the past to inform his younger self of the plan revealed to-

Oh, you know what, it doesn’t matter. The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for. You never know when a version of you from a parallel timeline might arrive to ruin your day.

Written by Adam Tyler

7 Gadgets Your Spy Should Never Leave Home Without

The life of a secret agent is hardly an easy one. When you’re not nursing a margarita hangover or getting that Communist-looking rash checked up at the clinic, you’re probably going to be pouring over dossiers and briefing notes before you’re shipped out to some dastardly foreign nation to ruin a bad guy’s day.

Thankfully, behind every dapper spy is a small army of nerds and scientists with one goal – to make life easy in the field. Whether it’s a car that can traverse the open sea, an explosive hair pin or a stereo that doubles as a portable missile launcher, there isn’t anything these boffins can’t throw together in the safety of their laboratory that won’t be useful at some point.

So, without further ado, let’s settle down and run through the 7 top gadgets your spy should never leave home without.

And please, don’t touch that. It’s my lunch!

001. Smoke Cigar – Danger Man (1965)

If you ever watched Danger Man, you would know that Drake was never short on ideas. In one episode, Drake is able to evade the baddies by lighting his cigar. It is, in fact, a smoke bomb – and Drake is able to escape in the ensuing chaos. Simple, effective, and the perfect set up for approximately twenty seven puns on release.

While it’s true that there are more than a few variations of this oh-so-simple gadget, whether it’s a portable dart gun, sleeping powder vessel or explosive device. It’s so common, in fact, that I wonder if this was indeed inspired by a range of existing gadgets used during the Second World War or the Cold War. In either case, smoking kills – but smoke just might save your hide this time around.

002. Latex Masks – Mission: Impossible series (1966-1973, 1996-present)

 

Because sometimes it just pays to look like someone else for a bit, the latex masks featured in the Mission: Impossible series are simply a work of art. Whether you’re framing someone for a crime they didn’t commit, sneaking into a high security facility or otherwise causing mischief, a good, realistic mask will help an agent in virtually every mission. What’s more, it’s likely to cause children and audiences to freak out.

I admit I don’t know much of the original sixties television series (only really that it exists, and has one of the best television themes ever), but I know the Tom Cruise films well enough and, as a kid, the magic of having someone pull their face off to reveal another underneath – I mean, wow.

003. CO2 Laser – Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Alright, so this isn’t exactly the most glamorous of gadgets, I admit. But when you’re confronted with a wire fence, a tight deadline and the fate of the world on your hands, there really isn’t much time to waste. Handheld, battery powered and extremely handy in a pinch, the CO2 Laser wielded by KGB Agent Illya Kuryakin isn’t going to win any prizes for realism, but come on now. I can think of half a dozen occasions I could have used this today, let alone if I was trying to actually break into somewhere.

Considering that the next best thing is Napoleon Solo’s super hardened boron wire cutters, sharpened with a CO2 laser, well, there’s really no competition. It also contributed to one of the more enjoyable sequences in Guy Ritchie’s fairly mediocre rehash of the classic Man From U.N.C.L.E. in 2015. A film worth watching almost exclusively for the conflict between American and Russian agents forced to work together to achieve a greater goal.

004. The Brolly – The Avengers (1961-1969)

Despite only ever being used twice on-screen, John Steed’s signature weapon of choice left a lasting impression on everyone who watched The Avengers. Never one to cause a disturbance if he could help it, John left much of the action to his partner Emma Peel (and the others, I guess, but none of them ever held a candle to Emma, as far as I’m concerned), instead preferring the task of charm and word games over a nice glass of wine.

His iconic bowler hat and umbrella presented John as a classic English Gentleman. Ready for the sudden downpour of British weather, he was rarely without his umbrella – and for good reason. Concealed within the handle is a hidden blade – or saber – that is never far from the action.

005. Dental Hygiene Kit – Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997)

 

A pack of floss, a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush? Alright, I get it. I have bad tee- oh, what?

Oh, you can use this stuff for work? You can use the toothpaste to blind an incompetent guard, then use the floss as a method of swinging off of an easily slow moving dipping mechanism? Well, why didn’t you say?

Yes, aside from the voluntary dental hygiene techniques available to each of us in our local Boots, these items we use daily can become part of a deadly arsenal – should you have the wit and strength to use it, of course.

006. Grapple Gun – Various.

Let’s face it, unless you’re working in the only government department that isn’t facing massive budget cuts, you’re not going to be flying around on any jetpacks any time soon. To get up high, you’re going to need to take the scenic route. That is, to get out your suction pads, it’s time to scale a wall. That is, unless, you happen to have the wonderful Grapple Gun, as featured heavily in every form of Batman piece of fiction. Just point the gun, squeeze the trigger, and you’ll soon have your hook embedded in the nearest wall – ready to let you scale the wall with minimal effort and maybe, just maybe, a celebrity cameo popping out of an open window.

If the various iterations of Batman may be too much of a stretch from your otherwise deadly serious spy-fi genre, there are plenty of good examples in other media. Like, uh, Kim Possible or Charlie’s Angels. They’ll do. 

007. Laser Wristwatch – James Bond series (1983-2015)

Look, if you’re going to go and spend a load of money on a watch, you better hope it delivers. Some people might do this for the look and style, others might even be interested in telling the time. If you count yourself as one of these, then cover your eyes, because this might just blow your mind. This watch tells the time, looks great and shoots a fricking laser beam.

If there was one gadget from the enormous list of gadgets and accessories featured in the James Bond series to appear on this list, it would have to be this one. Modelled on the Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional wristwatch, this gadget was chosen for its sophisticated “Euro” feel, with a decidedly nasty bite. First appearing in Never Say Never Again (1983) and introduced properly during Pierce Brosnan’s run as Bond, the laser wristwatch went on to become a vital ingredient for a number of video games based on the suave spy – not only working as a tool to set off explosives and cut locks – but even going so far as to act as the menu, particularly on the GoldenEye game on the classic Nintendo 64.

I’ve spent a far few hours with this one, lemme tell you.

By Adam Tyler

See what else inspired Spy or Die Trying the board game, coming soon…