So the geek took a little break from film/TV reviews to visit the London Film Museum at Covent Garden for the Bond in Motion Exhibition. As soon as I heard about this I knew I had to go and check it out. To those who have been following my epic Bond reviews, this was a no-brainer.
Now this is not my first time to a Bond exhibition. Back in 2012 I visited the Barbican where their massive floor space hosted the 50th Anniversary celebration and collection.
To be honest I didn’t know there was a film museum in Covent Garden! Located near the Royal Opera House (and a guy dressed up as Yoda) this small museum was filled with memorabilia and vehicles used in the Bond franchise. There was a small queue outside but if you want a quick entry, buy your tickets online which is what I did.
Immediately when you walk in your ears are filled with Bond music. Despite being in the reception area, the start of the exhibition starts on the next floor up, in the mezzanine. Upstairs showcased concept drawings, model buildings, storyboards and clapperboards from the films. The space was a little bit cramped but was impressed with that they had on show such as the original drawings of the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger or the flying car from The Man with the Golden Gun.After that quick trip upstairs and taking pictures of the helicopter used in Skyfall, I made my way downstairs to the main gallery. That’s where the true class of the exhibition comes to life.
I didn’t have to get to the bottom before my mind started to geek out. It’s worth mentioning that all the vehicles in this exhibition are the actual ones used in the Bond films. No replicas – it’s real. Some still had their damages from production. Immediately you’re greeted to two luxury cars – Goldfinger’s car from Goldfinger and the Rolls Royce used in A View to a Kill. Simply beautiful.
My mind went into Bond mode, naming the Bond films the vehicles appeared in. They had everything! The wetbike from The Spy Who Loved Me, the Q Boat from The World is Not Enough, the jet plane from Octopussy, Little Nellie from You Only Live Twice, the Mercury Cougar car that Diana Rigg drove in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and scale models used in For Your Eyes Only. Considering that the makers have always stayed in touch with modern technology, this was an impressive collection.
Then came the main attraction to the exhibition. I’m talking about the Aston Martin DB5 (and their variations) and the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see these cars and I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s a dream come true.
But the exhibition wasn’t just dedicated to the vehicles – I did mention memorabilia. Inside the display cases were Bond’s passports played by the different actors, business cards, Bond’s Walther PPK, his watches and Bond’s evaluation report from Skyfall.
There’s playroom which might sound like it’s for kids but the museum set up a Scalextric track with the Aston Martin running along . Not going to lie, but I want that in my flat. Right next to the playroom, more Bond memorabilia was on display with merchandise toys. And if you’re in the mood, there was a section where you can put on the Bond tux and get your own gun barrel photo.
The first one is space. The London Film Museum is small and I think they’ve done well to accommodate all the vehicles and memorabilia. But you’ll probably spend around 45 minutes to an hour going through the exhibition meaning it can be a brief experience. In comparison to the exhibition at the Barbican when it was on, you could spend about 2 hours going through all the levels because there was so much on display.
The second one is price. The tickets cost £14.50 for an adult. Now as a James Bond fan I didn’t mind paying that price, but I can imagine a family paying that plus food and items in the gift shop – the cost can add up unfortunately.
Lastly – pictures. If you do visit I suggest you obtain a nice camera. If you want good memories, don’t let yourself down by taking pictures on your phone. No flash photography is allowed I’m afraid and with minimal light your pictures might end up in the dark.
Nevertheless it didn’t put me off and it still reiterates my belief that there should be a permanent exhibition dedicated to Bond in the London. I mean why not? Harry Potter got one with the Warner Bros. studio tour!
If you’re a Bond fan and in London, then check it out. There’s too much geek awesomeness on display for you to miss out.
Feel like watching all the Bond movies again now 🙂
Check out the gallery below for images from the exhibition.