The "Dragon" or "Dragon Tank" is a fictional flame-throwing armored vehicle (painted with dragon decals) utilised by Dr. Julius No to keep inquisitive locals away from his operations on Crab Key. The vehicle was created for the Ian Fleming's 1958 James Bond novel Dr. No and went on to appear in its 1962 film adaption. An alternate-universe version of the dragon tank also appeared in Electronic Arts' 2004 spin-off video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent.
In the novel, the dragon was used to No to devastate a bird sanctuary on Crab Key. In the film adaptation the charred trees in the area where Bond confronts the Dragon Tank are part of the sanctuary for rare birds that Dr. No has disrupted. All mention of the sanctuary was deleted from the final film.
Investigating the disappearance of British Secret Service operative, John Strangways, Bond discovers a link between the missing man and radioactive rocks taken from Crab Key - a private island belonging to the reclusive Dr. Julius No. 007 asks local fisherman Quarrel to take him there under the cover of darkness. However, Quarrel is reluctant to do so, stating that there is a dragon on the island. Despite his initial reluctance, he agrees to take Bond to Crab Key. After inadvertently alerting the Doctor's security forces to their presence on the Island, fellow intruder Honey Ryder guides them to a hiding place up stream. Arriving at the hiding spot, they agree to take turns watching out for the dragon, which Honey claims to have seen. When Quarrel spots tracks, Bond insists they follow them to the dragon. The trio follow the tracks until night falls. Eventually they come across a barren swamp, where they are spotted by the "dragon" - an armored vehicle painted with teeth and armed with a flamethrower. As it approaches them Bond and Quarrel attempt to shoot out its tires and lights. They fail and Quarrel is torched to death. Bond and Honey are apprehended by the tank crew and are taken to a compound.
Behind the scenes
James Bond creator Ian Fleming based the Dragon Tank on a marshlands swamp jeep with very large wheels which he had seen in 1956 on the island of Inagua in the Bahamas. Likewise, during pre-production of the 1962 film production designer Ken Adam recalled how the crew "went down to Florida to look at marsh buggies" as the basis for their tank design.
The dragon tank was designed by uncredited art director Syd Cain. When Cain found out his name was not in the credits, Broccoli gave him a golden pen to compensate, saying that he did not want to spend money making the credits again.
- ↑ Field, Matthew; Chowdhury, Ajay (12 October 2015). Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films. The History Press Ltd. ISBN 9780750966504.
- ↑ Cain, Syd (2005). Not Forgetting James Bond: The Autobiography of Syd Cain. London: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 978-1-905287-03-1.
- ↑ (1999). Audio commentary [DVD]. From Russia With Love (Ultimate Edition, 2006): MGM Home Entertainment.