Goldfinger - Nerve Gas

Auric Goldfinger's pilots spray (what was intended to be) nerve gas over Fort Knox, Goldfinger (1964).

Nerve gas is a poisonous vapour which has a rapid disabling or lethal effect by disrupting the transmission of nerve impulses. Various forms of nerve gas have appeared in the James Bond franchise, notably in EON Productions' film adaptations of Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and Moonraker (1979). Nerve gas also appeared in the James Bond games 007 Legends (2012) and James Bond: World of Espionage (2015).


Goldfinger (novel/film)

In the novel Goldfinger, the villain plans to insert a highly concentrated form of GB into the water supply of Fort Knox. GB is described by Goldfinger as the most powerful of the Trilone group of nerve poisons, which was perfected by the Wehrmacht in 1943, but never saw active use due to fear of reprisals. The Soviets subsequently acquired the entire German stock at Dyhernfurth on the Polish frontier and later provided Goldfinger with the necessary quantities.[1]

In the film adaptation, it is replaced with the fictional Delta-9 nerve gas, which was to be sprayed in an airborne form over Fort Knox by Pussy Galore's Flying Circus. Goldfinger obtained his stock of Delta-9 with the aid of American gangsters, who smuggled it into the United States for a fee of $1 million dollars. Unlike the novel, Goldfinger gasses his gangster accomplices; which would be the only active usage of the gas in the film, as 007 persuades Pussy Galore to switch the gas canisters with a harmless substance. Actor Gert Fröbe (Goldfinger), being German, felt uneasy about the gangster gassing scene; he felt it might be offensive to Jewish members of the audience.[2]

Thunderball (film)

Contrary to the novel's use of a cylinder of cyanide gas to kill the crew of a British bomber, the film adaptation of Thunderball introduces the fictional nerve agent, Gamma Gas, which kills within seconds of inhalation.[2] Presumably developed by SPECTRE, the gas is used twice during the film: Angelo Palazzi used a gamma gas gun to kill NATO Major François Derval so that he could impersonate him aboard the Vulcan bomber. Once airborne, Palazzi introduced a cylinder of the gas into the aircraft's air supply, flowing through the other occupants' oxygen masks and killing them instantly. The fictional poison gas, is not mentioned by name in the film's script; where it is referred to as "pressurized gas" by Fiona Volpe.[2]

Moonraker (film)

In the film Moonraker, Hugo Drax's technicians concentrated and manipulated the chemical extract from the rare Orchidae Nigra, or Black Orchid, into a nerve gas lethal only to humans. A clear fluid, the extract vaporized at room temperature and killed instantly. In a bid to perfect the human race through eugenics, Drax planned to introduce the nerve agent into the atmosphere via a series of specifically designed satellite globes; each with enough extract to kill 100,000,000 people.[2] Nearing the end of the film, Bond and Holly Goodhead commandeered a Moonraker shuttle and chased after several released globes - destroying all three using its on-board weaponry.[2]

007 Legends

  • Large cylinders of Goldfinger's gas.
  • Small cylinder of Dimethyl Polysulfide.
  • Phials of Drax's orchid nerve gas.
  • Drax's nerve gas probe delivery system.

Re-imagining scenes from Goldfinger and Moonraker, the 2012 game sees Auric Goldfinger attempting to gas the population of Fort Knox using a nerve agent implied to be VX (in this instance, a dimethyl polysulfide mixture (Agent NM)[3]). During his investigation of Auric Enterprises' Swiss manufacturing facility, 007 uncovers large canisters of gas, and upon cracking Goldfinger's personal safe uncovers a cylinder marked 'dimethyl polysulfide'. As with the film, 007 persuades Galore to switch the cylinders - sabotaging Goldfinger's plan.

The game's Moonraker level is also derived from the plot of the film, in which Drax has perfected and intends to use a lethal nerve gas to wipe out the 'inferior' specimens of humanity. In this iteration, the nerve agent is a blue fluid suspended in large phials. 007 and Goodhead sabotage the launching mechanism seconds prior to their launch from Drax's Space Station.

James Bond: World of Espionage

WoE - Nerve Agent

Canister of Nerve Agent, as seen in the mobile-game James Bond: World of Espionage (2015).

In the mobile game James Bond: World of Espionage, players could equip their intelligence agency with a canister of 'nerve agent', which resembled a dark blue liquid with a double helix running through the center of the container. Such items increased the agency's offensive rating in combat. Use of 'gear' such as the 'nerve agent' was automatic and could be obtained using in-game currency, found as loot in Villain confrontations, earned from Handlers, in Conflict and during Alliance Wars.


See also


  1. Fleming, Ian (2012). Goldfinger. Random House, pp.309-310. ISBN 9781448139316. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Multiple authors. (1996). James Bond 007: The Ultimate Dossier (CD-ROM). Eidos Interactive. ISBN 0-7928-3274-4.
  3. Adams, Robert W (1984-04-06). Chemical Warfare In Future Military Operations (en). Command and Staff College, United States Navy.