It is currently a worrisome time in the world, and when we go outside we’re looking for protection. James Bond wears protective gear in Dr. No, but how protective is it?
Villain Dr Julius No provided white suits to his nuclear reactor technicians so they can be protected from radiation. The suit is visually interesting, but on closer examination it doesn’t appear to provide protection from much of anything. The film’s million-dollar budget likely did not have room for more sophisticated radiation suits.
After James Bond breaks out of his Crab Key prison cell, he knocks out a technician who is going off duty and undressing from his white suit, and he steals the suit. Bond takes the place of Chang, who may or may not be the man he knocked out.
The suit is made of white vinyl and looks like artificial leather with a grain. It is made of three pieces: a combination helmet and top, trousers and boots.
The top piece slips on over the head and covers the entire upper body, from the head to the hands to the waist. The helmet is cylindrical with a flat top and is sewn to the body. It has a rectangular clear plastic window to see through and a round blue mesh opening below the window that we’re to believe connects to a breathing apparatus.
The body is full-cut and blouses over an elasticised hem. The long sleeves, gathered at the wrist, end in mittens. Mittens don’t give the technicians much dexterity, but they provide more than Dr No’s metal hands do. Bond is able to save himself from the boiling reactor pool in these mittens while Dr No’s metal hands prevent him from gripping onto anything to save himself.
The trousers have a full cut and either an elasticised or a drawstring waist. The loose fit of the top and trousers allow this outfit to fit a variety of body shapes and sizes.
The top and bottom do not connect, and having two separate pieces do not provide the same protection that a jumpsuit would. During Bond’s fight with Dr No, a gap of skin is revealed between the top and the trousers, exposing him to harmful radiation.
The trouser legs tuck into white boots. The boots resemble short cowboy boots, with a white sole and heel. Rounded toes curl up.
Bond wears the radiation suit over the trousers, crew-neck undershirt and blue canvas espadrilles that he wears with his brown silk nehru jacket. He takes off the top and boots when he exits the reactor control room, wearing the undershirt and espadrilles. When on a boat escaping an explosive Crab Key, he’s again wearing the stone cotton trousers, back in the outfit he was wearing before donning the radiation suit.