From the first moment James Bond slipped into a tux and smoothed a life-time's supply of Brylcreem through his hair, the character of MI6 super genius Q has always been played by a man.
The actors that portrayed him have varied in appearance and demeanor, from John Cleese's comic misanthrope to Ben Whishsaw's catwalk-ready nerd, but the character's gender has not changed in over half a century.
But now, according to the Telegraph, MI6 has revealed that the real life Q is actually a woman.
Sir Alex Younger, head of MI6, was speaking at the Women in IT Awards as part of his appeal for more women to apply for MI6.
"If any of you would like to join us … the real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I'm pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman," said Mr Younger, known by the code name "C", on Wednesday evening.
He also revealed that in reality, Q's technological ambitions far outweigh the cinema version's.
"The gadgets now that we employ – or operational technology as we more properly call it – probably defy the imagination of spy writers. So it's always been there, but technology now is at the core of what we do in a way that it wasn't before."
Bond writers surely have to treat this as a challenge to be more creative and ambitious – not only with their tech, but with their predictable casting choices too.