How to build the ultimate evil lair

Step one, acquire intimidatingly large fish tank

You may not have access to the Death Star, a Disney villain’s castle or sharks with frickin’ laser beams, but If you want to unleash your inner Dr Evil or give Goldfinger a run for his money when it comes to interior design, we’ve rounded up some incredible gadgets perfect for pimping an evil lair. From impressive fish tanks to mind-controlled drones, this criminally cool tech would work in a semi-detached house in Croydon (well, maybe not the submarine) as well as a secret volcano.

An intimidatingly-large fish tank

One of the most memorable Bond villain lairs has to be Ernst’s Blofield’s secret volcano in You Only Live Twice, which comes complete with an enormous pond filled with hungry piranhas that claim victims who plunge to their death from a bridge with a trap door. While few homes may have room for such an elaborate set-up, a vast aquarium makes for an impressive centrepiece in any lair. The Red Sea Reefer 450 Deluxe can host a thriving coral reef thanks to its specialist light and includes a professional sump with integrated top-up to keep fish in tip top condition. Its rimless design and black cabinet mean it will look sleek in any den.

Price: £2,474.00 | Buy Red Sea Reefer 450 Deluxe

A smart litter tray for an evil sidekick

Blofield’s cat is almost as famous as his explosive lair and Dr Evil’s kitty Mr Bigglesworth also made a formidable and memorable sidekick. If your own cat (evil or otherwise) makes some criminal smells, adding a smart litter tray to your lair could be a good idea. The Litter Robot III Open Air Automatic Self-Cleaning Litterbox looks like a space capsule but is designed so a cat can enter the space age contraption and do its business in private and comfort. After it has done the deed, the robot sifts waste out of the litter ready for disposal to keep the box smelling fresh. Ideal for discerning evil sidekicks plotting world domination.

Price: £461.39 | Buy Litter Robot III Open Air Automatic Self-Cleaning Litterbox

A sleek security system

It may seem inevitable that James Bond and superheroes alike will eventually penetrate the most protected of lairs, but there’s no harm in installing a security system to try and keep them at bay (or at least capture them on camera). The Netamo Welcome camera wouldn’t look out of place in a Sean Connery Bond-era evil lair but is a modern indoor security camera with face recognition. It can recognise regular visitors (ideal for villains with eyepatches or distinctive scars like Le Chiffre's) and send the name of the familiar visitors to the lair owner's smartphone. It also sends alerts about strangers in the house - handy if you want a head start on calling the police in the event of a burglary (or devising a devilish plan to destroy Mr Bond – no lasers mind).

Price: £199 | Buy Netamo Welcome

A comfy chair for plotting

Disney villains tend to have impressive thrones, while Bond wrong-doers opt for hi-tech chairs capable of helping them make a dramatic reveal. If you have similar ambitions, the Emperor chair could be for you. Available in different configurations and colours, it comprises an ergonomic chair with a drop-down series of computer monitors suspended from the 'scorpion shaped' frame, as well as a flip-out desk and keyboard. Designed for people who spend many hours in front of their computer and used by governments and tech companies, it would also make for an excellent hi-tech villain chair for easy plotting. The incredible chair can be tilted and comes with integrated speakers (perhaps for playing foreboding soundtrack) and LED lighting for when working late is unavoidable.

Price: From $5,305 | Buy Emperor chair

Robotic minions

Fans of Austin Powers will remember how he was almost thwarted by the scheming Fembots. While it’s not possible to buy such beguiling androids with machine gun assets (thank goodness) robotic minions are slowly making their way into the home. Earlier this year, LG unveiled its Hub robot which has a cute jellybean-like body and doleful blue eyes. The robot uses Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition technology to complete household tasks such as turning on the air conditioner or changing a dryer cycle with simple verbal commands (but we suppose it could be persuaded to do evil deeds like a robotic Oddjob!) It also comes with an interactive display that shows information such as weather forecasts, memos and it even plays music. Designed to respond to its human overlords by nodding its head, for example, the robot keeps an eye on the home and knows who is coming and going thanks to facial recognition.

An interactive map

Elaborate maps are a key feature of an evil lair – the more complex and ostentatious the better. Whether it’s a holographic battle map for Lord Vader on the Death Star in Star Wars, or a pop-up 3D map that’s raised from the floor allowing Goldfinger to share a devious plan, the options are endless. However, now new technology is making such planning easier. Wannabe villains could use Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets to take a 3D tour of a planned route in augmented reality or walk through battle plans, all without having to dedicate a room of their house to a massive map. A demo for the technology shows users being able to conjure a Minecraft city from their coffee table, for example, which might be perfect for briefing accomplices before they set off on a mission.

Price: $3,000 | Buy Microsoft HoloLens

A getaway sub

Technically this is one for a lair’s garage or secluded cove, but Bond villains love a good submarine for quick escapes and underwater snooping. The Aurora 3C by SEAmagine is a compact personal sub capable of holding one pilot and two passengers and travelling to depths of up to 1,540 feet (470 metres). It’s designed to provide passengers with an exceptional view (of fish or enemies), unobstructed by top hatches and side pontoons and offers the largest spacious cabin space compared to any other private submarine in its low weight category. It’s definitely sexier than Mr Bond’s ‘Wet Nellie’ in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Price: $2.95 million | Buy Aurora 3C

Smart safe for stashing ill-gotten gains

Whether it’s the lair of a Mafia boss or comic book villain, all evil bases need a safe in which to keep their ill-gotten gains, secret formulas and blackmail material. Even criminal masterminds might find it tricky to keep track of various passwords, but luckily there’s a new generation of biometric safes, which can be fitted into any room. The Phoenix NEXT LS7001 Black Luxury Safe includes a sensitive key pad and lock screen up to 16 digits and a biometric fingerprint reader for easy access (providing you’re not a thief or spy). It also has an integrated security alarm.

Price: £1,779.60 | Buy Phoenix NEXT LS7001 Black Luxury Safe

A mind-controlled drone

You may not have a fleet of flying monkeys to do your bidding like the Wicked Witch of the West in the wizard of Oz, but there are plenty of drones to choose from. And there's even one you can control with your mind, befitting of a Jedi who's turned to the dark side. The Orbit Mobile Brain-Controlled Helicopter is operated by an EEG headset, which measures the brain's electrical activity or brainwaves, allowing wearers to fly the helicopter by focusing their concentration. The helicopter itself is encased in a sphere to protect its blades, while also looking cool and spacey. It's also designed to interact with tablets and smartphones.

Price: $189 | Buy Orbit Mobile Brain-Controlled Helicopter

A massive TV

Whether briefing accomplishes or viewing incriminating video footage all villains love a TV wall, or more recently really massive TV. And LG’s 98UB980V ULTRA HD 4K TV would be ideal for the ultimate lair. The telly has a 98-inch 4K 3D+ screen to fill any viewer's line of vision with action, while harman/kardon speakers slide out and remove the need for bulky speakers or wires. It also comes with a 'magic remote' using point, scroll, gesture or voice commands - great for a villain who has his hands full with a weapon, for example.

Price: £18,999 | Buy LG 98UB980V ULTRA HD 4K TV

A  get-away jet pack

If or when a lair is blown sky high by a hero, baddies need an impressive getaway vehicle and while a car would do the trick, a jet-pack makes for a more dramatic exit. The Martin Jetpack is designed to be flown by a pilot using a fly-by-wire system that allows hands-free hover and position hold. Its small dimensions allow it to operate in confined spaces using a V4 200 horsepower petrol engine that drives two ducted fan. It has a fly time of around 30 minutes (just enough time to outrun an enemy) and can soar as high as 1,000 metres.

Price: $150,000 | Buy Martin Jetpack

Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course. Sarah has reviewed a range of products for T3, from children’s electric toothbrushes to water bottles and photo printing services. There's nothing she can't become an expert in!