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Visual Guide
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The CHAMPIONS Visual Guide
Opening Titles
Nemesis HQ
Craig Stirling
Sharron Macready
Richard Barrett
Tremayne
The Commentaries - Episodes 01 - 10
The Commentaries - Episodes 11 - 20
The Commentaries - Episodes 21 - 30
The Commentaries - Episodes 01 - 10
The Beginning
The Beginning doesn't have a Commentary… but then, you knew that, didn't you?
The Invisible Man
The Invisible ManThe Invisible ManThe Invisible Man
The Invisible ManThe Invisible ManThe Invisible Man
SYNOPSIS: Craig and Richard are exercising in a gym. A bodybuilder enters and arrogantly strikes a series of “macho” poses before the two slightly built Champions, displaying his sculptured physique in an obvious attempt to make them feel envious. In what is clearly intended to be another example of his superior physical prowess, he then raises a heavily weighted barbell over his head—albeit with some effort. The man watches with conspicuous contempt as Craig approaches the weights with the same intention but his disdain switches to astonishment when the Nemesis agent duplicates his feat. Feigning difficulty, Craig raises the barbell above his head with ease, and then unexpectedly tosses it towards Richard, who catches it and then lowers it slowly to the ground. The two men then cheerfully bid farewell to the stunned and disbelieving weightlifter.
VOICEOVER: “Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett. Endowed with physical and mental qualities to the peak of human performance. Qualities given to them by an unknown race of people in a lost city in Tibet. Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett. Super humans. A secret known only to them. Able as operators of the international agency of Nemesis, to use their powers to the best advantage. The Champions of law, and order, and justice!”
Operation Deep-Freeze
Operation Deep-FreezeOperation Deep-FreezeOperation Deep-Freeze
Operation Deep-FreezeOperation Deep-FreezeOperation Deep-Freeze
SYNOPSIS: Richard is driving through the village of St. Justin when a strange sensation overwhelms him, persuading him to brake suddenly. Perplexed by his own behaviour, Richard watches as, a spilt-second later, a coloured ball bounces into the road in front of his stationary car and a young girl runs unheedingly after it. As the child retrieves the ball, Richard shoots her a remonstrative glance, conscious that, without his abilities, a tragedy would have occurred.
VOICEOVER (TEASER): “Antarctica. A vast, unexplored wasteland of snow and ice. But beneath the polar fields lie the untapped riches of all time. Scott Base. One of the many scientific establishments housing the men who work to unlock the secrets of the frozen continent. An international team, formed for the benfit of all mankind. Yet, as these nations work for peace, at least one nation works for…”
VOICEOVER (COMMENTARY): “A premonition. A clear warning of danger. One more reminder of a fantastic, astounding event that took place in the snows of Tibet. An event which enabled Richard and his two friends to walk away from the crashed ’plane and return to our civilisation. Able to use their powers to their best advantage, as The Champions of law, and order and justice. Operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
A Case of Lemmings
A Case of LemmingsA Case of LemmingsA Case of Lemmings
A Case of LemmingsA Case of LemmingsA Case of Lemmings
SYNOPSIS: The three Champions have been summoned to the Nemesis Control Office for a meeting with Tremayne. Finding their commander-in-chief absent, Craig and Sharron make use of his chess set to pass the time. The game unfolds at breakneck speed, one move following another in rapid succession until Craig—much to his chagrin and Richard’s amusement—finds himself vanquished.
VOICEOVER: “A game of chess. An ancient pastime, played as never before by Craig Stirling and Sharron Macready. One further insight to their incredible powers. Yet, when they crashed their ’plane in the mountains of Tibet with Richard Barrett, they could have had no idea of how it would change their lives. Then, when the people of an unknown civilisation there, mended their bodies and endowed them with fantastic skills and powers, they were determined to keep their secret. Now, they are able to use their super qualities to their best advantage, as Champions of law, order and justice. Operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
NOTES: During the course of the game, we see several closeups of Sharron’s wristwatch. The footage is flopped at one point, presumably for the sake of variety. In the screenshots below, the frame on the left—with Craig on the left and Sharron on the right—had been reversed in post production, the frame on the right—with Sharron on the left and Craig on the right—shows the actors as they were when the footage was filmed, and tells us that Sharron performed the castle manoeuvre at 14:50 and checkmated Craig’s king at 15:00!
A Case of LemmingsA Case of Lemmings
The Interrogation
The InterrogationThe InterrogationThe Interrogation
SYNOPSIS: A montage of clips from existing material. Craig sinks a “Hole in one”, before setting sail for The Dark Island, while Sharron sends one of Kellor’s guards packing in the same story. We also see Richard’s “sixth sense” enabling him to avert tragedy, prior to his engagement with Operation Deep-Freeze.
VOICEOVER: “The Champions. Endowed with the qualities and skills of super humans. Qualities and skills both physical and mental to the peak of human performance. Gifts given to them by an unknown race of people from a lost city in Tibet. Gifts that are a secret to be closely guarded. A secret that enables them to use their powers to their best advantage, as the champions of law, order and justice. Operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
The Search
The SearchThe SearchThe Search
The SearchThe SearchThe Search
SYNOPSIS: Browsing in a public library, Sharron comes across a copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Taking it to the desk with the intention of borrowing it, she finds the librarian speaking with another customer, and, while waiting, begins to read. Engrossed, she turns page after page in swift succession… By the time the librarian is free to serve her, she has finished the book!
VOICEOVER: “Sharron Macready. One of The Champions. A book to read. To be read in such a way that it becomes another reminder of the event that changed her life—and the lives of her two colleagues, Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett. Craig, Sharron and Richard. Survivors of an aircrash in the wasteland of Tibet. Survivors through the intervention of the lost people of an unknown civilisation. A people that gave them the senses and qualities of super humans. Senses and qualities that make them The Champions. Champions of law, order and justice. Able to use their gifts to their best advantage, as operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
NOTES: Sharron must be one of the few people to finish reading War and Peace with a smile on her face.
The Dark Island
The Dark IslandThe Dark IslandThe Dark Island
The Dark IslandThe Dark IslandThe Dark Island
SYNOPSIS: Craig and Richard are playing golf. To the amazement of an onlooker, Craig sinks a hole in one on a par four green. When Richard tees off, he appears to be about to duplicate his fellow Champion’s success—until his golfball hits the flag pole and rebounds.
VOICEOVER: “A contest. A game of skill. But for Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett, endowed with the senses and qualities of super humans, even the relaxation of golf takes on a new meaning. When they and Sharron Macready crashed in the snows of Tibet and encountered the lost people they could not even imagine the powers that they would be given. But as operators of the international agency of Nemesis , they are able to use those powers to their best advantage—as The Champions of law, and order, and justice!”
NOTES: Both Damon and Gaunt were real-life golfing afficianados. In fact, at the time The Champions was being filmed, the latter was a member of The Stage Golfing Society. Some time after the series began airing, Gaunt gave an interview in which he reported coming second in a tournament. For which—much to his delight—he won the princely sum of 8.
The Iron Man
The Iron ManThe Iron ManThe Iron Man
The Iron ManThe Iron ManThe Iron Man
SYNOPSIS: Exposing an avaricious streak (or perhaps a practical one) Sharron is attempting to enhance her retirement prospects by using her phenomenal mathematical abilities to win at roulette. Her strategy is proving exceptionally successful—much to the male Champions chagrin—but as her delight and confidence mount, as one win follows another and the stack of chips before her grows ever larger, she fails to notice the casino manager asking the croupier to stand aside while he takes charge of the wheel. With the next spin of the wheel, she loses everything—as does Richard, who has chosen to follow her strategy. Realising what has happened, she plans to adjust her game to accomodate the new circumstances, but she will have no opportunity to put her theory into practice; the trio have been summoned to Nemesis headquarters, where a new case awaits their attention…
VOICEOVER: The Champions. Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett. The possessors of fantastic skills and qualities, both mental and physical. Powers bestowed upon them when their ’plane crashed in Tibet and they encountered the lost people of the hidden civilisation. Powers that are a secret known only to them. Powers that they are able to use to their best advantage, as the champions of law, order and justice. Craig, Sharron and Richard: operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
The Experiment
The ExperimentThe ExperimentThe Experiment
The ExperimentThe ExperimentThe Experiment
SYNOPSIS: In a gymnasium somewhere within the Nemesis building, Craig and Richard place opaque canvas sacks over their heads—one white and one black—and, effectively blindfolded and with their hearing muted, begin to move warily around a judo mat, using only their enhanced senses to locate one another. After a number of unresolved encounters, the wearer of the black cowl is defeated by the wearer of the white one. When the loser’s hood is removed, he is revealed to be Richard.
VOICEOVER: “Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett. Devisors of their own ways to test the qualities and skills that they have been given. Qualities and skills both physical and mental to the peak of human performance. Gifts given to them and to their colleague, Sharron Macready, by the unknown race of people from a lost city in Tibet. Qualities and skills of the dimensions of super humans. Gifts that are a secret to be closely guarded. A secret that enables them to use their powers to their best advantage, as champions of law, order and justice. Operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
NOTES: During the 1960s, in the wake of the airing of the Batman Television series, a number of children were killed when they donned improvised capes and jumped off buildings in an attempt to fly—even though Batman and Robin never did this on screen. This was, remarkably, something that was unique to the U.K.
 
In response, the show’s makers produced a short film which was aired prior to each Batman episode, in which the series’ actors appeared in costume and in character, and warned children against such behaviour. The Champions would have been in production around this time, and watching the “Commentary” for The Experiment , it is surprising that the makers of the show weren’t leary of younger members of the audience duplicating the activity of their heroes, and placing bags over their heads, risking suffocation.
 
Around this time, a British “Government Information Film” was broadcast regularly on the BBC, showing the dangers of placing polythene bags over your head. Perhaps Spooner and Berman felt that, because Craig and Richard were using canvas sacks, it was not something to be concerned about.
 
Either way, I think this is one of the most imaginative “Commentaries,” and marks a change of pace from the comedic tone they usually adopt. Curiously, although the conclusion of the contest is filmed in a manner that attempts to create an air of mystery regarding the identity of the loser, we see Craig and Richard don their distinctively coloured hoods at the beginning, so there is never any doubt concerning who is who.
 
If the intention was to momentarily disguise the identity of the champion of The Champions, it would have been more logical for both sacks to have been of the same colour. On another note, in the original Star Wars film (of which I am not a fan, by the way), there is a scene in which the protagonist, Luke Skywalker, is instructed to don a hood in order to test his extra-sensory powers…
The Fanatics
The FanaticsThe FanaticsThe Fanatics
The FanaticsThe FanaticsThe Fanatics
SYNOPSIS: Craig is attending a romanic “barbie” for two, on a rooftop terrace somewhere in the city. The evening appears doomed, however. Much to the dismay of his hostess, while she is tending to the food, her bracelet falls from her wrist and drops onto the coals beneath the grill (All terribly symbolic, this!). Craig gets to his feet and—to his latest flame’s horror—reaches under the grill and plucks the bangle from the smouldering inferno! When he offers the prize to his paramour, however, she faints—and Craig performs her yet another service, catching her in his arms.
VOICEOVER: “Craig Stirling. One of The Champions. Endowed with the senses and qualities of a super human. Endowed—with Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett, his companions in the plane crash in Tibet—by the lost civilisation which saved them. Now possessors of special powers and skills, which include the conquest of pain. A secret known only to them. A secret that enables them to use their powers to their best advantage, as champions of law, order and justice. Operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
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