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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 11 - 20
The Silent Enemy
The Silent EnemyThe Silent EnemyThe Silent Enemy
The Silent EnemyThe Silent EnemyThe Silent Enemy
SYNOPSIS: The three Champions are enjoying a break from duty at a fairground. As they wander between the stalls a stray rubber ring—thrown by an attractive young woman playing one of the games—flies in their direction. Craig catches it. Unable to resist the temptation to try and impress the girl, the American Champion throws the ring at its intended target from where he is standing—and it lands in place! The young woman offers Craig the other five rings. He takes them and, to the amazement of the stall’s grafter, succeeds in placing all of them on target. Pleased with himself, he moves off into the crowd, while Richard and Sharron follow, rolling their eyes in good-natured disbelief.
VOICEOVER: “All the fun of the fair! The big rides. The games of skill. But for Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett these games no longer have the element of chance. Craig, Sharron and Richard: endowed with super qualities and super skills. Some trivial. Some crucial. Endowed by an unknown race of people when their ’plane crashed near a lost civilisation in Tibet. Now, with their secret known only to them, they are able to use their fantastic powers to their best advantage. Champions of law, order and justice: operators of the international agency of Nemesis.
To Trap a Rat
To Trap a RatTo Trap a RatTo Trap a Rat
To Trap a RatTo Trap a RatTo Trap a Rat
To Trap a RatTo Trap a RatTo Trap a Rat
SYNOPSIS: While awaiting the arrival of Craig and Tremayne in the Nemesis Control Office, Richard and Sharron begin a unique game of cards. While Sharron seats herself on the far side of the room, Richard positions himself at Tremayne’s desk and rotates the World Map so that it forms a screen between them. He then fans a deck of cards across the desk—face down—and selects one at random. Turning it over, he sees it is the Ace of Diamonds. He closes his eyes in intense concentration. On the far side of the room, Sharron has a similar deck of cards before her—but face up. She closes her eyes, also, and after a moment opens them again, and selects the Ace of Diamonds from her pack. Sensing that she has chosen correctly, Richard smiles and selects another card at random… The game continues for two more turns. Each time, Sharron is able to correctly determine which card Richard has isolated—an amazing demonstration of the telepathic bond The Champions share!
VOICEOVER: “A game of cards. But for Richard Barrett and Sharron Macready even this becomes a test. A test of extra sensory perception. Just another one of the super human qualities endowed to The Champions when they crashed in the snows of Tibet and encountered the fabulous people of a lost civilisation. Now, 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!”
The Gilded Cage
The Gilded CageThe Gilded CageThe Gilded Cage
The Gilded CageThe Gilded CageThe Gilded Cage
SYNOPSIS: Richard is on a train, somewhere in Europe, sitting in a compartment with one other passenger: an Englishman who is struggling with the Times crossword. The Champion is clearly bored, flicking through an issue of Match with palpable disinterest. A steward arrives and announces that lunch is being served in the dining car, and Richard’s fellow passenger departs, leaving his Times behind him. The man is scarcely out of the compartment before Richard has pounced on the ’paper and, pen in hand, is eagerly studying the crossword. Within moments he starts to write… Some time later, Richard’s fellow passenger returns to the compartment and notices his newspaper is not where he left it. Finding it in the Champions’ hands, he snatches it back, outraged. His indignation soon turns to amazement, however, when he discovers that, while he has been dining, Richard has completed the crossword!
VOICEOVER: “Richard Barrett. One of The Champions. Endowed with the senses and qualities of a super human. Endowed, with Sharron Macready and Craig Stirling, his companions in the ’plane crash in Tibet, by the lost civilisation that saved them, with super human powers 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: I had always assumed that, in order to film this sequence, the production team had bought two issues of The Times; one with the crossword clues, and the second with the solution, to enable William Gaunt to complete the puzzle swiftly and accurately. How naîve of me… Although we can see, thanks to the wonders of DVDs and freeze-framing, that the number of the crossword Richard’s fellow passenger is working on is 11,695, it also reveals that most of Richard’s answers are gibberish! The entries completed by the Champion’s travelling companion—which are written in blue ink—are genuine words. 5 DOWN, for example, reads “TOTALLY,” 12 ACROSS is “ALLOTTED,“ 14 DOWN, “MANSIONS,“ and so on. In contrast, Richard’s contributions—which are in red ink—are just random strings of letters. The entry for 3 DOWN, for instance, reads “PWYQRORCH.” 4 DOWN is “OEPS.” The solution for the clue to 22 ACROSS is, apparently, “NHINBINW,” and that for 23 ACROSS “GTKIVN.” Richard does provide some comprehendible (or near-comprehendible) words along the way… DADDYSPET (5 ACROSS), NELLY (6 ACROSS), CAMERA (11 ACROSS), RYEBREAD (15 ACROSS), SUNSET (17 DOWN) and, er, SHUNTEXPORTS (28 ACROSS). Most interesting of all, perhaps, is his offering for the twelve-letter word required for 1 ACROSS. The clue to this is, “Car hold-up, blow!” Richard’s solution is “CHAMPIONSTORY,” which is not only wrong but happens to be thirteen letters. Perhaps the look of disbelief the passenger gives Richard at the end of this Commentary is not amazement at the speed with which the Champion has completed the crossword—but rather perplexity at the incomprehendible mess he has made of it! Isn’t there also supposed to be some psychological significance to those who write in red ink…
Get Me Out of Here!
Get Me Out of Here!Get Me Out of Here!Get Me Out of Here!
Get Me Out of Here!Get Me Out of Here!Get Me Out of Here!
Get Me Out of Here!Get Me Out of Here!Get Me Out of Here!
SYNOPSIS: It is late evening. Sharron is a passenger on a train, sharing a compartment with three other people: a young couple who are enjoying a packed dinner of coffee and sandwiches, and a middle-aged woman engaged with some knitting. It is not long before they are joined by a fifth traveller: a middle aged man with a newspaper who shows an unhealthy interest in the purse carelessly left in plain sight by the woman with the needlework… More time passes. The lights in the carriage begin to flicker and finally fail, plunging the compartment into darkness. The man seizes his chance and stretches his hand towards the spot where he knows the purse to be—but Sharron can see what he is doing! Swiftly, she switches the purse with a cup of coffee the young couple have set aside to cool. The fingers of the would-be thief dip into the hot liquid and he jumps back in his seat, scalded. The lights come back up and Sharron swiftly returns the cup and purse to their rightful places. The thwarted purse-snatcher, stung in more ways than one, gets to his feet and scurries from the compartment.
VOICEOVER: “Sharron Macready. One of The Champions. Endowed with the qualities and skills of a super human. Qualities and skills that include fantastic vision: the ability to see in the dark. Sharron Macready, who with Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett, encountered a lost civilisation in the wasteland of Tibet. The unknown race of people from the lost city gave them gifts both physical and mental to the peak of human peformance. Now those gifts are a secret to be closely guarded—for it is that 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.
NOTES: As can be seen from the screen captures above, on the 2003 DVD set released in France by FR1, the “night vision” sequences in this scene have a green tint. When the series was broadcast in the UK in 1985, they were simply monochrome. It seems unlikely TF1 would have gone to the expense of treating the footage themselves… I wonder if the green tint was added by ITC sometime after the original UK airings? I have always thought the use of monchrome to distinguish between the “normal” and “night vision” scenes somewhat ill-considered, given that when The Champions was first shown in the UK, Television was still being broadcast in monochrome, and so there would have been no visible difference between the two… On another note, I do hope that Sharron managed to deter the young couple from drinking that coffee, after the would-be thief had dipped his fingers in it! Given his lack of scruples, Lord knows what his personal hygiene was like! This Commentary may have been filmed around the time of “Shadow of the Panther”; the light-fingered train passenger appears in that story (wearing the same suit) as an American Senator.
The Ghost Plane
The Ghost PlaneThe Ghost PlaneThe Ghost Plane
The Ghost PlaneThe Ghost PlaneThe Ghost Plane
The Ghost PlaneThe Ghost PlaneThe Ghost Plane
SYNOPSIS: In a suburban residential area, at the foot of a hill, a group of children are playing football in the street (The only girl present, it has to be said, is acting as goalkeeper…). Craig walks by and joins in the game for a brief moment before continuing on his way towards the top of the incline. Close to the crest of the hill, a man has removed a large carton from the back of a van, and is making a delivery to one of the houses. Craig passes by him, then turns for a last affectionate look at the children playing. To his horror, he sees the delivery van is rolling down the hill, towards the children, its driver having failed to properly apply the brake. The youngsters, heedless of the danger they are in, continue to play their game. The courier, realising what has happened, discards the carton he is carrying and races in pursuit of his runaway vehicle, but is soon outdistanced by it. Craig has also started to run. Despite being further from the van than its negligent driver when it started to move, he succeeds in catching up with the vehicle, boards it, and applies the brake—just in time! Craig continues on his way as the driver, panting heavily, finally reaches the van and stares in amazement at the departing Champion.
VOICEOVER: “Craig Stirling. One of The Champions. Three people: Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready, and Richard Barrett. Endowed with the qualities and skills of super humans. Qualities and skills both physical and mental to the peak of human performance. A runaway van, moving at speed—but it is now a speed which Craig Stirling can match, and it becomes another example of the gifts that were given to him and his two colleagues by the unknown race of people from the 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.
NOTES: One of my favourites although, to be honest, I can’t help thinking that both the driver and Craig could have saved themselves a lot of effort by simply shouting a warning to the children—although given that the latter were so preoccupied with their game that they failed to notice the van moving towards them, they may not have heeded any warning, either…
The Night People
The Night PeopleThe Night PeopleThe Night People
The Night PeopleThe Night PeopleThe Night People
The Night PeopleThe Night PeopleThe Night People
SYNOPSIS: A fast car draws up in the side street of a bustling town centre and its occupants—two men with an air of menace about them—survey the local bank with more than passing interest… Another car draws up—a small, sporty convertible—with an attractive young woman at the wheel. Craig Stirling is alongside her. The American Champion disembarks, says his farewells, and the car pulls away. Craig moves to the pavement—and freezes. Something prevents him from moving on. He turns, his gaze drawn to the parked car, the men within it, and the bank on the opposite side of the street. His suspicions are confirmed when he sees the man in the passenger seat take a pistol from the driver of the vehicle and tuck it into a shoulder holster hidden beneath his overcoat and jacket. As the would-be bank robber leaves the car, Craig casually moves forward, in the direction of the bank, crossing the road just a few paces ahead of the armed man. Then Craig, feigning forgetfulness, turns on his heel and collides with the villain behind him. He apologises, then swiftly retraces his steps. The gunman, meanwhile, moves to the door of the bank, pauses, and reaches under his jacket for the pistol—but it isn’t there! The shoulder holster is empty! He runs back to the “getaway” car to be met by his perplexed companion, who drives off in anger. Leaning against a shopfront nearby, Craig watches the exchange with amusement, the absent automatic safely tucked in his jacket pocket. Sometimes, it really does take a thief to thwart one!
VOICEOVER: “Craig Stirling. One of The Champions. Craig Stirling. Possessing—with Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett—incredible powers. Survivors of an air crash in the mountains of Tibet, where they met a people of an unknown civilisation, who mended their bodies and endowed them with fantastic qualities and skills. Qualities and skills both physical and mental to the peak of human performance. Craig—witness to a planned bank robbery—foils the scheme with ease by using the gifts bestowed upon him. Gifts that are a secret to be closely guarded. A secret that enables The Champions to use their powers to their best advantage, as operators of the international agency of Nemesis—Champions of law, order, and justice.”
NOTES: I suspect that, even without Craig’s intervention, the robbery planned by these villains would have come to grief. They appear to be exceptionally dim. It never occurs to the would-be gunman that the answer to the absence of his automatic may have been the man he collided with moments before the weapon went missing… and how courageous of Craig to stand around in plain sight of the pair after he had performed his act of honourable pickpocketing!
Twelve Hours
Twelve HoursTwelve HoursTwelve Hours
Twelve HoursTwelve HoursTwelve Hours
SYNOPSIS: In the lobby of an hotel, a woman—whose vision is obscured by the armful of parcels she is carrying—staggers towards the lift only to collide with Craig. Gallantly, the American Champion takes the packages from her and offers to carry them. When the lift arrives, however, although the woman steps into the car successfully, the encumbered Craig is pushed aside by the tide of people around them, and he finds himself left behind. It is only when the woman alights on the thirtieth floor that she realises Craig did not travel up with her—but then to her amazement he appears at her side, having using the stairs!
VOICEOVER: “Craig Stirling. One of The Champions. Endowed with the senses and qualities of a super human. Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett: 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.
NOTES: The set for the lobby of the hotel is a minimalist redressing of the one used for Shadow of the Panther. If the lift, layout and distinctive colour scheme weren’t enough of a tip-off, although it has been stripped of its Voodoo acoutrements, the sign for the “Papa Legba” bar is still in place over the door. Given that Craig and the un-named woman never exchange a word, its interesting to speculate how the former knew the latter was heading for the thirtieth floor. His powers of extra-sensory perception, no doubt! Once again, as with the Commentary to The Silent Enemy, Craig makes no attempt to capitalise on any gratitude his good deed may have generated—despite clearly finding the woman attractive. After handing her the packages, he walks off, leaving his beneficiary standing at the lift. Maybe he was annoyed at being abandoned so cursorily…?
Shadow of the Panther
Shadow of the PantherShadow of the PantherShadow of the Panther
A montage of clips from existing material: Although we open with Richard teeing off at the eighteenth hole from the commentary for The Dark Island—it is Craig’s ball that we see dropping into the hole! The American Champion’s encounter with the soldiers manning the remote military outpost housing The Silent Enemy comes next, followed by Sharron’s attempt to employ her paranormal skills to build a retirement fund prior to being summoned to protect The Iron Man.
VOICEOVER: “Richard Barrett. One of The Champions. Possessor of fantastic qualities and skills. Qualities and skills both physical and mental to the peak of human performance. Craig Stirling. One of the three survivors of an air crash in the mountains of Tibet, where they met a people of an unknown civilisation who mended their bodies and endowed them with incredible powers. Powers that are a secret to be closely guarded, for these gifts enable Richard, Craig, and Sharron Macready to uphold law, order and justice!”
Full Circle
Full CircleFull CircleFull Circle
Full CircleFull CircleFull Circle
Full CircleFull CircleFull Circle
SYNOPSIS: Sharron is driving through the countryside—no doubt in search of another stately home to visit! In the middle of nowhere, she encounters two trendy hitch-hikers who try to thumb a lift. She stops for them, but begins to regret her decision when, as the men get into her car, they eye her with obvious relish and exchange leers. Her fears prove well founded when, shortly after resuming her journey, the man at her side begins to stroke her left thigh with the back of his hand and then takes possession of her knee. Not long afterwards, Sharron’s car enters the dark void of a tunnel. We hear the sound of brakes being applied, flesh being pounded and masculine exclamations of surprise and agony. A moment later, Sharron’s car drives into the daylight at the conduit’s opposite end. The female Champion is the vehicle’s only occupant. She looks back briefly over her shoulder and, behind her, the two hitch-hikers emerge from the darkness, looking appropriately dishevelled and dismayed. Sharron continues on her way, smiling happily.
VOICEOVER: “Sharron Macready. One of The Champions. Endowed with the senses and qualities of a superhuman. Sharron Macready, endowed with Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett—her companions in the plane crash in Tibet—by the lost civilisation that saved them. Endowed, by the mysterious people, with special powers and skills. A secret known only to them. Now, they are able to use their powers and skills to their best advantage, as champions of law, order and justice.”
Reply Box No. 666
Reply Box No. 666Reply Box No. 666Reply Box No. 666
Reply Box No. 666Reply Box No. 666Reply Box No. 666
SYNOPSIS: Craig has been for a walk in the woods with a beautiful woman at his side—the third we see him with in The Commentaries. When they return to his car, however, his companion is dismayed to realise that her watch is missing. She gazes disconsolately in the direction of the vast area of open field they have crossed. The likelihood of the watch being found appears remote indeed… Craig consoles her and moves away, slowly retracing their steps. Every now and again he pauses as if searching the grass with his eyes. In reality, he is searching with his ears! With his enhanced abilities, he detects the tick of the watch’s mechanism. He continues to feign exasperation, turning his head this way and that, while secretly zeroing in on the sound of the lost timepiece until, finally, he is standing before it. Smiling to himself, he picks it up and raises it triumphantly to the skies, driving the clouds from the face of his companion.
VOICEOVER: “A tick of a watch in an open field. Audible to Craig Stirling, one of The Champions. Three people: Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett: endowed with the qualities and skills of superhumans. Qualities and skills both physical and mental to the peak of human performance. Gifts given to them by an unkown 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!
NOTES: I have to say: the actress who portrays Craig’s girlfriend in this vignette is exceptionally beautiful. Not in a window-mannikin, picture perfect sense, but with an idiosyncratic, charming attractiveness suggestive of intelligence and personality. *SIGH*. The compilers of the 2003 French TF1 DVD release of the series appear to have thought so, too: they included a shot of her in the montage of scenes that form Sharron’s part of the title menus!
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