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Appreciation
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IntroductionThe OTHER Unseen BEGINNING
Features
The OTHER Unseen Beginning
The CHAMPIONS Visual Guide
 
Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to acquire four original “Champions” scripts, for the episodes “The Gun-Runners” “The Silent Enemy”, “The Iron Man” and “Nutcracker”.
 
In addition to noting a number of line and scene variations between the scripts and the filmed episodes (which I intend to present elsewhere), I was impressed to discover that the first three scripts shared a common, thirty-second introductory scene that prefaced each adventure’s “teaser”—not unlike the logo “bumper” that opens every episode of the later Berman-Spooner series, “DEPARTMENT S”.
 
I have never seen this as a part of any episode broadcast here in the UK.
 
Was it filmed and then discarded, I wonder—or did it never get beyond the mimeographed page?
 
There is evidence that it did.
 
On the magical CD release of the original musical scores composed for the series, there is a cue called “Prologue”—Track 66, on disc 3.
 
In the closing words of Tremayne from “Happening”, “I wonder…”
 
In any event, here is a transcript of that opening sequence, as it appears in Dennis Spooner’s script for “The Gun-Runners”…
 
Mark
March 12, 2004

 
 
THE CHAMPIONS
 
THE GUN-RUNNERS
 
 ACT ONE
 
 
 FADE IN:
 
 
1    EXT. IMPOSING BUILDING. DAY. LOCATION.  (0.30)
 
THE TOWERING, OFFICIAL BUILDING, THAT HOUSES THE INTERNATIONAL AGENCY OF NEMESIS.   ESTABLISH.
 
ANOTHER ANGLE
 
LOW-ANGLED SHOT - INCLUDING THE MAIN ENTRANCE - AS CRAIG STIRLING, SHARRON MACREADY AND RICHARD BARRETT MOVE OUT.
 
THEY COME TOWARDS US, AND, JUST BEFORE THE THREE-SOME FILL THE SCREEN, WE FREEZE FRAME AND HOLD.
 
    1
COMMENTARY OVER
 
 
These are… “The Champions”
 
 
 
    THE ACTION CONTINUES FOR A SPLIT SECOND, THEN WE ZOOM IN FOR A CLOSE UP OF CRAIG STIRLING, AND AGAIN, FREEZE FRAME.
 
    
COMMENTARY OVER
 
 
Craig Stirling…
 
 
 
    CLOSE UP:  SHARRON MACREADY.
 
ACTION AGAIN, THEN FREEZE FRAME.
 
    
COMMENTARY OVER
 
 
Sharron Macready…
 
 
 
    CLOSE UP:  RICHARD BARRETT.
 
ACTION, YET AGAIN, THEN ONCE MORE FREEZE FRAME.
 
    
COMMENTARY OVER
 
 
and Richard Barrett…
 
 
 
 ANOTHER ANGLE
 
A THREE SHOT OF “THE CHAMPIONS” AS THEY CONTINUE THEIR WALK TOWARDS CAMERA.   THEN, SUDDENLY AND DRAMATICALLY, WE ZOOM BACK TO AN EXTREME, HIGH, LONG-SHOT.
 
 
COMMENTARY OVER
 
 
These are… “The Champions”
 
 
 
    WE IMMEDIATELY:
 
    
    FLIP FRAME:
 
    
2    INSERT. MAP OF THE WORLD. STUDIO.  (0.05)
 
FEATURE THE LARGE, COLOURED MAP, FAVOURING SOUTH EAST ASIA.   THEN QUICKLY ZOOM IN TO INSTANTLY ESTABLISH “BURMA” AND, MORE PARTICULARLY, AN UNMARKED SECTION, WHICH IS IN FACT, JUNGLE.   IMMEDIATELY:
 
    2
    CUT TO:
 
    
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