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"Island Of Adventure" (not) by Enid Blyton

The American Navy have organised a raid on an island. This seems to involve sneaking onto the island, and secretly taking photographs of some sort of bunker. They're caught, however, and several members of the group are shot down. A third is captured. Clearly there is trouble afoot. It's Champions time.

But oh dear. The Champions, or two of them at least, are playing golf. Brilliant golf skills are another Champions perk, it appears, but it would seem that brilliant sartorial skills are not. Fortunately, the need to save the world yet again drags Craig and Richard away from their game, and from their truly dreadful wardrobe, and back to the office in Geneva. Where Sharron takes up the appalling clothing baton with gusto. Yay.


An American military type takes pictures with his terribly secret and not at all obvious mini camera. For the time it's brilliantly miniature - I can't fault it for that. But why's it strapped to his wrist?! It's hardly going to pass for a watch, for goodness sakes.


Oh dear.


I know there's traditionally some bad clothing associated with golf, but a mustard-coloured sweatshirt? That's even worse than Richard's white-cardigan-with-red-shirt disaster.


Let's just take a moment to savour the whole shebang, shall we?


Sharron's wearing pink again. Still, at least Craig and Richard have changed. The prospect of that pink jacket next to that mustard thing and the red shirt doesn't bear thinking about.

Tremayne explains that something odd is going on far out in the Pacific. There's a tiny island, but men who are sent there don't come back, and even an aeroplane sent on a reconnaissance flight didn't return. Therefore it's up to the Champions to go in. The plan is for Richard to parachute in secretly, whilst Craig and Sharron go in far more openly. Hopefully one or the other of them can then find out what's going on, and perhaps find the missing Naval officer. This requires Craig and Sharron to pretend to be married, and accidentally run their yacht aground just off the coast of the island. Then, wandering about the jungle, they wait to be captured, and basically see what happens next. It's a bit of a shaky plan, really. Not quite as bad as the recent "Let's make the bad guys try to kill one of us!", but it's not all that far off. Even the usually sensible Richard is blatantly asking for trouble this time.


Tremayne is not in a good mood. The American military are breathing down his neck, and don't like the fact that the operation has been given to Nemesis. Plus Craig and Richard are being all bolshie, and talking out of turn to the military guy who's giving Tremayne a hard time. Bravo. :)

And Craig actually used to be in the USAF. He can't have done very well if he has that sort of opinion of American military attitudes.


Mr and Mrs Craig and Sharron approach the island. The prospect of a quick shipwreck and a long swim to safety seems to appeal to them greatly.


Meanwhile, Richard prepares to join them by parachuting in.


Although, somewhat unhelpfully, he's chosen to parachute into Kent.


"Craig to base. Craig to base. Operation: Wet T-Shirt Contest is a success."


Having successfully arrived on the island, Craig and Sharron wait to be captured. They don't have to wait long.


Moments later, a gang of soldiery types comes out of the jungle to surround them.


For some reason, being captured necessitates Craig and Sharron suddenly standing in front of a picture of some jungle. What was wrong with the studio where they were standing before?!


Richard has meanwhile managed to land in some jungle, which is clever of him. I didn't realise that they had any jungle in Kent.


Since this show is never one to turn down a bit of stock footage, Richard is then menaced by a snake. Pity it's not a dangerous one, but maybe they didn't have a good bit of film of one of them.


Elsewhere on the island, Craig and Sharron are being introduced to the local man in charge. He's clearly a complete loony.


Continuity win! I've lost count of how many times I've seen people on TV get soaking wet, and then be dry again a second later. They're still damp here, though. I like bits of detail like that.

Craig and Sharron are told that they can stay with the Island Loon until he can arrange for some way off the island for them, although it's quite clear that he's already sizing them up for their own special dungeon. He advises them not to leave the house because the natives are dangerous, and he can't be sure that he can control them. I'm tempted to suggest that he piss off and leave them and their island in peace, then, but he's a loony, so there's probably no point. They agree, still playing the part of poor lost tourists, then scuttle off to their room. Richard is lurking outside, and they chat for a bit via Champion super hearing, before Richard goes off on his mission to explore the island. He sees a slave gang, which includes the American officer who was captured at the start of the episode, and then sets to work trying to find out what's going on. It's not long before he's discovered by a lurking soldier, but he manages to overpower him by using some sort of amazing super mind control powers, leaving the poor man wandering about without a clue what's going on. Soon after, using his amazing super detecting skills – the same ones that allowed to him to find lurking dead bodies a few episodes back – Richard finds a nuclear bomb hidden under a special trapdoor. He then breaks in to a secret underground base, to try to find out exactly what's going on.

I'd like a secret underground base. There should definitely be more of them on TV.


Jungle Richard.


Island Loon is in cahoots with a Triffid.


Richard demonstrates his amazing hypnosis skills. I want to know how he found out about that super power. It's not the sort of thing you find out about easily, like super strength, is it.


It's a secret bomb. I must say, whoever decided on the order for the episodes on these DVDs didn't do their job very well. That's two episodes in a row where the plot involves a nut stealing a nuclear bomb, having a plan to do something naughty with it, and then being foiled at the last minute by Craig being super. Variety is good, people.


Richard sneaks into the secret underground base, and peers through a door.


The door conceals stock footage. Gasp!

Back at the house, Craig and Sharron have been invited to dinner by the Island Loon, and are introduced to his Chinese guests. You know, that's one of the good things about this show. They didn't follow the usual clichés where bad guys are concerned. How many TV shows then – and for the next twenty years – had Russians as the bad guys? So far, though, we've had South Americans and the Chinese, with the Russians even helping out on occasion.

Elsewhere, however, Richard has got into trouble. Having accidentally alerted a scientist, he's soon surrounded by guards, and although he enjoys himself by throwing them all over the place with gusto, he's quickly overpowered and hauled off. Alerted to his situation, Craig and Sharron wonder what they should do next. Soon enough, though, Richard is brought up to the house, and the Chinese contingent insist that the 'guests' join the party. The plan is that Richard will awaken with only Craig and Sharron in view, and if they're in cahoots, he'll then drop them in it by saying hello. Just as he wakes up Craig alerts him via Champions Super Quiet Speak, which he covers up with the world's most obvious cough. Craig, dear, you're telepathic. Why not just use telepathy to speak to him? Because that cough is fooling nobody, seriously. Richard gets the message, anyway, and pretends that he doesn't know them. He's then dragged off to be locked up with the slave gang from earlier, if very briefly. Having clearly decided that it's no fun being locked up, and even less fun keeping his super powers secret, Richard proceeds to blow his cover in the world's most obvious way, snapping the chain that links one of his wrists to the wall, and then freeing his fellow prisoners in the same fashion. Then he kicks down the prison door, before finishing up by leaping over the very high perimeter fence in full view of everybody. Nice going, Richard. I'm sure that none of the thirty people who witnessed all of that could possibly imagine that there's anything a bit different about you. Craig and Sharron, meanwhile, decide that the time is ripe to go have to some fun exploring the island. Or getting captured. Whichever.


Richard thoughtlessly gets clobbered, making Sharron drop her tea. Richard, really. She should land you with the dry cleaning bill.


Flying Craig!


Slightly unconvincing punching is another important Champions skill.


Richard snaps his chain.


Spectacularly camply.


Getting captured really is Craig's special ability, isn't it.

So, to the plan, figured out by Richard, and then explained to Craig and Sharron by the Island Loon - although why didn't Richard tell them about it? Telepathic, remember?! Special computers will fool America's early warning system into thinking that an attack is underway by the Soviet Union. Before they can work out that it's a mistake, the nuclear bomb hidden on the island will be launched. It's not powerful enough to cause any serious damage, but it's enough to provide physical evidence of an attack. It will then be all-out nuclear war between America and Russia, and when they've finished destroying each other, and most of the rest of us, China will step in to rule what's left. So, a small, irradiated patch of wasteland, then. Still, it's good to have ambition. Richard and his gang of escaped slaves storm the secret underground base and seize control, but by then the plan is already well underway. Craig and Sharron manage to turn the tables on their guards, but the missile has been launched, and the American military is already on tenterhooks. Sharron gets hilariously melodramatic in honour of the occasion, which is rather entertaining, as she desperately radios Richard to ask him if he can find a special self-destruct button anywhere. Why are you using the radio?! You're telepathic! Richard can't find anything, but Craig uses his Champions super detecting skills to find a hidden panel with a button behind it. So that's dead bodies, nuclear bombs, and big red buttons that they can detect now. Those mysterious Himalayan types think of everything.


Island Loon is glad to have Craig and Sharron back, as it gives him a chance to be properly bonkers with an audience.


Craig is aghast to discover that the deadly plan is underway. Sharron... not so much.

I do wish she'd change her facial expression a little more often. "Damn. The world's about to be destroyed again. What a bore..."


Island Loon is eager that his fiendish plot not be foiled. He has some very strange things on his desk.


Sharron enjoys herself by throwing guards about the place.


Craig desperately searches for a way to stop the missile.


Sharron calls up Richard, to see if he can find anything at his end. Poor girl, she's gasping like a fish out of water about the whole thing. Still, at least she's finally changed her expression. A bit.


Richard comes up blank on missile stopping devices. Oh no!


The missile flies on, ready to end the world.


But Craig has found a big red button. Hurrah!

Sharron, by now almost collapsed over the desk, tells Richard via the radio that everything's okay. Yes, he'll know that already, Sharron. Telepathic, remember? Plus he can presumably feel Craig's relief. I have to say, whilst I usually don't have any problem with the acting in this show, Sharron's last line this time "Richard! It's all right!" is quite hilariously bad. The line itself doesn't help, admittedly, as it's a lousy line to finish on, but her melodrama x1015 delivery is asking for trouble.

The episode ends there, so we don't get a closing scene with Tremayne this time. That's probably just as well. I don't think anybody was left to witness Craig's amazing button-detecting skills, but half the population of a small country saw Richard breaking chains and jumping ten foot fences. Even Tremayne might need more of an explanation than "We got lucky" this time around.

Comments

( 10 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
elfbert
Jan. 25th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, skydiving over Kent with Richard, boating through the mangrove swamps/palms/mangrove swamps/palms/mangrove swamps/palms with Craig and Sharron (On an island which appeared to be sandy beaches, with no chance of boat going through either mangroves OR palms.)

And that telepathic link is obviously a bit like a mobile phone signal...one min it's there, the next it's gone!!

I also like that Craig would rather spend ages groping a wall than just opening the hatches on it, and seeing what's behind them...

And Tremayne's lost his pencils again...but does have two phones. So maybe that makes up for it?
swordznsorcery
Jan. 25th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
Craig's naturally dramatic. He can't help it. Whenever there's a hurry, he's constitutionally incapable of taking the easiest route.

I hadn't noticed that there was so much variation in their surroundings. Well spotted!
elfbert
Jan. 26th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
I think there must be some sort of drug in with each reel of stock film - so once you've started using it, you're powerless to stop. You just have to use more and more, no matter how totally irrelevant or out of context it is.

I don't know if it's funnier that the boat is heading through swamp land, or that they clearly employed people to slap palm fronds against the boat for that 'authentic' look XD
swordznsorcery
Jan. 26th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Probably the same people who then had to throw buckets of water all over the stars, so they had that authentic "Just staggered out of the sea" look. :)

I'm sure TV programmes were much more fun to make in those days!
idontlikegravy
Jan. 26th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Isn't the palm frond debacle from when they're looking for Richard in The Ghost Plane?
elfbert
Jan. 26th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
Might well be - I'm not watching these as I go (shame on me) so I was just remembering it, and thinking of boats and putting them together...incorrectly! :)
idontlikegravy
Jan. 26th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Tremayne's probably pissed off because somebody's nicked his coloured pencils again.

Thank goodness nobody knew Richard's name then. Oh, except the American admiral blokey. And probably the chaps on the plane. Ah, bugger.

I caught this ep by chance on ITV4 yesterday and I had forgotten just how camp Richard is in this episode! The spectacular chain breaking, the 'I'm a little teapot mince' super-secret stealthy spy walk (and stealth clearly isn't a Champion power) and the dry sarcasm throughout, it's too wonderful for words *g*

Good to see Sharron finally throwing punches (if not very well), although she is slightly let down by the scream when the native is going to throw the spear at her - surely her super reflexes would allow her to catch it?

Edited at 2010-01-26 07:52 pm (UTC)
swordznsorcery
Jan. 26th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
Or dodge it, yes. :)
ladygretchen
Feb. 13th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
I'm baaaaack! And I'm so behind again. I know this was the last one I read and it was hilarious as usual. Stock footage jungle, and someone needs to train Sharron and tell her you can't punch with your wrists! She always seems to have a poker face. The Island loon looks like Abe Lincoln in some shots, hahaha triffids, love that movie!
swordznsorcery
Feb. 13th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
I'm so behind again.

I know the feeling. :) I'm way behind on everything. I'd swear that the last three weeks didn't actually happen. They must be off hiding somewhere.
( 10 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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