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A woman runs through London looking desperate. It's the Rani! Shame the Brigadier isn't still hanging around from a few episodes back. Eventually, after much flashing of neon lights and advertisements for the entertainments of London - "Lynda Barron appearing tonight!" and half a sign advertising something that Edward Woodward is up to - she arrives in a club. A strange bloke who thinks that dark sunglasses are a good plan in a dark place in the middle of the night gives her something, and when she leaves, she's calm and peaceful. Ah ha. This'll be a drugs trade episode, then. Moments later, however, she's crashing her car, and being rushed to hospital in a quaintly sixties ambulance. She's lucky, says somebody who looks oddly like a doctor. I know there was more money in the sixties, but every ambulance with its own doctor?! I think not. Anyway, she's lucky because there's bad drugs sweeping the city at the moment, and kids are dying every which way. Golly. Better call for Z-Cars.

Or the Champions, if they can drag themselves away from their playing. In Tremayne's office, which is today oddly devoid of Tremayne himself, Sharron and Richard are playing mind games with some cards. Richard chooses a card, and then Sharron chooses it too without looking. It's nice to know that they've got a good career waiting for them guesting on Sunday Night At The Palladium, should the secret agent business ever dry up. Soon enough their games are disturbed by the arrival of Tremayne and Craig, who tell them about the new wave of deadly drugs. Something has to be done, and the police are apparently powerless to find out what's going on. Sharron will therefore pose as a potential buyer, in order to hopefully make contact with one of the pushers, and they can then use him to trace the drugs to their source. All they have to do is contact the girl from earlier, and get her to take Sharron to her pusher. It's not that simple, however. This episode is directed by Sam Wanamaker (yes, that one), and he's clearly in love with London. This means that nobody can accomplish anything at all this week without first dashing past something scenic, and being filmed with a long lens somewhere Londony. At least until he got sacked for blowing the budget, anyway. He also clearly has a deep devotion to grey Jaguar MkIIs. Either that or there's a plague of them sweeping London. Possibly they're some kind of invasionary force, waiting to take over England? Or possibly I should just shut up and stop babbling.


An evil London drug pusher from London.


Richard chooses cards at random for Sharron to copy without looking.


I particularly like how he knows that she's chosen the right ones, without looking at her cards himself. Their psychic connection is one of their more interesting powers, I always feel.


Note the position of his tie and top button.


Another Champions super power is the ability to fix one's appearance without hands!


Mercy of mercies, this week Sharron is actually not wearing either green or pink - at least to begin with. However, one may soon be wishing that she was.


Craig has had a special tracking device made, that emits a high-pitched sound inaudible to the normal human ear - which clearly means that I'm super-powered too, as oddly enough I can hear it loud and clear. Craig is either pleased with himself for this piece of ingenuity, or just finds Sharron's outfit as absurd as I do.


Our first grey Jag MkII. Watch it attempt to sneak up on this week's guest female as she crosses the street, desperately in search of more drugs. It's clearly the spearhead of the invasionary force.


Noticing that their quarry is on the move, the Champions prepare to put their plan into operation. This involves Sharron either carefully following the Rani without being seen...


... or just hiding behind a twig. She's taken her hat off, clearly in the belief that this will make her less noticeable. Oh, it does, Sharron. It does.


Sharron meets up with a wild-eyed Rani. Why do drug addicts on TV always look like that?! They always talk in urgent gasps, too.


Craig and Richard follow Sharron in another grey Jaguar MkII. They're taking over the city. Honest.

Note actual, real bits of London in the background, as opposed to photographs of it being run past the windows.


Sharron has met the drug pusher, and successfully planted the tracker on him - rather obviously, and in full view of the Rani, who apparently has no problem with strange women suddenly sticking their hands up people's jackets. In the Jag, Craig and Richard hear the beeping start up, and realise that the chase is on.

They follow the pusher hither and thither, and eventually chase him through Regent's Park Zoo. All of the animals can hear the tracker of course, which immediately sets the whole lot to making a noise of their own. It's a nicely filmed piece, actually, with different shots of the zoo. It's not hard to see how Sam Wanamaker managed to kill the budget, when you compare it to how these episodes are usually made. The tracker is running low on batteries, so when it finally goes dead, with the drug pusher having spoken to only one man, Craig decides to follow him, whilst the others continue to follow their original target. Richard and Sharron race back to the grey Jag - or possibly a different one. Goodness knows there are enough around all of a sudden - and follow him to his house; or his "pad" as Richard insists on calling it, having come down with a sudden and virulent attack of the sixties. Sharron calls their man out with the promise of another drug deal, whilst Richard sneaks inside for a look around. Bad traffic means that the pusher spots him before he drives away, however, and with a big friend for support, he races off to see what's going on. Richard hears them coming, and plays merry havoc with their ambush, first throwing the muscle all over the apartment, and then pulling his hypnosis trick on the pusher. Escape is now easy, and after leaving Sharron behind somewhere, it's off to join Craig. Who, despite having set off on foot before, is now watching his mark in...? A grey Jaguar MkII. Seriously, it's a conspiracy.


Having seen the pusher buy a bag of peanuts from a vendor at the zoo, the gang resolve to split up. Richard and Sharron plot a break-in, but their neat plan is ruined by bad traffic.


Although if you ask me, our friendly neighbourhood pusher wouldn't have got very far anyway. He's driving his car in the dark whilst wearing sunglasses. Well, why not. After all, vision is so highly overrated. Especially whilst driving.


Richard develops a sudden interest in peanuts. One of them has some drugs hidden carefully inside, neatly implicating the peanut vendor. However Richard still has to get out of the apartment.


That's easy, though. First he plays shuffleboard with a ten ton bad guy...


... but then rather inadvisably chooses to stand and gloat instead of running away.


The pusher pulls a gun on him, but Richard is not nearly as fond of being captured as Craig is.


He pulls the Mentalist act again, this time accompanied by handy red mood lighting.


"Look into my eyes..."


Poor pusher. Or not. Still, he's got a wonky moustache, so he probably had it coming.

Following the peanut vendor, in whichever number grey Jag this is now, the boys see him behaving suspiciously at a garage. A very grand vintage car passes them by, and Craig, immediately suspicious of its presence, decides that he wants to take a look underneath it. Richard stops him on the grounds that there's not enough time, because children are dying. Okay Richard, but it's only going to take two seconds to look underneath a car. And it would have been way shorter than the plan that you went with instead. If somewhat less entertaining.

Deciding to follow a girl at the garage for reasons that I don't entirely recall, the boys concoct another of their splendidly stupid ideas. They want to know who's in charge, so rather than wasting time finding out - or doing things the easy way, and just following up on their suspicions of the lovely big vintage car - they decide that the hard way is always so much better. They'll piss the bad guys off so much that they'll get kidnapped by them, thereby finding out who they are in the process. :D They've been watching The A-Team again, haven't they. It's a foolproof plan, no doubt - and, says one of them, it's the ideal way to trap a rat. I shall have to remember to tell my father that, next time he's annoyed by the one that keeps stealing his chicken food. Let it kidnap you, dad. That way you can trace it to its lair. Because there's a woman involved, both Craig and Richard want to be the bait in this particular trap. After all, being kidnapped is no great hardship if you get to spend five minutes smiling at a pretty girl in the meantime. Probably. Craig wins, so Richard nips off to nick the girl's handbag, thereby letting Craig heroically rescue it, and get invited upstairs for coffee. A quick obvious move to give the game away, and then all that's left to do is sit back and wait to get scrobbled.


Craig and Richard take another Jag on another jaunt around another bit of London. I have no idea what type of car the other one is, other than that it's pretty. Also, it has running boards.

Running boards rock. All cars should have them. Except the Bugatti Veyron, obviously, because that would be vandalism.


Craig and Richard notice that there is a woman in the vicinity. Apparently this means that all brains must be switched off for the next five minutes. Richard even giggles.


Doggie!


Craig leaps on top of Richard and wrestles him to the ground. For plot-related reasons, obviously.


Back at the girl's apartment, Craig demonstrates how tall he is, just in case any of us were forgetting.

Meanwhile the girl, suspicions thoroughly aroused, has called in to base. Craig gets the telephone number using various super powers, and passes it on to Richard using a few more. Richard and Sharron then work at tracing the number, whilst Craig takes Little Miss Psychosis out to dinner. They're joined 'unexpectedly' by a gentleman friend of hers, who invites them back to his place for drinks. But gosh! It's a trap! Craig finds himself hemmed in by a quite unnecessarily large amount of bad guys, varying from chauffeurs and butlers to peanut vendors and the entire staff of the embassy next door. He cheerfully figures out the details of the local drugs trade whilst being chained up in the basement garage, to a wall and a waiting car. Not a grey Jag MkII, it has to be said, though there is one parked just nearby. He's very obliging about it all. He even offers his arms for chaining at one point, which has to make him one of the most polite victims of torture ever. Then, in order to find out who he is, the bad guys attempt to stretch him, which proves to be the last clue that Richard and Sharron need in order to find him. Interesting that they don't seem to share his pain, though. Poor Craig. Is it really only him who has to go through all that 'pain by telepathy' stuff?! Then it's round-up time, and a good bit of throwing the bad guys around the place.

I wish I could do that. Not that I meet many bad guys as a general rule, but it really does look like fun.


As the viewer wonders yet again what on earth she's wearing, Sharron attempts to trace the telephone number belonging to the man at the centre of Operation: Get Craig Scrobbled On Purpose Because It's Fun.


An hour later, by which time she's changed clothes again, she and Richard are back at it, this time pretending to be the London Telephone Exchange. And France.

Take note of Sharron's dress, by the way. The colour, particularly.


The evil butler at the House Of Evil. And yes, that is the all purpose hallway again. It really does get around.


Having listened to the sounds of the city behind the evil butler, using their super powers of super hearing, Richard and Sharron once again find themselves poring over maps in an effort to find Craig before he gets offed as the result of a splendidly daft plan.


Craig, meanwhile, is currently having dinner with the girl from earlier, when they're approached by a man who's actually taller than Craig is.

Crikey. Somebody should warn him never to try to work with Gene Barry.


Unashamed car porn. Is that a Roller? As a general rule, I'm not that good with cars that haven't been featured on Top Gear.


Another grey Jag MkII, this time hiding in an underground garage beneath the Evil Drug House Of Evil.


And another car, this time with a candle on it. I'd have thought that using the headlamps made better sense, but there you go.


Evil drug dealers! These are ambassadors from the evil embassy that is next door to Evil Very Tall Man's evil house. They bring drugs into the country, then pass them to Evil Very Tall Man, who passes them on to his various dealers by carrying them beneath his car to the garage where the girl works.

This makes sense if you've seen the episode. I have no idea if it does when you haven't.


Craig is chained to various things that you wouldn't really want to get chained to as a general rule.


I really think he's tall enough already, thanks.


Craig rather thinks so too.


But quickly! To the rescue comes another grey Jag.


Sharron leaps out and takes down one of Craig's torturers. Interestingly, she's changed clothes for the occasion. Her dress is suddenly green.


Meanwhile, Richard stops Evil Very Tall Man from escaping in a grey Jag MkII. That's either Richard's own - in which case you pillock, Richard, for leaving the keys in the ignition - or it's yet another one. It's certainly a darker shade of grey than the other one in the garage.


The people from the embassy can't be arrested for their Craig-stretching because they have diplomatic immunity (best said in sneery Joss Ackland tones). However Evil Very Tall Man is swiftly whisked away.


And a handy street light shows us that Sharron has changed clothes again. Clearly green is her punching colour. She's now in something that looks vaguely peachy.

And their car insurance ran out in February 1968. They should probably be reported for that.


Back at the office, Tremayne and his profusion of telephones are looking through the report, with the usual bafflement over who did what and how. Everybody makes rubbish excuses to hide the fact that they're superhuman, before quickly making their escape.

Poor old Tremayne. Still, at least he's always got his coloured pencils to play with.

Comments

( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
hobbitdogs
Feb. 2nd, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
Great review. Loved the wardrobe changes.
swordznsorcery
Feb. 4th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
Everybody should have a different dress for punching people in. ;)
elfbert
Feb. 3rd, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Not one of my favourite episodes, but your review did make me notice a few things I hadn't before!

I hadn't actually noticed the many, many Jags. But I did enjoy Craig and Richard rolling around together, and all of Richard's Champions-y skills being flummoxed by a bit of London traffic.
swordznsorcery
Feb. 4th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this one. Nice to see Sharron getting something interesting to do, although she disappears somewhat towards the middle. Nicely ruthless bad guys, too. It wasn't quite as exciting as some of the more exotic, adventurey ones, though.
( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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