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Clunk Click Every Trip

I think I've just encountered an episode of The Champions that I don't like. This is somewhat disconcerting, and not an experience that I'm anxious to repeat.

Two people, a teenaged boy and a much older man, push the lid off a tomb in an old graveyard. From there they make their way into an underground research facility, where an American general is kept in some sort of suspended animation. They're discovered, however, and as the older man hides behind a row of lockers, his young accomplice is murdered. Soon after, Tremayne calls Sharron and Craig into his office. Richard has disappeared, leaving no clues as to what he's doing. His disappearance appears to be connected to a recently deceased American general - the same one lying in a metal tube in the underground facility. Sharron and Craig are detailed to find Richard, whilst Richard himself meets with an old friend; the same man who accompanied the boy into the secret underground room.

They do a lovely job of making that lid look heavy. Sadly the young fellow then promptly ruins it by bashing his head on it when he climbs inside. Really heavy stone lids don't bounce in quite that fashion. :D

And how the hell did they find out about this secret entrance, anyway? Is it common journalistic practice to climb inside old tombs, just in case they lead somewhere interesting?

Famous American military ex-genius, General Patterson. In a freezer.

He is in no way hidden by those lockers, you know. He must be visible to half of the people in the room.

Two minions manhandle a soon to be ex-youngster. This is quite freaky, because this bit looks just like one of those old Children's Film Foundation capers. They don't usually end in quite this way, though.

Namely with 'M' suddenly cropping up, and murdering a young boy.

Back at Nemesis headquarters, Sharron and Craig hear all about Richard's sudden disappearance. Tremayne is not best pleased.

He's easily found, however, as he's at that same little bit of particularly distinctive road that has so far been in Geneva, Paris, some fictional island just off the coast of South America, and is now in Wales. Oddly enough, this time the interior of the adjacent building is identical to that of the King's Head Inn, which was in Cornwall in "The Night People", but is clearly now also in Wales.

The landlady gives him a message from a friend, which proves to be a splendidly useless map. It doesn't appear to have anything much marked on it at all.

Under cover of darkness, he watches a shed.

Inside which lurks the now rather worse for wear older fellow from earlier. He's an old friend of Richard's, and has asked for help.

Well, he is a journalist.

There's danger brewing, however, for his hideout has been discovered by 'M' and his men. Urging Richard to escape, the journalist attempts to hold off the attackers. Despite having turned down a cigarette earlier, on the grounds that the shed is full of paraffin, he know cheerfully blasts everything in sight with a shotgun. Soon enough, the paraffin containers are perforated by the shots of his enemies, and he's liberally doused in the stuff. This episode is rather more violent than most, it has to be said. We've already had a teenage boy murdered. Now we have a bloke burnt alive, watched by a splendidly impassive 'M'. Richard has escaped, however, and soon breaks into the house that stands above the mysterious underground room from earlier on. He speaks to a doctor, whose research into suspended animation has been subverted by 'M' and his men. Soon enough, Richard is discovered and captured. This bit doesn't make a great deal of sense, really, as 'M' has already proven himself to be a cold-blooded murderer, so quite why he doesn't just kill Richard and have done with it, I have no idea. But he doesn't, and instead has him locked up in a freezer unit down in the basement.

The journalist fellow (who must have a name, but it escapes me) prepares to make his last stand.

The paraffin is the first casualty of the shoot-out.

And our journalist friend is soon soaking wet. Even so, given that this is family viewing, one could be forgiven for not really expecting what comes next.

'M', as it turns out, is a complete bastard.

The soggy journalist thinks so too.

Ouch. He goes silently, though, which may be rather improbable, but is presumably what got it past the censor.

Elsewhere, Craig and Sharron have broken down, and ask for directions to a railway station. It being Craig, this mostly involves flirting.

Pretty Welsh countryside.

Pretty Welsh train.

Not very pretty train compartment. There's a running joke about Craig's inability to pronounce Welsh place names, which is rather entertaining.

A doctor, doing something doctorly.

Richard asks for her assistance, but she's worried about her kidnapped father.

Richard hears the story of what has been going on hereabouts. General Patterson is, to all intents and purposes, dead. However the doctor's research has kept his circulation going, in the hope that one day he can be cured. 'M' plans to pass him on to enemy powers, who can get all of his military secrets. Always supposing they can cure death first. And really, should they manage that, I'm doubting that there's a great deal he'll be able them that they don't already know.

But 'M' is on to Richard, and quickly gets the upper hand.

And Richard is soon on ice.

Richard is able to use his super powers to break out of the freezer unit, and soon finds himself helped by a minion, disillusioned by the violence that 'M' seems to favour. They set out to rescue the doctor's kidnapped father, but have not got far before the rest of the Champions turn up. Soon the house is turned into a free for all brawl, in the midst of which, 'M' makes a bid for freedom. He takes the doctor along as a hostage, and a still part frozen General Patterson into the bargain. Richard and Craig give chase, in the world's most splendidly unlikely pursuit vehicle, but in no time at all, 'M' loses control of his car. Farewell 'M', farewell General Patterson, and farewell rather dull episode.

Arriving on the grounds, Sharron makes short work of a guard.

Craig rather enjoys the spectacle.

Meanwhile, a newly thawed Richard is helped out by Arnold of Todi from The Box Of Delights. Be careful of him, Richard. If he asks to see your tail, run.

Oh look, it's our hall again.

Richard and Arnold see Craig and Sharron arriving at the door, and prepare for wholesale violence.

Craig and Richard are reunited, mid-fisticuffs.


Sharron guards the defeated minions with a rather nice looking gun.

Whilst Craig and Richard dash off after 'M' in what I think is a Volvo 122.

Fortunately, it's clearly been fitted with a warp drive.

The kidnapped doctor is not prepared to be an easy hostage, and attempts to sabotage her abduction.

But what's this?!

Oh no! It's a tiny sapling! And it's miles away! What are we to do?!


Witness the carnage wrought by the tiny sapling of doom.

'M' is no more, and General Patterson has managed to die for a second time. The doctor is still alive, however, saved not by a seatbelt, but because she's good. Or something.

The gang have a mild comedy moment. Although frankly, by this point, I've just about ceased to care.

The next episode is "The Mission", which fortunately is a whole lot better. Even if Sharron does look scary in it.


( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Feb. 28th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Tiny Sapling of Doom

Had me giggling there. I've watched a number of Champions in my time, but I don't remember this one.
Mar. 1st, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
It is a bit forgettable - except for the splendidly silly bit at the end, where the car is done in by the sapling. It would be bad enough if the car was a small one, but it's a gigantic old Merc.

Couldn't they have found an actual tree?!
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
something scarier than that beige coat with the giant red piping? I find most of Sharron's clothing startling if not terrifying
Mar. 1st, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
Much scarier!
Mar. 1st, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
can't wait to see the caps, then!
( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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