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Things that make you go "Boom!"

Some fighter pilots are on manoeuvres over the Eastern Pacific when an aeroplane appears in front of them. It moves impossibly fast, and soon enough all are shot down save one. He escapes back to his home base to report in on what happened, only to be disbelieved by his commanding officers. A plane like the one that he's describing simply doesn't exist. It's impossible. He must have been mistaken in what he saw. He's sure that's he's right, however; and back in Geneva, Nemesis are pretty sure too. Time to summon some Champions.

But first, before we can get down to the week's main adventure, we have to have one of the Champions showing off. Almost every episode begins this way, and whereas sometimes it's nicely relevant to the plot - Sharron's amazing night vision recently, for example - usually it's just messing about. Ordinarily that doesn't matter in the slightest, but sometimes it's too silly for words. Such as this week, where Craig has to run after after a post van with faulty brakes, before it crashes into a group of small boys that he's just been playing football with in the street. I'm tempted to ask why the silly idiots didn't just get out of the way. Anyhow, with the heroic high speed Championsy rescue of little children out of the way, it's back to Geneva via the amazing Nemesis Geneva-London insta-travelator. A man from the ministry is clumping about, grumbling about impossible planes, and Tremayne tries to put his mind at rest. He's on the case, he insists - or two of his best agents are, anyway. Just sit back and let them do their work. If there are impossible planes to be found, then Nemesis will find them. Oh yes.

An impossible plane.

Craig saves four small boys. He should probably move in with them if he really wants to protect them, however. As the runaway van heads towards them, their mother can very clearly be seen ushering them out into the road right in front of it.

Tremayne deals with a grumpy visitor. I like Tremayne's grumpy visitors. He has a lovely way of dealing with them. So do Richard and Craig, if they happen to be present. On this occasion, however, Richard is elsewhere. He's in the Alps, apparently, searching out clues about the ghost plane. He is not, in any way whatsoever, sitting instead in a studio in Elstree.

Well, okay. He might be.

I love how spectacularly out of place he looks there. Richard really isn't built for winter pursuits, I guess. Real or imaginary.

As Sharron and Richard sample the delights that holidays in the Alps have to offer, Craig is off working on one of his hunches. Since Craig has super-powered hunches nowadays, we can generally assume that whatever he's thought up is right, although right now he doesn't look too excited about it himself. He's looking through endless newspaper archives for something that he remembers having seen somewhere at sometime. He eventually finds what he's after - the mention of a fantastic new aeroplane design that was shelved before it could be built. At the time, the technology did not exist to keep such a plane cool enough whilst travelling at gigantic speeds. As far as Western science knows, that technology still does not exist - but over in the Alps, Richard and Sharron are contacted by a mysterious man who gives them an unidentified electrical component, right before being offed by the bad guys. He is therefore unable to furnish anybody with an explanation as to what it is, leading to a reunion with Craig and a quick trip to Cambridge on a scientist-hunting expedition. Gosh, I wonder if this mysterious piece of equipment could possibly be some sort of cooling device?

Craig wishes that somebody would hurry up and invent computerised cataloguing systems. Also Google.

Eventually, however, he finds what he's looking for.

I appreciate that this doesn't come across at all well in a screencap of this size, but this news story is brilliantly false. They've clearly made up their own headline, and then stuck it above an existing story, in order to make it look properly newspapery. Once upon a time this wouldn't have mattered in the slightest, as nobody could look at such things in 1968. Now, however, it becomes painfully clear to owners of DVD players everywhere that it is in fact a story about a punch up at a town council meeting. :D

Back in the Alps, Richard is a lot happier now that he's no longer being asked to pretend to have fun out in the snow. Here he's clearly decided that he'd like to play at secret agents.

Contacted by a secret contacty person, Richard tries to arrange a secret contacty meeting. For contact.

Two apparent tourists, that the camera lingers on in a not-at-all-obvious fashion.

In London, Craig reports in about his findings, and browbeats Tremayne's grouchy man-from-the-ministry guest in splendid fashion. This is rather a nice scene, and not just because of shouty!Craig. At one point, Tremayne quietly reminds him that not everybody has his amazing memory and perception, which causes Craig to realise that he's sailing close to discovery again. He smiles awkwardly, and tries to make out that he's nothing special. "You know how it is." Tremayne's "Do I, Craig?" is loaded with subtext. I like how Tremayne clearly suspects something, but just doesn't know quite what.

Richard and Sharron's secret contact lobs a mysterious electrical component at them through their hotel window.

Along with a piece of film that conclusively proves the existence of the mysterious ghost plane of alleged impossibility.

Then less than helpfully gets himself murdered.

Hot on the trail of a new bunch of leads, the gang meet up at a very snowy London airport, and set off on their latest investigation. Richard is going to find out what the mysterious component is, and Craig is going to talk to the scientist from the newspaper screencap. Presumably about the aeroplane design, and not about the punch up at the town council meeting.

In Cambridge, Craig meets with Newspaper Scientist to discuss his aeroplane designs. Whilst there, he's introduced to the scientist's wife, who is - gasp! - the woman who looked like a tourist back in the Alps. She soon slips out on a pretext, and Sharron, who is waiting outside for Craig, gives chase. Really, really obviously gives chase, in a gigantic Mercedes. She then not only parks right next to Scientist's Wife's car, she parks diagonally right in front of it, completely blocking the road. Nice parking, Sharron. She reports in to Richard, who is miles and miles away, so unlikely to be of any use, but I suppose it's nice that she thought to speak to somebody. Richard is fabulously unconcerned, however. He tells her that he'll pass the information along to Craig, because apparently they're seeing each other tonight. There's a major international kerfuffle going on, but hey, he'll pass it along when he and Craig meet for their date later. Okay. With all that out of the way, Sharron slips into a warehouse, where Scientist's Wife is speaking to Random Accomplice, who turns out to be the other 'tourist' from the Alps resort. Sharron sneaks in close to hear what's going on, but is spotted by the scientist himself, who has clearly finished his meeting with Craig. She completely fails to utilise a single one of her amazing super powers in order to help herself, and is soon locked away in a refrigeration room waiting for help. Craig can't help, however, as he has no idea where she is. Richard does, but is miles away. He does have a phone, though, and sends its telephone number telepathically to Craig, so he can ring up for an update. Would it be silly to ask why you didn't just give him the update telepathically as well?! Still, I guess that doesn't make for such good television. Craig goes running off to rescue Sharron from certain death, and Richard joins them later, mid-thaw. So far, Operation: Find The Ghost Plane is not proving to be a massive success.

Sharron watches as Scientist's Wife leaves the college. She gives chase, badly.

Richard, meanwhile, is given a demonstration of the amazing refrigeration abilities of the mysterious electrical component.

Another guest star with a strange fondness for red capes and dresses. This one doesn't have the matching red hat, so there's less of a Spanish Inquisition look than there was in "The Gilded Cage". Possibly this is the Spanish Inquisition in disguise.

Sharron reports in to Richard about what she's found, being unable to contact the much closer Craig, since he's been left wandering around Cambridge without transport or a telephone. Gosh, if only the Champions were telepathic.

How is it that Sharron is always able to find a telephone that perfectly matches her outfit?!

This scene really does defy belief. Sharron has been captured. The bad guy is completely failing to point his gun at her. The bad guy and his crony are completely failing to even look at her. She's looking at them, so she clearly knows both these things. And yet she just stands there. Still, it's not as though she has super speed or super strength or anything, is it. Maybe she should just stand there and wait to be murdered. Shortly afterwards, she's stuffed into one of those refrigeration rooms that TV shows so often like to lock their heroes into. It's your own silly fault though, Sharron, so don't go expecting any sympathy.

Fortunately for her, the boys know that she's in trouble.

Craig models a rather nice red telephone box.

Sharon models some rather nice ice effects.

Craig dashes off in search of somebody who will give him a lift, Sharron having decamped with the car. Spot the grey Jag mkII. :)

Also, spot Craig's briefcase. It contains blueprints of the ghost plane, given to him by the scientist who invented it. When he arrives at the warehouse to rescue Sharron, however, he has no such briefcase. Whoops.


Leaving Sharron to warm herself up, the boys take a look around the warehouse, and find that somebody has been secretly manufacturing bits of ghost plane, intending to ship them overseas labelled as other machine parts, so that they can be fixed together abroad. A sort of instant ghost squadron, if you will. Some two hundred and fifty ghost planes will be in enemy hands in days if the Champions cannot stop them. Gasp! Richard and Craig therefore catch a lift with a salty old sea dog, and spend the evening sneaking around a harbour, planting bombs on board the cargo ship that is to transport the bits of aeroplane overseas. This basically means that they're going to blow up a ship, and its entire crew, so I hope very much that the crew is evil. This isn't really covered at any point in the plot, although the people who are loading up the crates are vaguely Eastern-looking, and this week's Evil Enemy is China. Even so, it still seems rather unfriendly. Nevertheless, Richard and Craig are determined, and after a good old-fashioned bit of exploding, all is well, and it's back to base for a humorous tag scene.

I wonder if all secret agents report back to base for a quick joke at the end of all their missions? I must find a real one and ask.

Sharron, wrapped up in Craig's overcoat, decides to warm herself on Richard. Craig apparently "only offered me a coat". Yes, but it's clearly an amazing, growing coat, so don't feel too hard done by.

Anyway, if you're that cold, why did you take your own jacket off, you daft woman?! It's hanging on the back of your chair.

In the background, Richard and Craig look at the details of what has recently been shipped out of the warehouse.

It's not good news. Sharron, meanwhile, possibly delirious from hypothermia, wanders off into the middle distance, not to be seen again until the end of the episode.

Craig and Richard report back to Geneva for a glass of whisky and a chat with Tremayne. He tells them to use their own initiative, which I'm sure he could have said over the phone. Still, possibly if they don't use that amazing instant travel device of theirs regularly, it shuts down or something.

Joining up with a ship, they plan their assault on the dock where the bits of ghost plane are being stored.

Then its wetsuit time. Richard, by the look of things, does not approve of wetsuits.

I do, though. They have a very pleasing effect on Craig's hair. It actually gets messed up for once, and for a brief moment, doesn't look like it's made out of plastic. The effect doesn't last long, though. He's clearly brought a jar of Brylcreem with him on the mission.

And it's back into Secret Agent mode. Richard very much seems to be enjoying this episode.

The boys find out which ship the bits of plane are going to be transported on. I love this bit. Richard breaks into the office by slamming his fist through a window in a loud explosion of breaking glass, and then very, very quietly, reaches inside and opens the window properly so that he can climb through it. Lovely stealth work, Richard. Nearly.

Next, the boys have to find the cargo, and plant their bombs on it. This mostly involves posing dramatically in dark places.

Before they can plant all of their bombs, however, the bad guys turn up. Never fear, however! Craig has a plan. Whilst Richard finishes the sabotage work, Craig will lead the bad guys away. This basically means running straight into the middle of them, and then hoping for the best.

Don't look at the camera, Craig. I don't care if you are in danger, that's still no excuse. Especially when it's your own silly fault in the first place.

Richard is definitely enjoying this episode. He's not got the chance to creep about pretending to be James Bond anything like this much before.

Craig has escaped his pursuers, and made his way back to the ship they came in on. Here, he and the salty old sea dog discuss blowing up a cargo ship full of potentially innocent people. I'm not sure they should be finding it quite so funny, but then in fairness, we're probably not supposed to think about the potentially innocent people bit.

The continuing lack of Richard does worry Craig, however. A boat full of imminently exploding people, no. No contact from Richard, yes. Richard is quite all right, however, having decided to spend the night on shore for no readily apparent reason. I guess he just wanted to make Craig worry.

Boom! Mission accomplished. The ghost planes are no more, and so, it would appear, are the scientist and his wife. Well, that's okay then.

Honestly, I love TV explosions. I really, really do. If you can explode it, do so with my blessing. This is just a little cold-blooded, though! The number of episodes of this show that end with a clean sweep of bad guys thoroughly deaded is a little off-putting.

Back at base, the boys celebrate things that go "Boom!" Sharron, however, remains hugely unmoved.


At the end they comment on how, with everybody dead and the ghost plane bits and pieces destroyed, there's no longer any reason to worry about these deadly planes ever again. I beg to differ. Somewhere in Cambridge is Craig's briefcase, with a full set of blueprints in it. Just saying.

PS: Next episode = "The Night People".


( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Feb. 12th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
I had NEVER notice Craig selling secrets to the enemy 'forgetting his briefcase' before! And I agree about the hair - he looks nice without the brylcreem.

I'm astonished at how completely bizarre Richard looks doing winter sports. Whoa. Did no one watch that back and think 'Hmm, maybe not...'
Feb. 12th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Poor Richard. :D And no, I'd not noticed the briefcase before either! I watched the next episode earlier this evening, and I saw something extremely odd in that one that I'd also never seen before. I think it's doing the screencaps that does it.

No idea when I'll get the next review up, but hopefully it'll be soon. I've been awfully lax lately.
Feb. 12th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
Don't worry about being lax! I felt awful I hadn't commented until now. I've just got loads going on, from (literally) millions of pounds of work to deal with, and deadlines which ...err, well, actually the deadline was LAST Friday...hmmm. But I've also had distant family members dying, two of my parents coming to visit this weekend, and my flat looking like Richard and Craig have nuked it!

Feb. 13th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
It's okay. Commenting isn't compulsory. :)

Sounds like you've had quite a week! Best of luck with the parental visit...
( 4 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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