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Friday, 11 September 2015

The Champions - They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To - #FanFridays 5

Welcome to Fan Fridays 5 - the day of the week I get to geek out about something I love. This week I have to tell you about The Champions. It's awesome!

The Champions
They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Wittegen Press
$3.29 | £2.19
Amazon | Other
Now as you may have gathered if you have been around my blog for a little while, I am a big fan of older television series. One of my favourites is The Champions.

Made in 1968 and 1969, it has one season of 30 episodes and should have had so many more.

The premise is this: three agents of the international agency of Nemesis are in China to find evidence and remove samples of a germ warfare agents. These agents are:
  • Craig Sterling (Stuart Damon) - American, veteran agent.
  • Richard Barrett (William Gaunt) - British, veteran agent.
  • Sharron Macready (Alexandre Bastedo) - British, biologist brought in for the one mission
The operation goes wrong and their plane is hit, going down in the Himalayas. They are all injured and rescued by an ancient, hidden civilisation, whose healing methods give them superhuman powers. Which when they get home, they use to become an unbeatable team, "Champions of law, order and justice".

I'm sure Craig was supposed to be the dashing hero everyone fell for in this, but my favourite has always been Richard. He's polite, mostly cheerful, sassy and he can kick butt with the best of them. William Gaunt is also really good a being tortured ;).

Sharron and Craig are great too, and Sharron actually gets a significant amount to do, which is awesome. She even tells off the boys if they try and treat her like a girl at times. The two chaps definitely have more to do and more action, but Sharron does get to beat up the odd baddie and pulls her own weight in missions.

I love this series because the premise it one of my go to tropes and because the stories are all clever. The episodes aren't just the same thing over and over again; each plot is stand alone and well thought out, using their enhanced abilities in different ways.

Wittegen Press
$2.99 | £1.99
Amazon | Other
The Champions have/are:
  • very strong
  • fast healing
  • super hearing
  • enhanced speed
  • psychic
  • partially telepathic
  • eidetic memories
  • enhanced intelligence
I think they have a full house, frankly, although they are not invulnerable, which is so, so important for good story lines.

My favourite episodes are: 
  1. Operation Deep Freeze - Craig and Richard are sent to Antarctica to investigate a possible nuclear explosion. I just love the camaraderie between the two chaps in this one.
  2. The Beginning - This is the pilot and whereas the characters haven't quite been settled yet, I simply love the plot as the three realise they've been changed.
  3. The Experiment - Sharron is sent undercover to a training establishment for ex-intelligence agents who seem to be enhanced somehow, while Craig and Richard investigate an attempted robbery of state secrets where the robber has  been reduced to the mental age of an infant.
There are many other wonderful episodes as well though. The only one I don't like is "The Interrogation", because it's just all wrong. It's a Craig centric episode and they try to suggest Richard and Sharron would abandon him, which is utter rot! Thank heavens they didn't run it as the season finale, as was originally planned. It would have been worse than the end of Forever Knight!

Have you seen The Champions? Are you a fan? What is your fav sci-fi/fantasy show of the sixties?

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