|Index||4 reviews in total|
This TV movie was culled from two separate episodes of the ITC British
series, The Champions (1967), starring Stuart Damon (Craig Sterling),
Alexandra Bastedo (Sharron Macready), William Gaunt (Richard Barrett)
and costarring Anthony Nicholls (Tremayne). The two episodes, The
Beginning - worked as a pilot, insofar as it explains who the three
lead characters are and how they become The Champions. The action that
takes place in the TV movie combines scenes from this first episode
spliced, in bits and pieces format with the 18th episode, The
Interrogation, in which Craig Sterling is kept in isolation and
systematically "grilled" by a Nemesis operative who is trying to
determine whether or not Sterling has become a double agent. Throughout
the questioning sessions, Sterling is kept off balance with drugs, and
other physical and psychological ploys, all in an attempt to help the
interrogator (Colin Blakely) get to the "truth".
Having seen the movie a number of times, I can see why anyone would experience confusion or displeasure. Whoever decided to use Episode 18 with The Beginning did not do the viewers any favors. I can only recommend that any person who has recollection of this '60's TV show, and wants to relive those "good-old-days" spend the $50 or so and buy The Champions, which is available on DVD. I've been watching the episodes, in sequence, and have been enjoying them, immensely. Sharron Macready really gives Emma Peel a good run for her money, and as far as I'm concerned, that's really saying something!!
This feature-length movie is actually a compilation of just two episodes
from the 1968 UK television series "The Champions".
ITC combined the episodes "The Beginning" and "The Interrogation".
No new footage was made for this film.
This is why all the actors involved look younger than they do in their contemporary movies of circa 1983.
This movie really has the feeling of an inexpensive TV pilot than a movie.
The plot itself revolves around a series of flashbacks between a group of agents for a covert organization in Tibet, and the cell in which they are being interrogated. While in Tibet, they exhibit superheroic powers which they are unable and unwilling to explain to their interrogator. The entire thing gives two, somewhat conflicting feelings. On the one hand, the superheroic action has the feeling of a pulp novel. On the other hand, the camera craft gives it a surrealistic effect. Odd angles, slightly out of focus, in bright primary colors, it looks more like an episode from the original Star Trek series than what we expect of an espionage movie.
Having watched re-runs of the champions in the early 90's i was
somewhat new to the show. It has been recently revived on ITV4 in the
UK, much to my unbridled pleasure!! If you have never seen this
programme before it is an absolute must to see, predating programmes
such as the six million dollar man/woman/dog/gerbil/etc, it was based
around a trio of spies who had special powers (super strength, super
speed/agility, esp) using them for the good of the world. They would
get into a whole world of scrapes, battling super villains and
basically looking super cool in only a way you could in the late 60's.
I have always been a champion for the TV programme's that get remade for the big screen, however with possible exceptions such as the Fugitive and the first Charlies Angels (hey it wasn't that bad!) the remake has fallen well and truly flat on its anus! what on earth did they do to the Avengers, i cried myself to sleep after seeing that pile of excrement, and don't get me started on Starsky and Hutch, face it Snoop Dogg since Suge Knight stopped producing your records it's been the road to middle class mediocrity for you with you less than average music career and your truly tragic foray into acting.
With some of these classic shows being remade in less than average toilet paper holders, i feel that it is my duty to throw The Champions hat in the ring, so come on film makers if you can cast Uma Thurman as Emma Peel and Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke (Eye Candy oh yes!!! Actress No,No,No,No,No) Why not Sienna Miller as Sharon Mcready or Keanu Reeves as Craig Stirling, they're pleasing on the eye and they can't act, so give them a chance lets remake the Champions!!!!!!! Who's with me, lets get the ball rolling!!!!!
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