The Champions: Season 1, Episode 30

Autokill (30 Apr. 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
7.3
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George Brading, a Nemesis agent, goes missing for two days and when he re-surfaces, shoots an American officer in the Nemesis headquarters. Some time afterwards, he dies, presumably of ... See full summary »

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Title: Autokill (30 Apr 1969)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Stuart Damon ...
Alexandra Bastedo ...
William Gaunt ...
Anthony Nicholls ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Boa ...
American Colonel
Paul Eddington ...
Klein
Rachel Herbert ...
Loretta Brading
Harold Innocent ...
Dr. Amis
Conrad Monk ...
Mechanic
Richard Owens ...
George Brading
...
Barker
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Storyline

George Brading, a Nemesis agent, goes missing for two days and when he re-surfaces, shoots an American officer in the Nemesis headquarters. Some time afterwards, he dies, presumably of poison. His widow tells the Champions that just before he disappeared, his brief-case went missing. Tremayne also tries to kill a doctor and he too has had his brief-case taken. Richard acts as decoy by having his wallet stolen. He is taken to a police station by a bogus officer where he learns, first hand, that both George and Tremayne were drugged with a mind-altering substance that turned them into assassins. Now he is programmed . . .to kill Craig. Craig must find the antidote to the drug before it is too late. Written by don @ minifie-1

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30 April 1969 (UK)  »

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Trivia

The final episode "Autokill" was the first and only one to be set in Geneva, home of Nemesis. Indeed, the episode revolves around an attack on The Champions' organization. See more »

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The Champions' final case
1 August 2012 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

When 'The Champions' began on I.T.V. in September 1968, few viewers could have known it was already a dead project. Only ten of its thirty episodes got a network screening in the U.S.A. In the U.K., despite not being networked, it was far more popular ( particularly with the young ). Items of related merchandise included bubble gum, colouring and puzzle books, and a weekly strip ( excellently drawn by Jon Davis ) in the 'Joe 90 Top Secret' comic. The stories were in the same vein as those done on television, with stolen submarines, mad-men out to hold the world to ransom, Nazis, and suicide-inducing drugs. They went some way to compensating for the lack of a second season.

Brian Clemens' 'Autokill' begins with missing NEMESIS agent 'George Brading' ( Richard Owens ) suddenly reappearing, and going berserk, killing a U.S. Colonel ( Bruce Boa ) only a few feet from Tremayne's office. He has been given a new kind of psychedelic drug, one that wipes the mind clean and making it responsive to suggestions. While the Champions are puzzling it out, Tremayne undergoes the same treatment, and tries to kill 'Doctor Amis' ( Harold Innocent ). Richard finds his wallet gone, and a gendarme ( Paul Eddington ) asks him to go to a police station in Sector 13 to reclaim the contents. Sector 13 is a fake, and soon Richard is being given the same drug as Brading and Tremayne. When Richard and Sharron show up, the Champions face their toughest fight ever...

Directed by Roy Ward Baker, this is a good conclusion to the series. We get to see more of NEMESIS itself than in all the previous episodes put together, and the climactic fight is unusually violent by 60's television standards, with a fair amount of blood on view. Pohlmann had played the 'Minister' in 'Get Me Out Of Here!. Eddington had been 'Cobb' in the 'Prisoner' story 'Arrival', and Rachel Herbert was the bizarre 'No.57' in that same show's 'Free For All'.

'The Champions' was a popular repeat item on I.T.V. for the next twenty years. The show has also been on Sky's 'Bravo' channel, B.B.C.-2, and most recently, I.T.V.-4. Talk of a new movie was mooted a few years back, but nothing came of it. Given the poor quality of remakes of 'The Saint' and 'I Spy', it is probably a good thing. A few years after the show's demise, 'Cor!' comic ran a spoof called 'The Chumpians' in which three children were given super-powers by a Tibetan llama with a fondness for yak butter sandwiches. Less amusing was 'The Preventers' in 1996, a one-joke send-up starring Morwenna Banks and featuring William Gaunt!

'The Champions' might not have grabbed American viewers, but it beat 'Colonel Steve Austin' a.k.a. the 'Six Million Dollar Man' ( Lee Majors ) to the airwaves by about six years.

Worth checking out is 'The Superhuman Affair', an online fan fiction story by Martin Feekins, which merged 'The Champions' with 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' as THRUSH discovers the existence of the lost city in Tibet!


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