The cobalt-rich Arab country of El Hari is on the verge of civil war and must stay united to prevent invasion. The best hope of stability is to restore the Bey, in exile in Rome,but he is ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
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The Bey
Roger Delgado ...
Yussef
Nick Zaran ...
Said
...
Curtis
Henry Lincoln ...
Branco (as Henry Soskin)
Peter Madden ...
Sheikh
Tony Cyrus ...
Major Tuat
Yole Marinelli ...
Sonia
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Storyline

The cobalt-rich Arab country of El Hari is on the verge of civil war and must stay united to prevent invasion. The best hope of stability is to restore the Bey, in exile in Rome,but he is reluctant to leave his playboy life-style and Sharron knocks him out so that she and Craig can fly him into El Hari. A wireless operator at the landing stage warns the Bey's enemies of his arrival, and the journey is continued in a truck across the desert. The Bey is shot by a sniper and tribesmen host the trio but when the Bey learns that Said, his supposed aide, has paid them to kill him, he resolves to resume his rule. The travellers still have to reach the capital, however, and face another attempt on the Bey's life. Written by don @ minifie-1

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19 March 1969 (UK)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

As they spot their "escort" in the desert (at around 37 mins) their jeep is fairly modern (for the time). As they progress the rear tarpaulin sheet/door changes from closed (30:16) to open (30:34). As they stop at the Arab camp a few minutes later, they are in a different jeep. It's, for example, older, paler in colour, has a shallower bonnet, mud splashed (as opposed to clean) front windows, different side windows (no deep first one, different sized second and third ones) and a front wheel arch which drops down to the bumper (which the newer jeep did not have). See more »

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Bey watching
27 July 2012 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The late Ian Stuart Black wrote for many television shows in the 60's and 70's, among them 'Danger Man', 'Doctor Who' and 'Adam Adamant Lives'. 'Desert Journey' was his only 'Champions'. It opens in the middle eastern country of El Hammi. 'Major Tuat' ( don't laugh, that's really his name ) is murdered, and replaced by an impostor ( Tony Cyrus ) who, in an eerie carbon-copy of 'Operation Valkyrie', leaves behind a bomb-packed briefcase at a meeting of the country's leaders, which goes off. El Hammi looks certain to plunge into anarchy. The West are worried because the place is rich in cobalt, ideal for atomic bomb making. Tremayne decides to bring back 'The Bey' - the ex-ruler deposed twenty years before - who lives in exile. The original Bey is now 70, but his son ( Jeremy Brett ) could be persuaded to return for a large fee ( he lives a playboy life-style and is constantly short of money ). 'Said' ( Nik Zaran ) does not want the Bey back, and tries to bribe him not to come home. When this does not work, he sets out to kill him.

Once again, the Champions must become bodyguards for a V.I.P. What marks 'Journey' out from the other shows is the fact that overseas location filming was done, mostly with stand-in's. It is interesting to see Brett in his pre-Sherlock Holmes days. He would, in my view, have made a very good leading man in an I.T.C. action show. Sharron gets to look devastatingly sexy in her party clothes, as well as rough up future 'Darth Vader' Dave Prowse, cast as the Bey's bodyguard. For the rest of the show she is clad in trousers so tight they look as though they were sprayed on. The scene where Craig and Sharon's plane lands at the premises of the Kaiser Oil Company features good old Reg Lye as 'Curtis' and Henry Lincoln ( credited as 'Henry Soskin' ) as 'Branco'. The latter was also a writer who co-wrote ( with Mervyn Haisman ) the 'Yeti' stories for 'Dr.Who'. Speaking of the Time Lord, Roger 'The Master' Delgado plays 'Yussef'. Future 'Love Thy Neighbour' star Rudolph Walker gets an uncredited role as a guard.

For its first half-hour, 'Journey' is a corker. But then, like 'The Night People', it takes a turn for the worse with a lengthy sequence in which Craig, Sharron and a wounded Bey enjoy the hospitality of a Sheikh ( Peter Madden a.k.a. 'Admiral Hobbs' in 'Danger Man' ). The expression on Craig's face as he watches a belly dancer puts one in mind of Les Dawson. Said bribes the Sheikh to kill his new friends, but they have guessed he will turn on them, and have quietly left. How did they manage to slip past the tribe? What are they using for water? Richard picks them up in a Land Rover, and after the fake Major Tuat makes another assassination attempt which Craig foils by shooting him through a door, that's all folks. Chalk this up as yet another episode which could, and should, have been better.

The girl taking off her top at the party was edited out of B.B.C.-2's mid-90's repeat. Location footage was later inserted into a 'Department S' story - 'Spencer Bodily Is Sixty Years Old'.

The casting of English actors as ethnic minorities is frowned upon now, but it should be remembered that as late as 1983 Ben Kingsley won a Best Actor Oscar for 'Gandhi' - rightly so.


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