The Champions are Down Under and Richard has infiltrated a terrorist group who have planted a radioactive device in the Simpson Desert. He attempts to arrest them whilst in a helicopter but... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Banner B. Banner
Grant Taylor ...
General Winters
Major Joss
Bill Cummings ...
Johnny Aston


The Champions are Down Under and Richard has infiltrated a terrorist group who have planted a radioactive device in the Simpson Desert. He attempts to arrest them whilst in a helicopter but falls out and when he comes to he has lost his memory. He comes across a derelict bar, meeting an old prospector, Banner B. Banner, who has refused to move out despite government warnings of nuclear testings, He is then bitten by a snake but Sharron links up with him telepathically and saves his life. When he regains his memory he sees that the group have got hold of the nuclear device and are planning to detonate it, in the process obliterating large occupied areas. He has three minutes to stop them. . . Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Release Date:

23 October 1968 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The fifth episode, "Happening", features William Gaunt's character emerging unscathed from a fire. It just so happened that a fire was raging at a building nearby to the Borehamwood studios were "The Champions" was being shot. A camera crew was dispatched to film the real conflagration, with the aim of building a story up around it so that the footage could be used. The same fire footage would resurface a year later in an episode of "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)". See more »

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User Reviews

Countdown to oblivion
15 July 2012 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

'Avengers' writer/co-producer Brian Clemens penned two 'Baron' episodes

  • 'The Long, Long Night' and 'The Maze' - under the alias 'Tony

O'Grady'. For 'The Champions', however, he reverted to his real name. 'Happening' was one of two outings he scripted for the NEMESIS trio, the other being the show's finale 'Autokill'.

An atomic test is due to take place in the Australian outback, and Richard is there to check out reports of 'subversive elements' who might have a vested interest in sabotaging it. After arresting two men in a helicopter in flight over the Simpson Desert, a fight breaks out, a stray gun-shot cuts the fuel line, and the copter plunges earthwards. Barrett falls out. Being superhuman, of course, he survives, but when he awakens his memory has gone. A bracelet identifies him as 'Richard' but Richard who? A grimy road sign tells him he is a considerable distance from Sydney, Australia. Another sign points him towards Joe's Place, an abandoned diner. Only it is not quite abandoned - a strange-looking machine has been placed over a well, and a drunken, earthy old prospector ( Jack MacGowran ) covers him with a rifle. He is 'Banner B.Banner' ( his mother apparently lacked imagination when it came to names ). The area - 'Bad Joke Springs' - has been evacuated because of the impending atomic bomb test, Banner chose to remain behind because he is unconvinced it will happen. While arguments rage, Barrett spots a poisonous snake headed for the old man, and moves to stop it biting him. It bites Richard instead...

A tense, exciting story matched by good direction from Cyril Frankel. 'Banner' is like an Aussie version of an 'Avengers' eccentric, forever knocking back whisky and laughing at his own jokes. MacGowran, a hugely talented Irish actor, later appeared in the Australian comedy 'Age Of Consent' starring James Mason and Helen Mirren. As the story progresses, Barrett regains his memory but the danger is far from over
  • the atomic bomb has been augmented by a similar, dirtier device

installed by agents of an unfriendly country. When it goes off, most of the country will be wiped off the map. One of their agents - 'Major Joss' ( Michael Gough ) - has been ordered to lay down his life by guarding the device.

Richard's show then, but the other Champions contribute too - Sharron gets Richard's heart pumping again using her telepathic powers, and Craig sends him the know-how needed to defuse the bomb. Also on view is Grant Taylor as 'General Winters', later to play 'General Henderson' in 'U.F.O.'. The final scene has a baffled Tremayne wondering how the Champions managed to save their friend from such a long away way.

Incidentally, Bad Joke Springs was so named because it was bone dry - that was the bad joke!

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