The Champions: Season 1, Episode 2

The Invisible Man (2 Oct. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 25 users  
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Surgeon John Hallam has perfected an 'invisible man', a device which is transplanted into the ear and 'tells' people to obey instructions. He uses it on banker Sir Frederick Howard, telling... See full summary »

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Title: The Invisible Man (02 Oct 1968)

The Invisible Man (02 Oct 1968) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Stuart Damon ...
Alexandra Bastedo ...
William Gaunt ...
Anthony Nicholls ...
Tremayne
...
Hallam
James Culliford ...
Sumner
Basil Dignam ...
Sir Frederick
...
Van Velden
Steve Plytas ...
Boursin
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Storyline

Surgeon John Hallam has perfected an 'invisible man', a device which is transplanted into the ear and 'tells' people to obey instructions. He uses it on banker Sir Frederick Howard, telling him to melt down thirty million dollars' worth of gold from the City of London. Howard is evasive with the Nemesis agents and is later killed, having served his purpose. Hallam and accomplice Sumner transport the gold to the continent. The pursuing Craig gets captured by them and wakes up at a roadside in Holland. He has an 'invisible man' implanted in him and he has to obey its instructions... Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

2 October 1968 (UK)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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Goofs

Craig is in a room which is suddenly filled with gas, which proceeds to knock him out. Later, he dives off a dock and holds his breath underwater, longer than the average person would be able to. Why didn't he do this in the room with the gas? He would have instinctively known to try to hold his breath, so wouldn't it have worked the same as it did underwater? See more »

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User Reviews

 
How to steal thirty million dollars in gold bullion
5 July 2012 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The second 'Champions' episode was the first of eight to be written by Donald James, who became of I.T.C.'s most prolific contributors. Banks and bankers have been in the news recently, and I don't want to comment except to say that, years ago, crooks used to wear masks and carry guns whereas now they are far more likely to wear pinstripe suits and carry briefcases. Craig receives a tip-off from Zurich banker 'Boursin' ( Steve Plytas ) that the sum of thirty million dollars in gold will be shortly deposited in his bank. Craig thinks the money will come from a robbery. He and the other Champions check out the vaults of major European banks. All appear secure. Whilst visiting 'Sir Frederick Howard' ( Basil Dignam ), director of one of London's biggest banks, Craig hears a voice ordering Howard to 'get rid of him'. The banker is being plagued by an 'invisible man' - a disembodied voice which gives him orders ( such as handing over thirty million dollars ) and, if they are not obeyed, inflicts excruciating pain on him.

When Sir Frederick is stabbed to death in a London alleyway, a doctor named 'John Hallam' ( Peter Wyngarde ) is first on the scene. By an amazing coincidence, Hallam is also Sir Frederick's personal physician. Craig visits Hallam's clinic and, after an argument, is gassed. A device which relays commands from Hallam is inserted into his ear. This is the source of the 'invisible man'. Craig is now completely under Hallam's control...

Directed by Cyril Frankel, this is good stuff, featuring a splendid villainous turn from Peter Wyngarde, just before he grew his hair long to play 'Jason King' in 'Department S'. His silky voice adds considerable menace to his 'invisible man' routine. There is not a great deal for Richard and Sharron to do, its Craig's show. The scene where he fights the agony caused by the device is harrowing, culminating in him diving into a river and staying there - having superhuman lung power is quite handy - until Hallam and his sidekick 'Sumner' ( James Culliford ) have gone. Another reviewer wonders why Craig didn't hold his breath earlier when he was gassed. Possibly he was caught unawares.

If this at times feels more like a 'Man In A Suitcase' story, it is because the composer Albert Elms also wrote the incidental music.

One line of dialogue, perfectly innocent at the time, is guaranteed to raise an unintended laugh now - it is Hallam saying to Sumner: "Use the Vibrator, Charles!".

Aubrey Morris, who plays corrupt customs officer 'Van Velden', was a familiar face in British T.V. series and films of the period, ditto Steve Plytas a.k.a. 'Boursin'. 'Fawlty Towers' fans may remember him as 'Kurt' the drunken chef in the 'Gourmet Night' episode.


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