The Champions: Season 1, Episode 18

The Mission (29 Jan. 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
7.2
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On the face of it Winthrop House Mission in rural Surrey is a home for down-and-outs, run by Dr. Pederson, but it is in fact a cover. Pederson helps criminals escape by performing plastic ... See full summary »

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Title: The Mission (29 Jan 1969)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Stuart Damon ...
Alexandra Bastedo ...
William Gaunt ...
Anthony Nicholls ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anthony Bate ...
Pederson
Patricia Haines ...
Sophia
Paul Hansard ...
Emil Boder
Dermot Kelly ...
Hogan
Robert Russell ...
Maltman
Harry Towb ...
George
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Storyline

On the face of it Winthrop House Mission in rural Surrey is a home for down-and-outs, run by Dr. Pederson, but it is in fact a cover. Pederson helps criminals escape by performing plastic surgery to give them new faces. Sharron and Craig pose as gangsters requiring this service but when Craig recognizes Pederson as an ex-Nazi who performed operations in Dachau, he aims to kill them both. Fortunately Richard is on hand, masquerading as a down-and-out to telepathically communicate the plan to his colleagues. Written by don @ minifie-1

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29 January 1969 (UK)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Down and out in Surrey
20 July 2012 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Donald James' 'The Mission' opens at Winthrop Lodge, Surrey, which is being used as a refuge for vagrants. One of them, 'George' ( Harry Towb ), waits in line for a bath. Fancying a drink, he ventures into a room marked 'Private No Entry', and helps himself to wine. A man shoots him. Just before he dies, he sees two men whose faces are covered in bandages.

Tremayne tells the Champions that a number of criminals have mysteriously disappeared recently, and that an escape route could be in operation. Posing as U.S. gangster 'Bruno Carnelli' - who allegedly stole $200,000 from the Syndicate - Craig arrives in London to much press fanfare. He is approached by someone from the mission. It is run by one 'Dr.Pedersen' ( Anthony Bate ) who is using plastic surgery to give new faces to criminals for huge sums of money. Craig recognises him as 'Dreuchman', a wanted ex-Nazi who conducted horrific experiments at Dachau. Pedersen is baffled by Craig's unusual blood group - it is like nothing he has come across before. Sharron - who is posing as Carnelli's moll 'Anne Collins' - has it too. Pedersen cannot carry out the operation, and orders the pair's deaths. Richard masquerades as a vagrant in order to match their blood groups...

'The Mission', along with 'The Iron Man', is the show's most overtly humorous episode. The humour mainly comes from Craig's gangster act ( he sports a Dick Dastardly-type moustache ) with Sharron chewing gum and swinging her hips as his moll ( note she never speaks as 'Anne Collins'. Presumably Alexandra Bastedo could not successfully do the required nasal Bronx accent ). It manages to be watchable without being particularly outstanding. Dermot Kelly ( from 'The Arthur Haynes Show' ) provides some chuckles as 'Hogan', a drunken Irish tramp. The role of Pedersen is more than adequately filled by the recently deceased Anthony Bate, who graced other similar shows such as 'The Saint' and 'The Avengers'. He also played 'Kim Philby' in I.T.V.'s memorable 'Philby, Burgess & Maclean'. His nurse -'Sophia' - is played by Patricia Haines, who was Michael Caine's first wife. She died of cancer in 1976. There is an unusual twist with one of Pedersen's clients removing his dressings and finding out the wily surgeon has turned him into a perfect copy of himself!

Directed by Robert Asher, best remembered for Norman Wisdom comedies such as 'The Early Bird' and 'Press For Time' ( both 1966 ). He also worked on 'The Avengers' and 'The Prisoner'.


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