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THE CHAMPIONS

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Full Name: Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett
Series Name: The Champions
Nationality: British
Organization: Nemesis
Occupation Agent

Creator: Dennis Spooner , Monty Berman
Time Span: 1968 - 1983

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Craig Stirling, Richard Barrett, and Sharron Macready are the Champions.
       I cannot say for certain, though I suspect not, that they ever used that title for themselves nor did anyone else. The term comes from the phrase about them that they were the "Champions of law, order and justice" so in the case of these three individuals, it is meant that they "fought for a cause", not that they came in first, although considering that they routinely won, it would not have been inaccurate.
       The three worked for Nemesis, a department inside the United Nations described both as an intelligence agency, and it certainly did its share of that all over the world, and as a law enforcement organization, which it also functioned as though exactly whose "laws" it enforced is arguable. It existed mainly to keep the peace and to save lives. It was run by an old hand at the spy business, W.L. Tremayne. While we do not learn a lot about this man in his 60s, it is obvious from his demeanor that he has been around for quite a while and seen just about everything. He can be irascible and demanding but he definitely cares about his people as much as he does the mission.
       As the the Champions - Stirling, an American, and Barrett, British, were agents with Nemesis for some time prior to their first recorded adventure. Both men were single and dedicated to their profession. Macready, also British, was a highly regarded scientist and doctor, recently widowed, who was asked to accompany the two men on that mission because of her vital knowledge in biological experimentation.
       That mission was to break into a highly secret Chinese research facility and get evidence of that communist country's work in the creation of a biological weapon. They were successful in getting it and getting the data and getting out again. Getting completely away, though, not so much. Rifle fire would severely damage their getaway plane and despite the piloting skills shown by Stirling, it came down in the rugged Himalayas. All three were badly hurt. And that is when they were changed.
       Their damaged bodies were found an ancient and hidden civilization in those remote mountains and they were healed with the advanced technology the people possessed. For reasons not quite explained, though, the three were also given enhanced abilities which they would be able to use repeatedly in their subsequent work for Nemesis.
       Telepathy, at least between the three, was a key gift and would allow them to communicate silently despite distances. Limited precognition was another ability that would let them get a glimpse of what was about to happen or what was currently happening elsewhere. Their mental and physical prowess were greatly advanced. And their five senses were highly strengthened.
       At the request of the leader of the civilization that gave them these abilities, they agree to keep their gifts secret. No one else would be told of their powers, not even their boss Tremayne. In the case of that man, though, he might not have been informed of them but after a very short while and some improbable successes, it was plain that he suspected something and was wise enough not to ask questions and to just reap the rewards.

BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1969
Last Appearance:1969

1 The Sixth Sense is Death The Sixth Sense is Death
Written by John Garforth
Copyright: 1969

A novelization of two episodes: The Beginning and The Experiment. "Within hours of accepting a holiday assignment designed to develop her psychic powers, Sharon Macready found herself made prisoner, cut off from civilization in an eerie and frightening laboratory. And the only neighbors she seemed to have were an old man of a hundred and four living in a glass house, and twelve zombies with super powers, all called Tommy Atkins. So that when Craig Stirling and Richard Barrett came to England to investigate a biological warfare establishment, all three found themselves caught up in a process that seemed destine to convert humanity into robots, and wipe the face of the earth with bacteriological extinction."

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1969
Last Appearance:1969

1 Deadline Discovery Deadline Discovery
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 1969

From Joe 90 Top Secret Annual 1969 - On a mission to protect a Mid-East leader wanting to take part in a peace conference, the Champions are really the target for a scientific team who wants to learn all about their abilities - and to replace them.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1983
Last Appearance:1983

1 Legend of the Champions Legend of the Champions
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Dennis Spooner
Actors: Alexandra Bastedo as Sharron Macready, Stuart Damon as Craig Stirling, William Gaunt as Richard Barrett
Released: 1983

A splicing together of two episodes from the television series, The Beginning and The Interrogation. The former told how the Champions got their abilities. The latter was from the second half of the season where Stirling was captured and interrogated about a previous mission. The new amalgam had Stirling being tortured to tell about another agent's mission and identity.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:30
First Appearance:1968
Last Appearance:1969
Network:ITV

REGULAR CAST
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COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:34
First Appearance:1969
Last Appearance:1969
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MY COMMENTS

       I absolutely love The Champions. I haven't been able to watch every episode but I have viewed a bunch and loved them decades ago and love them now. The one book with the novelizations of the episodes is well written and fun to read and the 30-some comic book stories are short, pithy, and entertaining though the latter is likely because I was already a fan and so predisposed to liking them.
       It was a wonderful mixture of spy fiction and super-heroes, though the latter was subdued enough to fit in with the secret cloak and dagger work of the former. These three did not dress up in spandex and reveal themselves to the world with heads up and shoulders back and hands on waist proudly demanding "look at me". Nope, they went about their business quietly and cautiously but their telepathic chatter between each other and their knowing looks and tiny grins let us know that they knew they had something special to offer.
       The missions were very overly complicated - this was nighttime television, of course. Bad guys were obviously bad. Victims were obviously in need of saving. The Champions were obviously in it to win. And they had POWERS, man! What teenage boy, as I was back then, or aged old fellow as I am now, would not love these three. And the fact that I loved them all the time in between is, well, just a testament to how much fun they were.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

Your Average Grade:   A++-

YOUR OPINIONS

A++- 2019-08-06

Alexandra Bastedo was the ABSOLUTE finest,. RIP Sharon


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