They are super humans - but not superhumans.
This sums up the three leading characters, played by Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo and William Gaunt, in The Champions.
Between them, they face new types of adventure in action stories which are as different as the characters themselves. They bring a new dimension to television excitement in one-hour episodes, filmed in colour, devised and developed by Monty Berman and Dennis Spooner, with Monty Berman producing and Dennis Spooner as script supervisor.
The Champions are members of a small but powerful agency formed by the nations of the world to combat any situation that could result in international tension. It is a top secret department, based in Geneva, and is known to the few by the code name of "Nemesis". The agency is supported by all countries and answerable to none as it fights a relentless war in the pursuit of right, justice, reason and knowledge.
It doesn't deal with trivial crime or insignifcant villains, but only with situations that can blossom into an international incident: crime, politics, civil war, assassination.
The three agents whose stories are told in The Champions possess remarkable powers granted to them when, on one mission their plane crashes in Tibet. Their rescuers not only mend their bodies, but heighten the efficiency of their bodies, minds and senses to a fantastic level.
They find that, in action, their memories, senses and physical powers rightly used, fuse to a computer efficiency. They have acute senses of sight, smell and hearing, with a highly developed extra-sensory perception, a grasp of mathematical formula and an insight of reasoning.
They are super humans, but they are not immortal. They can be killed. They make mistakes. They can fail to achieve. Although aware that they have abilities granted to few, they can learn only by experience the extent of their abilities, and the greater the risks they take, the greater the danger to themselves.
Their uncanny powers are a bond and a secret between them - a secret to be kept if only as a protection to the unknown people who helped them.
Monty Berman and Dennis Spooner explain - "Our aim is to make incredibility credible. It is a natural development of television adventure. Action dramas have the impossible in their exploits, fights, cunning and unbelievable physical stamina. They go beyond the realms of probability. One man can defeat a dozen several times in the course of a single story.
"No-one can believe that any mortal could achieve what the present-day heroes manage to do and survive.
"But The Champions makes it all logical because the three characters have these out-of-the-ordinary powers. Everything they do is within the bounds of possibility. They can't perform miracles because they are not superhumans; but they can do anything withing the limits of human capabilities.
"Someone on earth possesses each quality that has been granted to them. Each field of endeavour has one champion - one man or woman who is better than anyone else in the world in his or her particular sphere. One person holds the record - for high-jumping, running, swimming, boxing, wrestling, racing, diving, and physical endurance of every kind, even flagpole-sitting. And there is one man who is better than any others in every other physical and mental sphere.
"The three characters in The Champions possess all these superlative qualities, but they can't do anything that some other human being hasn't achieved, somewhere, sometime.
"But mankind doesn't know the limits of human endeavour. New records are always being achieved. Every year, someone creates a new record, running the mile in less time than anyone else has ever done, jumping higher, swimming faster. And the Champions are vulnerable because they can never know just how far they can go without exceeding the limits of human ability.
"The important thing to remember is that, whatever they do in the stories, someone in the world is capable of doing the same. They simple have all these abilties rolled into one".
The Champions is, in fact, the merging of two ideas. Monty Berman had an idea for a series in which two children would be lost in Tibet and return to the outer world some twenty years later. Dennis Spooner had the idea of creating a hero who really could do all the things that screen heroes achieve wihtout any logical explanation for their super capabilties. The two ideas blended, and The Champions was the outcome.
The three characters are Craig Stirling, played by Staurt Damon; Sharron Macready, played by Alexandra Bastedo; and Richard Barrett, played by William Gaunt.
The three agents are great friends. They become closer because of the experience they go through, and the bond edures through any situation or action of any single one of them. Their nerves outweigh any situation or stress. They have extra-sensory perception and powers of telepathic communication, which enables them to hear one another's softest whisper over considerable distances.
Viewers will be aware of their remarkable powers, but the people around them, friends and enemies alike, have no idea of their super capabilities. Many may well be baffled at their astonishing successes, but they give no answers. "Luck" or "a hunch" is always an acceptable explanation.
* ITC PRESS RELEASE