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'The Champ'

Season 2, Episode 2


Written by Richard C. Okie
Directed by Bruce Kessler
Created by Stephen J. Cannell
Produced by Lorenzo Lamas
Theme by Mike Post

Lorenzo Lamas as Reno Raines
Branscombe Richmond as Bobby Sixkiller
Kathleen Kinmont as Cheyenne Philips
Tiny Lister as Marvin
B.J. Jefferson as Janet
Ryan Bollman as Ted
Christopher Darza as Larry
John Cripptrog as Jerry
James Kaler as Stanton
Jeff Anderson as Reporter
Greg Davis as Guard
Colleen Kendall as Reporter #2
Duke Stroud as Commander Burns
Merritt Yohnka as Jeff
Richard Gant
Mark Metcalf

First broadcast in America on 20/9/1993


'Marvellous' Marvin Montgomery is a dangerous man. The former heavy-weight champion of the world, this huge man was arrested three years ago for the man slaughter of two children whilst drunk in command of a vehicle. As our tale begins, he is being transferred to another prison. Unfortunately, the prison transfer service have seemingly had to cut costs by employing drivers with poor reaction times. As another car pulls out in front of the van, the driver swerves the van right into a boat (what are the chances!) which not only destroys the boat, but also flips the bus over and knocks both guards unconcious - but not Marvin. Escaping through a winow, Marvin (still with his feet and hands chained together) flees into the countryside as, already, police sirens sound.

The driver of the other car having pulled away, the police seemingly decide that Marvin planned this escape and manged to knock out both guards and overturn the bus himself before escaping. One policeman takes a particular interest - Mr Russell - the man who first put Marvin away. He holds a press conference announcing the escape of a dangerous man, offering a massive reward. However, his press conference is interrupted by Mr Prince, Marvin's manager, who claims that Russell's persecution of Marvin is merely a continuation of society's prevailing attitude of oppression towards the black community.

Of course, these social-political issues are of no interest to Bobby Sixkiller as soon as the concept of 'massive rewards' come up, he decides that he is the man to bring Marvin in. And by 'he', of course, he means 'Reno'. Reno is less than convinced (somehow, guaranteeing Bobby an appearance on Oprah as 'the man who bought in Marvin' in just isn't enough to get him excited), but he agrees to go after the man in any case.

Marvin himself, meanwhile, is a man who seems to wish no harm on anyone. He is identified in a hardware shop whilst attempting to free himself from his manacles, and as a result, is forced to knock out the proprietor and steal his car, but only under sufferance and at the insistence of the shop assistant. Of course, Reno finds this car on the road long before the police. He stops Marvin in the street and attempts to arrest him. Marvin wants no trouble - just the chance to go free. However, Reno refuses to give up, and instead goes into combat with the former heavyweight champion of the world. Even Renegade has to have some grounding in reality, so Reno is too knocked unconcious. Marvin flees, leaving Reno in the road to be found by Bobby and Janet - Marvin's former rehabilitation counsellor who is convinced Marvin didn't plan any kind of escape.

Reno goes after 'The Champ' again after recovering, and tracks him (somehow?) to an open air restaurant (yes, open air - by this point, we're getting the impression that Marvin isn't very bright!). This time, Reno arrives to break up a fight - three men have decided to make an attempt on the reward, but they are no match for Marvin, even together. In fact, Reno only prevents him from killing one by ringing the bell at the checkout, presumeably triggering an automatic urge in him to stop. The presence of Reno's double-barrelled shotgun is, this time, enough to encourage Marvin to abandon his escape attempts, and Reno brings him in.

They spend a night at a motel during which the two talk. Reno begins to feel that something about the case doesn't add up. They talk about the night Marvin was arrested, and it transpires that he cannot remember the details of the night. He'd just won a champion fight, and had been out celebrating with Prince, getting extremely drunk in the process. Prince had let him drive his car, and then he had hit the children. Reno begins to wonder why Prince would let Marvin drive the car in such a state. He calls in Bobby and Chey to look up Marvin's file.

Chey goes to Russell in order to draw him from his office. Claiming to be a reporter, she removes Russell from his office in order to go to lunch, leaving Bobby free to break into the office and dig out the file. Marvin's file contains a signed confession by Marvin, claiming responsibility for the whole situation. Bobby lets Reno know, and Reno becomes more peturbed.

Reno confronts The Champ whilst they are camping at night in the open air (for some reason). It transpires that Marvin cannot read, and was unaware of what he was signing. Reno puts it Marvin that Prince was driving the car on that fateful night, and simply pulled Marvin into the seat when the accident had occured. The scales fall from Marvin's eyes (as it were) and he knows it to be true. However, before there is a chance for him to respond, lights come on on a dozen police cars circling the two men. In the resulting confusion, Reno is bought in, but The Champ escapes.

Bobby uses his wiles as a cunning master of disguise to free Reno from the police, and the two head for Prince, knowing that Marvin will have done the same. Having entered Prince's gym, they confront and defeat various champion boxers (like you do) until they finally confront Marvin and Prince. Marvin is hanging Prince off a building, ready to drop him at a moment's notice. However, Reno appeals to his better nature, and Prince agrees to tell the whole truth. Marvin relents, and all these things come to pass.

At the inevitable press conference, Marvin announces his retirement from the world of boxing, and also thanks 'a stranger who knows who he is'. The stranger, of course, has ridden off into the night...


"Prince is a blood sucking parasite." - Russell lays it on the line.

"I'm the walking talking solution to all your problems." - Bobby introduces himself to Russell for the first time. How the man ever gets hired (let alone respected) is beyond us.

"I ain't got no beef with you man!" - Marvin to the shop owner. Pure poetry.

"For your community, for your kids, for you." - the end of Bobby's truly sad infomercial.
"Pretty impressive, huh?" he asks Chey
"Well it certainly makes an impression!" she replies. So true.

"All I wanted was my keys!" - Marvin to Reno after smacking him in the face.

"Do I sound like an IDIOT, Stanten?" - Bobby whilst rescuing Reno. The obvious answer would be yes.


You can sense the thought processes of the writer during the opening scene. "Hmmm," he says. "Let's set the scene of Marvin's escape along a beach. This won't add anything to the plot, but it will give us the oppurtunity to fill the first five minutes of film with long close ups of scantily clad women. I mean - I know we always do that, but I think in this epsiode, we could probably surpass even ourselves with our gratuitousness."
His thought processes, obviously, followed though, and these things came to pass.

Cost cutting in the prison transfer services make the front of the prison van fall off before it impacts the ground. Slightly worrying, I would think.

With the police on their way, Marvin heads for the highest spot on the landscape. Yet we are informed later on that he's not the brightest of chaps.

As Reno is laid out by Marvin, the boxing sound effects are certainly worth mentioning. Not tacky at all - oh no.

It's also worth mentioning the Marvin's knock out punch to the face leaves no mark or bruise on Reno at all. Maybe he heals exceptionally quickly. On coming 'round, however, he may have wanted to ask why Bobby had left him by the side of the road for him to wake up, as opposed to, say, moving him to somewhere comfortable, rushing him to hospital or something.

Russell's reaction to Chey when whe enters his office is simply laughable. I mean - has he never met a woman before - it's as though he can hardly believe what's happening - and it's not as though she's even leading him on! She only asks for an interview, and she actively turns down his dinner invitation.

The police surrounding Marvin and Reno must have arrived very quietly to get so many into a position so close without being noticed.

Bobby claims to have a chopper waiting outside when he speaks to the idiot policeman on the desk. Maybe the man was used to following orders blindly, but even though Bobby shows no ID, surely an alarm bell should have rung in his head somewhere to say - "If there was a helicopter outside - how did I not hear it?"


Lorenzo Lamas, as ever, displays quite stunning acting here. There are various facial close-ups in all episodes that are worthy of a mention, but the long profile close-up wins this episode's crown. Now I come to write this, I'm not even sure when it was, but if you watch it, you'll see what we mean.


"What can I say? This is one of the best I've ever seen. True entertainment." 4.5 / 5

"The plot and premise of Reno chasing The Hound seems to have been abandoned at this point for some ungiven reason, so the season is thrown open to its first stand alone episode. And what an episode it is. Great characters abound - Marvin, Prince and Russell must have taken literally seconds to concieve and develop, and the plot is simplistic to say the least. Add in an extremely cheesy ending, and you have a classic Renegade epsiode"

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