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Series / Campion

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Campion was a British series, adapted from the Albert Campion books by Margery Allingham, which ran between 1989 and 1990, and featured Peter Davison as Albert Campion; outwardly a Rich Idiot With No Day Job but in reality a Gentleman Adventurer who is willing to sell his skills to anyone in trouble. Aside from his enquiring mind and deductive abilities, his main attribute is his incredible range and depth of contacts, ranging from low class criminals up to the Chief Constables of a number of police forces. He was assisted on most of his adventurers by Magersfontein Lugg — a burglar turned valet.


This show provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Many of the villains.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The victim in "The Case of the Late Pig" was at school with Campion and used to bully him, at one point holding Campion over a gas jet until he fainted.
    • Also Cousin George in "Police at the Funeral"
  • Battle Butler: Lugg. Also Scatty Williams in "Sweet Danger."
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Campion might act like a silly ass and compulsively make jokes, but you never should underestimate his mental or physical capabilities. Ever.
  • Bluffing the Murderer
  • Body Double: Campion employs one of these in "Sweet Danger"
  • British Brevity: Only two series, each consisting of four stories.
  • Cool Car: A red 1932 Lagonda 16/80
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Lugg. Herrings in tomato sauce for a start...
    • As strange as it sounds, herring in tomato sauce is a thing you can buy premade.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: In "Sweet Danger," the evil tycoon is crushed by a mill wheel. It is not nice.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Inspector Oates
  • Detective Drama: Not exclusively, but a number of the episodes did revolve around the traditional whodunnit format.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: All the women Campion's interested in end up falling in love with one of Campion's friends/clients, except for Amanda Fitton (but they never did any of the stories a few years down the line where Campion and Amanda actually start dating).
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: In the first series, the theme song (consisting solely of the word 'la') was sung by Peter Davison.
  • Freudian Trio: Lugg is the Id, Stanislaus the Superego, and Campion the Ego
  • Friend on the Force: Technically, Campion is friends with the force, as he lives next door to a police station. A more specific friend is Detective Inspector Stanislaus Oates, who takes Albert's calls and even saves his neck from time to time.
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  • Gentleman Detective: Campion, obviously.
  • I Have Many Names: Campion has used many pseudonyms including 'Christopher Twelvetrees' and 'Orlando'. Even 'Albert Campion' itself is a pseudonym.
  • Iron Lady: Mrs. Faraday in "Police at the Funeral"
  • The Jeeves: Subverted with Lugg. If anything, he's a Personal Mook.
  • Join or Die: Campion receives one from the mastermind in "Mystery Mile."
  • Karmic Death: Happens to many of the villains.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: In "Death of a Ghost."
  • Locked Room Mystery: In "Flowers For The Judge."
  • London Gangster: Plenty of these.
  • MacGuffin: The Gyrth Chalice in "Look to the Lady". The Crown, the Charter, and Metternich's Receipt in "Sweet Danger".
  • MacGuffin Guardian: Is the guardian of the Gyrth Chalice real, or just a legend and a set of coincidences? It's left up to you to decide...
  • New Old Flame: Janet Pursuivant in "The Case of the Late Pig"
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Campion's stock in trade. By the time his enemies have seen beyond the glasses and the frivolous remarks, it's generally too late.
  • Present Company Excluded
    Lugg: It's all nobs and nobodies with him, I can't stand either of them. Begging your pardon, ma'am, and present company excluded.
    Noblewoman: Do you like anybody? Present company excluded?
    Lugg: Suppose I must. Be hard to name any names though.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Thos. T. Knapp in "Mystery Mile."
  • Reformed Criminal: Lugg used to be a catburglar.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Lugg
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Goes with being a Gentleman Detective
  • Smoke Out: Campion uses smoke bombs when his compatriots decide to deviate from his more subtle plan and go on a Roaring Rampage of Rescue.
  • Technical Pacifist: Campion has a 'rule' not to kill — partly because of his arrangement with the police and partly because it just wouldn't be gentlemanly — but he's quite ready to punch people into the wall. And the table. And the bookshelf...
    • Part of the conflict in "Mystery Mile" comes from the 'kill or be killed' situation he ends up in.
  • The Vicar: Swithin Cush in "Mystery Mile."
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Peaky Doyle in "Sweet Danger."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Campion and Lugg. If they're not insulting each other, something's wrong...
  • We Help the Helpless: Campion's business card reads: Coups neatly executed. Nothing sordid, vulgar, or plebeian. Deserving cases preferred. Police no object.