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Series: Adam Adamant Lives!
Adam Adamant Lives!
"It appears that 1966 has a great deal of capacity for a man of my talents."
was the BBC's answer to The Avengers
, but less successful. Produced in black and white, it ran for two seasons from 1966 to 1967. Repeats have been rare, but BBC 4 now shows the occasional episode. All of the surviving episodes were released on DVD in 2006, with script PDFs for the missing ones.
In the pilot, the eponymous Edwardian
gentleman adventurer (played by Gerald Harper) was betrayed by his fiancee Louise and frozen in a block of ice by his nemesis The Face. 64 years later he was dug up by some workmen and thawed out, not much the worse for wear but very disoriented. Georgina Jones (Juliet Harmer), a swinging chick and dedicated Adamant fan, found him wandering around central London and took him home. Saving her from a murderous protection racket was his first step in resuming his adventuring career.
Subsequent episodes established more of a formula. Either Adam or Georgina would stumble upon a plot, usually involving some technofantasy element (clothes that kill their wearers, washing powder with an addictive scent, etc.). Adam would forbid Georgina to investigate, but she would anyway. Then he would have to rescue her as well as solving the case. In the better stories they would solve it together. In episode 2 Adam employed a former seaside entertainer Willaim Simms (Jack May) as a valet. One of the show's highlights was the constant bickering between Simms and Georgina.
There was never much romance between the two leads. Georgina hero-worshiped Adam to the point of stalking him (in one episode she followed him all the way to Japan and disguised herself as a geisha to get near him) but his attitude to her was always more paternal. He would, however, frequently be attracted to female villains. His blind spot was that he could never believe a woman to be capable of evil, no matter how many evil women he met.
Adam Adamant Lives! provides examples of:
- A God Am I: Some of the villains.
- Arch-Enemy: The Face.
- As The Good Book Says: some of the villains do this, especially if they're the Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Badass Cape: Adam.
- Big Brother Instinct: Adam has this towards Georgina. Oh, and don't hurt or threaten Georgina, just don't, or Adam will become a Knight Templar Big Brother and beat you into the ground and likely kill you.
- Blood Knight: Adam has a fair bit of this, but only if you're only threatening him; if you've already killed someone, are threatening someone else, or are about to imminently unleash some evil plan, he's generally all business.
- Bonding Over Missing Family: Adam and Georgina now have no family, and come to view the other as family.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Adam is effectively from a different culture, was quirky for his time, is very old-fashioned in many ways, obsesses over finding furniture that belonged to his family, and wears old-fashioned clothes and an opera cape. Most people look at him a little strangely and wonder if he is as effective as claimed.
- Celibate Hero: Between his code of chivalry and a bad romantic past, Adam consistantly avoids the advances women, and the few times he is interested in someone they are working for the villain in the episode.
- Chaste Hero: Subverted (see Celibate Hero above). He can come across as this to others because he's not used to women being as forward as they are in the '60s.
- Combat Pragmatist: For a gentleman with a high moral code in most things, Adam can be quite the dirty fighter, from trashcan lids to chairs, from kicking a man when he's down to hitting a woman (only if she is directly about to kill someone else), he'll usually take a villain and his or her mooks down by whatever means possible.
- Cool Car: Semi-averted. Adam drives a Mini Cooper S, a fairly humdrum compact car, but with an expensively remodelled interior.
- Crucified Hero Shot: Adam is captured by a group of Satanists and tied to a cross.
- Cultured Badass: Adam, of course.
- Deadly Dodging
- Deadpan Snarker: Adam's valet Simms, usually toward Georgina.
- Decoy Damsel: Often used successfully against Adam, and is perhaps his only Achilles Heel
- Dissonant Laughter: Adam often does this in the midst of a fight.
- Duel to the Death: With foils in "The Terribly Happy Embalmers", with a fellow Sword Cane carrier in "Sing a Song of Murder", and with fists in "Beauty is an Ugly Word".
- Faked Rip Van Winkle: Done in reverse in the episode "A Slight Case Of Reincarnation"
- Females Are More Innocent: Adamant keeps presuming this, getting duped by Femme Fatales on a regular basis.
- Femme Fatale: Initially, Louise with The Face. Also applies to almost all of the women Adam meets in the sixties, with the exception of Georgina. His belief in the purity of womanhood, despite Louise's betrayal, always allows them to get the better of him.
- Fictional Counterpart: One episode had a club with girls with Playboy Bunny-like outfits (but trimmed with feathers instead of ears and a tail).
- Fish Out of Temporal Water
- Forgot About His Powers: Adam's intelligence quotient, perception, and many of his skills seem to frequently increase or decrease as the plot demands; something he didn't fall for in a previous episode, he falls for in another, especially when it comes to suspecting women.
- Genki Girl: Georgina
- Gentleman Adventurer: Adam.
- Gentleman Snarker: Adam.
- Good Old Ways: Adam sticks to his courtesy, old-fashioned dress sense, and considers his time to have been more genteel era (however, he does make some concessions of approval concerning the '60s, like that prejudice is less and the class system is not so tightly stratified).
- Human Popsicle: the main concept. Later we discover that The Face had himself frozen after Adam.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: What Adam tells Louise in 1902, but his gesture hardly works considering she ends up working for The Face and using herself as bait to trap Adam.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Simms, as far as Georgina is concerned.
- Loony Fan: Georgina grew up on stories of Adam and constantly stalks him, barges into his house, messes about in his adventures. Adam is initially annoyed and disturbed (especially at her not respecting his privacy), but since the other is the closest thing to family they have, he comes to look on her as something of an annoying little sister who just waltzes into his house as a matter of course (not that he doesn't try to shoo her out as one might any sibling who oversteps bounds).
- May Contain Evil: "The Sweet Smell of Disaster".
- Missing Episode: most of the second season and part of the first were lost in a BBC archive purge.
- More Deadly Than The Male: The women tend to be far more ruthless than the men in the series.
- Old School Chivalry: Adam, of course.
- Once an Episode: In most of the first series episodes, whenever Adam is knocked out we see a montage of his original defeat and hear Louise saying "So clever, yet so vulnerable... so vulnerable..."
- Many episodes also include a scene where Simms composes a limerick by way of comment on the situation (all of which were written by Dick Vosburgh).
- Also, almost every episode ends with Georgina running after Adam yelling for him to wait for her.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Adam gives one of these to a villain who is obsessed with beauty and wants to rid the world of everything he considers ugly.
- Pretty in Mink: Jones wears a white fox stole when she infiltrates and evil escort service.
- Raised by Grandparents: Georgina was raised by her grandfather.
- Religion of Evil: "The Village of Evil".
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The fandom. Gerald Harper (not a bad looker, by the way) received fanmail from women who pretty much all commented and gushed about Adam's courtesy and respect towards women, one woman commenting that she'd be all over her boyfriend if he acted like Adam. He even got sent letters about Adam from boyfriends of female fans, some complaining that now their girlfriends expected them to act like him (and some thanking Harper for playing Adam because it inspired them to continue to be or start to be a gentleman.)
- Sword Cane: Adam's trademark weapon.
- Tear Jerker: In "Black Echo", when Adam finally learns the truth about Louise's fate. (Unfortunately, although this episode survives it has the worst sound and picture quality.)
- The Sixties
- Town with a Dark Secret: "The Village of Evil".
- Tranquil Fury: If Adam is yelling at you, smiles, or shows any emotion, you will probably get off with just an ass-kicking; if he starts chuckling maniacally, there's a fifty-fifty chance that's the last sound you'll ever hear; if he is eerily calm, you. will. die.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Some of the villains believe this.
- Values Dissonance: An In-Universe part of the show of the show is that, unlike other characters who have been transported to the future, Adam dislikes the 60s and never fully adjusts to it.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Charity, Faith, and Hope in "The League of Uncharitable Ladies"