"It appears that 1966 has a great deal of capacity for a man of my talents."
Adam Adamant Lives! 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.
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.
Brown Note: Aside from developing Mind-Control Music, the evil sound engineer Carson in "Sing a Song of Danger" is developing a sound bomb that will kill through applied sonics. He attempts to test it on Adam, Georgina and Simms.
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 consistently 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.
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.
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.
The Future Is Shocking: one of the first things that happens to Edwardian adventurer Adam when he awakes in the swinging Sixties is that he stumbles into the London Underground where he is confronted by billboards advertising lingerie.
The Gadfly: Georgina likes to say and do "improper" things to shock Adam.
Good Is Not Soft: Adam has no compunction for cold-bloodedly killing villains and will do so without a second thought.
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).
High Voltage Death: Happens to at least two villains. Melville in "Sing a Song of Danger" is killed when he spears a high voltage cable with his sword cane, and Dr. Mort collides with a generator while attempting to wrestle Adam in "The Doomsday Plan".
Hollywood Satanism: In "The Last Sacrifice", Adam battles a British lord who is running a satanist cult complete with hooded robes, orgies and human sacrifice. He is mostly using it as a source of blackmail, but Adam mentions that his family has a history of satanism cropping up every third generation.
Human Popsicle: the main concept. Later we discover that The Face had himself frozen after Adam.
Human Sacrifice: In "The Last Sacrifice", a lord runs a satanic cult which conducts human sacrifices. He films prominent citizens being involved in the rituals and then uses it to blackmail them.
Innocent Bigot: While Adam was pretty advanced for his time and class, he still holds many prejudices and negative attitudes of his time and upbringing.
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.
It Will Never Catch On: Adam was friends with Winston Churchill when they were children. He "never thought [Churchill] would amount to anything."
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).
Mind-Control Music: The villains in "Sing a Song of Danger" plan to use a subliminal message embedded in records to cause fans to rob banks and deliver the money to them through fan clubs. They use another album to try to compel Adam to murder Georgina.
Missing Episode: most of the second season and part of the first were lost in a BBC archive purge.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The Face has himself frozen at some point after he froze Adam, when he had better perfected his technique and after his plans to throw the world into utter self-destructive chaos (implied to be the World Wars) is thwarted seals himself away only to be permanently woken a year after Adam is freed.
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.)
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.
Trapped by Gambling Debts: Happens to the Arab prince in "Allah Is Not Always With You". the entire scheme was a set-up to get him to sign an IOU that would allow the villain to blackmail him once he inherited the throne.
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.
Villainous Incest: Played with in "The Doomsday Plan". When Doctor Mort's daughter kisses him in a most un-daughterly fashion, Adam is clearly shocked and objects that he is is her father. The girl then laughs and says she is not really his daughter, but that she just plays the role as the public has expectations.