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Friday, 22 February 2008 07:27

Adam Adamant Lives

Gerald Harper's Victorian adventurer out of time ...


UK (BBC) - 1966-67
26 episodes (50 mins) - B&W

Conceived for the BBC, and based on a proposal to update Sexton Blake that had fallen through after the Corporation failed to acquire the rights to Hal Meredith's crime-fighter, Adam Adamant Lives! saw England's gallant defender from Edwardian times, Adam Llewellyn De Vere Adamant (Gerald Harper) frozen alive by his arch-nemesis The Face in 1902.

Revived sixty-four years later by thoroughly modern mod girl, Georgina Jones (Juliet Harmer), granddaughter to one of his long dead acquaintances, and joined by William Simms (Jack May), a former music hall artiste prone to speaking in doggerel verse who serves as his valet, this man out of time continues his fight against the nation's foes whilst adjusting to the strange new modern world.

Compared unfavourably to The Avengers, a show many of the writers, including co-creator Tony Williamson, had previously written for, whilst Adam Adamant Lives! employs the same tongue-in-cheek humour and male/female dynamic, the overall content owed more to the ITC action series of the time. Against the backdrop of “Swinging London” with its beat clubs and boutiques, the valiant Adamant and hip Georgie take a stand against assorted low-lifes, gangsters and military fanatics who proved little match for his cold steel and elaborate style.

By the time of the second series, the BBC had lost confidence in the show, and it was not even allocated a regular time slot. With almost half the episodes wiped from the archive, the lack of repeats has meant that Adam Adamant Lives! has almost fallen off the radar of memory, unlike many series of the era that had a similar cult following.

Gerald Harper as Adam Adamant
Juliet Harmer as Georgina Jones
Jack May as William Simms


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