1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (UK)
29 x 50 minute episodes
A time travel tale with a twist – Adam Llewellyn De Vere Adamant (Gerald Harper) was an Edwardian adventurer who was betrayed by his female companion, Louise (Mary Yeomans), and injected with an eternal life drug in 1902 and condemned to “die forever” by his arch-enemy, The Face (Peter Ducrow), who then sealed him in a block of ice.
64 years later he is found by workmen and revived in hospital.
Now Adamant must face his most daring adventure yet – life in the Swinging London of 1966, armed only with his sword stick and a really big pair of eyebrows – and this was 30-odd years before Austin Powers!
Luckily he finds a couple of companions to help him navigate this strange, alien environment: Swinging Sixties dolly bird, Miss Georgina Jones (Juliet Harmer), whose grandfather used to tell her stories about Adamant – and who is partial to the word “Zoink!” – is Adam’s “love interest”, and William E. Simms (Jack May), a former music hall artist who they discover running a Punch and Judy show in Blackpool, takes on the role of Adam’s limerick-quoting valet.
Adam also sorts himself out a nice little penthouse overlooking the Thames and a sporty Mini Cooper S with the number plate AA 1000.
The BBC show ran for two seasons, and due to the bizarre nature of some of the villains/plots foiled by the trio, comparisons were drawn with the cult TV classic, The Avengers, unsurprisingly as it had some of the same writers.
Adamant used his keen intellect (he had an amazing memory and degrees from several universities), athletic abilities (he was a keen boxer) and adroitness with weapons (especially his sword) to outwit the criminal fraternity.
Alive with the colour of Carnaby Street – even though it was taped in black and white – Adam Adamant Lives! was firmly set in the era of mini-skirts, mods and early psychedelia, with much interest derived from the jarring juxtaposition of Edwardian morals with the liberal society of the 1960s.
Notable guest stars included Charles Tingwell, Deryck Guyler, John Le Mesurier, Annette Andre, Patrick Troughton, Jean Marsh, Windsor Davies and newsreader Kenneth Kendall. The series also opened doors for behind-the-scenes crew members such as Ridley Scott, who went on to direct films like Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982).
Gerald Harper peeled off Adamant’s fake eyebrows after two seasons and went on to find prime time popularity as a cool stately home owner in Hadleigh (ITV, 1969-76).
The James Bond-like theme music was sung by Kathy Kirby.
Bold as a knight in white armour,
Cold as a shot from a gun.
If you should look,
For a man who loves danger,
To whom love is a stranger,
This man is the one.
Adam Adamant! Adam Adamant!
William E. Simms
A Vintage Year For Scoundrels | Death Has a Thousand Faces | More Deadly Than the Sword | The Sweet Smell of Disaster | Allah Is Not Always With You | The Terribly Happy Embalmers | To Set A Deadly Fashion | The Last Sacrifice | Sing A Song of Murder | The Doomsday Plan | Death By Appointment Only | Beauty Is an Ugly Word | The League of Uncharitable Ladies | Ticket to Terror | The Village of Evil | D For Destruction | A Slight Case of Reincarnation | Black Echo | Conspiracy of Death | The Basardi Affair | The Survivors | Face In a Mirror | Another Little Drink | Death Begins at Seventy | Tunnel of Death | The Deadly Bullet | The Resurrectionists | Wish You Were Here | A Sinister Sort of Service