It's Sixties BBC so it's on the cheap, shot in black&white with a mix of studio television and film, with a laughable title and even more laughable "action" scenes, where heroes and villains alike politely wait for their opponent to take their shot before dodging or getting hit! OTOH, the main character, "Adam Adamant" (he pronounces it "ada-mant" as in "unshakeable, uncompromising, resolute" - but the title song and some other cast members make his name sound like he's Atom Ant's cousin Adam!), played by Gerald Harper, has the perfect mix of heroism, arrogance, charm, unconscious entitlement and self-mockery to carry the whole thing off. He's even a dab hand with a swordcane (though Harper's nearsightedness meant his fellow performers in fight scenes kept their distance!), and looks good in Edwardian garb.
The premise is Adam Adamant, Gentleman Adventurer at the turn of the 20th Century, gets cryogenically frozen by a villain known only as "The Face" (who has suborned Adam's sweetheart Louise!), only to awaken in Swinging Sixties London, convinced he's still a captive of the bad guys! Found and helped by Georgina Jones, a "Mod Chick" who is nonetheless a fan of his exploits in the Victorian/Edwardian Era, Adam (often assisted against his preference by an adoring Georgina) picks up where he left out, fighting evildoers for Queen and Country.
There's only 17 episodes (there were 29 originally, but in typical BBC fashion they got destroyed!). Despite good ratings, the Head of BBC Television Drama at the time, Sydney Newman, was "embarrassed" by the pulpy nature of the show and how low-budget it looked compared to ITV's slicker THE AVENGERS (hitting its Sixties peak with the introduction of Diana Rigg's Mrs.Read more ›
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I am a yank, and yet, I lived in the UK for a length of time as a young man. And then Italy, later Australia (having started this journey in Japan), and back here to the U.S. Attended Botwell in Hayes, Middlesex. And happened to catch Adam Adamant LIVES on the telly. My mates in Hayse (Botwell) called it Adam Adamant. So did I. I don't recall the "LIVES" part of this title. I was young. As facinated as we were with the Avengers, this was as clever, yet dark, for the times. Similar to the black & white Avengers, and where Dr. Who was then and was to go on and off through today(still a Doctor fan through thick and...) The U.S. did a poor parody on television of Adam...the second hundred years (I set this especially in lower case letters), with Monty Markham as the Adam character. Monty is a very good actor, but they turned Adam into camp. A shame. Mr Markham would have done better in the dark genre, given control of his camp eyebrow gestures. Sure he would agree. Mr. Markham - under-rated, I think. I watched him struggle with this production. Back to BBC....this was an outstanding mix of then (late 1800s) and now (1960s - yes I am writing this in 2010). The phrase "...you are so vunerable...oh so vunerable..." (as said by some Moriarity-like character) sticks with me to this day.
Given Ridley Scott and others of his ilk directing, no wonder. This is only available in DVD in Zone 2. Should someone achieve Zone 1....let me know.