Adam Adamant Lives! (partially lost BBC TV show; 1966)

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Adam-Adamant-Lives-The-Complete-Collection-Front-Cover-34716.jpg

Cover of the UK DVD, which collates all of the extant episodes.

Status: Partially Lost

Adam Adamant Lives! was a live-action children's television show produced by the BBC, airing from the 3rd of June 1966 to the 25th of March 1967 for 30 episodes (including one unaired pilot) over two seasons.

Premise

The show starred Gerald Harper as the eponymous hero, a swashbuckling Edwardian adventurer who is cryogenically frozen by his nemesis, The Face, and wakes up in 1960s England, where everything has changed for him. He and his companion Georgina Jones (played by Juliet Harmer) go on adventures together, with the series taking a particularly satirical look at the 1960s culture Adam finds himself completely out of his depth in.

Availability and Reception

The series became a cult hit and was massively influential. The show was supposedly an attempt by the BBC to enjoy the same huge success as The Avengers[1] (another British TV show from the 1960s with many missing episodes), and Adam Adamant himself was very much based around the Doctor from another British classic, Doctor Who. (in fact, Adam Adamant's show-runners were Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert, the former having been responsible for getting both Doctor Who and The Avengers off the ground in the first place, and the latter having written for Doctor Who extensively.)

Due to the BBC poorly archiving and cataloging the majority of their television programs from the 1950s and 1960s, thirteen episodes are missing in their entirety. The BBC (through their Archive Treasure Hunt campaign) urges any member of the public to come forward with home video recordings so that the missing episodes can be restored and released to home media.

The 2006 PAL DVD release has all seventeen surviving episodes,[2] spread over five discs. The show is also available ripped on YouTube.[3]

Legacy

Adam Adamant Lives! has remained a beloved cult classic over the years, and has gone on to inspire many. Two such examples include New Wave band Adam and The Ants (eventually shortened to just Adam Ant) in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the Austin Powers film franchise was said to have been influenced by AAL!'s plot and Gerald Harper's unique look while playing the titular character.[4]

BBC 4 ran a six-part documentary series on the show in 2008,[5] and Diamanda Hagan of Channel Awesome/TGWTG ran a retrospective series covering all of the surviving episodes.[6]

External Links

References