Adam Adamant Lives! (partially lost BBC children's TV series; 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 June 3rd, 1966, to March 25th, 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 (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).[1]

Due to the BBC poorly archiving and cataloguing 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, spread over five discs.[2] The show is also available ripped on YouTube.

List of Episodes

Season 1

All information correct as of February 2020.

# Episode Title Original Air Date Status Comment
0 Adam Adamant Lives (Pilot) Unaired Partially Found 1902 sequence reused in A Vintage Year for Scoundrels.
1 A Vintage Year for Scoundrels June 23rd, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
2 Death Has a Thousand Faces June 30th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
3 More Deadly Than the Sword July 7th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
4 The Sweet Smell of Disaster July 14th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
5 Allah Is Not Always With You July 21st, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
6 The Terribly Happy Embalmers Aug 4th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
7 To Set a Deadly Fashion Aug 11th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
8 The Last Sacrifice Aug 18th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
9 Sing a Song of Murder Aug 25th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube in low-quality.
10 The Doomsday Plan Sept 1st, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
11 Death by Appointment Only Sept 8th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
12 Beauty Is an Ugly World Sept 15th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
13 The League of Uncharitable Ladies Sept 22nd, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
14 Ticket to Terror Sept 29th, 1966 Lost One photo exists, no surviving footage or audio.
15 The Village of Evil Oct 6th, 1966 Found On DVD and YouTube.
16 D for Destruction Oct 13th, 1966 Found Recovered in 2003, on DVD and YouTube.

Season 2

# Episode Title Original Air Date Status Comment
1 A Slight Case of Reincarnation Dec 31st, 1966 Partially Found 4 minute audio extract available on DVD.
2 Black Echo Jan 7th, 1967 Found On DVD and YouTube.
3 Conspiracy of Death Jan 14th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
4 The Basardi Affair Jan 21st, 1967 Partially Found Complete audio recording recovered in 2017.[3]
5 The Survivors Jan 28th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
6 Face in a Mirror Feb 4th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
7 Another Little Drink Feb 11th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
8 Death Begins at Seventy Feb 18th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
9 Tunnel of Death Feb 25th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
10 The Deadly Bullet March 4th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
11 The Resurrectionists March 11th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
12 Wish You Were Here March 18th, 1967 Lost No surviving footage or audio.
13 A Sinister Sort of Service March 25th, 1967 Found On DVD and YouTube.

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 Adam Adamant Lives!'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