Adam Adamant Lives!

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Adam Adamant Lives! is a British television series which ran from 1966 to 1967 on the BBC. Proposing that an adventurer born in 1867 had been revived from hibernation in 1966, the show was a comedy adventure that took a satirical look at life in the 1960s through the eyes of a Victorian (Adamant vanished in 1902 when Edward VII had been on the throne just one year).


The Adamant character

The main character originally went through a number of possible names: "Cornelius Chance", "Rupert De'Ath", "Dick Daring", "Dexter Noble", "Aurelian Winton", "Magnus Hawke" and even "Darius Crud" before Sydney Newman settled on Adam Adamant, named after the mineral adamantine, which is harder than diamond. In the opening episode, "A Vintage Year for Scoundrels", Adam Llewellyn De Vere Adamant – to give him his full name – is a swashbuckling Victorian gentleman adventurer who, in 1902, goes to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend Louise, but is lured into a trap whereupon he is captured and condemned to be frozen forever in a block of ice by his arch-nemesis, the Face, whose identity is concealed behind a leather mask and who speaks in a sinister whispering voice. The Face grants his helpless prisoner one last request, and Adam asks to see Louise. But in his last moments of life before being frozen, Adam learns to his horror that Louise had faked her kidnapping and had been working for the Face all along.

Adam is found in 1966, when a building is being knocked down, and he is revived. On emerging from a hospital and collapsing on the London streets, Adam is rescued by Georgina Jones and taken to her flat. Though in many ways a typical swinging sixties chick, Georgina had grown up idolising Adam through tales of his turn-of-the-century exploits. She tries to get in on all his cases, despite his efforts to stop her, and often manages to get a job at the scene in question at a moment's notice so she can interfere in the case. The part originally went to Ann Holloway in the untransmitted pilot episode, but was recast with Juliet Harmer as it was felt that Holloway's performance did not fit the series.

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