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Adam Adamant Lives! (TV Series 1966–1967) Poster

(1966–1967)

Trivia

The series suffered from the BBC's lack of a proper archiving policy until 1978. It was BBC policy before 1978 to wipe master tapes and reuse them for other programmes, hence saving money and storage space. Twelve episodes out of the twenty-nine made for this series are believed to no longer exist. Season 1 is almost complete with only one episode missing (Ticket to Terror), whilst Season 2 is almost completely missing with only two episodes surviving (Black Echo and A Sinister Sort of Service). In 2003, D for Destruction, the Season 1 finale episode, was recovered from the BBC in a mislabeled film can. It was previously an episode thought not to exist.
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In the series' original pilot episode the part of Georgie was played by Ann Holloway. Although elements of the pilot were used in the existing opening instalment, there is currently no known copy of this untransmitted edition in existence.
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In 2002, the long-running CBBC magazine show Blue Peter (1958) ran an eight part Victorian era drama called "Quest II: The Hunt for the Blue Stone". Gerald Harper appeared, whilst the mysterious whispering villain, whose face was concealed behind a mask, was tellingly called The Visage. The serial also tipped its hat to The Avengers (1961) and The Prisoner (1967).
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Noted comedy writer Dick Vosburgh supplied, uncredited, ex-vaudevillian Simms' array of limericks throughout the series.
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Although Adam Adamant was considered a cheap knockoff of The Avengers. Not only were they both on TV at the same time (The Avengers having a 5 year head start) writer Brian Clemens helped create characters and write stories for both.
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Sydney Newman conceived The Avengers while at ABC TV and having writer Brian Clemens flesh out the concept. He would later move over to BBC Television and create Adam Adamant with Verity Lambert.
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The project was originally titled Magnus Hawke but Sydney Newman finally settled on the name Adam Adamant.

The character was named after the mineral Adamantine. A mineral tougher than diamonds.
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In 1902, Adamant Adamant was put into suspended animation approximately age 35 and slept in a block of ice for 64 Years. He woke up in 1966 at the actual age of 99.
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Like The Avengers and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Adam Adamant was written "Tongue In Cheek".
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The Adam Adamant character was based on the book character Sexton Blake. Blake was created in 1883 by Hal Meredith. Blake was considered a Sherlock Holmes knockoff.

While Holmes deduced his way to solving a case, Blake solved it with a bit of more violence. He was also more a hit with the younger readers.

Newman could not secure the rights to the Sexton Blake character so he created one.

Despite not being able to secure the rights to Sexton Blake, The Blake character was serialized on BBC Radio in the 1940's and on BBC TV in the 1970's.
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Adamant's full name is Adam Llewellyn De Vere Adamant. He disappeared in 1902 and was presumed dead until 1966.
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Sydey Newman used the Victotian character to look at the differences between the times in an objective way.
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The scenes around Piccadilly Circus where Adamant leaves the hospital lost and sees the bright lights for the first time was all filmed live using a 35MM camera.

Since the series was in production and not on air yet passersby probably thought that actor Gerald Harper was a crazy drunk waving his cane around! He also had to fall and "pass out" on several takes. When he started waving his sword at a Double Decker bus the traffic became snarled.(He acted as though he had seen a bus for the first time.)

He believed that the lights were the "fires of hell".

They had to film the scene and quickly leave before the police showed up. They didn't have any permits and feared of being arrested.
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Sexton Blake had a young male sidekick named Tinker. Georgina Jones (Played by Juliet Harmer) was Adamant's female sidekick.

In every episode, she would wear large hats. This was because Syndey Newman envisioned the Tinker character and the hats made he look more male.
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Despite his home being torn down while frozen, he purchased a car park and recreated his Victorian home on top of it.

The opening had a secret call button. When pressed, a brick wall would open up lead to a cage elevator to access it. The car park was real and still stands as of this writing.

The only difference is that the old London bridge seen in the series across from the car park has been replaced by a new one.
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The opening graphics for Adam Adamant Lives were created by Bernard Lodge. He also created the opening graphics for Doctor Who.
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The Adam Adamant Theme (This man is the one) was sung by Kathy Kirby. Sydney Newman, being a fan of James Bond and Goldfinger originally wanted Shirley Bassey. She was not available.
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Adam Adamant bought a Mini Cooper S. It was introduced in the second episode. Gerald Harper drove it around Blackpool to get used to it.

The Mini Cooper S that Adam Adamant drove is owned by a private owner. Despite looking one color it was actually two tone. The car is dark green with a tan (copper?) top. It was twice restored and is drivable.
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AA 1000: The personalized license plate of Adam Adamant.
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The show was canceled by Sydney Newman. Legend has it that it happened over a row that he and Harper had.
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Somehow Adamant was able to recover a great majority of his home furnishings despite being frozen for years and his house demolished. (According to Georgina Jones, the house even had a blue plaque that said he had lived there yet it was demolished.)

Among the items he recovered was his desk. It contains a bullet hole from a gun that narrowly missed him.
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Second series produced by Verity Lambert. Her first was Doctor Who.
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Due to a shortage of directors, Verity Lambert brought over from the BBC Art Department an then unknown Ridley Scott.

He would direct make his directorial debut with three episodes: The League of Uncharitable Ladies in season 1 and season 2 with Death Begins at Seventy and The Resurrectionists.

Due to the videotape wiping policy that the BBC had until 1978, only The League of Uncharitable Ladies survived. There are no known copies of his season 2 work as of this writing.
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Cornelius Chance, Rupert De'ath, Dick Daring, Dexter Noble, Aurelian Winton, Darius Crud.
  • Rejected names for the character that became Adam Adamant.
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The concept of the character's fate was conceived when Sydney Newman was looking out a BBC Television Centre window and saw another building outside. He was contemplating how a person could survive for years in a block of ice.
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The series was edited on 405 line tape. Outdoor scenes where filmed on 16MM and 35MM film.
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The building that Adam Adamant emerged from in 1966 was across from The Mousetrap. It has since been demolished. The Mousetrap at that time was only 14 years old.
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Most villians were male and played the part camp. They usually had a girlfriend or love interest that seemed to be the brains of the outfit.

Adamant was a bit unassuming. In his time he looked after women. In the 1960's with Feminism the female characters were more take charge and could look after themselves.
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In season one, the use of violence was a concern. Adamant would usually run his sword through villains killing them, throwing them off a bridge or other means.

In the second season, Derek Ware was hired as a fight director. New rules were established. Adamant had to fight at least two opponents (three if possible). He could never win a fight by killing the villain. If the villain died they have to die of their own accord.

Gerald Harper would really get into his fight scenes scaring his opponents to death. Having to wear a wig, constricting Victorian clothes, lifts and short sighted. (He had to remove his glasses when doing a scene.) it was surprising he could move about during the scenes.

Derek Ware told his opponents that if he got too rough just tap his back hand with the sword. This would shock him and would back off.
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Actor Peter Ducrow played Adamant's archnemesis The Face. His face was never shown.

Gerald Harper would joke that he would wear a leather mask while going off to whisper his lines into a microphone and got paid for it.

Such an easy life making money compared to his.
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Makeup artist Jo Young had to draw in Harper's hairline and created fake eyebrows. During the show's run she did his makeup 93 times.
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In 1966 the Kathy Kirby-performed song, "The Adam Adamant Theme", was released on Decca Records, where it was backed with "Will I Never Learn". The disc number is F.12432.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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