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Nyree Dawn Porter,
Adam Strange is a retired criminologist who enjoys solving crimes that baffle the London police. With the help of his young American friend Hamlyn Gynt, known as "Ham", and his rather attractive neighbor Evelyn, he usually gets to the bottom of things in his own unconventional way. Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
This was a decent action series, but isn't as fondly remembered as, say, Randall & Hopkirk or The Saint (though it was somewhat better made, with higher production values). The premise was that Adam Strange, together with two young sidekicks, would solve unusual crimes, not through routine thick-ear violence, but rather with skill, science and psychology. The scripts were intelligent, and even (as for example in the episode with Julian Glover playing a psychotic on a revenge spree) moving. And an excellent theme tune also helped.
So far, so good. But it never quite made classic status. There are a couple of possible reasons for this. Firstly, the cast was not super-charismatic. Anthony Quayle as Adam Strange is somewhat cerebral, and Kaz Garas as Ham was not terribly engaging, with his earnest manner, strangely stooping gait and persistent references to Minnesota. Both look as if the swinging sixties were about to pass them by. On the other hand, Anneke Wills, fresh from Dr Who, continued her posh dolly bird act with her usual panache, but - as in Dr Who - was too often relegated to making the tea.
Secondly, the cases fell between several stools. It is easier to say what they are not, than what they had in common. They were not surreal. They were not glamorous. They were not spooky or supernatural. They were not action-packed. They were not comedic. They were not police procedural. They were largely, but not exclusively, restricted to Britain, and often took their premises from the headlines. The title 'Strange Report' was an unfortunate misnomer - it does lead the viewer to expect something odd or off the wall, which they rarely were.
Some sort of methodical and painstaking science or data checking was usually brought in. A typical scenario would involve Ham having to stay up all night going through the telephone directory finding all the people called Smith whose houses had North-facing aspects, forty years before mashups and Google Maps would have solved all his problems.
They were certainly enjoyable, but just fail to stick in the mind. But well worth seeing, and give a much better sense of what life was actually like in the 60s and 70s than was usual in the genre.
That was probably their problem - too real and too intelligent!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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