A thrilling new craze is currently gripping British television - programmes about benefit claimants. 'Benefits Britain 1945' and 'Nick & Margaret: We Pay Your Benefits' being two such examples. Is our wonderful ( please note the sarcasm ) Government now commissioning programmes for blatant propaganda purposes? The people who fiddle expense claims and dodge taxes pontificating about others less fortunate who may or may not be diddling comparatively small sums off the D.W.P. I reasonably expect to see 'Wipeout The Benefit Cheats' and 'Let's Throw Eggs At The Dole Bums' on Saturday nights in the not-too distant future.
Speaking of Saturday nights, that is where you would find the second season of 'Adam Adamant Lives'. 'Conspiracy Of Death' was written by Vince Powell and Harry Driver. Simms is puzzled to receive a phone call from an old army pal - 'Jankers Johnson' ( John Scott Martin ). He sounds to be in trouble. With Adam in tow, Simms heads for the village of Bollin Hill, where Johnson has a garage. But no-one there seems to know where Johnson is, much less recall him ever owning such a business. A man called 'Connolly' is running the garage. Noticing that the sign is new, Adam peels it away. Beneath is an old sign that reads: Johnsons' Garage. The plot thickens. Adam and Simms notice the local postman ( Harold Goodwin ) is unusually rich, while the wife of the pub landlord, 'Monique' ( Annette Carrell ) is wearing expensive clothes and jewellery. Adam and Simms are warned by her husband - 'Arthur Onslow' ( Derek Farr ) - to stay away from the local airfield, which is reputed to be haunted. Needless to say, they don't take the advice. Adam is chased across the runway by a truck. It heads into a hangar. When Adam checks it out, the dead body of Johnson is at the wheel...
This, like Powell and Driver's 'The Village Of Evil' from Season 1, also features a seemingly peaceful community harbouring a guilty secret. A drug smuggling ring is operating in Bollin Hill; Johnson had wanted a bigger share of the profits, which is why he was killed. Powell and Driver's 'Adam Adamant' episodes are not at all bad, and one wishes they had done more in similar vein for other shows. It would have been interesting to see them tackle an 'Avengers', for instance. Again this no longer exists in the archive.
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