Nicholas Lyndhurst has been criticised for recent comments made in an interview in which he claimed 'Dad's Army' would not be commissioned today. Nonsense, puffed Mark Lawson in 'The Guardian', among others. Nick was then accused of ( here comes that awful cliché ) 'looking back at the past through rose-tinted spectacles'. Most modern comedy shows tend to be aimed at the young, and 'Dad's Army' had a largely middle-aged or elderly cast, so its hard to imagine anyone giving it a peak-time slot now. It was a risky show for the B.B.C. to make even then - as David Croft pointed out in his autobiography - because it could have been perceived as an unpatriotic mickey-take of Britain's finest hour. That it got on air at all is nothing short of miraculous. So, well done Nick for saying what needed to be said.
'The Deadly Bullet' starts with The Great Manton, a stage magician, dying when his act - catching a bullet in his teeth - goes wrong. Georgie Jones pulled the trigger. The police think it was an accident, but Adam comes to think it was murder. There are plenty of suspects, including Manton's wife 'Wanda' ( Sheila Brennan ), 'Juanita' ( Jill Curzon ), the showgirl Manton had been having an affair with, and even 'Pop Williams' ( Harold Bennett ), one of the theatre staff, whose daughter used to be Manton's assistant and who lost her sight after his knife-throwing act went wrong ( he was drunk at the time ). So whodunnit?
This lost Vince Powell and Harry Driver story is a welcome change from the usual 'Adam Adamant Lives' caper - no plots to rob the Bank of England or anything fancy like that. The late Nigel Stock heads up the guest cast as 'Oliver Meadows', the theatre owner, a man who has the unfortunate habit of addressing everyone he meets as 'duckie'. Jill Curzon was 'Louise', Dr.Who's niece, in the film 'Daleks: Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.'. Harold Bennett is best known for playing doddering 'Young Mr.Grace' in 'Are You Being Served?'. Bill Kerr - from 'Hancock's Half-Hour' ( the radio version ) is the fiery 'Inspector Foster', who regards Adam's investigations as a unwanted nuisance. There is an amusing scene where Adam tells Foster about the newly-discovered science of fingerprinting, only to be told that it has been around for donkey's years. An episode of I.T.V.'s 'Randall & Hopkirk ( Deceased )' - 'That's How Murder Snowballs' - had a similar plot to this, and was by Tony Williamson, the script consultant on 'Adamant'.
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