Follow me on this.
In 1902, a swashbuckling “gentleman’s gentleman” is captured by a malevolent villain, and is placed by his mortal enemy in suspended animation. He wakes up in 1966 London, where his skills as a swordsman and champion of justice are used to fight crime.
Oh, and he swings a mean-ass cane-sword.
Allow me to show you the TV series Adam Adamant Lives! Here’s the debut episode.
This show ran for two seasons, and featured several different fantasy plotlines involving the time-traveling crimefighter and his comely companion Georgie. Approximately half of the show’s 29 episodes have survived to this day, and are available on DVD.
But man, this show had nothing going for it. First off, the show was made with virtually no budget whatsoever. The characters must have graduated from Exposition University, as everything needs to be explained in one way or another. The writing talent and production team came from the early incarnations of Doctor Who, and outside of the time-traveler element, there’s not much they brought with them.
In the second season of Adam Adamant Lives!, they updated the series by having Adamant’s nemesis, a masked villain named The Face, travel through time as well, and now the two fight against each other in the 1960’s. Only two of the show’s second season episodes exist to this day.
And although Adam Adamant Lives! does have the cool idea of an Elizabethan soldier of fortune with a cool cane-sword, there was another show on that did pretty much the same thing, and it had better production values
I will say this, though … for a low-rated TV series that barely made it to a second season, Adam Adamant Lives! did have some elements that appeared in other media. The idea of a swinging London crime fighter getting transported by a “frozen in ice block” trope was later used in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
And it wasn’t until I saw the original episodes of Adam Adamant Lives! that I realized the 1980’s new wave rock group took its name from the show. You know, THIS 1980’s new wave rock group.
There has been some talk on and off about rebooting Adam Adamant Lives! as a new TV series, but that’s all it’s been – talk. There have already been so many different “person from the past gets transported to our present” TV series. Heck, there was one in America at the same time as Adam Adamant Lives!, and it was pitched as a comedy. Well, not a very funny comedy, but a comedy nonetheless.
I could list a few more – the 1986 CBS drama Outlaws, the mid-2010’s Fox drama Sleepy Hollow, to name but two.
As it is, Adam Adamant Lives! is a curiosity in and of itself. It’s a window on what the BBC tried to air as regular programming in 1966, and even with that, you can see that the show was a bit too – shall we say – “high concept” for its audience to grasp.
Oh yeah, and one more thing – we had our own TV fantasy series with an “adamant” title. Or maybe it was an “Atom Ant” title.
So there you go.