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30 Days Of Telly #8

Day eight, a show everyone should watch. Didn't we cover this just the other day? Oh well, another show then. One. This is a silly meme. It keeps making me choose just one thing, when I want everybody to watch all the shows. All of them. All the things that usually only I watch. And which to choose? I could go with Sleepers, which is four episodes of perfection, and just about everything that you could want your television to give you (even though absolutely nothing blows up). Or I could choose The Cape, because it's so much fun, and the poor thing was cut short in its prime. Or likewise Paradox, which never had any chance at all; and if you're reading this BBC, Emun Elliott really ought to be on your Doctor list. If he can't be one moody and quirky scientific genius, he might as well be another.

But I'm going to go with Adam Adamant Lives!. Which is strange, because the last series I chose also had an exclamation mark in the title, but it's not like I have a fetish, honest. Adam Adamant Lives! was a BBC series from 1966, made by quite a few of the original team behind Doctor Who, and sprinkled with a fair bit of Old Who zeal. Adam Adamant (aside from having a name that's surprisingly awkward to type) is a fabulously dashing, turn-of-the-century adventurer, who gets frozen in a block of ice by his evil nemesis The Face (not Dirk Benedict, although it's quite hard not to think of him at times). I think The Face wants to keep him as a house decoration, sort of like Jabba the Hut with Han Solo in his carbonite block, but something happens, and Adam eventually turns up under a road, where he gets thawed out by some road workmen in 1966. So there he is, in the middle of Swinging London, in his cape and his dicky bow, battling modern crooks with his swordstick, and being generally spiffing. And it's great. Gerald Harper is clearly having a glorious time in the lead, playing Adam with just the right amount of swagger, pomposity and general fun. He has the legally required young woman sidekick, who's practically a carbon copy of Jo Grant (or I suppose it would be more accurate to say that Jo Grant is a carbon copy of her), and together they fight crime. Adam largely fails at being at all sixties in his attitude, and completely fails to fight female crooks at all. Every time he meets one, he insists that she cease and desist her evilling, because "Madam! You are a lady!" At which point she usually caves his skull in with an umbrella, or something similarly handy. You'd think he'd get the hint, but he never does. Anyway, it's all a bit silly, and probably very slow by modern standards, but very entertaining. And it has swords. I probably could have just said that bit, and missed out the rest.

Adam Adamant Lives!: a montage:


( 15 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Jun. 17th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
Sadly, slow and silly and black and white and with no discernable slash pairing fails to inspire any desire to watch it. My loss, probably. Awesome pimp post!

Paradox, however, I could rave about for ages. Emun Elliot was lovely, but I loved it for the whole, flawed team and especially for having a show with a woman in charge, and being played by the awesome Tamzin Outhwaite, who I loved in The Fixer.

I am one of the fans who is desperately hoping that the next Doctor is NOT a cute young white guy, but, with the preface, 'if they HAVE to have a cute young guy', then yes, he could be very cool. I tried to watch both Lip Service and Threesome because he was in them, but didn't make it past the first eps of either.
Jun. 18th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
That's okay. We can't all like everything! But hey, "Paradox"! So there are three fans in the world! Which reminds me, I must do something about the "Paradox" prompt over on lost_spook's obscure comment thingy.

And yes, an older Doctor would be great, or a black one, or an older black one. Paterson Joseph is still my top choice. Emun Elliott needs saving from rubbish TV though, and I really liked Christian King.
Jun. 17th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
You sold me already the other day. But then I am easy to sell old TV to, as long as it's not one of them ITC things, because I've already had enough of them and their gloss and budgets and incidental music and... ;-)

Everybody should watch more old UK TV, it should be a thing. Just to suit the few strange people like us about.
Jun. 18th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
But ITC are cool! Or some of their stuff is. I love "The Champions", but I'm oddly unmoved by "The Persuaders", and of course "The Adventurer" is just plain horrible...

Okay, you may have a point. ;)
Jun. 18th, 2013 06:34 am (UTC)

I am sad you don't like The Persuaders since it's one of my old faves, and not just for the flirting, they just looked like they were having so much fun all the time.
Jun. 18th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
It surprises me. I mean, it's got a great fun premise and an engaging cast. I ought to love it. For some reason I just don't. It could be that I find it a bit too self-mocking. It goes too far with the not-taking-itself-seriously, maybe. I'm not sure. I really want to like it though!
Jun. 18th, 2013 06:41 am (UTC)

I've seen Gideon's Way, The Strange Report and UFO so far. (I thought there it was more, but maybe it just felt like it). Actually, they're much better than most 60s TV, really, because of the film/colour/music/general money and gloss, but they rub me up the wrong way because all three of them had a particular kind of gender-stereotyping that, for all the occasional sexism of the era, I do not expect or want in my old UK TV.

The Strange Report won me over, though, because Anthony Quayle and Anneke Wills disliked the same things as me and battled them for me, which made everything better. Actually, quite a lot of the actors did. So there's maybe a 1 in 3 chance of an ITC thing being something I would like? You do intrigue me about The Champions, though. I'm just wary after the other three. I can't be doing with more like Gideon's Way or UFO. Even if UFO does pay for itself in the potential hilarity for picspamming.
Jun. 18th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. It's one of the main drawbacks of liking old telly. There's one episode of "Adam Adamant" that has terrible Asian stereotypes, for instance. Fortunately it is just the one episode. "The Champions" does pretty well in that line (to some extent depending on writer). Sharron, the female member of the team, is depicted as capable and very smart (and also super-powered, so she gets to throw men about). She's new, and the two guys have been working together for years, so they're a bit protective to begin with, but later they're pretty good about treating her equally. One thing that I really like about it is that neither guy hits on her, ever. She's very definitely not there to be the love interest. It makes such a nice change.

Another one you might like is "Department S". As the series progressed, the female member of the team was given more and more to do. That one also scores points because the high-powered governmental type who runs the department is black. Sixties British TV was very bad about remembering that there are black people, so that was a nice surprise. Also, bonus hilarious clothing!
Jun. 18th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Bonus hilarious clothing is definitely a plus! ;-)
Jun. 17th, 2013 11:49 pm (UTC)
The theme of that show was awesome. My favorite part of the series, actually. :D
Jun. 18th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
It is a great song. Almost like a Bond theme.
Jun. 18th, 2013 02:51 pm (UTC)
If you took the titles away I would have thought it was a montage of the kick ass adventures of Dracula(!). I do like the shots of Adam running & fighting in his cape: cool.

Lol, she does look like Jo Grant in the credits:)
Jun. 18th, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
Swashbuckling Dracula could be a good show! But Adam isn't a vampire. At least that he's admitting to.
Jun. 19th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
haha I love the song the most!!
Jun. 19th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
It is a great song. Almost like a Bond theme, which I guess might have been the idea.
( 15 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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