I doubled up these answers so that it wouldn't go on for thirty days. Well, that worked well, didn't it. I make this about day forty-five. Limping to its protracted conclusion, then, here's the last two questions!

29. Favourite non-romantic OTP

Adam/sword-stick. Although if I have to stick to humans, I suppose Adam/Georgina. She would like them to be a romantic ship, I think, but the very idea of that would horrify poor Adam. Georgina is only supposed to be about nineteen, so I can't think of them as a proper couple anyway, and they're not really supposed to be. Poor Adam is forever trying to get rid of her, although he's clearly a lot more fond of her than he lets on. If she were older, then maybe I'd think otherwise, but as it is, to me (and Adam!) it's strictly non-romantic.

30. Least favourite character

Adam's deadly nemesis, The Face. As a fan of The A-Team, I have a mild issue with the name anyway, but it would be a lot easier to get past that if he was a better character. He talks only in a heavy whisper, which I find very annoying, and he just seems altogether a bit naff. He's supposed to be Adam's match, but aside from managing to freeze him in a block of ice in the first episode, he comes across as pretty incompetent. He only features in the first episode of series one, but by the looks of things he was reintroduced as a recurring character in series two (of which only two episodes survive, so it's a little hard to judge much from them). In order to be Adam's great foe, he needed to be a lot more than he was, though. Possibly he was more - for all I know he was terrific in all of the episodes that were destroyed - but I can only go by the evidence that I have. Also, the fact that he's alive doesn't make any sense. He froze Adam as punishment, and in order to continue with his evil-doing with Adam out of the way; so why did he then just go freeze himself as well?! Really not sure that that bit was terribly well thought out.
28. Most surprising moment

It's not really a show that does surprising, but there is one bit that I think was probably supposed to be. It's certainly a huge surprise for Adam, but not to anybody who has watched as much television as I have! So I have to wonder if it was ever intended to be truly surprising to the audience. It's difficult to judge from nearly fifty years on.

In the pilot episode, we learn that Adam was frozen in his block of carbonite iceberg or whatever, by his deadly nemesis, after being betrayed by the love of his life. Her name is Louise, and she's revealed to have been in league with the enemy all along (that in itself might have been a nice surprise, had we met her for more than ten seconds prior to the revelation!) In one of the series two episodes, "Black Echo", Adam meets an ancient woman lurking in an old stately home; and, yes, it's Louise. Adam is of course shaken to the core by her appearance. He assumed her long dead, along with everybody else he used to know. However I think a modern viewer is pretty much inured to this kind of thing. We've become too familiar with every cliché. In the sixties some of these things weren't clichés yet of course; but still it's hard to see it as a surprise. A good scene, but really not a surprise.
Sorry Adam. I've been busy.

26. Favourite location

Oh, I'm not fussy. Any outside scene that shows a good bit of sixties location footage. There's some nice stuff in the first episode, "A Vintage Year For Scoundrels", when Adam is staggering about town, having not long woken up from Ripvanwinkledom.

27. Favourite costume/clothing/accessory

Favourite accessory is obviously the sword-stick, and favourite item of clothing would be the cape, but costume wise everybody is dressed perfectly. Georgina's clothes are very well chosen. She's obviously supposed to be a walking sixties stereotype, to contrast with Adam's Victorian splendour, but there aren't any ridiculous extremes. I think she could wear anything and look good, quite honestly, but what she does wear is terrific, and ought to come back into fashion. And Adam just looks amazing. With the shoes, and the suit, and his fabulous habit of posing with his stick whenever anybody's looking. I suppose everybody else looks a little bit ordinary next to them, but the costume department did do a very good job all round.

Adam, demonstrating how much better he is at dressing than other people.
24. Crime against fashion

There are very few of these. "Miss Jones" gets some terrific outfits, all of which tend to suit her really well. Fortunately it's 1966, not 1976, so good taste still prevails. And Adam, of course, is always dressed well. So I'll go with the obvious, and choose any time that anybody wears fur. Sadly in the forefront of one particular episode, which makes this modern viewer cringe; but it is 1966.

25. Favourite quote(s)

I think I would have to choose "I find concussion quite invigorating", which I used to use as my signature on an internet forum. Adam is forever getting bashed over the head, and eventually he comes up with that line in response. It's so very Adam, and it goes so nicely with TV's habit of handing out serious head injuries to all and sundry, without any kind of ill effect.
22. Favourite voice

Adam's. Gerald Harper enunciates so beautifully, and his line delivery is spot on every time, especially when he's towing a fine line between serious and silly. Adam Adamant is the sort of character who could very easily tumble into parody or worse, but Harper manages to keep him from becoming too absurd. The whole cast, often guest cast included, really do have wonderful speaking voices, but Harper wins it for me. I can't imagine anybody else delivering some of those lines even half so well.

23. Best scene involving music/dancing

Probably any scene involving anybody being very stereotypically sixties, especially if Adam is looking on in thinly disguised horror. I'd love to know how anybody could be an agent in the service of his country, as Adam was and is, forever dealing with the darker side of life, and yet remain so resolutely innocent. If it were a more realistic show, I would object, but it's so comic booky in its style that it's easy to overlook such glaring issues. Adam's innocence is such fun. I'd feel like a terrible killjoy if I complained.
20. Missing episode you would like to see found

If I could choose only one missing episode to come back, it would be "Ticket To Terror", since that's the only missing episode from series one, and it would be nice to have that complete. Also it sounds good. But most of series two is missing as well, and it would be very nice to have all of them back too. The scripts of the missing episodes are on the DVD set, and some of them do sound very good.

21. Best scene involving eating/drinking

Adam's dinners and luncheons, presided over by Simms, the valet/butler/court jester are always splendid affairs, but the best one is probably the picnic lunch in "The Village Of Evil". Of course they have a table and proper dinner service, despite being out in the wilds of the countryside. Adam likes to do these things properly. He even has a bottle of wine, chilled in the river. He looks so happy, sprawled at his table in the middle of nowhere, in his tweeds, with his wine and his cut-crystal glasses. The pair of them could give lessons in lunching.
19. Best scene

I think I would probably choose an exchange towards the end of "Beauty Is An Ugly Word". The antagonist, Sinoda, is babbling on about the ideal world that he wants to create, and talks about all the failings of modern society. He tells Adam that he should understand, because he comes from a better time; whereupon Adam tells him that the world is only as bad as the eyes you see it through, and that, whilst the past might have its good points, it also has a whole lot of bad ones. I must admit to having a very low tolerance for the sort of nostalgia that yearns for that mythical 'golden age' when everything was supposedly better (and conveniently overlooks how much it wasn't). Adam is the sort of character who might very easily buy into that philosophy, especially given how often he despairs of certain modern traits and practices. To see him take such an optimistic, forward-looking stance is wonderful, particularly since it's the latest in a string of confrontations with Sinoda that are all very nicely done. In a series of neat ripostes, he extols the virtues of modernity, particularly in terms of freedom and quality of life, in contrast to his own, often darker days. It's a nice, well constructed scene.

Although admittedly it would have been quite a lot better for his health if he had just kept quiet!
15. Something that made you happy

I suspect that it would be something involving a swordfight. Yes, I know. Astonishment.

16. Something that made you sad

The fact that some git assassinated a whole lot of it.

17. Something that made you think

The whole premise is worth a thought. What would it be like to wake up in a different era? Adam was only asleep for some sixty-five years, but the early part of the twentieth century was a time of great change, so the world had moved on a great deal. 1966, the year in which he woke up, is nearly as far away now as the turn of the century was when the show first aired. Somebody from 1966 waking up now probably wouldn't suffer as much dislocation as Adam did, although the advancement of technology would take some adjusting to. Were Adam to wake up now instead, I don't think his modern day Georgina Jones would be quite so inclined to put up with his sexism, but in many ways his situation would be no different to how it was in 1966. All those big social changes happened in the first seventy or so years of the twentieth century; equality, permissiveness, health, housing, education, the decline of religion as a major factor in people's lives. So I don't think that Adam in 2014 would be majorly more jet-lagged than Adam in 1966. Might be fun seeing his reaction to Miley Cyrus, though...

18. Something that made you laugh

Every time Adam encounters a female crook. "But madam! You are a lady!" His disappointment with women who misbehave is brilliantly ridiculous.
13. Favourite item of merchandise

I can has a sword-stick?!?!

There isn't really much in the way of merchandise for this show. It wasn't a big hit at the time, and it's not terribly well remembered. The theme song got a single release, and I very much enjoy that. Otherwise, I suppose I would have to go with the DVD set. It has a lovely booklet accompanying it, written by the great Andrew Pixley, which is a geek's dream of behind the scenes info; but best of all of course are the episodes. I first saw Adam Adamant Lives! when BBC2 aired the first two episodes back in the nineties as part of an anniversary event, and I fell in love with the idea immediately. I never really hoped to be able to see any more of it, though. Crackly old TV like that seemed condemned to forever remain in the vaults. And then along came DVD, and all that changed. I am very happy to be able to own a copy of the surviving episodes - and there's a documentary and a couple of audio commentaries to boot.

14. Best use of a hoary old trope

I suppose the pairing of Adam and Georgina is as old and hoary as you can get. The hero and his female accomplice are one of the screen's original tropes. They're a good team, and the cast were very well chosen. I would prefer Georgina to be more Adam's equal, but it is 1966. Mind you, Leslie Charteris had managed to get it right thirty years earlier...
10. How would you convert someone to your show?

Quite frankly, if they're not won over by the basic premise, or by the fact that it's about a bloke with a sword-stick, then there's no helping them. It's a show about a Victorian adventurer in 1966! He wears a cape! He fights with a sword-stick! Failing that, I'd show them episode #4, "The Sweet Smell Of Disaster". Everybody seems to love that one.

11. What show-related fan works would you like to see?

Putting on my pessimistic fan hat, I'm not sure that I would. Fandom is all about shipping these days, which is dull as ditchwater. There are a few fan-made videos on YouTube which are good, but I can't imagine that fanfic would be much fun. Nobody writes adventurey fanfic. It's all blasted shippery.

12. Best weapon

There's a sword-stick in a starring role, and you're asking me which is the best weapon?!
09. Favourite photo/screenshot

I think I better take this behind a cut.

... )
06. Best fight

The whole show is a fight! One long, glorious fight with a sword-stick. I love the sword fight in "The Terribly Happy Embalmers", where Adam is pitted against the grandson of the man who taught him to fence. "The Village Of Evil" has a lovely scene when he does pretty much have to tackle an entire village, as well as the old mill that they're holed up in. He has a heck of a fight on his hands in "Beauty Is An Ugly Word" as well, when he has to take on Sinoda's champion.

This is an insanely difficult question!

07. Favourite character moment

Any scene where Adam hurls himself, with gay abandon, into the latest bout of fisticuffs or sword swinging. He (and Gerald Harper) display such joy in those moments, and I would challenge any viewer not to smile as well.

08. Least favourite episode

Episode #3, "More Deadly Than The Sword", which is filled with crass Japanese stereotypes, and doesn't even try to have a decent storyline to make up for it.
05. Your song/fan mix for the show

I love this question. I had lots of fun answering this one, but I took a different tack to the traditional approach, of searching for songs with appropriate themes. Adam was frozen in a block of ice in 1901, and thawed in 1966. That means that he missed a whole chunk of the history of music - the entirety of the history of popular music. So I decided to clue him in, entirely against his wishes no doubt, with a quick tour of the first two thirds of the twentieth century. Beginning with something much older, that he would have been familiar with, and then gradually bringing him bang up to date (or up to date for 1966, anyway).

Sing-along-a-sword-stick )
03. Favourite regular character

Adam! Adam's great. He dashes heroically into battle with a cape and a sword-stick, and he wears the most splendid shoes. Gerald Harper plays him perfectly, with tongue just slightly in cheek, like a Boy's Own hero come to life. He's a bit ridiculous, but in all the right ways.

04. Favourite guest character

That's a tough question. John le Mesurier is as good as you'd expect as the oily Velmer in "The Terribly Happy Embalmers", and Peter Vaughan is extremely effective as crazed preacher Doctor Mort in "The Doomsday Plan". Then there's Peter Jeffrey as Sinoda, the beautiful-people-collecting nut from "Beauty Is An Ugly Word". I think I would choose Colin Jeavons, though, as fashion designer-gone-evil Roger Clair in "To Set A Deadly Fashion". He's brilliant, he really is.
So, a little while ago, [personal profile] liadtbunny wrote a TV meme, intended as a "30 Days Of Telly" affair, consisting of sixty questions to choose from. And a grand thing it is too. I've decided to co-opt it, in order to spread a little Adam Adamant Lives! love. There just aren't enough people on the internet who are talking about Adam Adamant. Or off the internet, for that matter, but I can't do anything about that. If I talk about this sort of thing offline, I get horrified looks, and people move quickly away. Online... well, there may indeed be horrified looks and rapid departures, but I can't see them.

I don't imagine I'm going to spread this out over thirty days, as some of the questions call for fairly short answers, and I'm not terribly good about remembering to post. I'm keeping the title though. It's the thought that counts.

01. Favourite episode

A really difficult question this, but I think the one that delighted me the most during my recent rewatch was "Beauty Is An Ugly Word" from series one. Broadcast on Thursday 15th September 1966 at 20:00, fact fans, to an audience of 8.8 million. In this one, a rich megalomaniac sets out to collect the most beautiful and physically perfect people in the world, planning to wipe out the rest of humanity. Only body builders and beauty pageant winners will survive.

I'm a trifle concerned as to the IQ level of his little survivalist den, which is no doubt extremely prejudicial of me. But still. Anyway, Adam does battle, and it's absolutely glorious.

02. What you wish happened

The great thing about this show is that it did, for the most part, do just what I wanted it to. Swords and fisticuffs and even the occasional rope swing, and leaping about on tables. I suppose, if I had made it, I would have had Georgina Jones, Adam's partner in crime, be a little closer to him in age, and therefore slightly more his equal. She did quite well in comparison to a lot of other female characters of the vintage, certainly, but it would be nice to see him take her that little bit more seriously.
Day thirty, the saddest character death. Well there's a cheerful one to end on. I had a long think about this, but there's no real contest in the end. Wes's death in Angel still makes me more angry than sad, and although Captain Sheridan's death (or going beyond the rim, if you prefer, which could mean almost anything) is beautifully done, I don't know that I would class it as sad. It's the natural conclusion for his character. So what can it be but that of Leo from The West Wing? If you were a fan of that show, you'll know what I mean. It wasn't just that Leo died, it was that John Spencer died too, which made it all the more real. Leo was a wonderful character. He was beautifully played and beautifully written, and he was a guy that it was impossible to dislike. And then John Spencer died, and Leo had to go too. I knew that it was coming, but I had no idea when, and then suddenly at the end of one episode, when everything had been so happy, he's discovered in his hotel room, and it's just so unbearably sad. I suppose it's worse because it was a long running series, and the characters were like old friends by the end of it. And I was so very fond of Leo. It's a sign of a good show when you care so much, but that doesn't lessen the sting. Poor Leo. I really did feel that loss.
Day twenty-nine, your current TV show obsession. I don't really have one. Lately I've been watching Jack Holborn, largely thanks to this meme, but I don't think I could call that an obsession. It is great, though. I hope I never decide that I'm too old for children's adventures, as they're so much better than the grown up ones. Jack Holborn is the story of a young foundling, who gets mixed up in the feud between the despicable Captain Sharingham and his hilariously danger-prone identical twin brother. It doesn't sound like much, but it's brilliant. Swashbuckly and entertaining, and awash with pirates and peril. All the kind of thing that my television needs a lot more of, frankly. Why aren't there any pirates on TV anymore? Sort it out, television.

So yeah, not an obsession, but a great thing to watch. I recommend it to everybody who needs a little excitement in their lives. And that's everybody really, isn't it?
Day twenty-eight, your first TV show obsession. My immediate thought when I read that was Bonanza or The Hardy Boys, which were both very early. If I'm being strictly honest though, I'd have to go back further than that, to when I was horribly small, and used to watch a show called Tarzan, Lord Of The Jungle. That's not the proper Tarzan (ie: black and white and can't talk properly). This was a cartoon series, far more faithful to the books, and based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' preferred illustrations. I have only the vaguest memories of it now, but I do know that I was besotted, mostly because of Tarzan's monkey friend N'Kima. I must have driven everybody nuts going on about monkeys, as my mother eventually bought me one, who I called N'Kima. I still have him (he says hello), and he's in remarkably good nick, despite never once managing to hold on to me during tree-swinging.

So there you go. I don't really remember the show at all, and poor old animated Tarzan got superceded pretty swiftly by Johnny Weissmuller and Lex Barker anyway, but N'Kima could never get superceded by anything. Although he does look a bit dusty right now, I must admit. I know, I'm cruel. In all fairness though, he doesn't seem to mind.
Day twenty-seven, the best pilot episode. I'm really tempted to go with Nip/Tuck, because not only is it a really great episode, but it also has note-perfect character introductions coupled with man-eating crocogators. And if you're going to have a pilot episode of anything, man-eating crocogators is a damned good thing to include in it. But I think I might be leaning towards The West Wing. It really is a masterclass in first episodes. I love how all of the characters and their workplace are introduced. I love how it all hits you like a series of smacks in the head (in a good way), with all these people zipping past at high speed, having whirlwind conversations, and saving the world, and being politicians that you actually want to have running things (which is quite a feat in itself). Why must you always be making me choose, meme? You're cruel.

Hmm. I choose The West Wing. As much as anything else, I no longer have a Nip/Tuck icon (I don't have a WW icon either here at DreamWidth, but let's just ignore that. This paragraph made a lot more sense over at LJ), so Josh rather wins by default. And by having Leo and Donna and Sam and CJ and Toby, and also just by being Josh. He doesn't have any man-eating crocogators, though. He does have the President falling off a bicycle, but with the best will in the world, that really isn't the same.
Day twenty-six, the most omg wtf season finale. Hmm. And switching to rant mode in 3... 2... 1...

I've mentioned the end of Angel season five before, but much as I hated that last episode, and also certain aspects of the whole season (mostly the bloody awful mind-wipe, which destroyed two years of plot and character development), it wasn't all bad. The crowning glory for finale disasters therefore has to fall upon Nip/Tuck season six, also the end of the series itself. I loved Nip/Tuck. It was a dark, funny, at times wonderfully insane story about two plastic surgeons, and the many people who came to them for help. In keeping with the theme of cosmetic surgery, it was a show all about façades, and about beauty only being skin deep. It had more subtext in one episode than a lot of shows manage in their entire lifetimes. Key to that were the two main characters, Christian and Sean. The show's publicity always emphasised that Christian was the bad boy, and Sean the good guy, but anybody who actually watched, knew that the reverse was really true. Sean was a moral vacuum, whose family life was a sham. Christian, on the other hand, was a deeply wounded abuse survivor, struggling to keep his life together. Sean was frequently highly judgemental about their clients; Christian never was. Christian also adored Sean, and would have done anything for him, a loyalty that Sean was never capable of matching.

And then came the final season. The creator had left, to focus on his new project Glee. Whoever had taken over apparently didn't give a damn about the show's history, or about the characters themselves. Suddenly Sean actually was the good guy. Also, after six seasons as an only child, he suddenly had a brother. The biggest change was Christian, though. Arguably he had finally collapsed under the weight of his own spiralling depression, but if so, it would have been nice to have seen it happen, rather than have his character change into a total bastard overnight. His on-again/off-again girlfriend committed suicide by throwing herself off a boat, which was both out of character and completely against the spirit of the show. Nip/Tuck always toyed with the dark, but a smile was never very far away. Suddenly all traces of light were gone. Christian became more and more objectionable, and Sean was treated like some poor little wounded soldier being beat up on by his partner. Then it ended, with neither a whimper nor a bang, in a fashion that the actors themselves objected to. It was a mess. And goodness only knows what happened to Christian's son, who vanished utterly. He was only about six, so he can't actually have left home, although by the end I wouldn't have blamed him for trying. So, for taking a gloriously twisted, fun show, and turning it into something truly unpleasant, with no internal logic or respect for its past, the award has to go to Nip/Tuck. But I heartily recommend the earlier seasons. At its height it was a colourful, wonderful, absolutely mental show, and I miss it. It deserved a much better end than it got.



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