Adam Adamant has finally escaped from the archives and the half-forgotten
or second hand memories of a legion of fans and has landed on
the shelves of local retailers. The BBC have spruced up the existing
episodes and released them as a five-disc set complete with extras.
Someone please pinch me, I must be dreaming!
set comes complete with a fat, fact packed booklet weighing
in at 64 pages of tightly researched notes by Andrew Pixley.
This covers not only the setting up of the series but also covers
each episode in detail. The booklet is lovingly designed and
certainly worth every penny the Beeb paid Andrew to produce.
Also included is a fifty-two minute feature looking back on
the series hosted by Mark Gatiss. The documentary scores highly
as it includes archive video material from the late scriptwriter
Tony Williams. Brian Clemens, director Moira Armstrong, make
up artist Jo Young, stunt man Derek Ware, Gerald Harper, Verity
Lambert, Juliet Harmer and Kim Newman are also on hand in a
not too flashy and well made retrospective peppered with well
selected clips from the series and anecdotes about the production.
As well as using the usual talking heads interviews the documentary
also employs a more traditional sit down chat with Harper, Harmer
and Gatiss which adds warmth to the proceedings.
extras include PDFs of the 1968 TV Comic Annual, TV Comic strips,
missing episode scripts, a seven-minute featurette on Adam's
Mini Cooper car, existing studio outtakes from two episodes,
an audio extract from the missing episode A Slight Case of Reincarnation,
extensive thirteen-minute photo gallery and audio commentaries
on the first and last episodes with Harper, Harmer and Lambert.
A very good stuff and frankly amazing given that this release
was mooted a few years ago, but pulled due to fears over lack
of sales. The BBC have certainly given the series a crafted
and loving release that puts some big studio film releases to
The series is pure high camp and romping adventures, very much
of it's time with Adam and his sidekick Georgina Jones crimebusting
from their Victorian themed apartment hidden on top of a car
park, but with enough charm in it's Avengerish scripts to entertain
in today's jaded and cynical times. Outstanding episodes include
The Sweet Smell Of Success with it's climatic punch up in soap
suds, the brainwashing pop music escapade Sing A Song Of Murder,
the witchcraft in an English village adventure The Village Of
Evil and the melancholic Black Echo. But, all the episodes have
something to keep viewers engrossed in a series with a concept
that has certainly not tired in the intervening years since
Image quality is superb on the remastered episodes - the best
I have ever seen the prints with most of the major faults corrected.
The picture is evenly balanced and nice and crisp with good
balance between the blacks and white tones of the monochrome
prints. The copyright music tracks have also been removed, but
unlike the VHS release of years ago at least the sound is much
better balanced. Other episodes vary quality, but in general
any major faults have been cleaned up and they are still far
superior to other archive TV releases that shall remain nameless.
This was probably due to budget restrictions and also a move
to keep the retail cost down to make the release a viable one
for both the BBC and the consumer. The commentaries are fairly
sedate but certainly worth a listen as Harper is always a pleasant
sounding commentator. Verity Lambert seems more stimulated than
she has done on some of her Doctor Who audio tracks. In general
the tracks keeps up pace and are provide some nice insights
and anecdotes regarding the making of the series in general.
is an outstanding boxset and a fitting tribute to the series
and therefore an essential purchase.