|Gerald Harper as Adam Adamant.|
Adam Adamant Lives! opens with our hero, the aristocratic title character, attending a royal social function at Windsor Castle in 1902. After explaining to his beloved Louise that he cannot marry her ("My love for you could be used as a weapon to destroy me by the enemies of England"), Adam pauses long enough to thwart an assassination attempt. He then receives a mysterious message from Louise, who has apparently been kidnapped by Adam's arch-nemesis, The Face. Although he suspects a trap, Adam rides off (yes, on horseback) to a deserted mansion where he is captured.
The Face, who (ironically) wears a full facial mask and whispers creepily, reveals that Louise is one of his agents. He then injects a mysterious drug into Adam, who blacks out. Sixty-four years later, construction workers discover Adam in a block of ice--and he is revived!
|Gerald Harper with Juliet Harmer.|
|Juliet Harmer as Georgina.|
At least, the creators of Adam Adamant Lives! tried something different. In contrast, The Baron is a Saint wannabe that lacks a charismatic star like Roger Moore. It was based on a book series by prolific British author John Creasey, who wrote hundreds of novels under his own name and over 25 pseudonyms. His most popular book series was probably Gideon of Scotland, which was adapted as the 1965-66 TV show Gideon's Way.
|Steve Forrest as The Baron.|
|A glamour shot of Sue Lloyd.|
Sue Lloyd was the best part of The Baron for me. The affable actress made a good impression opposite Michael Caine in The Ipcress File (1965). She also played John Steed's partner, Mrs. Hannah Wild, in a stage adaptation of The Avengers (I might have preferred her to Linda Thorson's Tara).
Unfortunately, the title character in The Baron is played by Steve Forrest, a rugged actor who seems out of place as an antiques dealer/part-time government agent. He handles the fisticuffs with flair, but when he throws off a wisecrack--well, it just lays there like a popsicle on a hot sidewalk. I honestly think that if you kept the same scripts, retained Ms. Lloyd, and inserted Roger Moore as Simon Templar that The Baron would have been a reasonably entertaining series.
The Baron was axed after a single season. Sue Lloyd's promising career never took off, but Steve Forrest remained active in film and television for three decades. He may be best remembered as Lieutenant Hondo Harrelson on S.W.A.T. (1975-76). It was a modest hit for two seasons, but fondly remembered for its title theme, which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.