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Adam Adamant Episode 8 Recap

Specially for kispexi2, a recap of Adam Adamant's eighth episode, "The Last Sacrifice." I just couldn't help myself.



Adam Adamant Lives!
Episode 8, "The Last Sacrifice"

Boom! A fireball rises from an explosion and our hero, whose name is being shout-sung by the chorus, appears in Edwardian evening dress, sword in hand, and turns as the camera zooms up to his face.

"Bold!" a Shirley Bassey-like voice sings, boldly, and you would swear it was "gold" and that the next word will be "finger." But it's not. It's the Adam Adamant theme song! "Bold as a knight in white armour, cold as a shot from a gun," not-Shirley sings as the titles unfold. Wait, is that even the same guy we just saw? He looks completely different.

The titles tell us that what we're about to see is James Bond, only with a twist. He's Victorian! He wears capes! He carries a sword! In the swinging 60s! The mod, skinny Bond Girl *hearts* him, but, as the song informs us, Adam Adamant is a stranger to love. This will not be the last subtextual hint that Adam Adamant is simply not in the petticoat line.

Lightning flashes and thunder crashes on a moonlit night. A robed and hooded figure emerges from a stately doorway, pauses usefully in front of the camera for about 20 seconds so that we can't claim we didn't notice the grotesque mask he's wearing, then storms off. Into the storm.

Inside, a party's going on. Wow. It looks like they filmed this scene on location at the stately Hertfordshire home of Daft Peter Percy, which was built entirely of papier-mâché. The tinkle of refined laughter and crystal tells us that under their Brother Cadfael hooded robes and their domino masks, these partygoers are Sophisticates.

A woman with a huge blonde beehive hairdo and one of those bespoke Dominican robes with the short sleeves and the extreme décolletage--you know the sort--offers more drink to the only guest not wearing a mask. He's an upper class twit with a signet ring, boring two masked women with stories about his sports car. He actually uses the expression "jolly good". His robe is emblazoned with a religiously-confusing symbol: a fish inside a crescent. The drink, as Honey-Boobs hints, is an aphrodisiac, which Jolly Good finds "terribly stimulating." It's his special night, Honey-Boobs says. She makes sure he has prepared his oath, reminds him of how much fun and pleasure he's had doing stuff we all yearn to do but don't dare, and generally makes it impossible for him to back out of "joining the Brotherhood."



A voiceover intones "The high priest!" and Jolly Good looks really aroused. All the robed figures turn to face an altar where another man in a grotesque mask appears. Some call-and-response chanting takes place, and Jolly Good is pulled forward for his initiation as "Brother Ram." Nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Jolly Good looks a bit less turned-on and more worried when a bound and gagged young blonde is carried in, laid on the altar, and stabbed, mime-fashion, in the name of Lucifer.

"It's imposhible!" Adam Adamant cries into the camera after leafing through a CONFIDENTIAL file folder containing an eight-by-ten glossy headshot of Jolly Good. A man behind a desk littered with fetching little wicker in-baskets fiddles with a tape-recorder. Adam flings his coat-tails out and sits down. "Preposterous! I knew his family!" Adam proclaims in his feline voice--part growl, part purr, entirely self-satisfied. "Never a hint of scandal." Adam says he played cricket with Jolly Good's father--no, no, his grandfather--at school. Adam is From Another Era, you see. It's the whole point of the show. He lapses into cricket-ese for a moment, and the official behind the desk understands enough of this strange upper-class language to comment that Jolly Good is "batting in a different league now." Adam wonders if that's anything like "batting for the other team," but no, the official is talking about state secrets. Treason. A leak from Whitehall that only Jolly Good could have been responsible for.

The official behind the desk confounds Adam for a moment by testing the microphone of his tape recorder. The fact that the conversation will now be recorded for security purposes plays no further part in the story. It just lets Adam be snide about modernity and use the word "thrice." Oh, and it lets the official say "Speak of the devil" when the head of security walks into the office. Get it? Devil? The security guy looks pretty worried when Adam and the official reveal that they're going to be looking into the matter of Jolly Good.

Adam and his shiny pumps walk out to where he has parked his groovy Mini.



There he finds the ubiquitous Miss Georgina Jones, his biggest fan, hanging around waiting for him. She tries the "something in my eye" ploy, which even Adam finds old, though he does completely cover her face with his very large hands, looking for the mote, before dismissing her with a hanky and a sneer. She just hops into his car. Adam does a nice double-take at this, but is too much of a gentleman to comment on her pushy rudeness. Serious stalker issues there, Georgie-girl. You might want to see someone about that. England swings like a pendulum in 1966. You swing one way. Adam swings the other. Adam, for his part, keeps hoping she will mature into a "lady," but frankly she strikes me as the type who will trade on her perky cuteness till she's 45. Which will be sometime in late Thatcher years, if my math is right.

Miss Jones asks him why he's so glum, giving Adam the chance to use the phrase "the slough of despond" to describe the whereabouts of his mood on discovering that Jolly Good is a traitor. Miss Jones treats Adam--and us--to some swingin' 60s slang.



Adam Adamant's London has the best parking in the world. They drive right up to the door of their next stop, the apartment building where Jolly Good lives. Adam tells Miss Jones to remain in the car, something that experience--and the closeup of her wide-eyed expression-- tells us she will not do, but which, strangely, she does. Adam and his dashing cape stride toward the building.

We see the interior of a groovy modern flat, decorated with license plates, trophies, and sports-car bits like steering wheels and--good God, is that a decorative exhaust system on the wall? I believe it is! This must be the home of Jolly Good. A man in a suit is doing leg exercises on a bench. No wait! Those are just death throes. As the camera pans up, we see that some guy in a sporty turtleneck is strangling him with a towel.

When the deed is done, the strangler rummages in Jolly Good's desk and finds an engraved invitation card. The doorbell rings. It's Adam.

Adam lets himself in and completely fails to notice the murderer sneaking past. He finds the dead man. The murderer attacks Adam with the muffler. But he must be "exhausted," because his "timing" is terrible, and Adam dispatches him with a steering column to the midriff. The murderer has a tattoo on his wrist. It's the fish in the crescent!



The next wrist we see is Adam's, injured in the tussle. At home again, Sims the vaudevillian-turned-butler is dabbing at it while, in a surprisingly clever little throwaway bit, Miss Jones asks how "sycophantic" is spelled. Adam has the engraved card that Jolly Good was murdered for, and makes plans to avail himself of the invitation on it. He reminisces a bit about his last visit, seventy years ago, to the quiet dignity of Papier-Mâché Hall.



Poor Adam! He arrives at the stately Hertfordshire manor on one of the public days, shocked to his spats at the horror of it. Carnival rides, cheap food, and way too many children! There's a long crane shot of gentlemanly Adam in the midst of all the hurly-burly. That shot must have been really, really cool in 1966, because it still works surprisingly well forty years later.

Oh look! It's Honey-Boobs! She's giving a tour of Papier-Mâché Hall to a group of tourists. When they wander off, poor bewildered Adam is left sitting alone in a gilt chair. Honey-Boobs asks him which party he's with, and he says, "I am a Liberal, madam," for which I adore him.

As does Honey-Boobs. She introduces herself to him as the lady of the house, the fiancée of the lord of the manor. Adam explains his interest in the place by saying that he convalesced here at Papier-Mâché Hall after the Boer War. Honey-Boobs inexplicably does not bat an eye at this. All wars are a bore to her, apparently. She invites him to meet her fiancé, who, she says, collects new faces as other men collect butterflies.

Adam ventures a risqué "With a different method of mounting, madam, I trust," and says he will endeavour to stimulate him. Someone tell Miss Jones that Adam has "wrong tree" tattooed on his wrist.

And speaking of Miss Jones, here she is! "Hi," she barks, dressed as a serving maid. I have two things to say about that. First, the whole serving wench outfit thing works better on a less stick-figured girl, and second, "wrong tree." She says she scored a quick menial job at P-M Hall and will see him when she gets off work at 9:00. Adam looks after her, positively horrified at the prospect of this evening assignation.

Honey-Boobs takes Adam to meet the lord of the manor, who looks an awful lot like Liam Neeson. The little half-crowns that pour in on public opening days help keep the wood-weevils at bay, Lord Liam explains, lighting a black cigarette with a giant phallic lighter and trying not to look deeply annoyed as Adam pities him the tackiness of his reduced circumstances.

With no segue at all, Adam inquires about Jolly Good, putting Honey-Boobs and Lord Liam on alert. But then wah-wah trumpet music announces a little comic relief in the form of Miss Jones. One day on the job and she's serving tea to the Lord and Lady in the drawing room, breaking the tension.

Nine o'clock. Miss Jones meets Adam in his car. She's been nosing around while dusting, and has found a secret instrument panel inside a book. Adam abhors her involvement in this affair, and apparently the word "whore" makes her warm and cuddly.



Lord Liam is berating someone on the phone for letting Adamant come snooping around. Another of their berobed "meetings" is coming up, and Adam must be dealt with. Honey-Boobs fiddles with Lord Liam's face and starts to undress him, telling him he's too rough on their Whitehall friend. She bites Lord Liam's hand, which he seems to enjoy. Liam and Honey exposition a bit about a new Whitehall insider who's dying to join their "brotherhood." "The fool thinks we're just having an orgy," Honey-Boobs says, lighting a black cigarette with the big lighter. She sucks on it in a very deep way, then hands it to Lord Liam, who takes a drag and mentions Adam. "He's very masculine," Honey-Boobs says dreamily, but Liam vetoes any ideas about "converting" him. Liam knows there's not a chance.

The Adamantine Pentouse. Sims the Butler tells Adam that he once worked for a Peer of the Realm. "A real gentleman," Sims intones in his lugubrious voice. "Treated me like a dog." I'm not kidding. This show is way too kinky for 1966. Adam says that there is satanism going on in the great families of the realm. Lord Liam's father, he says (flubbing the line--you just don't see that kind of no-reshoot quality these days), died under mysterious satanic circumstances. Any family that evil could certainly betray its country. "Miss Jones is there," Sims points out. Adam worries about what sort of practices she may be subjected to.

Papier-Mâché Hall. Miss Jones serves evening cocoa to Lord Liam and Honey-Boobs. They tell her she's attractive and will "serve" perfectly for the purpose they have in mind. Honey-Boobs leers at her.

Whitehall. Adam tells the minister that the Papier-Mâché family practices satanism, and that they ensared Jolly Good with kinky sex in order to blackmail state secrets out of him. "Speak of the Devil" security chief walks in with the file on Lord Liam. "I can assure you that he is by no means a security risk," Speak of the Devil says, then drops the file on the floor. In the scuffle to retrieve it, we see that Speak of the Devil has...dum-dum-DUM...a fish-and-crescent tattoo on his wrist!

A public park in London. Speak of the Devil meets with Honey-Boobs, who tells Speak that he must get Adam out of the way. Speak objects, saying that Adam is dangerous, but Honey-Boobs points out that Speak, too, has been caught on film and can be blackmailed. "It will only take a bullet," she cajoles.

Papier-Mâché Hall. Miss Jones snoops around and uncovers the instrument panel inside the big book. She starts pushing buttons. Because she is a mod, fun, free-spirited idiot. One button makes the drapes close. Another opens a little slot in the mantelpiece and sets a movie projector running. We see footage of the party where Jolly Good witnessed the sacrifice of the young blonde. Miss Jones stares, horrified, as Honey-Boobs walks in on her. Snuff films are so much more interesting than holiday snaps.

Adam roars up the car-park ramp in his Mini, toward the Adamantine Penthouse. Speak of the Devil is hiding behind a pillar, watching as Adam gets out of his car. Somehow Speak fails to notice Adam walking around behind him. He whirls, a gun in hand. "You had to interfere!" he hisses. Adam surmises that Speak is in the clutches of those satanic blackmailers at Papier-Mâché Hall. "They lure you into their fiendish ways, they compromise you, and then they destroy you. Is that not the pattern?" Adam says. "I didn't know!" Speak cries, but Adam's having none of Speak's weak-willed, wimpy excuses. Before Speak can pull the trigger, Adam pokes him in the gun-hand with his sword. I do not know what to make of this homoerotic symbolism.

"If you cannot live like a man, you can at least die like one," Adam intones, thrusting. His sword. Speak wears a blank expression for a long moment, then looks down at his body and evinces astonishment at what has happened. He staggers off to the next pillar to die. From the dead man's pocket, Adam extracts an engraved invitation to Papier-Mâché Hall. There's a bloody thumbprint on it.

Adamantine Penthouse. Adam arranges with Sims for another weekend away, and tentatively invites Sims to come along. Sims chickens out, and Adam slyly wishes that Miss Jones had half Sims's "prudence." Sims jealously spits that Miss Jones is probably just hanging around at Papier-Mâché Hall waiting for something to happen.

Papier-Mâché dungeons. Miss Jones fakes the slight Cockney accent and cheerful tones of the household menial, as Honey-Boobs brandishes a riding crop at her and Lord Liam fondles her face. We see that she's chained up. She could easily slip her skinny little hands out of the manacles, and is actually hanging on to them with her fingers to prevent this from happening. Lord Liam hopes she'll be just as cheerful later at what they have in store for her. "And I haven't got a thing to wear," she brazens. The big fake skeleton chained to the wall next to her doesn't think it's a very good line either. It just looks at her and thinks she could stand to eat a sandwich.



Papier-Mâché ballroom. Honey-Boobs assures Lord Liam that their new Whitehall blackmail victim is primed and ready to play. Adam walks in, dashing in white tie and tails, and shows Honey-Boobs the bloodstained invitation. Unfortunately, he says, their mutual acquaintance Speak of the Devil was permanently detained.

Miss Jones screams for help in the dungeons.

The Next Whitehall Victim, a middle-aged bureaucrat, is getting stupid drunk at this exciting party and explains to Adam that they should feel flattered to be invited. These parties become "unconventional," he snickers drunkenly, practically elbowing Adam in the ribs. Adam looks disgusted and excuses himself to speak to Lord Liam. He wonders where the serving girl Miss Jones is, and Lord Liam says she was dismissed this morning.

In the dungeon, Miss Jones says, "Don't just stand there, do something!" to the big fake skeleton next to her, and we see that its skull has no actual jaw. It's one of the Papier-Mâché ancestors, apparently.

The bongos of danger bongo as Adam leaves the ballroom and begins snooping around. Lord Liam follows him.

Drunken Whitehall Victim makes himself more and more obnoxious in the ballroom, hitting on Honey-Boobs, who encourages him. After all, they can't wrest state secrets out of someone who thinks they think he's just an obnoxious drunken bureaucrat.

Adam enters a paneled room. A suit of armour surprises him by moving. Lord Liam whacks Adam on the back of the head. For the record, this happens at least once per episode. Adam comes to in the dungeon, "Miss Jones" the first words on his lips. The big fake skeleton, its one-piece skull connected to its ribcage via some sort of clearly-visible armature, stands nonchalantly against the dungeon wall between Adam and Georgie-girl. I think Lord Liam had a little fiddling-about with Adam while he was unconscious, because Adam's evening coat is now missing. Adam tells Lord Liam to leave Miss Jones alone. She's an innocent child.

"Spare the rod and spoil the child spy," Lord Liam spits, accusing Adam of upsetting a very lucrative operation. So, those half-crowns from the tourists really don't make that much difference after all, and Lord Liam is just greedy and tacky and a pervert. Lord Liam says that the British people owe it to him anyway, because he's been shackled to this mouldering heap of British heritage for far too long. I bet it does moulder in that climate and all, it being made out of spit and paper. Well, boo-hoo, Papier-Mâché boy.

Adam, sweating for Queen and country, sneers at Lord Liam's weak morals. He roars at Liam and demands Miss Jones's release. Liam leaves. Adam jerks and dances around in his restraints, apologizing to Miss Jones for leaving her in danger. "We must escape!" he tells her. Miss Jones, in a complete reversal of her cocky, self-assured pose of a moment ago, rasps, "Please! I've got the feeling they're lining up something terrible for me."

Papier-Mâché Ballroom. A large hooded figure bangs a gong. I guess they're going to get it on, because Honey-Boobs announces to the crowd that the interesting part of the evening is about to start.

The large hooded figure enters the dungeon and carries Miss Jones off as if she weighs fifty pounds, which she might. Adam calls him a blackguard, and freaks out in his restraints.

The guests are all in their hooded robes. The Whitehall Victim is still drunk and stupid and being a perfect target for blackmail.

Adam does some Cary-Grant-esque acrobatics and gets one hand free from the manacles while showing off the snug fit of his tailored evening trousers.



The big blackguard returns. Adam jumps him and strangles him with his chains, demanding to know where they've taken the girl. He overcomes the blackguard and reels back against the big fake skeleton, which quivers amusingly on its strings.

Altar of Lucifer. The robed partygoing worshipers bow down. Lord Liam in his High Priest mask says there's a traitor among them. Adam sneaks in. Miss Jones, bound, gagged, and dressed now in a sleeveless robe of sacrifice with an intriguingly draped collar and a home-made look about the armholes, struggles on the altar. Liam raises a dagger. Adam bursts on him from behind. So that answers that question. "The time has come for the devil to take his own!" Adam cries, thrusting home. With the dagger. Miss Jones faints. I think she's finally seen the light.

The satanic partyers are being herded away by the police as Miss Jones and Adam look on. She's all better now, and back to her jocular self. "Souvenir?" he asks, pointing to a creased length of cloth she has draped around her neck. "If you're going to go out, go out with a gag," she says. You just can't hate her entirely. Especially when Adam leaves her the keys to Papier-Mâché Hall, saying she's in charge now since the entire household's been arrested, and she falls on the floor trying to chase after him.

Give it up, Georgie-girl.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Dec. 18th, 2006 08:49 am (UTC)
I have such a crush on him!
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Dec. 18th, 2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
I was! I started to watch another episode of AA, and then thought better of it, partly because I needed to be on time to work today, but mostly because I don't want to run out of episodes too soon.
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Dec. 18th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
I haven't looked ahead, but I'm on episode 10 and only on disc 3. There seem to be five discs in the set, and that extra can't all be special features.

Love your new icon!
(Deleted comment)
emeraldsedai
Dec. 19th, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
Hee! Thanks for reading. It really is a wonderful old show, and I highly recommend it. There are hints of a remake--woo hoo!

As to slash...damn your eyes, Eli! I just deleted my plot bunny icon thinking never to need it again!
wedjateye
Dec. 19th, 2006 10:52 am (UTC)
You *are* fangirling! Can slash be far behind?
emeraldsedai
Dec. 20th, 2006 02:09 am (UTC)
Well, the evil emungere got me thinking in that direction, and I must admit that the possibilities are intriguing.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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