Allah Is Not Always With You opens in eyebrow raising fashion – an attractive young woman called Linda (Miranda Hampton) is tied to a bed and offered the prospect of torture unless she does as she’s instructed. Golly. The attentive viewer will probably notice that she’s dressed in fishnets and a fluffy upper costume, which raises the kink factor an extra notch.
You have to say though that maybe the baddies’ hearts weren’t in it, as once Linda is left alone she unties herself with embarrassing ease and manages to dodge past the tough guarding the door. If this is slightly hard to swallow, then more swallowing is required when (fleeing down a long corridor) she’s knifed in the back. Had the distance between Linda and the knife thrower not been so great then possibly this wouldn’t have come across as such a superhuman feat.
Mortally wounded though she is, Linda still manages to pop on a coat (sorry, I’ll try and stop nitpicking soon) and takes a cab (driven by George Tovey, who always did a very nice line in cabbies) to Adam’s flat. Her arrival in Adam’s sitting room (her barely conscious form carried over the threshold by Simms) is an amusing moment. It’s also significant, as this caused the original Simms (played by John Dawson) a great deal of trouble – sent off to hospital with a bad back, Dawson was quickly replaced by Jack May.
Everything seems to centre on The Fluffy Club which is a joint where the hostesses are dressed in a fluffy fashion (nothing to do with the Playboy Club, honest). It’s the sort of decadent gambling den you know Adam will find totally abhorrent, even if by today’s standards it looks amusingly tame. And if it’s somewhat predictable that Adam’s ended up in such a place, then it’s even more predictable that Georgina – having ignored Adam’s order not to get involved – has enrolled at the club as a Fluffy Girl in order to be his inside woman.
She has all the attributes to be a Fluffy Girl, her legs seem to go on forever ….
Kevin Brennan oozes melodramatic menace as Vargos, the club owner who intends to ensnare Ahmed (David Spenser), a wealthy Middle Eastern playboy. Whilst Ahmed heads off to be fleeced in the big card game, Adam is lurking about the corridors. At this point it’s hard to see how he’ll fit into the narrative (he can hardly gatecrash the game) but luckily there’s another damsel in distress close at hand and a few toughs for Adam to duff up.
Adam’s new damsel, Helen (Jennifer Jayne), is – of course – an associate of Vargos (poor Adam always seems to hone straight in on the bad women). So clever, but oh so vulnerable. She manages to snatch a quick kiss with him and he doesn’t pull away. Perhaps Adam is slowly moving into the sixties …..
Fictitious Middle Eastern states were an ever-present staple of sixties adventure series and today’s example is a fairly common one. Ahmed is the headstrong young heir to the Sheikdom who’s been assimilated into – or corrupted by – Western culture whereas his father is much more of a traditionalist. The Sheik is played by a browned-up John Woodnutt, which is the sort of casting that may look a little odd today but was perfectly common back then.
It’s interesting that whilst Adam finds himself sidetracked by Helen, Georgina is the one who’s doing all the hard graft – taking Ahmed out for a bun in order to find out what Vargos is up to. And once she’s got the info, Georgina scooters off to Adam’s pad to share the news – almost running into Helen who’s just been enjoying an intimate tête-à-tête with Mr Adamant. Frosty stares are exchanged between the two females.
Eventually Georgina is able to persuade Adam that the Sheik’s life may be in danger (in London for a routine operation, if he dies then Vargos will be able to pull Ahmed’s strings and rule by proxy).
Allah Is Not Always With You chugs along quite nicely with all the familiar story beats of the series – easily duped Adam, plucky Georgina, fisticuffs ahoy – firmly in place. It never quite kicks into top gear though since Vargos is too nebulous a villain whilst Ahmed is also quite sketchily portrayed (given this, it’s hard to feel any particular sympathy for him).
The identical pleasures – a horrified Adam meeting the sedate fleshpots of the Fluffy Club, say – are the moments which really stand out. Not bad then, but hopefully more substantial fare will be just round the corner.