Climax! (later known as Climax Mystery Theater) is a television show that ran on the American network CBS from 1954 to 1958. An hour-long anthology suspense/mystery drama, the series was hosted by William Lundigan and later co-hosted by Mary Costa (1956-1958). Many of the episodes were performed and broadcast live.
In 1954, an episode of Climax! featured Ian Fleming's secret agent James Bond in a television adaptation of Casino Royale. It starred American Barry Nelson as American secret agent 'Jimmy Bond' and Peter Lorre as the villain Le Chiffre. This was the first screen adaptation of a James Bond novel, made before EON Productions acquired the Bond film rights - although EON would not, in fact, obtain the rights to Casino Royale until the late 1990s. This adaptation is available on DVD as a bonus feature on the MGM DVD release of the 1967 film adaptation of the novel, which is in every other respect a satire of the Bond genre.
The only other episode of Climax! available on DVD is a Gore Vidal penned adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, referred to on Climax! as simply "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde". It stars Michael Rennie, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and Lowell Gilmore; it is available in the DVD box set "Classic Sci-Fi TV - 150 Episodes" from Mill Creek Entertainment.
In an earlier episode of Climax!, during an adaptation of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye, actor Tristram Coffin, playing a dead body, arose in shot and walked off stage. The event was widely covered in the media of the day, later becoming an urban legend that was attributed to Peter Lorre and the previously mentioned adaptation of Casino Royale.