1990s TV series
Action Man is an amnesiac, who tries to recover his lost memories, while he helps Action Force against Dr X. He is voiced by Mark Griffin.
During the series, Action Man has several flashbacks that reveal parts of his past. Even though the series ended before his past was fully revealed, the series bible contains information about it:
1. Action Man's real name is Matthew Exler. He was adopted as an infant by the esteemed American rocket scientist and wealthy inventor Dr. Alfred Exler who happens to work with Sir Arthur Strong from the ISD.
2. Alfred already had an older son named Dorian; senior to Matthew by about eight years. Under the tutelage of Dr. Exler, both sons were geniuses from an early age and both were science prodigies.
3. However, Dorian was a bad seed, a born psychopath who ultimately was responsible for deliberately setting a fire which killed his parents. And in the aftermath of his heinous act of patricide, Dorian cleverly made young Matthew think that he was responsible for this "accident."
4. Each son received an inheritance of a handsome trust fund, so Matthew was shipped off to Europe by the estate's executor to complete his education in the finest European boarding schools. Like his father and brother, he continued to be drawn to science, at which he excelled.
5. Meanwhile Dorian, using his inherited wealth as seed money, and nurturing it with his raw, genius-level intelligence, ruthlessness and powerlust, not only grew his financial fortune by a multiple of thousands, but built up a vast private para-military terrorist organization named The Council of Doom staffed by mercenary soldiers called "Skullmen."
6. Using a combination of high-level computer hacking and corrupt government officials on his payroll, he destroyed all records of his own past and assumed the mysterious phantom identity of... DR. X.
7. Having graduated from college, Matthew was an out-of-sorts playboy displaying self-destructive tendencies. These were motivated by a deeply-rooted, intense guilt -- stemming from his long-standing conviction that he was responsible the death of his parents.
8. Mentally tormented and in search of inner peace, he learned of a bizarre cult called the Akesh Maharishis living in an remote ashram in the Himalayas. Journeying there in a final desperate bid for harmony and redemption, he immersed himself for over three years in their intensive regimen of physical conditioning, wilderness survival, mountain climbing, martial arts and ninja-like skills, yoga and meditation. By excelling in these activities, he earned the coveted "A.M." tattoo of the cult.
9. In deep meditative trances, he was finally able to recall the circumstances surrounding his parents' death in vivid detail -- and realize that it was not an accident caused by him, but murder at the hands of his brother.
10. He returned to the Western world with extraordinary mental and physical skills and an obsessive personal mission. He knew he must bring to justice the killer of his parents (and avenge his own years of suffering the guilt of thinking he had killed them). And at the same time, he must protect the world from his brother. For the sheer force of evil of Dr. X was known no better to anyone than to his younger brother Matthew -- now fully aware of the psychopathic depths to which his brother was capable of sinking in his lust for power and control.
11. Lacking anything remotely approaching the resources and paramilitary organization of Dr. X, Matthew decided to destroy his brother from within by infiltrating his organization. Allowing himself to be recruited (his brilliance in both martial arts and science made him extremely desirable to the X organization), he was further trained in weapons and munitions, multi-vehicle operation, military strategy and terror tactics; and, significantly, he learned everything he could about the personality of Dr. X and the structure and machinations of his vast empire. He rose quickly in the organization, all the while biding his time -- and waiting until he knew enough to destroy not only Dr. X himself, but his entire global network.
During this period of time Action Man falls in love with Ursula another new recruit for Dr. X who also rose quickly through the ranks.
12. After sometime working undercover as a Skullman Action Man is ready to take down Dr. X out. In Paris he is torn and worried about Ursula for when Dr. X would fall so would she. Ursula starts to notice something is wrong with Action Man for the first time at the Eiffel Tower .
13. Shortly after this, Matthew is assigned to a mission with Dr. X and his Skullmen, but on the mission they cross paths with the Action Force. So on that fateful night at the chalet in Switzerland. Matthew blew his cover -- and everything that he had worked for -- to save the innocent lives of Action Force and Jacques. The result was the explosive concussion, combined with traces of Dr. X's psychotropic drugs, which caused him to lose his memory -- including his vast knowledge of Dr. X's empire, Dr. X's own personal past and Matthew's shocking relationship to Dr. X.
14. Now his memory only surfaces in occasional, uncontrollable TRACE MEMORY FLASHES -- subliminal flashes of disconnected knowledge or non-sequitur images from his past life.
15. Meanwhile, Dr. X learned the true identity of the infiltrator who knew so dangerously much about his organization, who came so close to taking Dr. X's entire empire down. He also learned that this infiltrator -- his brother -- now has amnesia. This means that all the information so dangerous to Dr. X is locked away -- for the moment irretrievably -- in Matthew's concussed brain.
16. In order to try to ensure that Matthew's memory does not return, Dr. X has used his extensive technological resources and worldwide network of corrupt officials to erase any trace of his brother's personal history and identity.
17. Just as the person known as Dorian Exler disappeared from all private and public written records, it's now as if Matthew Exler never existed either...
2000 TV series
Alex Mann, Action Man's civilian identity, is an extreme sports athlete of Team Xtreme. Danger and adrenaline trigger hidden mental powers called AMP (Advanced Macro Probability) Factor, a result of secret experiments by his former coach Simon Grey. Alex is able to calculate all future possibilities, choosing the best course of action. Action Man, Desmond "Grinder" Sinclair, Agnes "Fidget" Wilson and Ricky Syngh-Baines must stop arch-enemy Dr. X, a brilliant geneticist and bio-engineer who stops at nothing to duplicate AMP Factor to rebuild Earth with the genetically enhanced neo-humanity.
Direct to video movies
In Action Man: X Missions, Action Man and Action Force stop Dr X from transforming humanity into his Toxic troopers and incarcerate him.