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The Saint is a modern day Robin Hood of sorts. He steals from rich criminals (gangsters and the like) and keeps the loot for himself. And he usually manages to get the rich criminals put behind bars after he's stolen their goods. Of course, Chief Inspector Claude Eustace Teal regards him as a common thief, regardless of who he steals from, so the Saint must always stay one step ahead of the doggedly persistent Inspector Teal. Fortnately, his wit, charm, and savoir faire make this a fairly easy task, and the series chronicles his various exploits. Written by
Watching the first series again after a gap of 30 years I must admit I'm surprised at just how enjoyable the b&w TV episodes were. By now I've read loads of Charteris's original novels, and in them Roger Moore was always the Saint for me - he never matched Templar with his later Bond, imho going to prove yet again you can't do everything by throwing money at it. Even if as Bond he had a more sensible haircut! At the end of episode "Luella" he's mistaken for Bond by a female admirer, but he regretfully points to the halo above his head as the clue to his "real" identity.
"The Talented Husband" broadcast 4.10.62: A nifty first entry, ST keeps an eye on a man married to one of many many lady friends who has just escaped a huge stone urn falling on her head. The thing is that his first wife died in dubious circumstances, causing suspicions to rise in Simon's beetling mind. A clever and sprightly script keeps you engrossed to the inevitable denouement.
And travelling through episode after episode I find nearly all were very well written, with something in each to recommend or applaud. Some were played more for comedy than others, a few were star vehicles, some tried to adhere to Charteris - and were even damn good whodunnits! Moore got through a fair few females, got his hair mussed a few times brawling with villains, and only got tangled up with Inspector Teal a few times in the 39 episodes. Therefore, although I wondered before whether I would only be able to view these through rose-tinted spectacles, my conclusion is No - the TV Saint is still good for thrills all these years on. Dated by todays "high" standards, no cgi cartoonery or mindless brutality but I'll survive. By now I've also realised I'll probably never see "exotic" places like Buenos Aires, Miami, Rome, obscure Spanish mountains or such bizarrely cardboard London night-life in the flesh either - and the entire series was filmed less than 100 miles from where I live!
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