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It's May 2004 and I was absolutely delighted to see yesterday that BBC
America has begun running Roger Moore's The Saint again Monday through
As much as I enjoyed Moore as Bond, Simon Templer was his.
George Sanders was so dry (Louis Hayward and other one-timers don't really count here). Ian Ogilvy was actually a fine Templer.
However, Moore nailed it. Unlike Sanders, who played Templer like a fop that no one could possibly find the least bit threatening, intimidating or dangerous, Moore was suave and sophisticated without being above it all. Moore brought a needed sense of humanity to the role - and you could see that he could get tough if action & toughness were called for.
Moore had a hand in writing and contributing to the screenplays and the episodes he directed may be my favorites.
There was something comforting and familiar about the show's lower budget production values that just agreed with me. They were solid, professional. And Ed Astley's music was perfect. I'd love to get the soundtrack if it's available.
Ivor Dean as Inspector Claude Eustace Teal was an ideal foil. He was at times Templer's ally, his antagonist, amused and bemused and angered and frustrated at Simon to the point of full red-faced boil-over.
Too bad the kids of today aren't treated to this form of stylish entertainment on their boob tubes, because you can bet your bottom dollar that only 1 in 10,000 will discover it while channel surfing and become a fan.
The modern day Robin Hood. This show is a classic. James Bond without
gadgets, or over the top criminals are here.
The Saint was the work of Leslie Charteris; an Asian-American writer who
penned many books and his character came to life in many 40's B-movies.
There was even a show; with Vincent Price as the Saint.
The defining Saint was of course Roger Moore's Simon Templar. A suave,
sophisticated jet setter who always was available to do a good deed. His
character had an edge; a perception at least, of an international rogue.
was first and foremost a man with a strong sense of right and wrong and
would do anything to make things right. The Saint ran from 1962-1969 and
still beloved and with good reason.
Roger Moore does the Saint with a flair and the supporting characters
always well defined and twists and turns of the plot are always there.
There was an informal ensemble cast and many of the same actors play
I had mixed feelings about Inspector Teal (Ivor Dean), he is always
and his character, although well played, was a bit of an idiot. Still
Inspector Teal had some charm.
The series had recurring writers including my favorite: Terry
(For those Doctor Who fans, Terry Nation is of course, the creator of the
Harry Junkin was the writer of the more fluid episodes.
Anyone who appreciates mystery, intrigue and well played characters, has to appreciate the Saint. The Saint gets 9.9/10 stars.
I'm 34, and watched Roger Moore as 'The Saint' shown on Cable TV by a Detroit station when I was in high school. He was cool, sophisticated, worldly (it was set all over the globe), and the shows were just plain entertaining in that classic 60's way. My father, who remembered 'The Saint' when it first aired in the early 60's, thought Roger Moore's Saint was a bit of a dandy and a 'fancy boy'. Why? I asked other men in that age group, here in The Great White North to comment, and got the same answer. A fancy, smart-guy, etc... The Saint was ahead of it's time, and the character was the first 'Metrosexual' in TV history, something that many macho head-game types of that era could not handle. Is my theory right, do some research and comment!
During the 1960's, there were two imports that represented everything that is sophisticated and elegant in British TV: The Avengers and The Saint. The Saint is not as well known as The Avengers, but it should be. The Saint, Simon Templar, played to perfection by Roger Moore, is the hero of many mystery novels by Leslie Charteris. Roger Moore's Simon Templar is charming, suave, sexy and smart. Simon is less cynical and more caring than James Bond and relies on his wits rather gadgets to get himself out of trouble. He is a semi-reformed thief who uses his burglar skills to outwit rich and powerful evil doers and rescue the innocent. If you have the chance, please see The Saint. If you liked The Avengers, you will not be disappointed.
Forget the average Saint movie starring Val Kilmer from the 90's. If you
want to see the definitive Simon Templar, then check out this fantastic
action show starring a pre-007 Roger Moore.
The show was consistently good throughout as The Saint travelled to locations such as Paris to battle scum such as murderers and robbers. Accompanying him was beautiful women as he raced round in his car coming to blows with the bad guys. Like most shows of that era, it was very tongue-in-cheek.
And I'd be committing a crime if I didn't mention Moore's eyebrow raising each episode. As for the theme tune, it was unforgettable.
Given the absolute rubbish that is show on TV nowadays, I would urge young fans to check The Saint out.
As a devoted 1960's Anglophile, I have been delighted by the re-release of Britain's best adventure series, The Saint, starring Roger Moore. Looking back on the series after all these years, I find it superior to similar ITC entries such as The Avengers, Secret Agent, or The Prisoner because of its realism and intelligence. The mixture of stock travelogue footage and cheesy ITC sets and backdrops works because of the believabilty of Roger Moore as the principal protagonist, Simon Templar. The big-hearted, flamboyant actor is every bit the character he portrays and more. The authenticity of the performance is what still appeals after 42 years. The props and the hairstyles may be dated and the set pieces might never make muster in today's productions, but when Moore is on screen it doesn't matter. I can't wait to acquire the 63'-64'episodes.
The Saint is one of the best series I have ever seen. It's fun, It's exciting and the settings are always different. Roger Moore plays one of his better roles as the cool Simon Templar. It's no mistery why Roger Moore was picked as James Bond when Sean Connery stopped, he shows that in the Saint. Great Entertainment !
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"
"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!
Yes, viewing The Saint on BBC America the other day reawakened some old
memories I've carried most of my life. Growing up in a lower middle class
American home in the 1960s, I watched Simon Templar and the glamor and
intrigue of The Saint fed my vision of the wider world. Later in life, my
work enabled me to live in many of the locales pictured in the series.
real life wasn't quite as adventurous as what they depicted on television.
Nevertheless, that lost world of the Sixties still reigned in my
imagination, where, before air travel resembled travelling in a cattle
jetting around the globe was a BIG DEAL reserved for the truly rich and
No, nothing was as fun as The Saint, which gloried in the sort of stereotypes our cultural commissars would never allow on screen today. The Germans are strutting martinets, the French incompetent peacocks, the Italians buffoonish hysterics, the Scots haggis-eating grumps, the Dutch commercial opportunists, the Swiss a bunch of greedy gnomes, the Russians paranoid oafs, the Irish a lot of work shy sots, and the Americans growling chain-smokers.
And what a juxtaposition of settings! How many episodes did I watch Simon flee from a brilliantly lit casino or restaurant down the back-streets of London, Hamburg, or Amsterdam to some dank cellar! Or how many times did he escape some luxurious villa or penthouse through the canals of Venice or avenues of Paris or Geneva to some decrepit warehouse! All with a potpourri of travelogue shots of the great cities of Europe and South America! Great TV.
And my favorite episode? "The Death Game", where Simon and some British university students, with just a touch of Swingin' London-a-Go-Go, encounter the Assassination Bureau.
The show that made Roger Moore a star and rightly so. After forty-three years no-one has matched his version of 'The Saint'. He brought warmth and charisma to the role, as well as directing episodes such as 'The House On Dragon's Rock'. He was supported by Britain's finest actors such as Julie Christie, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms, Peter Wyngarde, Edward Woodward and Ronnie Barker. Who can forget the late Ivor Dean as the hapless, gum-chewing 'Inspector Teal'? The scripts were of a very high calibre, often derived from Charteris' short stories ( the later colour shows boasted original plots ) from writers such as Terry Nation, Terence Feely, Donald James and John Kruse. Leslie Charteris was impressed with Kruse, describing him as 'the real find of the operation'. Unlike later versions, this 'Saint' fitted its time period ( the '60's ) like a glove. Edwin Astley's 'Saint' theme was the cherry on the cake. The show only ended because Roger Moore wanted to move on. Had he stayed, it would have lasted well into the '70's.
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