Simon Templar is a modern day Robin Hood of sorts. He steals from rich criminals and keeps the loot for himself (usually in such a way as to put the rich criminals behind bars). He's ... See full summary »
Simon Templar is a modern day Robin Hood of sorts. He steals from rich criminals and keeps the loot for himself (usually in such a way as to put the rich criminals behind bars). He's dashing, suave, charming, and he's always one step ahead of the bulldog-like Inspector Claude Eustace Teal. This series chronicles his swashbuckling exploits. Written by
"Return of the Saint" was the last great filmed version of Leslie Charteris' classic after Roger Moore's supreme version of the character in the long running 60's TV show "The Saint".
Ian Ogilvy was excellent and unforgettable as Simon Templar aka "The Saint" in this late 70's/early 80's series. The show itself was always worth watching even if some episodes were a bit too typical of the TV action genre of the time. Of course, nowadays, this show can be regarded as a great addition in a long line of bygone kitsch/cult/classic action shows along the lines of "The Sweeney", "The Professionals", "The Saint", "The Prisoner", "Starsky & Hutch", "Six Million Dollar Man", "Danger Man", etc, etc...
The best thing about "Return of the Saint" is/was the intro: Every episode would start with a pre-titles clip which would set up the episode's story. The clip would usually (but not always) end with Ogilvy mentioning his name - a typical example would be of a sexy woman (usually just saved by Templar from being shot by criminals) thanking him and asking him his name. Something like this...
Beautiful woman: "Thanks. You saved my life! How can I ever repay you, Mister..??" Simon Templar: "The name is Templar... Simon Templar!"
After his name is mentioned, a halo appears above Simon Templar's head to the sound of the now-classic "Saint halo jingle" and then cue the crazy title sequence to the sound of the brilliant and very memorable "Return of the Saint" theme tune: The famous "stickman" logo of the Saint is cleverly animated and mixed into live-action footage/clips with some man chasing the stickman logo(!) across land and sea until the stickman escapes him and ends up with some babe in a bedroom which he just met on a beach..! I still think this title sequence looks great and pretty clever even 20 years or so later after the fact... (If only the Val Kilmer movie had an intro/title sequence like that but it didn't, sadly. Although I was all looking forward to seeing some similar CGI animated stickman intro to the Kilmer movie. Why didn't they do that?!)
Anyway, "Return of the Saint" was a great show and is a great piece of nostalgia for someone like me who loves old cult TV shows.
The Saint didn't return to (British) TV screens until 1990 with Simon Dutton taking over the role in a short series of feature length adventures co-produced and filmed in various European countries. The series wasn't very good at all, very boring, not much action and, worst of all, it featured some very bad actors - nothing like the Roger Moore or Ian Ogilvy shows. The only thing it had going for it was a rather catchy theme tune and a cheeky quick snatch of the "Return of the Saint" halo jingle.
The character of Simon Templar wouldn't return again until 1997's big screen thing with Val Kilmer. It wasn't a bad movie at all (in my opinion!) but the problem was it wasn't really anything like "The Saint" as we've known him throughout time and it flopped pretty badly. (Maybe another, better attempt at a Saint movie in the near future? I live in hope!...)
Anyway, it's seriously about time Ian Ogilvy got a bit of popularity again(!) and here's hoping that a complete DVD box-set of "Return of the Saint" isn't that far away...
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