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"Return of the Saint" Assault Force (1978)

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Simon's Impossible Mission

8/10
Author: ShadeGrenade from Ambrosia
2 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In addition to writers and directors, 'Return' also brought back a number of performers from the Moore series - Kate O'Mara being one. The sultry actress had notched up no less than three roles in the earlier show.

Here she plays 'Jeanette', a young Eurasian woman being stalked by a pair of Chinese killers at Heathrow Airport. Simon saves her, then discovers that her country is under the heel of an evil dictator who is holding hostage a group of nuns. To bargain for their release, Simon comes up with the idea of kidnapping Surinit ( Eric Young ) during his next visit to the U.K. Templar cannot do the job alone, so enlists the aid of others.

The kidnapping is successful, but has an unexpected consequence. One of Templar's hand-picked gang is secretly working for the enemy...

In an interview prior to its screening, O'Mara described the Moris Farhi-scripted episode as an 'amusing nonsense story' and said the only reason she did it was because she wished to work with director Peter Sasdy. She's right. Its twists and turns don't really make much sense. It often has the feel of a 'Mission: Impossible' adventure, with its fake ambulances, smoke bombs, planes, and daring break-ins. Quite good fun though.

It was also the origin of an amusing out-take later to appear on Denis Norden's 'It'll Be Alright On The Night'. After making a dramatic speech, Templar goes to leave a room, only for the door knob to come away in his hand.

The guest stars include Burt 'Kato' Kwouk, Neil Stacy ( of 'Duty Free' fame ), and 'Warship's' Bryan Marshall, sporting a none-too convincing Irish accent. That lovely actor Norman Bird is around too.

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