Simon is caught burgling a house by Teal and sentenced to ten years in Princetown Prison.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Colonel Roberts
John Wood
Jeremy Burnham ...
Terry Yorke ...
Romo Gorrara ...
Vicki Woolf ...
Maggie (as Vicki Wolf)
Tony Doonan ...
Eric Mason ...
Edwin Brown ...
Walter Horsbrugh ...
The Judge
George Zenios ...


The Saint is caught burgling a house and sentenced to ten years in Princetown Prison - where he is visited by Inspector Teal. However the two men are working together and the Saint is acting as an undercover agent to investigate a spate of recent escapes from the jail. He is approached by an inmate who claims that for £50,000 he can be sprung. Sure enough a helicopter arrives to get him out. Now the Saint must find out who is master-minding the escapes. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

9 July 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Guest star Donald Sutherland's character and Simon Templar were supposed to be escaping. Stunt coordinator Leslie Crawford came up with the idea to grab the helicopter runner as they were taking off. Roger Moore said in his autobiography that Sutherland threw himself into the role, and started kicking Crawford's fingers as the helicopter was taking off. Moore said, "Les was holding on for dear life and Donald started kicking harder as the helicopter rose higher. I was shouting, "Cut! Cut! Donald, cut!" See more »

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User Reviews

Route to death
7 November 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Say what you like about Sir Roger Moore; he may have been the worst Bond as some claim ( though I don't agree ) but he was definitely the best Saint. No-one - Ogilvy, Clarke, Dutton and certainly not Kilmer - replaced him as the hero with a halo.

'Escape Route' hails from a time when the long running series had run out of short stories to adapt and moved onto original plots. Leslie Charteris had script approval though. Some of his comments could be caustic; after reading a script by Harry W.Junkin he reportedly remarked: "This script is fit for junkin'!". What he said about this one is not known. It begins in a posh house in Belgravia, London, with Templar being nabbed in the act of stealing a valuable necklace from a safe. Following a scrap with the police, he is chased across the city, finally arriving at a nightclub where the lovely Penny Williams ( Wanda Wentham ) is performing. When the fuzz arrives, she pretends he has been there all evening. But the alibi does not hold up and, after a trial, our hero is sent to prison for ten years. In his cell are three rough-looking guys, one of whom is John Wood ( Donald Sutherland ). After being attacked, they become friends and it is from him that Templar learns of the existence of a group willing to spring prisoners from jail for a high fee. As Templar never disclosed the whereabouts of the necklace he stole, that makes him rich enough to afford it...

The interesting thing about this is its striking resemblance to Desmond Bagley's novel 'The Freedom Trap' ( filmed in 1973 by John Huston as 'The Mackintosh Man' starring Paul Newman and James Mason ). An accidental duplication of ideas? Well, another Bagley book - 'The Tightrope Men' - is amazingly similar to 'The Prisoner' episode 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling'. Of course the Saint's incarceration is all a con - he wants to find out who murdered Penny's father. The organisation ( which lacks a name incidentally ) is run by the stammering 'Harry' ( Jeremy Burnham, later to write several first-rate episodes of 'The Avengers' ) and 'Ann' ( Jean Marsh ( a few years away from putting on her apron and cap to play 'Rose Buck' in 'Upstairs Downstairs' ). The real boss though is 'Colonel Roberts', played by the late John Gregson. He takes the convicts' money, puts them on a boat, and then callously shoots them before dumping their bodies over the side. A dead man cannot ask for a refund, after all. 1967 was a good year for Donald Sutherland. He did two 'Man In A Suitcase' episodes, this, and, of course 'The Dirty Dozen'. Lovely Wanda Ventham went on to 'The Lotus Eaters' and 'U.F.O'. Nice bit of stunt-work as the prison warder tries to hold onto the chopper as it lifts off, only to be pushed away, falling into space. Luckily there is a sand pit below.

The boat looks like the one used by the gunrunners Gunther and Ernst in 'The Prisoner' story 'Many Happy Returns'.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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