Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Saint

I have vague memories of watching THE SAINT in its original run in the early sixties but mainly I enjoyed it in Saturday afternoon reruns in the late sixties and early seventies. I remember thinking it fairly dull at times but I was captivated by the easy British charm of Roger Moore as Simon Templar, the saint. 

It wasn't until the 1990's, by which time I had seen and enjoyed the original movies of THE SAINT with George Sanders, et al., that I actually realized WHY Simon Templar is called the saint in the first place. It's his initials! Who knew?

Like the original books, written by Leslie Charteris, and the earlier movies, the series is intentionally vague on exactly who Templar is. Clearly he's a good guy, an adventurer who travels around letting trouble find him. He is believed to be a thief by some, a detective by others and yet we're never really shown who the character, who dresses well and enjoys the finer things in life, actually is. He seems to have no visible means of support.

Star Roger Moore had toplined THE ALASKANS in the late fifties on American TV and was even briefly one of the Mavericks on the hit western, MAVERICK! He returned to the UK to offer up his droll, laconic performance as Templar. 

Peopled with a succession of first class British guest stars, there really were no regulars on the series other than Moore. 


The series was popular enough to inspire many tie-ins including a couple of two part episodes released as feature films. 

Moore went from here to another UK series entitled THE PERSUADERS with American actor Tony Curtis but eventually he was tapped to replace Sean Connery as Bond (a role he is said to have earlier turned down) which made him a superstar of the seventies and eighties, eventually leading to a knighthood.

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