The Saint in the Sixties

chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

Yes, I know there are topics on The Saint already. However, this follows my [fairly] successful thread on Classic Doctor Who and will incorporate reviews of individual episodes of The Saint from the series’ debut in 1962 until its culmination seven years later. As the series is showing in the U.K. on Talking Pictures T.V., I am able to watch regularly, although my posts will not be. Here is the first half-dozen. Happy reading.

🙄 I guess it’s all about ego...

I certainly welcome discussion and feedback, even if it’s about my ego…

If nothing else, members might be able to use the thread as a sort of instore reference guide. For other reviews and responses on The Saint:

Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

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  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    1: The Talented Husband

    W: Jack Sanders

    based on The Talented Husband by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint Around the World (1956)

    D: Michael Truman

    S: Shirley Eaton, Derek Farr, Patricia Roc

    I am not over familiar with The Saint. When I was a kid, they never repeated it. We had Ian Olgilvy in The Return of the Saint, which I remember as being quite a chirpy show. In the early eighties there was a call for Olgilvy to follow in Sir Roger’s footsteps and replace him as OO7. At the time, I’d have given him a shout. I was also aware of the RKO Radio Picture series starring Louis Hayward and, mostly, George Sanders, which ran for several movies in the late thirties and early forties. They had titles like The Saint Strikes Back and The Saint in New York, and were mostly 65-minute support features. The final cinematic effort was a British production, The Saint’s Girl Friday, made by Hammer Pictures and starring the returning Louis Hayward.

    So, what to make of my first foray into the televisual monochrome world of The Saint? Well, first things first, I was really surprised by the opening scene. A crowded West End theatre. The audience has not been appreciative. Muted applause greets us as the camera sweeps the arena. Roger Moore avoids spilling his drink on a buxom lady, finds a small nook of safety, turns to the camera and says:

    “Thank heavens for English theatre bars. We've had two acts of this play, complete suffering both onstage and off. I don't know what your tastes are in theatre, maybe you like the sweat and the grunt school of acting. Me, I come to the theatre for fun, for laughs, for excitement.”

    This is a brilliant introduction. Not only is Roger Moore laying the ground for the episode, he’s outlining what the audience’s attitude should be towards The Saint: fun, adventure and excitement, and hopefully a few laughs. He’s accosted by an old friend, Madge Clarron, the director’s wife played with some aplomb by Patricia Roc, who was a big star in the forties, mostly in Gainsborough costume melodramas. The Saint blags his way through the encounter, but not before Madge introduces her husband to “Simon Templar”. Roger Moore inclines his face a smidge, looks heavenwards and an illuminated animated halo appears above his head. Cue Edwin Astley’s emboldened theme and swift cartoon credits.

    Marvellous stuff.

    I really enjoyed The Talented Husband. It’s not an espionage tale, but a little crime cat’s cradle. John Clarron [Derek Farr] has lived well, having received inheritance or insurance from his two previous wives; he’s currently married to a rich woman, but when she suffers an accident – brought about by his own clumsiness – suspicion falls on him. Could he be a serial murderer?

    Simon Templar arrives at sunny Cookham driving his snazzy little Volvo P1800, a new car in 1962 and competition for the E-Type Jag. This one’s got a personalised plate: ST1. Love it ! The Saint takes up residence at the Ferry pub, whose landlord, Mario, he knows from afar. There’s another great scene where Mario complains he’s never understood what his long-time friend does for a living.

    “I’m searching for personal fulfilment,” espouses Roger Moore, “but I won’t accept mine by proxy, that’s all. It’s very simple. I don’t want to be a cog in the machine. Being one of the millions of ants that devour the dragon is all very noble, but it’s not half as much fun as being Saint George… with an arm around a fair maiden.”

    Once again, the writers have neatly informed us who Templar is, what he’s about and how the show will entertain us. It’s so simple. Modern script writers should take note on how easy it is to develop enough character for an audience to accept what happens. As the show germinates, changes will probably occur, but this opening has already told me much of what I need to know about Simon Templar, the titular Saint, a real George to fight the dragons.

    This time out he’s even been given a fair maiden in the guise of Shirley Eaton’s sexy insurance agent Adrienne Halberd, who offers to buy him dinner, at her place, after Manhattans at Mario’s. It’s heavily suggested the Saint spends the night – we later see Adrienne laying breakfast for two – but the pair are in cahoots now, so maybe it was all platonic. Meanwhile, things are not looking good for the bedridden Madge…

    It's a cute little plot, based on one of Leslie Charteris’ short stories – all the early black and white episodes were adaptations of his published stories – and shows Templar not like a gangster busting avenger, which was rather how he was in those 1940s movies, but more a man of leisure who bends the law to meet his ends. For instance, he has a handy gadget for breaking into houses. There are a couple of diversionary tactics from the writer and director which keep us on our toes. Everyone plays it straight and with just the right touches of glee and seriousness. Derek Farr is particularly good, secretly desirous of the gorgeous Shirley Eaton, yet recognising he’s lost her to a younger man (Templar) and, worse, lost his touch as a theatre director. The eventual murderous revelation is expertly done. The young Sir Roger’s quite forceful when he needs to be.      

    The episode ends on a reluctant note of sombre reflection as Patricia Roc’s distraught Madge realises she still loves her errant husband. Only one question, not related to this excellent debut episode, but why was Shirley Eaton dubbed in Goldfinger when her voice is more than adequate, as heard here? 

    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    2: The Latin Touch

    W: Gerald Kelsey & Dick Sharples

    based on Rome: The Latin Touch by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint in Europe (1953)

    D: John Gilling

    S: Alexander Knox, Doris Nolan, Warren Mitchell, Bill Nagy

    This second episode is perhaps more indicative of the type of adventure the series would aspire to as its run extended into the sixties. This time the Saint’s opening monologue is a reflection on the trials and tribulations of being a tourist in modern day Rome. As he lights a cigarette, Roger Moore’s eponymous hero overhears two American holidaymaker’s excited gossip: they’ve seen a celebrity, the famous Simon Templar. The white halo magically reappears.

    As a James Bond fan this is almost surreal as one of Sir Roger’s famous intimations about OO7 was that the character was idiotic to play, for as a spy or secret agent, it seems ridiculous that he can walk into a bar, restaurant, villain’s lair, etc, etc, and be recognised. Now, while I take his point, I think it is also fair to point out this only became a standard practice during his more laid-back tenure. Watching the opening scene of The Latin Touch suggests Moore’s opinion of James Bond may just have been tempered by years of playing the Saint who – very obviously in this 1960s television version – has exactly the same problem as Moore’s 1970s take on Bond.  

    Post-titles, Templar rescues a pretty young American [Susan Farmer, who later starred in a rash of Hammer productions] from an overcharging taxi driver and escorts her on a private tour of the Colosseum. Little does he know she’s about to be kidnapped and he’s about to become the prime suspect. Peter Illing’s Inspector Buono isn’t very cooperative and it takes a visiting U.S. State Governor to spring the Saint from gaol. Hudson Inverest is played with much stateliness by the experienced Alexander Knox – he once played Woodrow Wilson, so politicians are his staple. His wife is played by his real life partner Doris Nolan, so there’s a good emotional connection between them. It is the Inverest’s daughter, Sue, who has been kidnapped.

    The villain is Mafia Don Tony Unciello, played by Bill Nagy. He’s pretty good, menacing without resorting to caricature, although the scene where he scoffs a plate of spaghetti is dangerously close. He’s calm under pressure, smokes fat cigars, growls impatiently, flicks his chin with impunity, performs card tricks and displays all the necessary indicators of a powerful impudent crime boss. He even has a secret entrance to his private, splendidly furnished, gold-gilded salon, which seems to pre-empt the sort of thing we see in the Bond films.

    Templar comes to the aid of the helpless Governor and a hunt for clues across the city entails, usually involving Warren Mitchell’s amusing taximan, Marco di Cesari, who is an Italian Alf Garnett years before Till Death Us Do Part even aired. There’s plenty of red herrings to smother and a couple of neat double-crosses before we reach the satisfying climax.

    I enjoyed the scenes which involved the Saint chasing up the possible leads, hanging about at the embassy, the cafes, the nightclubs. Carole Simpson makes a brief impression as Unciello’s ex, Marie, who he’s scarred for life, but whose unwillingness to reveal any information places the first inklings of doubt in Templar’s mind. This scene again shows Moore’s rougher edges. It’s amazing how adaptable an actor he is when needed to be. Earlier, he reveals some empathy for the villain’s mother, whose tears of sadness for her errant sons are intercut neatly with the Governor’s wife’s cries of despair, two sides of the same coin indeed. Marie Burke elicits our sympathy.

    There are some excellent details in this scene. The Signora is wearing black, still in mourning for her husband; there is a Holy Virgin prayer icon hung on the wall; an Italian newspaper sits on the table. While details like this might pass the casual viewer by, they are hugely important to the overall impact and ‘feel’ of the episode; an intended audience is provided with an interpretational slice of contemporary Romanesque living, even if the film crew has never ventured beyond Borehamwood Studios. There is also some good intercut stock footage of Rome and a few stand-in shots are suitably realistic. While it might be filmed in Hertfordshire, the moment where Alexander Knox receives the ransom demand suggests all the heat and mugginess of a man under pressure in an Italian summer: the sun appears high and his face is browed with perspiration. The script doesn’t fail us either. When Templar finally confronts Unciello, he paraphrases the conversation with the Signora: “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Bill Nagy’s villain scoffs: “Only when the strong are through with it.”

    Overall, I enjoyed this episode. A quick check on IMDB [no barometer of taste or critique] provides some rather unencouraging reviews, but I reckon this is a fine example of The Saint from this period, swift, uncomplicated and with the hint of exotic danger. Very good. 

    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    3: The Careful Terrorist

    W: Gerald Kelsey & Dick Sharples

    based on The Careful Terrorist by Leslie Charteris featured in Thanks to the Saint (1957)

    D: John Ainsworth

    S: David Kossoff, Peter Dyneley, Sally Bazely, Percy Herbert

    After a bright start with the opening two episodes, The Saint suddenly looks very old-school with this rum do set in New York. Roger Moore’s opening monologue concerns where to eat the best omelettes – in New York or Normandy? Simon Templar’s associate, the investigative television journalist Lester Boyd is murdered after exposing the union boss Nat Grendel as a corrupt, exploitative official. Seeking honest revenge, the Saint takes up the crusading baton and takes on the might of the International Livery Union, a thinly disguised take on the Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa.

    Not much happens here. The script is perfunctory at best and the direction betrays a studio bound mentality: during dialogue scenes almost every actor is framed face-on within a head and shoulders shot; occasionally John Ainsworth moves closer, but he’s very unimaginative. The resolution is an uncomfortable one.

    Sir Roger looks a bit out of his depth here, especially during the laboured sequences of broad humour which he’s forced to enact with his useless valet Hoppy Uniatz, played with no skill by Percy Herbert, a man who spends his spare time trying to educate himself by reading ‘gentlemen’s magazines’. The scene with most tension comes when the Saint visits Grendel in his office and plants a listening device, the dialogue has a pseudo-socio-intellectual bent that I rather enjoyed. Sir Roger and Peter Dyneley spar with some dexterity. The remainder of the adventure is straight forward and not very good.

    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    4: The Covetous Headsman

    W: John Roddick

    based on Paris: The Covetous Headsman by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint in Europe (1953)

    D: Michael Truman

    S: Barbara Shelley, Eugene Deckers, George Pastell

    After the minor misstep of the previous episode, things get back on track with a solid yarn set in a neon lit Paris and featuring the accomplished Barbara Shelley as the damsel in distress. Simon Templar’s opening monologue takes place on a Pan Am flight from Idlewild to Paris Orly, he takes off his sunglasses, shows us his halo and meets the beautiful Valerie North who is returning to France to be reunited with her long-lost brother, Charles Briand.

    Meanwhile in Paris, Inspector Quercy is investigating a murder, a body abandoned in the River Seine, the body of Charles Briand. Eugene Deckers makes a convincing policeman, equipped with a limp, a non-nonsense attitude and a Parisian eye for the ladies. He gets on well with the Saint. Not so well with the spitting, bossy landlady Mme Duras [a cheeky cameo from Josephine Browne]. She’s got the police marked as dullards, the Saint as a charmer and Briand’s girlfriend as a brass with eternal pockets: “Glamour by gaslight” he mutters as Josie Claval sways past her on the stairs.

    The Saint suspects Georges Olivant of foul play. He claims to be an old friend of Virginia’s father, but after she is attacked in her hotel room, he pays a visit to Antoine, an old bookseller and former resistance fighter to discover the truth behind M. Olivant. A tense little game of cat and mouse evolves between the seedy Bal Noir night club, the back streets of night time Paris and the glossy mansion of Georges Olivant, a Nazi collaborator attempting to escape his past.

    George Pastell, always a safe pair of hands where villainy is concerned, is very good as Olivant and the clutch of supporting roles, by the likes of Browne, Carole Grey [Josie] and Esmont Knight [Antoine]. While the shoot never went to Paris, the establishing shots have flair and conjure up the excitement of foreign travel and trouble. Simon Templar admits it: “I never go anywhere with the intention of running into trouble, but somehow trouble has the disastrous propensity to run into me.”

    On a point of time, Antoine says the Saint served him well during the resistance, although he was very young; so assuming Simon Templar took part in the resistance movement from the off, that would put him at possibly sixteen in 1940, although he may have been younger. So, twenty-two years on, that makes the Saint approximately thirty-eight, older than Sir Roger at this point in time. It’s not overly important, although hanging specific histories onto characters is always likely to date them even in the short term.

    A good if humourless episode.

    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007       

      

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    5: The Loaded Tourist

    W: Richard Harris

    based on Lucerne: The Loaded Tourist by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint in Europe (1953)

    D: Jeremy Summers

    S: Barbara Bates, Guy Deghy, Joseph Culy

    This one starts in Rome, where Simon Templar was a couple of weeks ago. You’d think they could get the continuity right. He also becomes involved with the passenger who sits next to him on a plane again, just as he did in an earlier episode. The monologue is a riff about Italian customs and excise.

    The episode continues in Geneva where Phillippe Ravenna is trying to fence some jewels to provide a healthy start to a new life in New York for his family: a stroppy teenage son and an indifferent second wife. The Saint has met the son, Alfredo, and tried to reassure him that America is a pretty damn good place, but the young scamp’s having none of it. Joseph Cuby overplays his acting hand as the young tearaway. Barbara Bates as his step mother is similarly badly disposed. The most interesting turn is Guy Deghy’s shifty police inspector Oscar Kleinhaus.

    The plot is a trifle complicated and the Saint’s game of chance in resolving it is rather elementary. Andrew Sachs, over a decade before Fawlty Towers, does a passable version of a conspiring hotel concierge which looks startlingly familiar. There’s a few production gaffes: after being turned over by a burglar, Templar’s hotel room gets tidied quicker than you can make a jam sandwich; the melodramatic incidental music is hilarious; the Saint carries a gun when I thought he mentioned in an earlier story that he never used one; a policeman’s claim that every officer knows the face of Simon Templar just seems ridiculous; the Saint is knocked out by a rock big enough to kill him; a missing briefcase cannot be found by the police, but Alfredo discovers it in seconds; the picture postcard establishing shots of Rome and Geneva are fabulous, but there isn’t much anyone can do about the badly painted backdrop outside the hotel windows.

    Ah, well, it passed the time. 

    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,886MI6 Agent

    good stuff @chrisno1 its not ego, its talking about cool vintage tv shows with your likeminded buddies who share the same tastes!

    I like that you're telling us the Charteris source material for each story, where did you find that info?

    I also like the two complete quotes from the first episode ever. Not many seem to like that episode, but those quotes are a statement of purpose suited to an introductory episode. I'd forgotten about the first one at the theatre, it reminds me a bit of the opening of The Fiction Makers

    the character of Hoppy is odd, as he seems so out-of-place in Templar's world, and his presence is not explained and he never returns. I gather he was a regular character in the books of the late 30s and 40s, when Charteris relocated Templar to the States. He would have replaced Orace, Templar's servant/assistant when he was based in London. We can also see Hoppy in the Saint comic books of the late 40s published by Avon. The series does a mostly good job of picking up from Charteris's final version of the Saint, as a globetrotter eternally on the move traveling alone and making that consistent, but as they adapt Charteris stories going further back it seems sometimes there are vestiges of those earlier versions that stick out.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    The first episode is excellent and Roger slips into his role very easily. I enjoyed the b/w episodes very much, they capture the 60’s moment so well.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    6: The Arrow of God

    W: Julian Bond

    based on Nassau: The Arrow of God by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint on the Spanish Main  (1955)

    D: Paddy John Carstairs

    S: Honor Blackman, Anthony Dawson

    “Come to Nassau,” recites the Saint, “That’s what it says and I like it. And it is sensational. Swimming, sailing, the perfect climate, beautiful girls: everything.”

    That’s Simon Templar’s advert for the Bahamas. After delivering this monologue, he proceeds to dent the reputation of the world’s nastiest gossip columnist Floyd Vosper, who keeps a dossier on every celebrity in the world: even Simon Templar, although his card only reads: ‘needs thorough investigation.’ Vosper is invited to the same ghastly dinner party as the Saint and rubs everyone up the wrong way with his non-stop tirade of sophisticated, intellectual abuse. Everyone has a motive to kill him and when Vosper meets an untimely death, it serves as the prelude to an Agatha Christie style reveal, orchestrated by yours truly in truly grim style.

    This is a dreadful episode, very slapdash production-wise and badly acted all-round. Script isn’t up to much and the direction is lame. There is no joy in this.

    Chief reason for watching is to see a future James Bond acting with two of the franchises forerunning co-stars. Anthony Dawson, from Dr No, plays the vicious pen-smith Vosper and Honor Blackman, before Goldfinger and even before The Avengers is a blonde caught in a love triangle.


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent
    edited November 2022

    SEASON 1

    1962

    7: The Pearls of Peace

    W: Richard Harris

    based on The Pearls of Power by Leslie Charteris featured in Senor Saint (1958)

    D: David Greene

    S: Erica Rogers, Dina Paisner, Bob Kantor

    A nice establishing shot of the Chrysler Building lets us know we are in New York. Simon Templar at least has the same apartment as he did in The Careful Terrorist, although he appears to have lost the annoying valet. Instead he’s studying pearls and rapping on the history of oysters. The script writers appear to have already run out of neat ways to mangle in the “Are you the Saint?” line as this time it’s provided by a postman.

    The first third of the story is in flashback, telling how a mate of Simon Templar’s got involved with a con man and wasted $11000. An exciting street brawl climaxes this section. Then we’re on a hot little trip to San Domingo, Mexico, where said con man’s ex-lover hopes to get reimbursed on her investment, the Saint in tow to ensure she isn’t ripped off again.

    Erica Rogers makes a saucy Joss Hendry and there’s a lovely line for Roger Moore to deliver when she tries to seduce our hero: “Don’t get too close, I might need to touch you and you’re so brittle you might break” – this after she moaned about skinning a fingernail. The episode doesn’t do much. It’s a pleasant little number, nicely designed and with steady performances. The Hotel Perla sees dramatic improvements in three years, turning from a fleapit into a plush five star establishment. The Cantina del Flores stays fleapit.

    This is a story of the heart and as such it ends happily.

    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    8: The Element of Doubt

    W: Norman Borisoff

    based on The Element of Doubt by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint to the Rescue (1959)

    D: John Ainsworth

    S: David Bauer, Bill Nagy, Maggie Vines, Anita West

    Simon Templar barely features in the first two thirds of this episode, instead the floor is given over to court case involving the shady businessman Joe Sholto and his crooked lawyer Carlton Rood. Bill Nagy (already back again) and David Bauer are both suitably unpleasant in their respective roles.

    The opening gambit sees an arson attack on a warehouse which turns into a deadly inferno, some scenes of quite terrifying depth for 1962. I was genuinely sacred for poor Mrs Yarrow [Maggie Vines] who gets abandoned inside the burning building. Later, as a now blind witness, she’s frightened half-to-death again by Carlton Rood. I’ll gloss over the terrible plot hole in court / justice procedure which doesn’t give her, as a witness, ample opportunity to identify her attacker. There’s a lot of good acting here and the tension is ranked up at several points along the journey.

    Sholto appears to be on the verge of a million-dollar land sale agreement, but he’s also making insurance fraud and making a hash of it. Insurance investigator Mary Hammond turns up in the pretty guise of Anita West, catching the police off-guard: “Well, Lieutenant,” she smiles with beautiful decorum, “your badge isn’t showing either.” A neat way to assert her credentials and her superiority without resorting to endless feminist validations. [Perhaps I shouldn’t have written that, but sometimes modern writers seem unable to understand how real people interact verbally; this is a great example of an economy of words and tells us much about both characters in a simple two sentence exchange. Purvis and Wade could learn a lot watching shows like this, methinks.]

    The case goes downhill a little once Sholto gets off the hook and the Saint decides to right some wrongs by doing a little undercover and blackmail work of his own, acting as he calls it “a catalytic agent” for good. The New York police really don’t like him. As the Lieutenant so succinctly puts it: “He acts as if the law is designed for his own private amusement.” Which rather lines the Saint up with his own nemesis Carlton Rood.

    Not much Saint stuff then, but a pleasant little number with a couple of shocks, good performances and a speedy conclusion.


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    9: The Effete Angler

    W: Norman Borisoff

    based on Bimini: The Effete Angler by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint on the Spanish Main (1955)

    D: Anthony Bushell

    S: Shirley Eaton, George Pravda, Patrick McAllinary, Paul Stassino

    A little smuggling affair run by a quartet of incompetents between Nassau and Miami. Simon Templar thwarts it with the minimum of fuss.

    Ticking all the boxes, this episode hints at the exotic, the exciting and the brazenly sexual: “I have a husband in Bimini,” whispers Shirley Eaton’s gorgeously provocative Gloria Uckrose before delivering a breathy kiss to Sir Roger Moore; “I’m broadminded,” he replies, barely a surprise, having earlier spied her prancing along the harbourside in a bikini and then seducing her with the promise of “An early dinner and a late night.” Smouldering isn’t the half of it.

    I was surprised to see our Shirley make a second appearance so quickly after the first. Given I am also watching these week-by-week, much as an original 1962 T.V. audience would, I’m fairly certain they would also have recalled she played a delectable insurance agent in the season’s curtain raiser. Apparently Leslie Charteris’ original short story was one of his most sexually explicit, although what that means I will have to leave to imaginations. As they did in The Talented Husband, Moore and Eaton play off each other wonderfully well.

    Aside from the sizzling Miss Eaton, Paul Stassino [another of ours, from Thunderball] makes a shifty and impetuous heavy, while George Pravda – always a decent villain – winds up his own ulcers as the brains behind the operation, Clinton Uckrose. Whether he’s ever been in love with his wife remains open to our interpretation. Edwin Astley’s musical accompaniment conjures the relaxed air of the Florida Keys and its exclusive hotels.

    There’s not much going on here, but it’s a pleasant enough trip, unless you’re a marlin on a fishing line. 


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent
    edited November 2022

    After a brief respite, I return with the remainder of season one:

    SEASON 1

    1962

    10: The Golden Journey

    W: Lewis Davidson

    based on Tirol: the Golden Journey by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint in Europe (1953)

    D: Robert S. Baker

    S: Erica Rogers

    Relocated to the Costa Brava from Leslie Charteris original Austrian setting, a smug Simon Templar attempts to reform a spoilt rich bitch in time for her to marry his best friend. Erica Rogers plays almost exactly the same role as she did in The Pearls of Peace [episode 7], only with a shade of humility. A stupid story with stupid exposition. Barely memorable. Intensely unwatchable.  


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    11: The Man Who Was Lucky

    W: John Gilling

    based on The Man Who Was Lucky by Leslie Charteris featured in The Happy Highwayman (1939)

    D: John Gilling

    S: Eddie Byrne, Delphi Lawrence, Vera Day, Harry Towb, Campbell Singer

    Most of the adaptations for Season 1 of The Saint have come from the ‘international’ period of Leslie Charteris’ writings, when Simon Templar became a sort of globe-trotting Robin Hood style freelance operator. This adventure comes from Templar’s first incarnation as a wealthy English adventurer come crime buster who runs rings around shady villains as well as the Inspectors of Scotland Yard. The literary version of The Man Who Was Lucky featured in Charteris’ first short story collection The Happy Highwayman and is the last London set adventures for several years as, after its publication, Charteris relocated his hero to the U.S.A.

    However, the1962 television adaptation achieves something which none of the other episodes so far have, which is to remind me of the old RKO 1940s B-movie series. Most importantly, the story is set amongst the seedy underbelly of society. The Saint kicks off his monologue at White City dog track, where he observes the underworld boss ‘Lucky’ Joe Luckner, a villain who operates a protection racket off the bookmakers at the track as well as running a Soho bar populated with pimps and prostitutes. One of these is the aging Cora, played by Delphi Lawrence, who drinks too much, is the object of her bosses unwanted attention and despairs of ever escaping a life of drudgery. Her beau is the bookmaker Marty O’Connor, a man intent on going straight, but whose enterprise has come under the radar of Lucky Joe, who is now demanding his cut of the race monies. When Marty’s partner is killed, rather than call the police, he and Cora attempt to flee to Ireland. Unluckily for Lucky Joe, the Saint is an old friend of Marty and he hatches a plan to foil the gangsters and get Marty and Cora on that plane to Dublin.

    This is brilliant, sleazy little number, packed full off delicious characters who have either the impetuousness, anger and outright savagery of the idle, entitled, illicitly deserved wealthy or the despair, the anxiety, the unambitious care-worn ugliness of perpetual debt and fear. Eddie Byrne makes a first rate Lucky Joe, all bawling, brawling testosterone. He talks with his fists. Violence is second nature to him. When he learns Cora has been sweet with Marty, murder is immediately on his mind. When one of his prostitutes won’t talk, he decides to slap her around. He’s equally uncouth with his henchmen, short in word and deed. His anger explodes in fits of vicious energy. When confronted with the police, he’s charm and razzle-dazzle. He’s extremely believable as a manipulative, plain talking and bleakly obvious gang boss, who has just enough subtlety to wriggle himself out of harm’s way.

    Delphi Lawrence exhibits plenty of honesty in persuading her man they must flee. She knows Lucky Joe’s reputation, has seen it in action and persuades him to go to ground, for her sake, for their future. Marty reluctantly agrees. Harry Towb adequately affects his disheartened decision. He has a criminal record; he knows how it will look if he skips the country; but he also knows the wrath of Lucky Joe. In fact so too does the audience: Lucky’s rampaging hoods destruct Bailey & O’Connor’s smart offices and the boss man himself delivers the blows which deal death to Jim Bailey.

    [The offices appear to be on the dogleg of the King’s Road, just down from Beaufort Street, but I might be wrong. We see the Saint’s white Volvo 1800 make a turn there. Later on the action moves to a hotel on the Kingston bypass, but it’s probably any old Ind Coope pub near Elstree Studios.]

    The Saint arrives too late. He’s warned off by Chief-Inspect Claud Eustace Teal of Scotland Yard, a character who regularly appeared in Charteris’ London based novels and is treated much better here than that other regular stalwart Hoppy Uniatz [see my review of The Careful Terrorist]. Campbell Singer impersonates the role and Roger Moore treats him with some mocking respect, a little how Hercule Poirot condescends to Inspector Lestrade in those Agatha Christie whodunits.

    Writer / director John Gilling’s got the balance of character, danger and comedy about right and this aids our enjoyment immensely. He’s got pedigree, having made a couple of Victor Mature movies for Warwick Films, the Irwin Allen / Albert R. Broccoli production company. There’s a couple of beautiful exchanges between Roger Moore and Vera Day’s Jane, a goodtime girl out to snare a man while working as a brass at the bar on Lucky’s payroll. I was reminded of Moore’s ability to play softly a suitor, being suave, sophisticated, understanding and calm, he makes the role of an unthreatening, but challenging lover palpably real. It was familiar from the [in]famous quiche-cooking scene in A View To A Kill, which is also notable for Moore’s Bond not sleeping with the heroine; he’s out of his luck as Templar too, although by the end Jane appears to have had a change of heart. Moore cajoles a good performance from Day, which speaks volumes of his own abilities as a generous co-star.

    A very good episode which does a firmer job of reinventing and updating Charteris’ original adventures for the 1960s while not forgetting where his hero originated from, a sneaky, gutter level enterprising near felon with a heart of a guardian angel – hence the halo. 


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 1

    1962

    12: The Charitable Countess

    W: Gerald Kelsey & Dick Sharples

    based on The Charitable Countess by Leslie Charteris featured in The Happy Highwayman (1939)

    D: Jeremy Summers

    S: Patricia Donahue, Nigel Davenport, Warren Mitchell, Philip Needs

    Relocated from Leslie Charteris’ original London setting to the more exotic landscape of Rome, Simon Templar remakes the acquaintance of the irate Italian taxi driver Marco de Cesari while befriending a gang of piccolo banditos and fooling a popular society Countess into donating a vast sum of money to a homeless foundation.

    This episode is all about fame and fortune and reputation. As the Saint says in his preamble: “Society is the same the world over. You’re ‘in’ if you’re either famous, rich, talented, aristocratic or notorious.” The latter, of course, applies to Simon Templar, darling of the jet set, scourge of police forces the world over and a thorn in the side of any gangster or skuldugger that crosses his path. Here, having attended a charity ball hosted by the ingratiating Countess Rovagna and her dolesome playmate Aldo Petri [Patricia Donahue and Nigel Davenport wonderfully over playing their cards yet still managing to keep straight faces, as does Roger Moore] the Saint has the [mis]fortune to run into Marco de Cesari [Warren Mitchell, returning from The Latin Touch, and marvellous again] who has the equal [mis]fortune to run over a young street thief, Franco. The Saint takes pity on the poor lad, invites him into his flat, gives him a bath, a bed, a breakfast and takes him to Father Bellini’s orphanage, where he learns that the donations received by the foundation from the Countess’ ball are a few thousand dollars short. Conscience pricked, the Saint makes a bet with the Countess that he can’t steal her $25000 necklace, which he intends to donate to the charity.

    There’s a host of lovely performances in this adventure. Notably from Sir Roger, once more sparring excellently with Warren Mitchell, including simple little actions such as turning Mitchell’s head to face the road in the car. Sample dialogue:

    Marco: “He’s a thief! Now he’s here, he’ll stay. Thirty years from now he’ll take your women, your money, everything!”

    Templar: “Thirty years from now, he’s welcome to it.”

    Mitchell’s equally good swapping cheerful lines with the homeless little Artful Dodger. Philip Needs is enthusiastic as the leader of a whole gang of Artful’s, like some teenage Fagin, showing favouritism, gall and bravery. He even has a code of socialist ethics which he can’t break, refusing to stay at the Bellini Foundation unless all his troop accompany him, girls included. As every hot blooded Italian lad knows, you don’t send your favourite squeeze to the convent!

    Sir Roger dons an elegant white tie and tails and has two very long speeches to deliver. One cuts near the knuckle describing Maggie Oakes’ rise to glory from stripper to sugar baby to swindler of the rich and famous. The other evokes our charitable sympathy, so much so, and so pleasantly does the episode resolve itself, I wondered if I wasn’t watching a Christmas special. I looked it up and the episode’s original transmission was 20/12/1962, so yes then, a little seasonal cheer from the producers of The Saint.

    It's a good little adventure which, like the previous episode, feels more like the sort of naughty escapade the Saint would have gotten mixed up with in Charteris’ early books. I can’t say how faithful this is to the original, but the Saint’s more devil-may-care attitude, blended with the Robin Hood antics of a jewel heist followed by a philanthropic donation to the poor feels like a role Roger Moore would endeavour to play and play well. He does.

    Overall, the opening season of The Saint shows much promise. I enjoyed most of the adventures, found the supporting acts, the production values and the performances generally agreeable and wasn’t perturbed by the odd lapse in continuity or logic. The writing comes and goes, as does the direction. You do get the impression the shooting schedule was probably about twelve to sixteen weeks, an episode a week basically, and was designed to showcase its star and some exotic looking locales, even though the cameras never left Elstree the stock footage was good enough to make you feel they might have done. Given the brevity of the original 1930s and 1940s movies and the fact most of these episodes were adapted from short stories, the fifty minute format dresses the suit very well indeed. The occasional misstep can be excused in the early days of a show and given how well the series was received, how well it stands up today, I’m willing to bet there was a lot of anticipation for its return in the autumn of 1963. If James Bond was starting to rule the cinematic world in the fall of ’62, I feel pretty certain that The Saint was soon ruling the roost on television.         


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Excellent summary @chrisno1 I’m enjoying these reviews.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    1: The Fellow Traveller

    W: Harry W. Junkin

    based on The Sizzling Saboteur by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint On Guard (1945)

    D: Peter Yates

    S: Dawn Addams, Glyn Owen, Ray Austin

    Taking as its starting point a wartime set novella based in Texas, The Fellow Traveller kicks off the second season of The Saint with a new narrative slant and a heightened sense of purpose. Roger Moore revisits his role as Simon Templar as easily as he slips into his suits. Nothing exotic about this opener. Like Season One’s The Talented Husband, we are in the Home Counties, Stevenage to be precise – it really is Stevenage too, the Cromwell Hotel whose exterior features is still in existence. This time Simon Templar pulls into the hotel car park, turns to the camera and starts his monologue thus:

    “I’ve just learnt a horrible hideous fact. Birds do not sing because they are happy… This news has depressed me terribly and has absolutely nothing to do with the reason I am in Stevenage.”

    He’s in the Kent countryside because a Prof Marston, a weapons engineer, has been selling secrets to the Russians and Richardson, from the Ministry of Defence, has called in the Saint to get Marston to safety and to obtain details of the spy cell he’s been communicating with. Before Templar can do either, Marston is assassinated. Super Intendent Kinglake doesn’t take kindly to the Saint’s interference, but the two form an uneasy alliance to foil the GRU agents. 

    Charteris’ original novel had more to do with factory sabotage by undercover Nazis. A female Russian spy is mixed up in the telling. Interestingly during the wartime phase of the Saint’s literary career Charteris had him working for an obscure department of the F.B.I., much how writer Harry Junkin shoehorns in the M.O.D. to this television adaptation. Here we don’t have a Russian spy, but a Hungarian emigree who has fallen in with a small cell of the Soviet G.R.U. agents working in Department Four, concerned with counter intelligence. This is a neat little twist and is quite smart as the premier date of the series was 19th September 1963, predating From Russia With Love by a whole month. There is a considerable Cold War atmosphere to this espionage caper and, whether intentional or not – I haven’t read Charteris’ novel so I don’t know how it proceeds – this adventure has definite overtures of Casino Royale.

    Firstly, there is a female agent for the Saint to fall for, the ever lovely Magda, played with a kitsch accent by the ever lovely Dawn Addams. Magda escaped from Hungary just before the 1956 uprising and has fallen in with a Soviet cell, who have used her to seduce and manipulate government officials by working as a ringer at the Blue Goose casino. So we have plenty of scenes set in the sweaty, heady, smoky, elegant casino as Roger Moore’s Saint accepts, then rebuffs our double-agent. He’s marked her from the off: “Magda, my darling, you haven’t uttered a single truth since I met you.” I don’t know about Sizzling Saboteurs, but Dawn Addams certainly sizzles with Sir Roger. “I’m interested in women old enough to have had a little experience and young enough to want a little more,” he tells her over a glass of champagne before the Hungarian sexpot hugs his arm and watches as he wins handsomely at a rigged game of Chemin de Fer.

    Templar is searching for the mysterious Mercir, the head of the spy cell, and the adventure includes murder, car chases, poisonings, assassinations, seductions, gambling and, at its climax, a wonderful scene which has all the hallmarks of Ian Fleming: a hero tied to a chair, villains threatening to kill or maim him, a heroine caught between two political / personal loves, the police arriving in the nick of time. The Saint is muscular and vigorous, trading fisticuffs and gunshots with aplomb. Sir Roger really enjoys himself. On a small scale, the episode really is quite like James Bond. Curiously, unlike the twelve preceding episodes, when Simon Templar’s name is mentioned, while the halo appears, nobody batters an eye, even the police have a sketchy background to him. I wonder if the idea of the character’s global renown was already wearing thin or if this was an authorial oversight.

    The director is Peter Yates, who would go on to direct Bullitt for Steve McQueen amongst other movies. He’s already showing flashes of quality and visual dexterity, utilising a close up of a silenced revolver to increase tension, or the long view of the Blue Goose casino at give the impression of space. The script is good, covering all the espionage angles quickly and succinctly. The supporting cast [Michael Bates and Angus Lennie among them] is watchable. The reveal is one I didn’t see coming. The climax is exciting. The short coda sets everything straight. Overall, The Fellow Traveller is a solid and thoroughly enjoyable opening episode.  


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    2: Starring the Saint

    W: Harry W. Junkin

    based on Hollywood by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint Goes West (1942)

    D: James Hill

    S: Ronald Radd, Ivor Dean, Monica Stevenson, Jackie Collins, Wensby Pithey

    No, not Hollywood as Leslie Charteris wrote, but Elstree Studios where they filmed the show. Cleverly using the studios as a fictional, though unnamed, film production company, this was made slightly on the cheap: later on the Saint visits a woman’s apartment and it’s a redecoration of the one Vera Day lived in during last season’s The Man Who Got Lucky and the Chateau Marmot looks suspiciously like the theatre bar from the debut episode. I might be wrong, but a lot of long running television shows made by the same production companies swapped sets to save costs, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Here Simon Templar emerges at London Airport chortling about how in London “no one ever intrudes on your privacy” and finding himself suddenly surrounded by the paparazzi. Corrupt and unlikeable movie mogul Byron Ufferlitz [a distinctly ungraceful Ronald Radd] plans to make a film of the Saint’s life story; only he’s neglected to tell the Saint. Deciding to raise an objection, Templar instead agrees to join the production. You sense he’s not going to take the movie making process very seriously, but when Ufferlitz turns up dead, he can’t help but become very seriously involved.

    A good script offers a few red herrings. Templar makes a better impression as a modern Poirot in this episode than he did in the risible Arrow of God. Ivor Dean, Alexander Dawson and Monica Stevenson make decent suspects. Regular TV support act Paul Witsun Jones has a riot as an obnoxious screenwriter. Best of all is Jackie Collins as distinctly amoral pin-up girl April Quest, a model trying to make it in movies and quite clearly getting there by sleeping to the top. “Men are usually with me all evening,” she demurs to a questioning police officer. Collins is quite marvellous. She acted better than she wrote books.

    Chief Inspector Teal returns, but he’s not a pleasantly polite greying slender policeman like Campbell Singer, but a blustering, brooding, suspicious and suspect-looking stumpy fellow Wesley Pithey. I prefer Pithey’s interpretation. He really doesn’t like the Saint at all. “I’ve never believed anything about Simon Templar unless I’ve heard it three times,” he grumbles, “When [he’s] remotely involved in a case of mine it means only one thing – trouble.”

    Poor Teal. You’re not far wrong, mate. Ufferlitz may be a fraud, a cheat and a congenital liar, but he’s also a philanderer and, it is suggested, has been exploiting young starlets, like April and a Trilby Andrews. Retrospectively, with his black scamp of hair, fatty face and authoritarian and aggressive demeanour, he less resembles a Hollywood mogul than the modern day Harvey Weinstein. The story resolves itself a little untidily, but isn’t any worse for it.

    A well-acted adventure. Short on thrills, but a good, untaxing mystery.   


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    3: Judith

    W: Leonard Grahame

    based on Judith (aka ‘The Naughty Niece’)  by Leslie Charteris featured in Saint Errant (1948)

    D: Robert Lynn

    S: Julie Christie, David Bauer, Ross Parker

    Simon Templar is in Montreal for ice hockey’s Stanley Cup. He’s quite disparaging about the game, but seems to enjoy it immensely. Later on, almost be chance, he gets mixed up in a scheme to steal the engineering plans of a new gas propelled vehicle motor. Businessman Burt Northwade is as ruthless as they come – including ripping off his own brother and cutting him out of a multimillion dollar pay day. Frank Northwade’s daughter, Judith, sets out to get some justice.

    As I was watching this, mulling over the early exchanges of the plot, there’s a scene about twelve minutes in where Roger Moore’s Saint orders a Rumhatten cocktail in perfect French. It wasn’t Sir Roger’s fluent language skills that impressed me, but the fact I recognised the actress he was ordering it for: playing the titular Judith was none other than future Oscar winner and actress on a very steep rise in 1963, Julie Christie.

    Christie was in high demand in the early sixties, starring in the TV show A for Andromeda, appearing in a few teleplays and making her first foray onto the big screen as Liz, the heroine of John Schlesinger’s quintessentially English swinging sixties meets the kitchen sink comedy drama Billy Liar. The scene where Schlesinger’s camera follows her from a bus as she walks down the street, handbag, coat, arms and hips swaying epitomises the carefree aspirations of a generation: classy, good looking, elusive, money, love and the promise of sex all bundled into a package of blonde dynamite. I wasn’t born when Christie was on this hurtling curve, but in my young teens watching television showings of the run of classic films she made was a revelation. Beautiful and beautifully distracted as Lara in Dr Zhivago, amoral as model Diana Scott in Darling – a role which almost typecast her before she even got started and seems to be a direct descendent of Liz – Bathsheba Everdene in Far From the Madding Crowd,  Fahrenheit 451, Petulia, The Go Between, McCabe and Mrs Miller, Don’t Look Now, the list of great films feels endless and timeless. An exceptionally beautiful actress, but not one who was conventionally beautiful, with her wide mouth, thin sloping nose and slightly jutting face she has the slightly kookie fragile look which made a woman beautiful in the sixties [think Twiggy, Barbara Streisand, Jean Shrimpton]. What she had above all was a fine sense of the dramatic and the ability to make an audience believe in her character. With the simplest of affectations – a quivering lip, a wave of her hand, a brush of hair, a sudden look of concern – you understood exactly the emotion which is permeating her character. It was quite a joy to see her acting in something so trivial [I use the word unwisely] as The Saint and making such a remarkable go of it.

    As Judith she is sweetly sexy, seductive, nervous, scheming, clever, angry, funny and entirely believable, turning a fairly ordinary screenplay into something worth watching. It’s the small things she excels at, touching Templar’s arm during a meal, dwindling her expressive eyes under her black mascara lashes, a sudden fit of pique. She utilises a subtle stateside accent, which provides authenticity without dropping into caricature. Christie also teases the light-heartedness out of Sir Roger. There’s a few lovely dialogue exchanges when he’s seducing her – or is it the other way around, we are not entirely sure – and Judith asks for Templar’s assistance righting a few wrongs. “I make it a point never to commit a crime with a lady until we’ve been formerly introduced,” quips the Saint. Later on, he moves in for a kiss: “It’s one of the nicest evenings I’ve ever had and I’ll enjoy it even more in a moment”; Christie turns her head coyly aside, before returning the compliment with a single erotically charged “Oh!” One must marvel at how an actress can conjure such images of longing through only single glance and an uttered word.

    Christie is surrounded by a cast list who don’t do very much. The best of them is Ross Parker’s enjoyably humorous turn as a French-Canadian police sergeant who accompanies the Saint throughout the adventure, supposably preventing Templar from getting up to any mischief, but actually enjoying the fruits of bribery – drinking fine wine and eating extravagant food at the Saint’s expense, while turning a blind eye to his charge’s misdemeanours. “I’ll drive slowly so you can keep up,” suggests Templar. Parker’s accent, in contrast to Christie’s has elements of Inspector Clouseau to it, but he’s very amusing. The scene where he becomes trapped in a dressing cupboard with a bottle of brandy, tactfully delivered specifically for him by the Saint, was a joyful conceit. “I’m going to pick up a girl,” explains the Saint, “and if you promise not to disturb me, I can offer you unlimited drinks at my expense.” The sergeant chuckles with undisguised glee, “Ah, Mr templar, If only everyone in the world was like you.”

    David Bauer’s abrasive Burt Northwade is a strong, bullish counterpoint to all this frivolity. On a OO7 note, Bauer moved to Britain following the McCarthy witch-hunts and had a long television and theatre career. He featured in almost all of ITC’s famous run of detective shows of the sixties and early seventies. Later he’d become famous in James Bond circles as shady Milton Slumber in Diamonds Are Forever. There’s also a scene in the hotel lobby reminiscent of George Lazenby where the saint enquires of the hotel receptionist the identity of the owner of a suspicious car, which happens to be driven by a young lady, the titular Judith.

    This episode doesn’t really do very much, but I enjoyed it immensely, chiefly because Julie Christie is in it. It has some swagger and suspense and entertains us. The robbery and the resolution is very old school Leslie Charteris’ style Saint, debonair and tense. The episode ends on a note of cautious intimate comprehension as Simon Templar recognises his adversary all along was a fellow gentleman crook.         

    Very good.


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff

    This may be of interest- (2) Something Spooky with THE SAINT Starring Roger Moore! - YouTube

    (Forgive me if it's come up before)

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,197MI6 Agent

    This was on Talking Pictures TV tonight (the weekday repeats lag behind a bit) and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's one of those where the Saint is in his element. Wasn't Nigel Davenport in Never Say Never Again or have I got that wrong? Maybe it was Ronald Pickup. Templer's speech is not far off what Sir Rog would do some decades later as member of UNICEF. Unlike his stunt in Golden Gun with the kid, there's nothing for him to be ashamed of.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent
    edited November 2022

    Holidays and funerals have been getting in the way of my critiques, so here we go, starting up again:


    SEASON 2

    1963

    4: Teresa

    W: John Kruse

    based on Teresa (a.k.a The Uncertain Widow) by Leslie Charteris featured in Saint Errant (1948)

    D: Roy Baker

    S: Lana Morris, Eric Pohlmann, Lawrence Dane

    Teresa is one of the adventures featured in Leslie Charteris’ first collection of U.S. based short stories featuring Simon Templar, Saint Errant, published in 1948. Even updated, the story shows its age, being more like a western than a modern-day thriller.

    Lana Morris plays Teresa Alvarez, a widow seeking the body of her dead husband. Rumours abound he never died, although the search for him has been called off by the police. Gaspar Alvarez was a political assassin and, having failed to kill the Mexican President, he vanished. However, it seems a few people may know of his possible whereabouts. One of them is Miguel Artigas, the famous trapeze artist and good friend of Simon Templar. During the annual fiesta – I don’t know which fiesta, but not the Day of the Dead – the circus is in town and Teresa tries to question Miguel. Before they can meet properly, someone shoots him during the trapeze act and he falls to his death, whispering a clue to the whereabouts of Teresa’s husband.

    Intrigued, Templar offers to help and the two take an extended road trip to the village of Quinta, trouble dogging them at every step, mostly due to the interference of Borota [Marne Maitland] who seems to be on an assassination mission of his own. Like all the best westerns there are murders, shoot outs, abandonments, rivalries, a hint of romance, a hint of sin, dirty cafes and bars, dusty hotels, a fist fight, runaway stage wagons – or in this case a car with its brakes cut – bandits, sheriffs, campfires and a showdown in the desert. It’s all rather comforting in its family-friendly fashion. Lawrence Dane is a bit over earnest as the rebel outlaw El Rojo. He and his gang really do look as if they’ve escaped from a TV western, all white trousers and jerkins, bullet belts and beards.

    Eric Pohlman cuts a better figure as the overweight policeman who pretends to be nothing more than a hotel concierge. His Casamegas is an amusing character. When we first meet him, he’s asleep and barely interested in the two new arrivals until the Saint is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Casamegas never leaves the hotel, where he gets drunk over dinner and attempts to console Teresa Alvarez, yet he has clearly passed instructions on to his officers in the nick of time for Templar to rescue her from danger. He knows more about El Rojo and Teresa’s history than he lets on too and follows the Saint and her from a discreet distance, his nice line in self-depreciating humour being possibly the sole reason to keep watching this episode. Eventually all three are holed up at the Hotel de Quinta. This is the same set used for the Hotel del Perla and the Cantina del Flores in The Pearls of Peace [Season 1: 7] and it’s got even more dingy than it was then. Even the front door and the plaza outside looks worse off. Nice recycling of sets though.

    Things don’t turn out too well for Teresa after this. Lana Morris has looked stunned throughout the whole production and she’s even more stricken at the show’s end. Roger Moore is admirable, but the acting honours are all Pohlman’s. Not a great episode. Not a disaster either.

    After Saint Errant, Charteris took a five-year break from writing about the Saint. When he returned, it was with a slew of short story collections, an era from which the majority of these early season episodes of The Saint are adapted.


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    5: The Elusive Ellshaw

    W: Harry W. Junkin

    based on The Elusive Ellshaw by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint Goes On (1934)

    D: John Moxey

    S: Angela Browne, Philip Bond, Norman Pitt, Richard Vernon, Philip Lathan

    A mystery adventure set in London and the Home Counties.

    Florrie Ellshaw has lost her husband. After an incident at work, she asks the Saint to investigate his disappearance on her behalf. Florrie vehemently believes she saw and spoke to Arthur Ellshaw. Simon Templar remains unconvinced, until he finds Florrie shot dead in her apartment. Inspector Teal [Norman Pitt, the third actor to portray the slightly bumbling cop] believes there is a link to a break in at Ripwell Manor, the estate of Florrie’s former employer. Millionaire heiress Anne Ripwell happens to be a friend of Templar’s. She is stunned to learn her father was the victim of an attempted murder. Intrigued, the Saint accompanies Anne to the Manor for a shooting weekend.

    Before he even arrives, the plot has thickened for the Saint. Sir John Ripwell [a fusty Richard Vernon] has been shot and injured while hunting partridges. The incident is a catalyst to a fractious series of confrontations, both personal and industrial. Skeletons fall out of closets. Many cigarettes are smoked. Many drinks are drunk. Every character comes under suspicion.

    Some neat playing just about keeps the adventure alive. Philip Bond’s alcoholic bad son, Kenneth Ripwell, is an over-the-top suspect; Angela Browne is functional as Anne. Browne made a small career out of guest roles in well-known T.V. dramas. She’s alright, just, as is everyone else. Unfortunately, a confused resolution doesn’t aid our overall enjoyment. The episode was based on a mid-1930s novella and its origins are exposed by the stilted narrative and simplistic motivations and reactions of the characters. The story just isn’t very interesting or modern.

    The early scenes show promise – the investigation of an empty house on Duchess Square was particularly gripping, with faint musical echoes of ‘The Saint Theme’ accompanying Templar’s snooping. I expected him to be startled by another interloper, but John Moxey’s direction ramps up the tension before gently deflating us. Later on he’s a trifle too orthodox. The sudden close-ups seem to annoy instead of invigorate. However, the climatic fight is worth waiting for, even if it starts with a missed punch.

    Once again, Roger Moore shines when turning the screw on his opponents. The notion he can’t play it tough is nonsense. These moments of anger and hard-headedness always bring to my mind his performance in The Man with the Golden Gun, where he delivers his most devious and devilish and downright nasty turn as OO7. That film tried to offset the callous streak with broad humour. It didn’t work. Here, on a lower scale but minus any attempts at mirth, Moore manages to offer an impersonation of a sceptical Simon Templar and the eventual forcefulness of his anger as he goads the revelations from the villains is a joy to behold. These little reminders that Moore wasn’t only a couple of raised eyebrows just makes me wish Sir Roger had taken himself more seriously as an actor, for the dramatic purpose is all in place.

    Ah, well…


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    6: Marcia

    W: Harry W. Junkin

    based on The Beauty Specialist by Leslie Charteris featured in The Ace of Knaves (1937)

    D: John Kirsch

    S: Samantha Eggar, Kenneth Mackintosh, Johnny Briggs

    Intrigue and mystery abound at a film studios following the death of film star Marcia Landon.

    A low-key, over-melodramatic affair with a few theatrical back stabbing asides for good authorial measure. A cheap one, utilising Elstree in the same way as Starring the Saint did a few chapters back. Johnny Briggs does a Mike Baldwin impression years before he debuted on Coronation Street. Samantha Eggar gets guest star billing and does decent work. For some reason Inspector Teal [who features in the original novella] becomes Philip Stone’s Inspector Carlton. Perhaps the writers thought another actor portraying the role would just confuse the audience.

    Overall, this is just about average.


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007 

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    7: The Work of Art

    W: Harry W. Junkin

    based on The Spanish War by Leslie Charteris featured in The Ace of Knaves (1937)

    D: Peter Yates

    S: Yolande Turner, Martin Benson

    Peter Yates gets more directing practise, but doesn’t do such a tight-knit job as he did on The Fellow Traveller [Season 2:1]. This time the Saint is in Paris, enjoying crepes and coffee at the Café Bleu while watching citizens being arrested: “Have you noticed how under the accusing eye of the law, the most innocent look the most guilty… Underneath the façade of gaiety simmers a brew of unrest.”

    Topically, the Saint is referring to the Algerian War and the subsequent tale which ensues, where the rebel Major Quintana [Martin Benson] is pursuing his sleeper agents for the profits of the forged U.S. Bearer Bonds he expected them to sell. Unfortunately, Jean Bougrenet [John Bailey] has neglected to do his duty and, fearing the worst, attempts to escape, stealing his business partner’s money in the process. Once Bougrenet is discovered dead, the finger of accusation points to Alex Scott’s dumb-founded Andre Grillot. Luckily, Grillot’s sister [Yolande Turner] is a fashion designer and a good friend of Simon Templar. The Saint’s contacts come in useful clearing her brother’s good name and her contacts come in useful for a distracting fancy dress party which confuses the French police. There’s a couple of fights and a few neat twists, nothing too taxing for our Saint.

    The imitation French accents are a trifle embarrassing. Hazel Hughes is splendid as an ancient art forger who Templar turns to for help. “You expect me to believe my favourite buccaneer has become respectable?” she titters. They must have had previous – perhaps during the war when Templar was in the Resistance [see The Covetous Headsman, Season 1:4]. Hughes is quite glorious, even with her dreadful accent: “In sixty years I’ve only made one mistake: my husband.” She reminded me of the batty old dear in the four poster bed in the BBC’s wartime sitcom Allo Allo. Humour like this is badly needed to support a rather sullen episode. The police inspector provides the Saint with a watchman, much how he received one in Quebec [see Judith, Season 2:3]. This poor man is driven to distraction by a blonde floozy at Templar’s crowded, boozy party. June Smith is suitably bubbly, but Robert Cawdron is too serious as Sgt Luduc.

    There were a few nice touches. For instance, I liked that Quintana’s chateau is conspicuously empty of ornaments, books and art, just a few paintings, as if he’s preparing to ship out [he is]. The resolution though is relatively easy.

    Not a bad effort, although the scripting needs more of a polish. This is the fifth instalment Harry W. Junkin has penned this season and the frays are starting to show at the edges. 


    For other threads about The Saint in the sixties see:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007 

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    Continuing my occasional updates on all episodes Saint-wise from the sixties...

    SEASON 2

    1963

    8: Iris

    W: Bill Strutton

    based on Iris (a.k.a The Old Routine) by Leslie Charteris featured in Saint Errant (1948)

    D: John Gilling

    S: Barbara Murray, David Bauer, Cyril Luckham, April Wilding, Ferdy Mayne

    These episodes are already getting repetitive and I’m not even watching them back to back, just one a week like the good old days. This time we have Simon Templar being disparaging about a play called The Last Exit [apt for some of the characters] which his latest youthful squeeze is rehearsing. He really dislikes it, as does almost everyone else except for young Mary Hardy [April Wilding] whose father is the ex-partner of the play’s primary sponsor, a gangster named Rick Lansing. This kicks us off right where the Season One opener The Talented Husband did, with a terrible play, and where Marcia [S 2: 6] led us to a cast and crew of suspects. Blackmail also rears its head as does extortion and the death of an uncooperative victim [see 1: 11 The Lucky Gambler amongst others].

    David Bauer’s gangland boss Rick Lansing certainly deserves his comeuppance, but he isn’t the only culprit of this devious little number which becomes increasingly obvious the longer it proceeds. There is a huge dialogue plot hole regarding Lansing’s behaviour: thinking he’s been outwitted by the Saint, his instructions to recover £10k completely contradict those he earlier issued to his lieutenants, when he effectively wrote off the payment if his thugs lost it. Bauer, back after his sterling work in The Element of Doubt [Season 1: 8], is always a serviceable and distinctly unpleasant character actor. He had a good TV career playing this sort of baddie, and a few goodies of equal voracity. He makes Lansing thoroughly dislikeable, an arrogant, rude, lecherous extortionist. Camped in his large office, equipped with a phone recording device and a dumb secretary who he leers at as she sashays around in tight skirts dusting up her own fag ash, he plots the downfall of a poor newsagent proprietor – only when an accidental death occurs someone decides to wreak a smart piece of revenge. Enter the Saint, first accused, then abused, then the knight in shining armour.

    A tidy little number which starts off a bit in your face; the argument between the warring Lansing’s is framed in nearer and nearer close-ups. They’re virtually spitting out of the screen. Later on Lansing humiliates his wife at a cast party and then has the temerity to say: “Don’t break up the party because of me...” This is more symptom of the poor screenplay, which is functional at best. Writer Bill Strutton had a lot of experience, but even he’s come a bit unstuck adapting this Leslie Charteris short story. For instance, a whole scene is peppered over and over with the introductory phrase “May I present…”

    The designers trash Templar’s apartment for a fight scene. The Lansing’s pad appears to be a fifties council new build, but is about as palatial, spacious and well-appointed as you can imagine. There are a few nice exterior shots of Kensington High Street before it got overrun by fashion emporiums and Battersea Park features at the climax.

    A standard ‘going nowhere’ episode, enlivened by David Bauer. 

        

    For other reviews and responses on The Saint:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

     

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    9: The King of Beggars

    W: John Gilling

    based on The King of Beggars by Leslie Charteris featured in Call for the Saint (1948)

    D: John Gilling

    S: Maxine Audley, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Warren Mitchell

    “Rome… a city of tremendous contrasts. On the one side, you have the high society, La Dolce Vita, the kick set, in short: the rich. People with so much money they hardly know what to do with it. And on the other side, you have the poor. People with no future, no hope and no money, so poor that they have to beg.”

    So begins The King of Beggars, a sterling entry into the second season, an episode packed full of good performances and a neat twist to its ending which I never saw coming. To be brutally fair, it isn’t an over interesting story and is almost too complicated for its own good, including scenes which don’t make a lot of sense – for instance, at one point Simon Templar is drugged and kidnapped when it ought to be easier and more efficient to kill him – but we are used to this kind of unreality from James Bond.

    When a blind beggar is killed in a motoring accident, but by a car suspiciously sporting no number plates, the Saint, a witness to the atrocity, decides to investigate further the underground lodge known as the Beggar’s Protection League, which is in fact a profiteering racket run by some seedy lowlifes, among them a brooding Oliver Reed and a grossly overweight Jessie Robins. The Saint realises there is a connection to the businessman and famous philanthropist Stephen Eliot [John McLaren] because the Protection League uses buildings owned by Eliot to house its troop of beggars. Half of the poor men’s takings go to the League. I say men, there is one woman noticeable in a group scene and Templar’s suspicions are aroused by a female beggar, but otherwise it seems to be a gender specific trade. Helping Templar in his investigations are the actress Theresa Montania [Yvonne Romain] and the irrepressibly indignant taxi driver Marco di Chesari [Warren Mitchell] – “You’ve been in Rome one week and you haven’t asked for my service? What have you been doing?” I enjoy Moore and Mitchell’s double act, by far the best of his sparing partners.

    Writer / director John Gilling makes a fair dash of things. There are several action sequences and plenty of snappy dialogue to keep us entertained. He also makes a good contrast between Eliot’s splendid apartment where he hosts an extravagant cocktail party and the dingy hostel the beggars inhabit. Never has the contrast between rich and poor been so obvious. They even have to reuse sets from previous episodes – the doorway to the Hotel de Flores reappears again as an entrance to a secret cellar where the King of Beggars does his recruitment. This shadowy figure is a virtual unknown, to the police and to the Beggar’s League and even Simon Templar seems baffled for most of the case. I’m not even certain if, during the reveal, he hasn’t worked it out at just that very moment and was merely stalling as he floundered in the dark, chasing red herrings and kidnappers.

    Oliver Reed is good – but then brooding villains and brooding goodies were his forte – and Jessie Robins is a more than adequate sidekick in dastardliness. The monologue she delivers while drugging the Saint with a mug of hot chocolate was utterly brilliant; later she wrestles Yvonne Romain to prevent an escape as if she’s a female version of Oddjob. Marvellous stuff and quite unexpected. This is a very dark episode, where many expectations are turned on their head, people are killed, dosed, intimidated, tortured and beaten up. I’m not sure The Saint has ever been quite this bleak. Roger Moore plays it remarkably straight, staring icily down the camera lens on a couple of occasions. He even takes part in that very close to the edge interrogation, with Warren Mitchell wielding pliers to remove teeth, nails or eyes. It’s played a little for laughs, but the poor victim can’t figure out if the twosome are serious or not, confusion and fear etched on his features. And then, later confronted by the possibility of meeting his nemesis, Templar describes the King “as coldly evil as a levelled gun barrel.”

    For those with swift and sharp eyes, Ronnie Corbett crops up as a Call Boy in a theatre show and shares a scene with Sir Roger where their height difference looks simply enormous.

    An above average episode with some good social comment as well as an intriguing, if slightly unlikely, narrative and resolution. 


    For other reviews and responses on The Saint:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,131MI6 Agent

    SEASON 2

    1963

    10: The Rough Diamonds

    W: Bill Strutton

    based on The Black Market by Leslie Charteris featured in The Saint On Guard (1945)

    D: Peter Yates

    S: Douglas Wilmer

    Another Peter Yates slug fest, with Simon Templar thwarting a gang of jewel thieves nominally led by snidey Paul Stassino and featuring Geoffrey Palmer as one of his assistants, smoking and acting as common as muck. Douglas Wilmer crops up also as Alan Uttershaw, a diamond shipper who happens to be a good friend of Simon Templar. He played a similar role in Octopussy as the antiques expert Jim Fanning. So we’ve got three Bond supporting players in this one. The rest of the cast isn’t particularly noteworthy. The philandering wife of an arrogant insurance broker was a choice role for Vanda Godsell and she plays it to the nines, teasing her dance instructor boyfriend and propositioning the Saint with a boldness unusual for television in 1963. Templar displays minimal interest. Instead he chooses to pursue Barbara Sinclair [Jemma Hyde], a pretty secretary who appears to live a life far beyond her means. But which of these suspects is the real mastermind behind the diamond heist?

    A simple story, given moments of flair and a few tough-love speeches from the Saint. His preamble soliloquy extols the virtues of the precious stones as well as the shortcomings of those who live off their wealth: “Diamonds… strong and tough and hard, like the men who deal with them.” The Saint of course turns out to be equally strong and tough and very rough indeed, whether it’s via his tongue or his fists. Sporadic action keeps us interested once the plot starts to wane, which is about the time the whereabouts of the missing diamonds switches from location to location for no discernible reason. Night-time shots of London, including Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street and the Hyde Park Underpass are neatly inserted and there’s a good daytime chase around early sixties London. Barbara’s apartment appears to be in Oslo Court, St John’s Wood.

    Everything ends most satisfactorily.

    The Rough Diamonds, along with The Fellow Traveller [Season 2:1] which was adapted from Leslie Charteris’ The Sizzling Saboteur, came from the two-story collection The Saint On Guard, which makes that book the first of the published novels / novellas to be fully adapted.  


    For other reviews and responses on The Saint:

    Recommend "The Saint" or not? — ajb007

    ITV's The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Saint, Return Of The Saint — ajb007

    Roger Moore and The Saint Series — ajb007

    Leslie Charteris's The Saint/Simon Templar Discussion Thread — ajb007  

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 5,983MI6 Agent

    Totally irrelevant but the restaurant at Oslo Court, on the ground floor of a block of flats, is extraordinary good, I’ve been a few times and Anne Robinson was on the next table. It really is an odd place to have a restaurant but apparently that sort of thing was popular back in the day but I think Oslo Court is the last one of its kind.

    The King Of Beggars episode is a good one, nice reviews @chrisno1

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,197MI6 Agent

    I suppose most of these episodes can be seen on Talking Pictures TV Encore - a sort of catch-up channel. I dip into their re-runs from time to time. From what I've seen, Roger Moore was either being paid too much or not enough. While all begin with his cool introduction and a halo above his head, then a brief credits - only just realised its odd theme is meant to be a spin on some kind of church-like saintliness - the next 15 mins don't feature Rog at all and often are based on a set up of some criminal scenario which he then emerges to put right. Perhaps I'm not always in the right mood but some are rather involved rather than involving. However, when Moore arrives in his handsome mode suddenly we get a bit of five-star glamour and it pulls together.

    One imagines that today every stately home would have a WhatsApp group that sounds an alert whenever Templer's white Volvo is seen in the vicinity.

    It's fun as @chrisno1 points out to spot the Bond co-stars. One episode about resurgent Nazis in London and the shires had two in the pre-credits - along with Moore we had Robert Brown who went on to play M, in fact some of their scenes in a car discussing the case anticipated those in Berlin in Octopussy 20 years later, and the actor who played Peter Franks as a bodyguard. Later we had Professor Metz and to top it all, baldy John Hollis who I understand was Blofeld in the pre-credits of FYEO.

    The one the following week dealt with local authority corruption, a matter close to my heart! It had shots of the south coast near Brighton and then a village very similarly named to Saltdean, like Saltendean or something! Surprised they didn't get sued but the shots of the town were certainly not Saltdean, which to this day is an uphill road with a cluster of shops on each side, and not a bustling town.

    Moore really was a good actor in these, I think he was trying something different with Bond or maybe he was out of practice. I don't think he actually cared for the character - I'm not sure you ever see Templer fire a gun or make it land, like Macnee who didn't want Steed to fire a gun, I don't think either actor cared for the sex and violence fashionable in the 60s.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,886MI6 Agent

    napster said:

    I suppose most of these episodes can be seen on Talking Pictures TV Encore - a sort of catch-up channel. I dip into their re-runs from time to time.

    _______________________

    I've never figured out f anybody can see this site except me, but Shout! Factory TV has almost the complete run of the Saint available for free streaming, The Fiction Makers is found elsewhere on the same site, grouped with other movies, and I don't think they have Vendetta for the Saint.

    according to Wikipedia, Shout! Factory TV currently has the North American rights to Lew Grade's ITC stuff. Danger Man and The Prisoner are also on that site as well as Gerry Andersons various shows. But no Avengers, I guess because that wasn't ITC.

    hopefully someone else can make use of that site and can watch these episodes Chris is telling us all about!

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