Stepping into the role of Leslie Charteris' "modern-day Robin Hood" Simon Templar (formerly played in films by smoothies like George Sanders), Roger Moore swiftly struck the right poses, adding a raised eyebrow to the character's established trademarks--a stick figure with halo, a whistled theme (co-composed by Charteris himself) and a quixotic commitment to adventure rather than decency. More clean-cut than the vigilante of the novels, Moore's Templar is a reformed thief (with an accent on reformed) whose adventures invariably involve a beautiful girl in trouble,... an exotic locale established by stock shots and pantomime-level barroom sets with revolving fans on the ceiling, and "foreign" villains, played by familiar British character actors in false moustaches. The Saint ran from 1962 to 1969. Connoisseurs reckon the earlier, black and white shows are superior to the later colour seasons. From 1979 to 1980, there was a follow-up, The Return of the Saint, in which sufficiently ironic Ian Ogilvy donned Templar's polo neck, but the format seemed outmoded in comparison with The Sweeney and The Professionals. Volume One contains: "The Talented Husband" in which a playwright is found dead in suspicious circumstances, with guest star Shirley (Goldfinger) Eaton; and "The Latin Touch" which concerns a kidnapping in Rome, with Suzan Farmer and Warren (Alf Garnett) Mitchell. --Kim Newman [show more]
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