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The Saint (ITV Adventure, Roger Moore)



The Saint ITV Action, Roger Moore

Action adventure series The Saint was made by ITC (the Lew Grade company responsible for a whole raft of classics – Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Man in a Suitcase, Thriller) and hit the air in 1962 with Roger “Eyebrow” Moore as Simon Templar aka The Saint. It proved an immediate hit, although of course the character had been around since the 1930’s both as a series of novels and a series of second feature Hollywood movies (with debonair George Sanders as The Saint).

All of the original black and white Saint episodes were based on original Charteris stories (one of the proviso’s of Charteris agreeing to the series being made) and Simon Templar managed to find adventure and intrigue wherever in the world he went (although being ITC and 1960’s TV most of these exotic locales consisted of library footage and studio sets – all of which just adds to the charm) and drove a white Volvo P1800 (number plate ST1).

Memorable moments
Look out for a guest appearance by Honor Blackman in the episode The Arrow of God. The actress, of course, went on to appear as one of the most famous Bond girls, Pussy Galore, in 1964’s Goldfinger. She starred opposite Moore’s 007 predecessor Sean Connery. Each episode features a stunning actress and the roll call of glamour includes Francesca Annis, Jane Asher, Julie Christie, Nanette Newman and Nyree Dawn Porter.

Roger Moore turned down the offer to play James Bond twice, due to his filming commitments on The Saint. He finally made his Bond debut in 1973’s Live and Let Die. Moore also directed several episodes of the later series of The Saint.

Val Kilmer played Simon Templar in the 1997 Hollywood movie version of The Saint, with Roger Moore making a brief appearance in the film – speaking on a car radio.

Ian Ogilvy, who bore a striking resemblance to Moore, took over the role of Templar when the series was revived in 1978, called Return of the Saint. The series was revived again very briefly in 1989 with Simon Dutton as the Saint.

Did you know?
The character first appeared in print in 1928 and became a hit in comics, the radio and then film. George Sanders played him on the big screen. Charteris tried to make his own TV series with movie superstar David Niven in the role.

Cast: Roger Moore as Simon Templar

Creator: Leslie Charteris / Producers: Robert S. Baker, Monty Norman

USA / ITV – ATV – ITC / 114×60 minute episodes ( 71 episodes black and white 43 episodes colour) / Broadcast 1962 – 1969