The Saint: The Complete Colour Series


Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

Roger Moore is Simon Templar, The Saint, an early freelance James Bond. As we're told every episode, just before the opening titles roll, he's infamous, nefarious, death-defying - or some other shoe-horned adjective.

I'm afraid the Sixties action shows largely blend into one for me. Off the top of my head, I'd be hard pushed to tell you the difference between The Avengers, The Persuaders, The Professionals, The 1964 Tokyo Olympics, The Saint and The Champions. Bad guys do something bad, good guys save the day. See you next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel. Even after watching the first 49 colour episodes of The Saint, my opinion of it hasn't risen beyond it being mild action/adventure by numbers. Which isn't to say it's not enjoyable, because it is. There's nothing very substantive, that's all.

The acting wavers between ham and cheese. It can be unintentionally funny - Tommy Duggan as Kovicek in the episode Flight Plan has to be seen to be believed. Put The Saint on TV on a wet Saturday afternoon and it's as good a way to kill time as any. Enjoy the hour of shenanigans and inoffensive punch-ups, laugh once or twice, and don't feel guilty that you didn't have anything better to do.

Because Simon Templar is somehow good at everything, the plots take him into a lot of different worlds. One episode, he'll be fighting spies, the next racing cars and the next trying to prevent giant ants from taking over the world - forgive the lack of detailed critical analysis, but that episode totally sucked).

The relative success of the episodes doesn't come down to acting, script or direction. Despite the many different people involved, a comfortable standard is maintained throughout. It boils down to the plot, and how satisfying it is. Of all the episodes here, Death Game stands out, because it takes an interesting idea and builds on it.

When The Haloed One is doing battle with interchangeable baddies, episode after episode, there is a temptation to go for a long walk in the rain.

Reviewed on: 08 May 2006
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The Saint: The Complete Colour Series packshot
An early freelance James Bond in lightweight, adventurous, TV-sized chunks.
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Director: various

Writer: various, based on the novels by Leslie Charteris

Starring: Roger Moore, Francesca Annis, Ronnie Barker, Barry Morse, Edward Woodward, Kate O'Mara, Stephanie Beacham

Year: 1966

Runtime: 2550 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK


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