Thursday, July 16, 2009


The Saint was a long-running ITC mystery spy thriller, airing in Britain on ITV between 1962 and 1969. It centered on the Leslie Charteris literary character, Simon Templar—a Robin Hood-like adventurer with a penchant for disguise. Because of the strong American performance of the initial black-and-white seasons in first-run syndication, NBC picked up the show as a summer replacement on its evening schedule in 1966. Thus, the programme ended its run with both trans-Atlantic prime time scheduling and colour episodes. It also proved popular beyond America and Britain, eventually premiering in over 60 countries. With almost 120 episodes, the programme is exceeded only by The Avengers as the most productive show of its genre produced in Britain.

The Saint starred Roger Moore as Simon Templar, The first series was in black and white. The fictional detective was created by Leslie Charteris in the 1920s and featured in many novels and novellas over the years. Moore drove a white Volvo P1800 during the series. Moore's portrayal of Templar was considered a training ground for his later work as James Bond. He was reportedly offered the role of 007 at least twice during the run of the series, but had to turn it down both times due to his television commitments. In one early episode of the series, a character actually mistakes Templar for James Bond. [wikipedia]

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