Intrepid adventurer. Con-man and detective. Infamous man of mystery. The dashing, dangerous, and irrepressible Simon Templar is played by Roger Moore in this black-and-white television series of suspense and excitement. (Seasons 5 and 6 were shot in color.)
A little lacking in the luster, you say? Paltry in comparison to its peers? Nevertheless, these puzzle-packed episodes of action and glamor have plenty to offer the thrill-seeker.
I Say, A Tad “On the Nose”, What?
Perhaps Simon Templar’s adventures are a little of the pulp-fiction variety. As my mom said, the plots he unravels aren’t so bafflingly complex as Mission: Impossible.
And it’s true he breaks the forth wall every episode as he introduces the audience to his locale, perhaps philosophizing on his surroundings. In the intro segment, someone always says his name, and a little halo appears above his head…to indicate his moniker “The Saint”. By the third and fourth seasons, Simon is tired of this repeated performance, and glances wryly above his head as it appears. Why, if you looked hard enough, you might be able to see the characters roll their eyes as they work each episode’s title into the dialogue at the conclusion.
Is it campy that the villains always recognize this man, and darkly threaten his life to one another as the episode progresses? Is it tiresome that gorgeous, wealthy girls are always throwing themselves at him? And that his name and face are only as well-known as the episode needs them to be?
But this is not about deep, meaningful plots and intricate mysteries. This is about cool fight sequences and smashed crockery…kissing beautiful women and chasing around in 1950s cars…and, of course, Roger Moore’s hair.
If you didn’t want James Bond Lite, go listen to NPR or something. We’re busy here.
Dashing Good Show, Old Boy
If every police chief in the world warns you to behave yourself…if you can afford the ritziest restaurant on the Riviera and are personal friends with half the elite hotel-owners around the world…if beautiful and troubled girls seem to cross your path at every turn…
Well, then, why not pursue your curiosity about whatever strange events happen to unfold around you?
Revel in intricate heists. Suffer succulent double-crosses. Defeat cold-blooded black-mailers. Catch murderers and terrorists.
Watch, transfixed, as Simon counters knives, garrots, and grapples with his bare hands, using only his +13 Dodge ability. Then, watch him counter axes, spears, bottles, and other improvised weapons with chairs, tables, books, and other smash-able fixtures and furniture! (Interspersed, of course, with gun-battles.)
Watch as his perfect hair gets tousled in the heat of combat. Then see him emerge victorious. (Usually.)
The show would probably earn a PG-13 from the smoking alone, never mind all the consumption of alcoholic beverages. This is a show to shock your 1950s sensibilities!
But the twists are predictably thrilling. The Girl is usually innocent…but sometimes (gasp) she isn’t!
For those of us who like our soda Caffeine-free Diet – who want an adventure show that’s sweet and also calorie-free – check out this blast-from-the-past, this relic for the ages!
Try out The Saint!
Title card is from Wikipedia.
Check it out on Amazon (Seasons 1&2 here).
Kimia Wood lives with her family somewhere in the American midwest, bracing for the collapse of society by baking, knitting, hobby-farming, writing, and reading as much Twitter as possible before the web goes dark.
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