THE SAINT: SET 1
Simply put, The Saint is James Bond on a drastically smaller scale and budget. Simon Templar is an everyman in that there's nothing he cannot do in the way of the extraordinary including, finding his way into and/or finding his way out of any and every situation. In every episode he recognizes a problem before anyone else does and then jumps into the fray to fix whatever's wrong while making sure as not to muss his hair or, even break a sweat. The Saint has its origins in the popular mystery magazines of the 1920's, Black Mask, Double Detective and Ellery Queen Mystery. Then came a slew of books before George Sanders donned the halo for a string of B-movies in the 1940's. None other than the eloquent yet deliciously gruesome and menacing Vincent Price was the voice of The Saint on the radio and a newspaper strip ran alongside Dick Tracy. But it was Roger Moore who truly immortalized Simon Templar in the 1960's British Television series. Included in this two disc set are six episodes of the 1966-67 season. Presented in not only their original broadcast order but in color as well. The 1966-67 season was the first time The Saint was to appear in color! Talk about addictions. The Saint is a series that once viewed becomes a must have. I'm a huge James Bond fan and the combination of Roger Moore in a Bond-esque role is definitely up my alley. The Saint is an excellent series that while well over 35 years old, still delivers and excellent storyline and execution!
Sight and Sound...
The Saint is presented in a mono platform that spreads its information across the right and left fronts (inc. The center channel) The dialogue is easily understood and adequately presents the film's aural texturing. The video is a full frame presentation that bears the markings of its age in the way of scratches and pixellation. It should be noted that these items are not distracting and do not detract from the presentation. The colors are still rather vibrant and the saturation levels go from good to fair. In all a decent audio/video experience.
The Queen's Ransom. After Simon saves the life of a deposed leader, he's enlisted to accompany the King's wife to France in order to recover $5 million in jewels. Forces that are intent on keeping the leader out of power stop at nothing in their attempts to hi-jack the jewel shipment and exterminate Templar and his upper crusty charge. Location: Monte Carlo
Interlude in Venice. A young and rich American girl finds herself in the middle of a scam to extort money from her father and Simon intervenes to protect both the young girl and her father's wealth. This episode actually played a lot like a Bond film as it boasts Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny) in the role of the girl's Step-mother as well as a familiar villainous face from the Bond film Thunderball. Location: Venice, Italy
The Russian Prisoner. Again, Simon finds himself in the middle of something he never intended to get involved with. On location in Geneva, Switzerland, a Russian scientist looking to defect to the West ends up with Templar. Their mission is to meet with the Scientists' daughter and claim sanctuary. However, the Russians are well aware of his intentions and do all they can to thwart the defection right up until the very end. Location: Geneva, Switzerland
The Reluctant Revolution. In an attempt to correct a wrong done many years prior, Simon becomes involved in the political miasma of Brazil and attempts to aid those would overthrow the evil dictator currently in charge. Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Helpful Pirate. A scam runs out of control when the intended victim is a leading scientist in the field of lasers. Simon is employed to sort out the riddle of the Helpful Pirate and restore order to the scientific world. Location: Hamburg, Germany
The Convenient Monster. Everyone's favorite denizen of the deep is center stage in this episode where, every sighting of Nessie appears to cover up a viper's nest of dark secrets and dastardly deeds. Location: Loch Ness, Scotland.
The only extras included in the set are the trailers for each episode as well as a biography/filmography segment on Roger Moore.
Having seen only glimpses of The Saint, this was my first experience with the series so intact. I have to say that it's a really great series that looks very good on DVD and has made me an ardent fan. If you enjoy subterfuge, political intrigue, and good old knock down drag out fights, The Saint is your cup of tea! Or if you just enjoy Roger Moore in a role so similar to that which defined his career, definitely check this set out.