26 July 2002 | raysond
The original 60's secret agent show
Long before the forefront of future spy shows that included "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.","The Avengers","I Spy" and other that were to follow it respectfully,"The Saint",was the first and foremost the originator of the spy series and to this day it has a huge loyal following as well as to become one of the most influential TV spy shows of the 1960's and it continues that format in repeats in some markets around the country. The reason why the show became very successful when it debuted on British television on October 4,1962 and later the next year on American television(where it was originally shown for national syndication on September 19,1963)where it remained in syndication of all of the 71 black and white episodes until May 17,1966 for American television. By September 30,1966 the color episodes of "The Saint" produced 47 episodes until its series finale on March 15,1969. NBC-TV picked up the series on May 17,1967 and ran most of the color episodes until March 15,1969. A total of 118 episodes were produced for New World Productions and ITC (Incorporated Television Company Ltd.)where the series was filmed at Shepperton Studios in London.
What made "The Saint" such a prime asset that made the show shined out was the British actor Roger Moore(who was also starred in "The Alaskans",and "Maverick" during the time that series which he starred opposite James Garner went off the air during the 62' season). Moore's characterization as the international man of mystery Simon Templar(who was a secret agent for his Majesty's secret service) was very suave and elegant and had a sense of style and grace in every scene in did,but there were times when our hero was in great danger from enemy agents and trying to rescue some lady from the evil clutches or himself from a certain fate.
Roger Moore was the master at what he did on that show and he was a genius with it. After "The Saint" television series went off the air in 1969, Roger Moore teamed up with Tony Curtis for the short-lived series "The Professionals",also produced by ITC Television for the ABC-TV network. It was no wonder that after the series went off the air in 1972,Roger Moore was picked to replaced Sean Connery as James Bond,and he shows that in this classic espionage series. However,there were two movies that were based on this series that were shown in theatres while the series was still on the air during its six year run from 1962 to 1969...."Vandetta For The Saint"(1967),and "Revenge Of The Saint"(1969) which starred both Roger Moore. By 1997,almost 28 years after the original "Saint" television series left the air,a big screen version of "The Saint" roared into theatres starring Val Kilmer. Great Entertainment at its finest that will live on forever as a cult favorite.