6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
You must be the famous Simon Templar...,
This review is from: The Saint - The Complete Colour Series (14 Disc Box Set) [DVD] (DVD)
The 47 episodes contained in the COMPLETE COLOUR SERIES take an awful lot of commitment of your time to get through (though obviously not nearly as much the further 71 featured in the COMPLETE MONOCHROME SERIES box) and as to whether you can really be bothered to will rather depend on quite how much you love the series.
THE SAINT is one of those rather frustrating series that can be both a little bit brilliant and a little bit awful at the same time but is always at the very least entertaining and when it's good, it's very good indeed. Of course, it dates from simpler times, so the storytelling is usually pretty straightforward as it comes from the days before ongoing story arcs became so popular in television action dramas, so every story is pretty self-contained and can stand alone if you're just in the mood for (just under) an hour of thrills and adventure, but of course this means that every episode has to stand or fall on its individual merits and some are obviously better than others.
The ITC stable gave us many fine action/adventure series of a type no longer really made for modern audiences, but THE SAINT was pretty much the pick of the bunch. Of course, certain aspects of the show have seriously dated. The roles of women and foreigners are fairly typical of that era and may grate to modern sensibilities, and the world of the rich and wealthy that Mr Templar breezes through is probably lost forever (if it ever really existed at all). There is the occasional tendency towards the smug or the glib, but overall there's a real sense of charm if you look for it.
The production is all on film and despite a lot of it being studio based there's a fair amount of location work too, although the extensive use of stock footage to represent the foreign locations does have to be glossed over in order to enjoy the stories fully, but, if you approach these episodes with an open mind, you'll find a lot to enjoy here.
Roger Moore can be a very underrated actor, but he was almost born to play Simon Templar, and, as the other actors who have tried to follow in his footsteps have shown, nailed it completely, and played it absolutely pitch perfect, despite being quite far removed from the character in the books. Anyone who might have an attempt at playing Templar nowadays should really just try and be Roger Moore because, like Patrick MacNee as John Steed, it's just perfect casting that really can't be bettered. (Mr Moore, of course, also owns a part share in the colour series, having been one of the co-producers back in the day).
There's a whole galaxy of guest stars forming pretty much a cross section of the cream of British acting talent from the 1960s, including some of the most iconic actors and actresses there have ever been, sometimes in very early roles. Occasionally they turn up again playing different roles a mere handful of episodes apart. Anyone who was anyone back than, it seems, appeared in THE SAINT.
Extras include a lengthy documentary, commentaries on some key episodes and the cinema release versions of certain stories, as well as other bits and pieces in a rather exhaustive and well produced release.
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