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Trivia / The Saint

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The books

  • Approval of God: Leslie Charteris was pleased with the casting of Ian Ogilvy in Return of the Saint and Simon Dutton in the short-lived 1989 series.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: While Leslie Charteris remarked that "The Pearls of Peace", which appeared in Senor Saint was his favorite Saint story, he chose to include "The Arrow of God" when asked for his "best" work for the 1955 book, "My Best Murder Story", edited by David Cooke.
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  • Disowned Adaptation: Leslie Charteris disliked the 1940s films due to the amount of liberties taken with the scripts and he felt that George Sanders was miscast. He felt the same about Louis Howard in The Saint in New York.
  • What Could Have Been: Charteris suggested such actors as Ronald Colman, Cary Grant, or Douglas Fairbanks Jr. would have been good picks for the Saint.

The TV Series

  • Approval of God: Leslie Chateris was very pleased with Roger Moore, saying that he was by far the best Saint, but that he looked much more like the Saint in the early books rather than the ones from the 1950's and 60's.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Roger Moore was a fan of the books and was excited to play Simon Templar. Prior to this show, he'd even tried to buy the rights to the stories himself so he could produce his own version.
  • California Doubling: In order to save on productions costs, British locations were substituted for some of the exotic locations.
    • Even though the Two-Part Episode "Vendetta for the Saint" was set in Italy, production on location took place in Malta.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Roger Moore did several episodes (and as pretty much the only regular cast member, he's the only candidate here).
  • Disowned Adaptation: To hit the hour-long runtime, some of Charteris' stories would have extra plot or Padding (all the black-and-white episodes are based on short stories, novellas or even novels; the colour episodes featured more original scripts, but some were still based on published works). Harry Junkin, the script editor, would find that Charteris had left notes on the scripts saying "Fit for junkin".
    • Despite this, however, Charteris would later oversee the novelisations of several TV episodes, which would be written by staff writers but published (initially) under Charteris' name.
  • Fake American: In a very early episode, Simon Templar has to rescue a kidnapped American girl in Rome. Said girl, played by English actress Sally Bazely, is the definition of Not Even Bothering with the Accent.
  • Fake Nationality: Julie Christie guest-starred in "Judith" as a Canadian woman.
  • Missing Episode: The 47 colour episodes show up much more often in syndication (on British TV, anyway) than the 71 black-and-white ones. (However, the entire series is available on DVD.)
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  • Old Shame: Peter Wyngarde was embarrassed about his guest role in "The Gadic Collection" as villainous Turk in brownface. In Channel 4's It Was Alright in the 1960s, he said that he was against the idea, but relented, as he hoped it would lead to him playing Othello.
  • Overtook the Manga: By the time the series went to colour, most of the original stories had been adapted and with the contract running down, ATV-ITC penned a new contract to continue the series with newly created stories that Leslie Charteris had the right to request any changes he wanted. The producers had to submit the stories to Charteris, but they were not legally obligated to take any of his advice — advice that they were paying him a steep consulting fee for.
  • The Other Darrin: Chief Inspector Teal, the only character from the Charteris works other than guess who to appear on a recurring basis, was recast three times before settling on Ivor Dean to play the role.
  • Real Life Writes the Hairstyle: Roger Moore wore a hairpiece for the series because the producers wanted Simon Templar to have a 1940s look.
  • Recast as a Regular: Ivor Dean appeared as a villain in "Starring the Saint" before becoming the third and final actor to play Inspector Teal.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Many comic strip arcs and TV episodes received prose adaptations by Leslie Charteris and other writers. These adaptations fit into the Saint's literary continuity. Examples include "The Saint in Trouble" (has a footnote to the events of "The Last Hero") and "Salvage for the Saint".
  • Recycled Script: "The Invisible Millionaire" has a similar plot to The Avengers (1960s) episode "Death of a Great Dane", in which a millionaire dies and his employees keep everything running as normal, allowing them to sell off his assets.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Actor and stand-up comedian Mike Reid (best known as Frank Butcher in Eastenders) was fired from his role as Roger Moore's underwater stunt double after making fun of the actor's thinning hair.
  • Scully Box: Roger Moore wore lifts and a hairpiece to play Simon Templar.
  • Star-Making Role: For Roger Moore.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Leslie Charteris originally wanted David Niven to star as Simon Templar. Patrick McGoohan was offered the role, but turned it down.
    • Charteris wanted the series to reveal the source of Simon's wealth.
    • The Saint's car would have been a Jaguar E-type, but the company refused.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Robert S. Ward recalled:
    But by the time we came to the end of the series we were often writing the scenes in the office and sending them straight down to the floor to shoot.[...] One of the last episodes we did, "Island of Chance", Harry [Junkin] was practically finishing off the script as they shot it downstairs. In the story the three characters were wandering through caves and one of them says, 'What's that I smell?' I wrote back, 'It's the script!' gave it to Harry and he cracked up.


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