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YMMV / The Saint

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The Books

  • Anvilicious: A scene where Simon Templar rescues the daughter of a Jewish financier is followed by a paragraph in which anti-semitism and Nazism are denounced in the bluntest possible terms. It's totally out of place in the novel, but remains an extraordinary (for its time—the novel was written in 1935) and necessary warning of the evils of Nazi Germany.
  • Bizarro Episode:The Man Who Liked Ants which features The Saint stopping world domination by ants. Seriously. A Mad Scientist breeds ants to grow in size and intelligence, believing them to be a 'purer' and more admirable life form cheated out of its glory by the evolution of fallible and in-fighting prone humanity. Templar kills the ant queen and her nest before it can hatch. It's also a weird episode, because it's one of the few times you actually see Templar afraid and briefly has the heebie-jeebies about insects for a little while following it.
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  • Fair for Its Day: Compared to his British (roughly) contemporaries Bulldog Drummond and Richard Hannay, Simon Templar is astonishingly forward-thinking in terms of ethnicity. This doubtless can be traced to Charteris' own Asian-European heritage. There are only a couple of times in the entire Charteris-written oeuvre that any positive character uses an ethnic slur, and each time Charteris is careful to point out that said character is reacting from their upbringing, not their conviction. Charteris is equally forward-thinking in portraying Patricia and Simon's relationship. At a time when American adventure heroes had to settle for "constant companion" Margo Lane or "fiancee" Nita Van Sloan, Pat & Simon are clearly living together; while their sexual relationship is never discussed in detail, it is made quite clear that they are lovers, with no negative consequences (at least in the Charteris stories).
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  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: Charteris plays with the notion in his notes for The First Saint Omnibus.

The Series

  • Accidental Innuendo: This line from "Little Girl Lost":
    Simon: She was feeling hungry, went out looking for a carpet.
  • Adaptation Displacement: The television series is by far the best-known iteration of the franchise.
  • Awesome Music: The series theme, composed by Leslie Charteris himself and arranged by Edwin Astley.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • Early on, The Saint would help friends and strangers. Then he started to doing the occasional espionage job for the government. Then, in "The House On Dragon's Rock" (an adaptation of The Man Who Liked Ants, above) he stops a Mad Scientist's giant ant and its eggs from taking over the world. The ant is, of course, a Nuclear Mutant.
    • "Sibao", adapted from "The Questing Tycoon", sees The Saint emroiled in voodoo.
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  • Can't Un-Hear It: When many people think of Simon Templar, they immediately think of Roger Moore.
  • Funny Moments: In "The Rhine Maiden", Simon enters a train compartment containing an old English couple. to climb out the window to get to the carriage where the villain is. The woman remarks that he must be foreign, because he didn't close the window.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In season two's "Marcia", the titular actress is almost killed when a prop gun is loaded with real bullets. This eerily predicts what happened to Brandon Lee on The Crow.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The first Season Finale "The Charitable Countess" has Simon helping street urchins by stealing jewellery from aristocrats. Many years later, Roger Moore became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. On a related note, "The Lawless Lady" has him donate the villains' loot to an orphanage, while "The Revolution Racket" has him donate money he's swindled from revolutionaries to UNICEF.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Roger Moore himself qualifies as this for viewers too young to have watched The Saint on original broadcast. Despite being the star of the show, today he is much better known as James Bond, a role he took on a few years after leaving The Saint.
    • Shirley Eaton appeared in the very first episode "The Talented Husband". Two years later, she would appear in one of the most iconic scenes in film history, when she was painted from head to toe in gold in Goldfinger.
    • A pre-stardom Julie Christie played the titular Girl of the Week in "Judith".
    • Barbara Shelley, at the time in the early stages of her Hammer films career, appeared in Season 1's "The Covetous Headsman".
    • Honor Blackman appears in the Season 1 episode "The Arrow of God", aired around the same time she became famous for her role in another 1960s ITV spy show.
    • Roger Delgado appears in two episodes: "The Golden Journey" in Season 1 as the Hotel Manager and "Locate and Destroy" in Season 5 as Captain Rodriguez. Today, he is best remembered as the original Master in Doctor Who.
    • Ingrid Pitt appears as an uncredited role as a poolside sunbather in "The Bunco Artists".
    • Oliver Reed also played villains Joe Catelli in "The King of the Beggars" and Aristides in "Sophia".
    • Donald Sutherland made two early guest appearances - in "The Happy Suicide" as the artist McCleery and "Escape Route" as prisoner John Wood.
    • Patrick Troughton played Police Inspector Gambetti in "Interlude in Venice", which was broadcast just four weeks before his debut in his most famous role as The Second Doctor.
    • A young Paul Darrow (Avon in Blake's 7) appears as Omar in "The Gadic Collection".
  • The Scrappy: Despite having been a major supporting player in the books for decades, Hoppy Uniatz appears in only one episode of the series, "The Careful Terrorist". Once you see the dialogue written for him and Percy Herbert's performance next to Moore's, you'll understand why it's for the better.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • "The Golden Journey" opens with Simon Templar suggesting that his friend could 'cure' his fiancée's Spoiled Brat attitude by hitting her every now and then. Interestingly, in the very next episode he specifically states: "I don't like men who slap women around", repeating the sentiment later.
    • Simon casually uses the word "negro" in "The Desperate Diplomat" (an episode made for the 1968-69 season, when even at the time that term was already on its way out in favour of "black"). Then there's his attitude to Chinese villains (making a slanty-eyed gesture in "The Gadget Lovers" and referring to Burt Kwouk's villain as Son Number One.