Sunday, 24 June 2018

Simon Templar - The Saint

We had Hay Festival at the end of May, so I didn't have time to do anything else, like posting here. The procession of Handmaids from Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, on the day she gave her talk at the Festival, was just brilliant, though!
But after that there's been all the news of children separated from their parents and locked in cages at the Mexican border with the US, and I didn't really feel like posting anything frivolous for a while.

Sometimes you just have to take a break from watching the news, though, and yesterday I found something that made me very happy. It's an incomplete set of DVDs of The Saint, starring Roger Moore before he went on to Bond stardom. I remember loving these as a kid, and I bought all that were left in the charity shop, hoping that they would still be fun to watch.

I watched the first one last night, and loved it.

The Talented Husband was first broadcast in 1962, and you can tell right from the start that they had a decent budget - there was location filming (a railway station, the Saint's car driving along, a small town street), and the unfortunate wife of the Talented Husband was Patricia Roc, a well known actress who co-starred with Margaret Lockwood in The Wicked Lady. The Avengers at the same time had a much more limited budget, and they were still doing the episodes mostly live, rather than on film, as the Saint was. 1962 was the year that Cathy Gale left the Avengers, so it's interesting to compare the two series.
Despite a couple of good parts for women, this episode of the Saint doesn't pass the Bechdel Test - they never actually speak to each other, but the woman insurance investigator is treated as a professional by the Saint when they join forces.
It also struck me that no-one seemed to think it was unusual to see an Italian running a British pub/hotel, where the Saint stays when he arrives in the small town of Cookham.

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