Leslie Charteris’ hero Simon Templar (aka The Saint) is hoping to make a dramatic return to television through a back door pilot, starring East Anglian actor Adam Rayner and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tru Calling and Dollhouse’s Eliza Dushku as his on/off love interest Patricia Holm.
The character, which has been played in the past by Sir Roger Moore, Ian Ogilvy, Val Kilmer, George Sanders and Simon Dutton has been brought up to date with a dramatic pilot which the cast and crew hope will result in a full series being commissioned.
In a move which will no doubt please Saint fans, two former ‘Saints’ appear in the new series - see if you can spot them in the trailer below.
Rayer will be familiar to British television audiences from roles in At Home With The Braithwaites, Miranda and Doctor Who and many fans of the character are pleased with the casting of a British actor in the role.
The Saint originally featured in a long series of books by Leslie Charteris which were published between 1928 and 1963. Subsequently, other authors collaborated with Charteris and written their own original stories based on the adventures of the character.
The character often goes by the name of Simon Templar, but other aliases include Sugarman Treacle and Sebastian Tombs. Although the origin of his nickname are never revealed in the books (although the Val Kilmer film did attempt a backstory explanation), it is thought to be from the initials of his various aliases.
Although often on the wrong side of the law, Templar targets those ‘with a lesser moral code than his own’ which include corrupt politicians, slave traders and warmongers. An inspiration for the character seems to have been Robin Hood and there are references in the books to him taking a 10% collection fee from his victims to cover his expenses with the remainder either returned to the owners, donated to charity, shared between his colleagues or even a combination of all three.
So will the new series be a success and lead to a full series? As a Saint fan, I really hope so and will be following the #Saint hashtag on Twitter with interest.
The pilot certainly has a good pedigree with a handsome, charismatic British lead, a very popular and beautiful cult actress, the executive producer of Lost, Heroes, Alias and Hannibal along with the Director of The Expendables 2 (I know - 3/4 isn’t bad).
Let’s face it, with some of the news making headlines around the world recently, we could all do with a real life Saint to right some of the wrongs.