Chuggin' my way though the 5th series of The Saint. There's 27 episodes and they aired from September 1966 to June 1967. With this series the program changed to color and Roger Moore became one of the producers. Roger and Robert S Baker started their own company Bamore to produce the series and previous producer Monty Berman moved along. The 5th and 6th series were packed into what A&E, the world's worst video company, called The Saint Megaset. All 47 episodes on 14 discs with no extras at all. The Shout Factory DVD set has a few nice extras that were imported from the British DVDs. I wish there more. I got spoiled by the extras on the Doctor Who series. They had tons of stuff to look at and listen to. You can see various episodes of The Saint on YouTube and MeTV online.
Here's the list of episodes, below the break, with nice summaries from the IMDb by don@minifie-1. The IMDb lists a "by" credit for Leslie Charteris but all over I read that the color series was the first series to use original stories. This was okayed by The Saint's creator Leslie Charteris. On one of the commentaries Producer Robert S Baker says that Charteris had a right to read and comment on the script but they really weren't legally obligated to change anything so they didn't change much.
For some reason the 4th series has only 9 episodes and they aired during July and August 1965. The series is still in Black and White. The production switches to color with the next series.
Here's an interesting essay about the British TV shows that appeared on US TV back in the 1950s and 1960s. It's a bit long (almost 18,000 words) but there's plenty of interesting material to be read. I've seen many of the shows, some were favorites when I was a kid and still are. It appears that the shows listed are mostly action and dramas. The Canadian TV stations had most of those shows but they also had a lot of comedy shows. It's from a blog called A Shroud Of Thoughts by Terence Towles Canote. That's where the picture of Roger Moore came from. Terence also has a book on TV out but I haven't read it.
The episodes are behind the curtain with descriptions from the IMDb. Once again they are written by don @ minifie-1.
The third series of The Saint aired starting in the last quarter of 1964 and the 23 episodes ran through the first quarter of 1965. The show's still being filmed in Black and White, the color episodes don't start until the 5th series. Series 3 is packed with series 4 in a 9 disc set. The set is packed in a complete series box that imports the episodes and extras from the British DVD set.
Episode summaries by don@minifie-1, pilfered from the IMDb.
Series 2 of The Saint aired from September 1963 to March 1964. There were 27 episodes this series, more than double the first series, and they are still being shot in black and white. Roger Moore is Simon Templar and he's still up to helping people who are in trouble from the ungodly. Simon travels around England helping the people in most of the episodes but several take place in exotic places like, Hollywood, Mexico City, Hamburg, Greece, Paris, Rome. Buenos Aires, imaginary Middle Easter country and Canada's north woods. They don't actually go most of these places. Occasionally Roger would get to do some establishing shots in other cities but for the most part he's working in front of rear-projection screens. They also used body doubles filmed in remote locations so Roger wouldn't have to go there. Saves time and money. The show relies on plenty of The episode summary are from the IMDb and written by don @ minifie-1.
I was excited to see that Shout! Factory/Timeless Media put out The Saint: The Complete Series about a year ago. It's one of my all time favorite shows and it was nice to see the box set. It's the first time that the complete 118 episodes are available in a US release. The show had 6 series, the first 4 are in black and white and the last two in color. The series was developed by Robert S Baker from the stories of Leslie Charteris. There were dozens of stories and plenty of a good number of novels, many of which were adapted to the show. There are 36 books by Charteris and several more by other authors. I'm only interested in the ones by Leslie. They recently made their way to eBooks and I'm considering buying them.
The complete series had a $200 list price and at first it was usually over $150. I waited. I'd already had all the episodes in various US and UK editions but I wanted the new version because it has more commentaries and featurettes that aren't on the US edition of the color episodes that I had. I could have picked up the color set of the UK release to get them but it would be better to have US DVDs in the long run. When it got to be $89 on a Deal of the Day I picked one up. Today it's going for $130 which is still a pretty good deal for 5,782 minutes of Simon Templar.
Back in the early days of DVD A&E, tops on my list of the worst DVD companies ever, had control of a good number of British series. They put out the programs in expensive DVD sets and in the case of The Saint, and The Champions, they never finished the series. Luckily most of those properties are no longer in their hands.
In 2001 A&E started with the color episodes of series 5 & 6 in 2 disc sets at $45 each. The 47 episodes were packed into 7 sets which totaled $315. They were hard to find cheap and I never bought them. In 2003 the 7 sets were packed into the Megaset which had a $200 list. Eventually I got one for a more reasonable price and I've enjoyed the episodes 3 or 4 times since. There was a separate release of the two part story Vendetta With The Saint that had a commentary by Roger Moore. That commentary wasn't included in the Megaset but it is included in the Shout! Factory release.
A&E put out the 2 sets of The Saint: The Early Years. They were pretty pricey, I don't remember the list but they sold for $45-50 a set. They only collected the first 28 episodes of the 71 B&W episodes. Then they quit. What jerks, huh.
Series 1 had a dozen episodes and they aired in the last quarter of 1962. I watched them when they aired in Canada a short time later. We got a lot of the British shows there and I was immediately interested in the adventures of Simon Templar. I even started reading the books when I was still a teen. Here's the rundown of the episodes. I'm pilfering the synopsis from the IMDb so I don't have to write my own. Then I can look this up and set all the info on a series of posts. The synopsis' were all written by "don @ minifie-1". He's written 11,768 of them. Wow, huh. They are well written and nice and concise. I've put the listings below so the post isn't so long.