Back in the 1960s, audiences got their first taste of the suave and debonair Roger Moore in the British spy television show, The Saint (1962-1969). Moore played the title character of Simon Templar, which, in many respects, was very similar to how he would approach playing Bond in his 007 debut just a few years after the show ended, in Live and Let Die (1973). The Saint was a big success, both overseas and in our own United States, and ran for seven years with 118 episodes.
Nearly 45 years since we had seen The Saint television show, an announcement for a reboot -- or retelling, rather -- of the series was announced along with what appeared to be a full season trailer. While it had been a while since seeing the actual show, an often forgotten film version of The Saint was released in 1997, starring Val Kilmer in the title role, although his character saw several changes. It received a lukewarm reception with not so hot ratings. This was the series footage that premiered back in 2013 for the new Saint character, played by Adam Rayner. Remember seeing this?
Now, granted, we have seen better trailers, both for feature films and television shows, but, to me, the good outweighs the bad here. It feels reminiscent at least in trailer style to Supergirl (2015-), The Flash (2014-), and especially the recent Lethal Weapon (2016-) series. Some of the dialogue sounds cheesy or forced, but the original music gets me pumped, and no one can say that the action does not look spectacular. You combine that with those exotic-looking locations and beautiful agents (Eliza Dushku), and you’ve got an edge of your seat thrill ride on your hands that feels both Bond-esque and Mission Impossible-influenced. We have a lot of secret agents now, but we need more good ones. And Roger Moore was going to be in this! Or, at least, he appears to have had a small role or cameo in one or more episodes. It seems like the creators were going with a Bond character approach, where different people fill in the shoes of The Saint character, unless Moore was going to play an entirely different role altogether, which is quite possible. The Simon Templar/Adam Rayner character mentions a ring belonging to his father. Who might that be? We want answers!
I remember seeing this preview on television and then forgot about it for about six months, and then I realized that I never did see any episodes yet, nor did I hear of anyone else talking about it. After more research on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) -- which, keep in mind, many people can edit, it appears that the series was indeed filmed in 2013, but not picked up to be a broadcasted series. There must have been something wrong with the show for no one to pick it up. It goes on to say that additional footage was filmed in 2015 and that apparently everything or most everything we saw in that above trailer was in a two-hour television movie, released in some form last year in 2016, with a current rating of 7.6/10 stars. But where is it? And how are people seeing it? There are no available formats or copies for purchase on Amazon, and nothing except this trailer footage on YouTube. I am intrigued and, along with diehard Saint fans, really want to see this if we aren’t getting a new series after all.
Even for those who are not Saint fans or had never heard of the show or character until now, it still seems like a missed opportunity that many different audiences could have enjoyed. Go check out the original Roger Moore series if you have not seen it. It really is worth the watch.
Until we find out what really went down, or until we see The Saint on the big screen or smaller screen again, we'll keep enjoying the Roger Moore series. Come get in the mood of the iconic sleuth with his original jazzy theme down below from the ‘60s. As Moore said, “The world ... needs a Saint.”