Simon Templar

Simon Templar

Simon Templar is a British fictional character known as The Saint in a long-running series of books by Leslie Charteris published between 1928 and 1963. After that date other authors collaborated with Charteris on the books until 1983; two additional works produced without Charteris' participation were published in 1997. The character has also appeared in motion pictures, radio dramas, comic strips, and three television series.


Simon Templar is known as the Saint because of his initials (ST), and also because of his heroic exploits that fly in the face of an otherwise nefarious reputation. Templar uses a number of aliases, often using the initials S.T. such as "Sebastian Tombs" or "Sugarman Treacle". Blessed with a boyish sense of humor, he often makes humorous and off-putting remarks and frequently leaves a "calling card" at the scenes of his "crimes," consisting of a stick-figure drawing of a man with a halo, which is the logo of both the book series and the later 1960s TV series.

The books often allude to the possibility that Templar started his career as a criminal and suggest that he had somewhere developed the skills of a burglar. His origins remain a mystery, but it is made clear from the texts that, in the books, all of his income derives from the pockets of the "ungodly" (as he terms those who live by a less moral code than his own). There are several references to a "ten percent collection fee" that he collects to cover expenses when he extracts large sums of money from his victims, the remainder being returned to the rightful owners, given away to charity, shared amongst Templar's colleagues, or some combination thereof. Templar's targets often include corrupt politicians, warmongers, and other examples of the nastier forms of low life. "He claims he's a Robin Hood," bleats one of his victims, "but to me he's just a robbing hood." In fact, Robin Hood appears to have been one of the inspirations for the character; Templar stories were often promoted as featuring "The Robin Hood of modern crime", and this phrase to describe Templar appears in several of the stories. A term used frequently by Templar to describe his monetary "acquisitions" is "boodle" (a term which was also applied to the title of a Saint short story collection).

The Saint also has a dark side to his personality as he is willing to ruin the lives of certain members of the "ungodly", and even kill them, if he feels that, by doing so, lives can be saved. In several early books, Templar openly refers to this as murder, although he considers his actions to be justified and righteous, a view usually (but not always) shared by his partners and colleagues. Several of his adventures centre around his stated intention to kill/assassinate an individual (for example, the novella "Arizona" in "The Saint Goes West" has Templar planning to kill a Nazi scientist).

The series often reflected the atmosphere of the time. During the 1920s and early 30s the Saint is typically fighting European arms dealers, drug runners and white slavers from his London home. His battles with Ryat Marius clearly mirror the 'four rounds with Carl Petersen' of Bulldog Drummond. During the first half of the 1940s, Charteris changed the focus of the series away from 1930s Britain, casting Templar as a willing operative of the American government fighting Nazi interests in the US during World War II. While the first of these novels, "The Saint in Miami" has Templar stumbling upon a Nazi plot, beginning with the aforementioned "Arizona" novella, Templar is clearly fighting his own war against Germany. "The Saint Steps In" reveals that Templar is operating on behalf of a mysterious individual known as Hamilton, who appears again in the next WWII-era Saint book, "The Saint on Guard". The later books move away from the confidence games, murder-mysteries and wartime espionage that had dominated the earlier ones, and place Templar as a global playboy/adventurer. According to Barer, Charteris made the conscious decision to remove Templar from his usual confidence-game trappings, not to mention his usual co-stars Holm, Uniatz, 'Orace and Teal, as he felt they weren't appropriate for the tone of the Post War-era stories he was now writing. [Burl Barer, "The Saint: A History in Print, Film and Television"]

Although the Saint functions as an ordinary detective in some stories (figuring out puzzle-mysteries), others depict ingenious plots to get even with vanity publishers and other consumer ripoff artists, greedy bosses who exploit their workers to an extreme degree, con men, etc.

The Saint has many partners in his escapades, though none that have lasted throughout the series. For the first half of the series (up until the late 1940s), the most recurrent is Patricia Holm, his girlfriend, who was introduced in the very first Saint story, the 1928 novel "Meet - The Tiger!" in which she shows herself to be a capable adventurer in her own right. Holm appeared erratically throughout the series, sometimes disappearing for books at a time. Templar and Holm had a relationship that was somewhat ahead-of-its-time for the 1920s and '30s: in a time when common law relationships were uncommon (and in some areas, illegal), they lived together. They also appeared to have an "open" relationship of sorts, as Templar is shown flirting with other women from time to time. However, his heart remained true to Patricia Holm in the early books, culminating in his considering proposing marriage in the novella "The Melancholy Journey of Mr. Teal", only to have Holm say she had no interest in it (another progressive attitude for the time). Holm disappeared from the series in the late 1940s, and according to Burl Barer's history of "The Saint", Charteris thereafter refused to allow Templar to have a steady girlfriend, or for Holm to return (although according to the Saintly Bible website, Charteris did write a film story that would have seen Templar encountering a son he had with Holm).

Another recurring character, Scotland Yard Inspector Claud Eustace Teal, could frequently be found attempting to put the Saint behind bars, although in some books they can be found working in partnership. In "The Saint in New York", Teal's American counterpart, NYPD Inspector Henry Fernack, was introduced, and he would become, like Teal, a Inspector Lestrade-like foil and pseudo-nemesis in a number of books, notably the American-based World War II novels of the 1940s.

The Saint had a veritable band of compatriots over the years, including Norman Kent, Peter Quentin, Archie Sheridan, Dicky Tremayne (a character name that later appeared in the 1990s TV series, "Twin Peaks"), Monty Hayward, Roger Conway, and his ex-military valet, Orace. In later stories, the dimwitted and constantly-soused, but reliable, American thug Hoppy Uniatz was frequently found at Templar's side.

Charteris gave Templar a number of interests and personality quirks that manifested themselves as the series went on. Early in the series, for example, his talents as an amateur poet and songwriter were frequently displayed, often to taunt villains, though the novella "The Inland Revenue" established that poetry was also a hobby. That same story also revealed that Templar once wrote an adventure novel featuring a South American hero not too far removed from The Saint himself. Templar also on occasion would break the fourth wall in an almost metafictional sense, making occasional references to being part of a story, and mentioning in one early story, how he cannot be killed off so early on; later, the 1960s television series would also have Templar similarly break the fourth wall and address viewers. Charteris as a writer breaks the fourth wall by making direct references to the "chronicler" of the Saint's adventures and in at least one instance (the story "The Sizzling Saboteur" in "The Saint on Guard") inserts his own name into the narration.

Publishing history

The origins of The Saint can be found in several early works by Charteris, some of which predated the first Saint novel, 1928's "Meet - The Tiger!", or were written after it but before Charteris committed to writing a Saint series. Saint historian Burl Barer reveals that an obscure early Charteris work, "Daredevil", not only featured a heroic lead character who shared many "Saintly" traits (right down to driving the same brand of automobile), but he shared his adventures with Inspector Claud Eustace Teal -- a character later to be a regular in the Saint books. Barer writes that several early Saint stories were also re-written from non-Saint stories, including the novel "She Was a Lady" which originally appeared in magazine form featuring a different lead character.

Charteris utilized three formats for delivering his stories, each with its own supporters and critics within Saint fandom. Besides full-length novels, he also wrote shorter novellas that were for the most part originally published in magazines and later usually collected in volumes of two or three stories. He also wrote many short stories featuring the character, again mostly for magazines and later compiled into omnibus editions. In later years these short stories often carried a common theme, such as focusing on the women Templar meets or the exotic places he visits. With the exception of "Meet - The Tiger!", chapter titles of Templar novels usually contain a descriptive phrase describing the events of the chapter; for example Chapter Four of "Knight Templar" is entitled, "How Simon Templar dozed in the Green Park and discovered a new use for toothpaste".

Although Charteris' novels and novellas had more conventional thriller plots than his confidence game short stories, both the novels and the stories are still admired by a significant fan community. As in the past, the central appeal lies in the vitality of the Templar character, a hero who can go into a brawl and come out of it with his hair still freshly combed, and who, when faced with imminent death, coolly lights a cigarette and taunts his enemy with the signature phrase, "As the actress said to the bishop..."

The time period of the books begins in the 1920s and moves through to the 1970s recognisably as the series of 50 books progresses (the character being seemly ageless). In the early books most of the Saint's activities are clearly illegal, although directed at villainous characters. In later books, this becomes less so. In the books written during the period of World War II, The Saint (like many pulp heroes) was recruited by the government to help with the war effort by tracking down spies and similar undercover work. [Templar's behind-the-scenes work for the war effort, only hinted at initially, is confirmed in "The Saint Steps In" (The Crime Club, 1942)] Later he became a cold warrior fighting against Communism. The quality of writing also changes; early books have a freshness of spirit which becomes replaced to an extent by an air of cynicism in the later works. A few Saint stories crossed into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, with "The Man Who Liked Ants" and the early novel "The Last Hero" being examples. When early Saint books were republished in the 1960s through to the 1980s, it was not uncommon to see freshly written introductions by Charteris appended to the works, apologizing for the stories' out-of-date tone; according to a Charteris "apology" in a 1969 paperback edition of "Featuring the Saint", he once attempted to revise and update some of his earlier stories when they were reprinted, but eventually gave up on the idea and let them sit unaltered as period pieces. The 1963 edition of the short story collection "The Happy Highwayman" contains examples of these abandoned revisions; in one story originally published in the 1930s ("The Star Producers"), references to popular actors of the 1930s were replaced for the 1963 printing with names of then-current movie stars; another 1930s-era story in the collection, "The Man Who Was Lucky" added updated references to atomic power for the reprint.

Charteris started to step back from writing the books in the early 1960s, retiring from writing the books following 1963's "The Saint in the Sun". The next book to carry Charteris' name, 1964's "Vendetta for the Saint", was written by science fiction author Harry Harrison, who had worked on the "Saint" comic strip, after which Charteris edited and revised the manuscript. Between 1964 and 1983 another 14 "Saint" books would be published, credited to Charteris but written by others. In his introduction to the first of these books, "The Saint on TV", Charteris called these volumes a team effort, in which he oversaw the selection of stories, which initially consisted of adaptations of scripts written for the 1962-69 TV series "The Saint", and with Fleming Lee writing the actual adaptations (other authors later took over from Lee). Charteris and Lee would also collaborate on two Saint novels in the 1970s, "The Saint in Pursuit" (based upon a story written by Charteris for the "Saint" comic strip) and "The Saint and the People Importers". The "team" writers were usually credited on the book's title page, if not on the cover. One of these later volumes, "Catch the Saint", was an experiment in returning The Saint to his period roots, being set prior to the Second World War (as opposed recent Saint books which had been set in the present day).

The last "Saint" volume in the line of books starting with "Meet - The Tiger!" in 1928, was "Salvage for the Saint", published in 1983. According to the [ Saintly Bible] website, every Saint book published between 1928 and 1983 saw their first editions issued by Hodder and Stoughton in the UK (ironically a company that originally published only religious books) and The Crime Club (an imprint of Doubleday that specialized in mystery and detective fiction) in the United States. For the first 20 years of the series, the books were first published in Britain, with the US edition sometimes following up to a year later. By the late 40s-early 50s this situation had been reversed. In one case — "The Saint to the Rescue" — a British edition did not appear until nearly two years after the American publication.

A series of French language books featuring the character were published over a 30-year period. This series included a number of translated volumes of Charteris originals, as well as novelisations of radio scripts from the English-language radio series, and comic strip adaptations. Many of these books, though credited to Charteris, were in fact written by others, including Madeleine Michel-Tyl. [ The Saint Novels in French ] ]

Charteris died in 1993. Two additional Saint novels appeared around the time of the 1997 film starring Val Kilmer: a novelisation of the film (which had little if any connection to the Charteris stories), and "Capture the Saint", a more faithful-to-the-character work published by The Saint Club, the Club originated by Charteris himself in 1936. Both books were written by Saint historian Burl Barer, who in the early 1990s published a massive history of the character in books, radio, and television.

In total, between 1928 and 1971 Charteris wrote 14 novels (the last two being co-written with another writer), 34 novellas, and 95 short stories featuring Simon Templar. Between 1963 and 1997 an additional 7 novels and 14 novellas were written by others.

The Saint on Radio

Several radio drama series based upon "The Saint" were produced in North America and Great Britain. The earliest known was produced for Radio Eireann in 1940 and starred Terence De Marney. Both NBC and CBS produced separate "Saint" series during 1945, starring Edgar Barrier and Brian Aherne, respectively. Many of these early shows were adaptations of published Saint stories, although Charteris himself later wrote several storylines for the series which, in due course, were novelised as short stories and novellas.

The longest-running and best known radio incarnation of Simon Templar was Vincent Price, who played the character in a long-running series that was broadcast between 1947 and 1951 on no fewer than three networks: CBS, Mutual and NBC. After Price left the series in May 1951, he was replaced by Tom Conway, who played the role for several more months. (His brother, George Sanders, played Templar on film.)

The next English language radio series aired on Springbok Radio in South Africa between 1953 and 1957. These were fresh adaptations of the original stories and starred Tom Meehan as the Saint.

Around 1965–1966 the South African version of Lux Radio Theatre produced a single dramatization of "The Saint".

The English Radio Service of South Africa produced another series of Saint radio adventures which aired for six months in 1970-1971.

The next English language radio series was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1995, starring Paul Rhys.

The Saint on film and TV

Not long after creating the Saint, Charteris began a long association with Hollywood as a screenwriter. He was also successful in getting a major studio — RKO Radio Pictures — interested in producing a film based upon one of his works. The first of these films, "The Saint in New York", based upon the 1935 novel of the same name, was released in 1938 starring Louis Hayward as Templar and Jonathan Hale as Inspector Henry Farnack, the American counterpart of Mr. Teal.

The film was a success, and eight more films followed over the next 15 years. The character of Farnack returned in the first five, George Sanders took over the role of Templar from Hayward, only to be himself replaced by Hugh Sinclair for two films.

Several of the films were original stories, sometimes based upon outlines by Charteris, while others were based (usually somewhat loosely) upon original novels or novellas. There was the release of one final film, "The Saint's Girl Friday" in 1953, for which Hayward returned to the role. This was followed by an unsuccessful French production in 1960.In the 1960s Roger Moore revived the role in a long-running television series "The Saint". (According to the book "Spy Television" by Wesley Britton, the first actor offered the role was Patrick McGoohan of "Danger Man" and "The Prisoner" fame.) The series ran from 1962 to 1969 and Moore remains the single actor most closely identified with the character, although an attempt at launching a French film series was made during his tenure in the role.

Since Moore, there have been several other actors who played him in later TV series, most notably "Return of the Saint" (1978–1979) starring Ian Ogilvy; the series ran for only one season although it was picked up by the CBS Network. In the mid-1980s, the "National Enquirer" and other newspapers reported that Moore was planning to produce a movie based upon "The Saint" with Pierce Brosnan as Templar, but it was never made. A pilot for a "The Saint in Manhattan" series starring Australian actor Andrew Clarke was shown in 1987, produced by Don Taffner, but it never progressed beyond the single pilot episode. Inspector John Fernack of the NYPD made his first film appearance since the 1940s in that production, while Templar got about in a black Lamborghini, also bearing the ST1 licence plate. In 1989, a series of six movies were made by Taffner, starring Simon Dutton. These films were syndicated in the United States as part of a rotating series of films entitled "Mystery Wheel of Adventure", while in the UK they were shown as a standalone series on the ITV Network.

In 1991, as detailed by Burl Barer in his 1992 history of "The Saint", plans were announced for a series of motion pictures based upon the character. Ultimately, however, no such franchise eventuated.

"The Saint" starring Val Kilmer was finally made in 1997, but diverged far from the Charteris books, although it did revive Templar's use of aliases. Among other things, Kilmer's Saint is unable to defeat a Russian gangster in hand to hand combat and is forced to flee; this would have been unthinkable in a Charteris tale. Whereas the original Saint resorted to aliases which all had the initials S.T., Kilmer's character used names of Christian saints, regardless of whether they shared the initials. He was also a master of disguise. Unusually for an action star of the time (as in heroes played by Seagal, Willis or Mel Gibson), this Saint refrained from killing and even the main villains live to stand trial. Charteris' version had no qualms about taking another life and, in order to escape his enemies, he used crude disguises instead of the sophisticated ones shown in this film. The film mirrored some aspects of Charteris' own life, notably his origins in the Far East, though not in an orphanage as the film portrayed. Moore had a cameo as a radio newsreader at the end of the film.

On March 13, 2007, the American cable network TNT announced that it was developing a new one-hour series based upon "The Saint". The proposed series (for which no broadcast date has yet been announced) will be executive produced by William J. MacDonald and produced by Jorge Zamacona. [ [ TNT, Devil team for 'Leverage' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety ] ] [ [ Burl Barer, Brilliant Author: THE SAINT on TNT ] ] James Purefoy was announced as the new Simon Templar. [ [ News ] ] [ [ James Purefoy To Play Simon Templar in The Saint - The Saint and Leslie Charteris Blog ] ] However, production of the proposed series pilot, which was to have been directed by Barry Levinson, did not go ahead. ["The Hollywood Reporter": " [ James Purefoy circles NBC series] , July 21, 2008. Accessed August 5, 2008.]

Movies (and actors playing The Saint)

Since 1938, numerous films have been produced in the United States, France and Australia based to varying degrees upon The Saint. A few of the films were based (usually loosely) upon Charteris' original stories, but most were original screenplays.

This is a list of all the films featuring Simon Templar released to date, and the actors who played The Saint:

* "The Saint in New York" (1938 - Louis Hayward)
* "The Saint Strikes Back" (1939 - George Sanders)
* "The Saint in London" (1939 - Sanders)
* "The Saint's Double Trouble" (1940 - Sanders)
* "The Saint Takes Over" (1940 - Sanders)
* "The Saint in Palm Springs" (1941 - Sanders)
* "The Saint's Vacation" (1941 - Hugh Sinclair)
* "The Saint Meets the Tiger" (1943 - Sinclair)
* "The Saint's Girl Friday" (1954 - Hayward)
* "Le Saint mène la danse" (1960 - Félix Marten)
* "Le Saint prend l'affut" (1966 - Jean Marais)
* "The Fiction Makers" (1968 - Roger Moore) - edited from episodes of "The Saint"
* "Vendetta for the Saint" (1969 - Moore) - edited from episodes of "The Saint"
* "The Saint and the Brave Goose" (1979 made for TV - Ian Ogilvy) - edited from episodes of "Return of the Saint"
* "The Saint in Manhattan" (1987 made for TV - Andrew Clarke)
* "The Saint" (1997 - Val Kilmer)Three of the surviving actors who have played Templar -- Roger Moore, Ian Ogilvy, and Simon Dutton -- have been appointed vice-presidents of [ The Saint Club] that was founded by Leslie Charteris himself in 1936.

In the 1930s, RKO purchased the rights to produce a film adaptation of "Saint Overboard", but no such movie was ever produced.

Television series

* "The Saint" (1962-1969 - Roger Moore)
* "Return of the Saint" (1978-1979 - Ian Ogilvy)
* The made-for-TV film series that formed part of "Mystery Wheel of Adventure" (1989) - all starring Simon Dutton
** "Fear in Fun Park" (aka "The Saint in Australia")
** "The Big Bang"
** "The Blue Dulac"
** "The Brazilian Connection"
** "The Software Murders"
** "Wrong Number"

The Saint on the stage

In the late 1940s Charteris and sometime Sherlock Holmes scriptwriter Denis Green wrote a stage play entitled "The Saint Misbehaves". [ [ Could the Saint Build a Better Mousetrap? ~ at ] ]

It was never publicly performed as soon after writing it Charteris decided to focus on non-Saint work. For many years it was thought to be lost however two copies are known to exist in private hands and correspondence relating to the play can be found in "The Leslie Charteris Collection" at Boston University.

The Saint in the comics

The Saint appeared in a long-running comic strip series starting as a daily strip 27 September 1948 with a Sunday added on 20 March the following year. The early strips were written by Leslie Charteris, who had previous experience writing comic strips, having replaced Dashiell Hammett as the writer of the "Secret Agent X-9" strip. The original artist was Mike Roy. In 1951, John Spranger replaced Roy as the artist and altered the Saint's appearance by depicting him with a beard. The final two years of the strip were drawn by Doug Wildey. It ended 16 September 1961.

Concurrent with the comic strip, Avon Comics published 12 issues of a "The Saint" comic book between 1947 and 1952 (some of these stories were reprinted in the 1980s). The 1960s TV series is unusual in that it is one of the few major programs of its genre that was not adapted as a comic book in the United States.

In Sweden, the Saint had a long-running comic book published from 1966 to 1985 under the title "Helgonet". [] It originally reprinted the newspaper strip, but soon original stories were commissioned for "Helgonet". These stories were also later reprinted in other European countries. Two of the main writers were Norman Worker and Donne Avenell; the latter also co-wrote the novels "The Saint and the Templar Treasure" and the novella collection "Count on the Saint", while Worker contributed to the novella collection "Catch the Saint".

The Saint in magazines

Charteris also edited several magazines that tied in with The Saint. The first of these were anthologies entitled "The Saint's Choice" that ran for seven issues in 1945-46. A few years later Charteris launched "The Saint Detective Magazine" (later titled "The Saint Mystery Magazine" and "The Saint Magazine"), which ran for 141 issues between 1953 and 1967, with a separate British edition that ran just as long but published different material. In most issues of "Saint's Choice" and the later magazines Charteris included at least one Saint story, usually previously published in one of his books but occasionally original. In several mid-1960s issues, however, he substituted "Instead of the Saint", a series of essays on topics of interest to him. The rest of the material in the magazines consisted of novellas and short stories by other mystery writers of the day. An Australian edition was also published for a few years in the 1950s. In 1984 Charteris attempted to revive the "Saint" magazine, but it ran for only three issues. [ [ The Saint (Detective/Mystery) Magazine ] ]

Leslie Charteris himself portrayed The Saint in a photo play in "Life Magazine": "The Saint Goes West".

The Saint book series

Most Saint books were collections of novellas or short stories, some of which were published individually either in magazines or in smaller paperback form. Many of the books have also been published under different titles over the years; the titles used here are the more common ones for each book. From 1964 to 1983, the Saint books were collaborative works; Charteris acted in an editorial capacity and received front cover author credit, while other authors wrote these stories and were credited inside the book; these collaborative authors are noted.

French adventures

A number of "Saint" adventures were published in French over a 30-year period, many of which have yet to be published in English. Many of these stories were ghostwritten by Madeleine Michel-Tyl and credited to Charteris (who exercised some editorial control). The French books were generally novelisations of scripts from the radio series, or novels adapted from stories in the American "Saint" comic strip. One of the writers who worked on the French series, Fleming Lee, later wrote for the English-language books.

Unpublished works

Burl Barer's history of the Saint identifies two manuscripts that to date have never been published. The first is a collaboration between Charteris and Fleming Lee called "Bet on the Saint" that was rejected by Doubleday, the American publishers of the Saint series. Charteris, Barer writes, chose not to submit it to his UK publishers, Hodder & Stoughton. The rejection of the manuscript by Doubleday meant that The Crime Club's long-standing right of first refusal on any new Saint works was now ended and the manuscript was then submitted to other U.S. publishers, without success. Barer also tells of a 1979 novel entitled "The Saint's Lady" by a Scottish fan, Joy Martin, which had been written as a present for and as a tribute to Charteris. Charteris was impressed by the manuscript and attempted to get it published, but it too was ultimately rejected. The manuscript, which according to Barer is in the archives of Boston University, features the return of Patricia Holm.

According to the Saintly Bible website, at one point Leslie Charteris biographer Ian Dickerson was working on a manuscript (based upon a film story idea by Charteris) for a new novel entitled "Son of the Saint" in which Templar shares an adventure with his son by Patricia Holm. The book has, to date, not been published. [ [ The Saint and Leslie Charteris FAQ ] ]

Cultural references

References to "The Saint" can be found throughout pop culture. Rapper Murs wrote a song called "The Saint" for his album "F'Real". In the song Murs' character displays many of The Saint's well known qualities, including a flair for dramatic escapes and an expertise in hand to hand combat, although the story also seems to suggest elements of the popular TV series "The Pretender".

There is a song by the band Smoke Ring Days entitled "Simon Templar". ( "Simon Templar you are my fantasy - you may be a sinner, but you're a Saint to me" ).

In 1997, the techno group Orbital recorded a new version of the theme for the 1960s series to tie in with the Val Kilmer film release.

The 1967 novel "The Rainbow Affair" by David McDaniel, volume 13 in a series of original novels based upon the TV series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", included a cameo by a thinly disguised version of Simon Templar. In addition, this novel uses the same chapter title format that Charteris used for his Saint novels.

In the PC Video game "Might and Magic VIII", there is a playable character called Simon Templar (whose character class is the Knight) that can be recruited into the player team.

In Robert A. Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress", stick figure images with devils horns on them instead of a halo appear, sans jeering graffiti, with the signature "Simon Jester".

In the Hebrew translations of many books in the series, which enjoyed considerable popularity in Israel from the 1950s to the 1980s, the protagonist's nickname was transated as "HaMalach" (המלאך) -which means "The Angel" rather than "The Saint". The same practice was followed when the TV series was shown on Israeli TV. The reason for this change was, evidently, the fact the Hebrew word "Kadosh" (קדוש) which refers to Christian saints, can also refer to Jews martyred for their faith and is sometimes also used for victims of the Holocaust - associations far away from the rather lighthearted English fictional character.

At the entrance to the underground car park at the Houses of Parliament in Helsinki, Finland, there is a Saint stickman statue that is used to house the device that opens the car park.

The band Splodgenessabounds had a UK chart hit with the double a-sided single 'Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please' and 'Simon Templar', a version of the Roger Moore series theme-tune.

In Harry Harrison's novel 'The Stainless Steel Rat Is Born', Jim's mentor is a character named The Bishop, who leaves a drawing of a bishop chess-piece at the scene of his crimes.

Compare with:

*"To Catch a Thief"
*Robin Hood
*Bulldog Drummond
*Arsène Lupin


* Burl Barer, "The Saint: A Complete History in Print, Radio, Film and Television 1928-1992". Jefferson, N.C.: MacFarland, 2003 (originally published in 1992).

External links

* [ The Saintly Bible: Large website about Leslie Charteris' creation (including news blog)]
* [ Official Website for Leslie Charteris]
* [ The Saint Novels in French]
* [ Listing of all English-language Saint radio programs]
* [ Radio] public domain recordings of "Saint" radio episodes in MP3 format, starring Vincent Price.
* [ Sir Roger Moore - A Fan Site]

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