|Creator:||Leslie Charteris (1907-1993)|
|Medium:||Books, Radio, Films, TV, Comics|
|Country of Origin:||United Kingdom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Saint began as a series of novels and short stories by Leslie Charteris (1907-1993), beginning with Meet the Tiger (1928), which were later made into comics, several films, radio series, and television series. Some of the later books in the series were based on TV scripts by other authors, and some were ghost-written; the best known example is probably Vendetta for the Saint which was actually written by SF author Harry Harrison. Outside of the books, the character is probably best known from the UK television series starring Roger Moore (1962-69). The most recent attempt at a TV series was an unsuccessful 2012 pilot starring Adam Rayner as Simon Templar and Eliza Dushku as Patricia Holm, eventually expanded and released as a "direct to pay TV" movie in 2017.
The Saint's standard pre-war equipment included a cigarette case containing smoke and flash bombs as well as genuine cigarettes, with a concealed razor-sharp edge for cutting through ropes, throwing knives he called Anne and Belle, and a variety of hand guns. He was expert with all these weapons and with several forms of unarmed combat, and a skilled escapologist, pickpocket, card sharp, locksmith, pilot, driver, actor and, of course, thief.
Templar eventually became a suspect and was pursued by Chief Inspector Claud Eustace Teal and other detectives, but repeatedly escaped prosecution. He was eventually unmasked while saving a policeman's life; he went on the run and fled abroad but returned to stop an attempt to assassinate the King, who gave him a full pardon. In later books he travelled globally, initially hunting Rayt Marius, an arms merchant responsible for the plot against the King, but later as an international adventurer. Eventually he served as an American agent during WW2. In later stories he continued to fight crime, but with his identity known had to take more care to avoid prosecution, and killed much less often. Versions in other mediums generally concentrated on his role as crime fighter and minimised the less legal aspects of the character.
Templar's lover was Patricia Holm in the earlier books, but she disappeared from the stories by the late 1940s. Charteris allegedly wrote an unfilmed screenplay in which she reappeared many years later with his son, and Charteris' bibliographer Ian Dickerson is believed to have worked on a novelisation, Son of the Saint, but it is currently unpublished. He is shown as having numerous other girlfriends in later stories.
Other prewar associates included 'Orace, Simon's manservant; several British adventurers (Norman Kent, Peter Quinten, and others) and American gangster Hoppy Uniatz. All are largely missing from the post-war stories.
Several professional authors have created their own series based on characters suggested by The Saint; most notably Alexei Panshin's Anthony Villiers series, and Walter Jon Williams' Drake Maijstral series.
- Simon Says – Avenge Bond!, a The Saint/James Bond/The Avengers/Star Trek: TOS gen zine.
- Worlds Enough, some The Saint/Man from UNCLE crossovers.
- Science Fiction in The Saint
- The Saint official web site; A comprehensive guide to the character including summaries of all books, TV episodes, films, etc.