All of John Telford’s readings of the Leslie Charteris Saint books are incredibly enjoyable, and we are, I think, grateful that he had the stamina to do 50 of them. That’s a great deal of work. But one of the more interesting additions to each one of these audiobooks is the introduction which has been supplied by a variety of writers, editors, screenwriters, actors who have played the Saint, producers, and directors, and a whole host of fans that are well within their means to comment on each of the particular books they were chosen to introduce.
Almost always their introduction begins with how they came across either the television series in the form of Roger Moore playing the Saint either in the 1960s or reruns, or more often than not Ian Ogilvie in the Return of the Saint. But then some came across the books first and once they had read one of them through a variety of varying means they were hooked and then it was only a matter of time before they were going to read them all.
I came across the Saint at the age of 12 when I was home sick from school and they were playing a rerun of The House on Dragon’s Rock (or at least I think that was the episode). all I remembered today is that they had cut the brake linings on the car that Simon Templar was driving and he was just barely able to get out of the car before it went crashing over the side of the mountain. it was all very exciting and I found that I was immediately stuck on a new hero. from that point on I poured through the TV Guide to find any times that episodes of the Saint might be on so that I could watch. unfortunately, I had no idea that any books existed or collections of short stories or I would have gladly added those to my stacks of Marvel Comics for devouring. this was all back in 1969 in Northern California – yes the very spot where the Summer of Love was about to take place and things “were a Changin~”
While I managed to grow up and through many a phase during those years from 1969 up through the early 80s one thing never left me and that was a great Fascination and Devotion to All Things Simon Templar. Oh sure, I enjoyed James Bond, but there was something sort of thin and vaporous about the man. it’s almost as if he didn’t have much of a soul whereas Simon Templar had a soul and it burned with some sort of Holy Fire and righteous indignation that seemed to fuel him. he was a much better mail example for a young man then James Bond particularly when it came to women and how they should be treated (with care and respect).
So here I am 50 years later, and I still have something a little bit again to that young boy’s fascination with the character of Simon Templar. I still enjoy both the Roger Moore TV episodes and collect them and their sets, as well as appreciate Ogilvie and his series. I keep hoping, like so many fans do, that some network will get it through their thick skulls that the Saint is made for a serious retelling of all Charteris as a weekly television series perhaps even one set back in the 1930s or 40s as a period piece – but fellas let’s do it right for a change and stop trying to update things to the extent that we make Simon Templar utterly irrelevant. There’s a very good reason why 90 years later people are still reading the books and enjoying them every bit as much as when Charteris penned them in his early twenties.
Why? I think that in this ever-darkening terse age of the Cynic, Simon Templar brings both an innocence (mostly in Moore and Ogilvy) but also a laugh and a broad smile (in the book) to insightful justice hunting that this age every single permutation since Charteris wrote early on – to his swashbuckling character. We live in an age of WHINERS or angry bigots who hold to conspiracy theories. To be sure, Charteris had some theories of his own- but they just happened to be dead on.
In a word: Fun. The Saint is Fun in a world that has forgotten how to have and make for fun.
“Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?”
Now as fits any true fan, I’ve also grown up with the toys, trading cards, books about the Saint, Roger Moore, all sizes of P1800 Volvo diecast cars, and a host of other small trinkets some of which I’ve even made myself (like I make this little Saint Insignia butane and regular gas lighters) and also the Freebie tall candle sleeves. I’ve spent thousands of hours collecting artwork, recordings, memorabilia, and A variety of sets of cards from Europe, and in the true Spirit of fandom, just like this site, I just want to be of assistance to other fans like myself.
For example, I know it’s really easy to just pick up a full 100 Pack set of “the very best of the Saint” collectors’ cards for Fairly cheap on eBay. But what if you’re a true collector and started with a box and you’re missing a few cards? I can be of assistance as I have backups of at least four cards for each in the entire set and all you have to do is drop me a line and for a buck of card Plus what it costs to put it in a protective hard sleeve and then regular postage I would be happy to send you what you need. If you need more than one card I’m sure we can work something out that’s super cheap and economical for you – I mean you don’t want to pay $10 for 10 cards when you can buy an entire new set for the same amount of money, so maybe it cost you three bucks or less.
If their items that you’re looking for you can also let me know about those because I’m pretty good at hunting things down at the lowest possible price. currently, I’m stocking seven “like new” The Saint books by Paul Siemper I am selling these for $19 on eBay but that’s because eBay takes a big chunk out of the whole package. if you’d prefer to buy it through this site you can get it for $15 including free shipping. And when you open one of these up the spine cracks for the first time.
As for the Simon Templar P1800 Volvo cars I’m afraid I’ve gone a little bit overboard creating actual lighted display dioramas that display the outside of Simon Templar’s apartment (I know that’s a little obsessive, isn’t it?) It’s right out of Berkeley Mews! And I’m offering everything from the Corgi with the Box up to the Norev custom limited edition 1:18 scale ST-1 Version as well as the extremely rare Revelle model.
One last word on trading cards! not everybody’s aware of the Unstoppable cards that came out in Europe. series 1 and Series 2 came out and are most often but from the United Kingdom where the shipping charges are more expensive than the cards if not then they’re about equal making it very expensive to procure these 36 card base sets. I’ve managed to procure a limited number of each of these series and I’m offering them with free shipping within the US for a low discounted price for American fans. For the most part, they don’t even show up on eBay at all -, just the autograph cards show up and I have a few of them as well. I am making them available at my cost including the easy $4 I’ll pay for shipping. When they are gone that’s it because the ones, they are offering now are going for #35 and up plus $16 and higher for shipping – ridiculous.
And then there are the books I’m going to put the eBay links here to the books that I’m offering which will end up being about 18 different hardcover sync novels, many of them first editions. any of these that you wish to approach me about I will sell to you (minus eBay) for a 25% discount just to cut those guys out). Or, if you’re a first-time Saint fan and have never read one of the Leslie Charteris novels and would like to read one I have a few that I don’t need to sell or have little dings and stuff that I’d be willing to part with just to get you going just drop me a line at Orgtemplar@gmail.com.
Or if you need help with a project that’s Simon Templar related, feel free to write me as well or if you’d like to contribute to this website with reviews, insights, articles, or your unique artwork we are open at all times to that. I have always wanted this to be a collaborative effort. Or leave comments but by all means JOOIN!