Welcome to ‘TEMPLAR: Journal for the Saint” – The online magazine devoted to the nearly 100-year-old phenomenon of books, serial cartoons, radio drama, black and white films, a 60’s International hit TV show starring Roger Moore, a “Return” with Ian Ogilvy, and several newer feature film attempts. “The Saint will be back” is most assuredly always true.
AND THEN THERE ARE THE TOYS ARE TRADING CARDS AND IOH SO MANY BOOKS TO COLLECT!
We have some excellent fan sites, some aficionados (Templar scholars), and the best “newsy” website (saint.org) already is alive and well. But up until now, no journal or online magazine devoted to the infamous Simon Templar – until now. And we invite your participation with articles, ideas, fun videos – you name it – we want participation! You can always write to me (Mac) at email@example.com).
What sets a “Journal” apart? It is the longer-view articles, historical recountings, “what if” pieces, and more in-depth considerations of a subject – in this case, Leslie Charteris and his singular genius in the creation of Simon Templar as an enduring and utterly unique character in the history of literature.
As Jack Haley notes in his introduction to the book The Saint on the Spanish Main, Simon Templar came way before James Bond yet embodied so many of the same characteristics. He would later inspire other well-known British characters or their derivatives:
“He set a gold standard against which future British heroes were measured, and his affectations can be found in characters from The Avengers’ John Steed to Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner to Pierce Brosnan’s Remington Stele. Even Edward Woodward’s The Equalizer was essentially a modern reinterpretation of the Saint, set in New York with American characters.”
Many of those chosen to write the compelling introductions to the latest reprints of The Saint books are themselves novelists who credit Charteris and The Saint as what initially ignited their careers.
Then there are the rest of us who just grew up looking for a role model in turbulent and confusing times. Bond was tempting – but Simon Tenplar (whichever one of the two you chose – the “Book” version or the “TV and Film” version) was clearly a more compelling archetype.
I will write in greater detail on that theme (Bond vs. Templar) at a later date for that is what a Journal is for – but I’ll give you a clue: Templar can take a worldwide view that is critical of England (and just about every form of government that is not just) whereas Bond is just a hired gun who will do anything – moral or immoral – for England.
Well so did Edward the Longshanks.
I need more writers and artists who will give self-less-ly or this will become the one-dimensional rant of the One Guy. I am already working on recruiting some heavy hitters.
And YES, it is okay to occasionally stray into other related ITC territory or literature that is related! Example: We all know that the 60s series with Roger Moore made Simon Templar a household name – but other series came up around it like The Prisoner, The Champions, Secret Agent, Danger Man, The Avengers, and others. Few have lost their appeal.
But let’s not forget that the Simon Templar of Leslie Charteris’ novels and short stories has yet to be portrayed on TV or in films! If Bond had gone to TV it would have died there after a short run, Connery or no Connery (and I am a huge fan).
We have yet to have a studio have the guts to make a film or TV series true to the books and it is unlikely that Paramount will be wise enough to do so in the upcoming reboot with Chris Pine.