Youtube episodeEditor’s note: “TR” begiins a new series of overviews (Television Review) of each of the Saint episodes of all six seasons of “The Saint” performed by Roger Moore & Company,. These will often include side notes of interesting research facts on each episode not normally associated previously (like Peter Wyngarde’s Fan Page or his new Autograph Trading Card.” .)
Not perhaps one of the best episodes of season 5, but in many ways a memorable one, The Man Who Liked Lions” mixes classic elements of the same TV series with an over-the-top villain who fancies himself something of a Roman Emperor of sorts. Tiberio Magadino, played by the late Peter Wynfarde who was one of the more notable character actors in the color seasons (this episode in 1966 and also The Gadic Collection in 1967).
Wyngate would land, like many character actors of this period, in many of the major 60’s “spy” tv shows like Britain The Champions, The Avengers and even played the infamous “Number Two” in an episode of The Prisoner.opposite Patrick McHoohan. His nickname was “The King” perhaps due to his rather authoritarian demeanor onscreen (his official fan site caan be found HERE))
Wyngate’s The Saint series 2 official autographed trading card card is shown here is is available by contacting simontemoplar.org for a sale price from our SPY & SUPERHEROES Page, which also includes boused books by LLeslie Charteris and some very rare Saint memorabilia and items.
The episode is reported to have been written by Leslie Charteris himself, although I have not been able to trace it back to any of the short stories in a book collection so it may have been just for the TV series. Harry Junkin did the screenplay.
Some of the moments of this particular episode are a tad on the silly side with Templar being hit over the head by his bumbling taxi driver with a vase while trying to fight two thugs who have been ransacking Tony Allard’s apartment. Suzanne Lloyd, who by this time was a veteran actress who had gotten constant work for decades, was wrapping up her long career and did a decent job although not much was really required.
I would have to say that the ending is a bit trite and not as clever as so many of the saint episodes are. It’s too easy for the man who likes lions to figure out that Simon has an accomplice with a tape recorder and also to drug Templar. It’s also a little unbelievable that he would send an unarmed man in to check on Templar who is so easily overcome with one punch. Of course, you can see ahead of time where it’s all going to end when they start jousting back and forth with swords near an open pit housing a lion. The episode sort of ends abruptly pretty much after the man who likes lions meets one up close and personal.
Still once again, when you consider that most all of these shows were shot in the studio lot in London, they really do a great job with the technology of the time in giving the impression that everything’s happening in Rome. Even the scene where Templar in the taxi is being tailed by another car is actually pretty well done in a world where CGI was Over a decade away.
Peter Wyngarde’s Fan Site: