1. The Saint, Roger Moore, and James Bond

    By Guest writer on 2007-09-24

    Written by Paul Rowlands

    “The Saint” TV series actually has many links to the Bond franchise. Apart from the long list of actors who appeared in both (listed below), it is fun to see Roger Moore play Simon Templar as the chain-smoking, heavy-drinking, tough as nails, womanising ex-criminal with quick wits and a good punch.


    Add to that his propensity for dinner jackets, glamorous locations and confronting his enemies head on, and you have the ingredients for a great 007. Except when Moore played James Bond, he played the role a lot softer, with most of the hard edges removed. Moore has said he consciously played Bond differently to avoid repeating a role he played for over eight years. Watching “The Saint” affords one the opportunity to catch a glimpse of what Moore’s Bond might have been like if he hadn’t already been Simon Templar, and if he had taken the role more seriously.

    Throughout the series are incidents that seem to predict Moore’s appointment in the role. In episode 2.5 ‘The Elusive Ellshaw’ (which also features Goldfinger’s Richard Vernon), characters go shooting a la Moonraker and Templar is on the receiving end of a kiss from the female lead for saving his life—‘That’s for saving my life.’ Templar replies ‘I should try to do it more often.’

    The Saint

    A similar exchange occurs in Moonraker with Lois Chiles. ‘What was that for?’ ‘For saving my life.’ ‘Remind me to do it more often.’ Episode 2.19 ‘Luella’ is perhaps the single episode with the most Bondian references. David Hedison, who was later cast as Felix Leiter opposite Moore in Live and Let Die when it was thought Sean Connery might be persuaded to return, is a guest star, and would also co-star with his friend Moore in North Sea Hijack (US: Ffolkes) (1980) and The Naked Face (1984), as well as reprising the role of Leiter in Licence to Kill. A character in this episode (one of the most comedic of the series) convinces herself Templar is James Bond and that Hedison’s character is an American agent (which he would in Moore’s 1973 debut). Moore also poses as a millionaire UN worker—which he became many years later.

    Other examples include episode 2.16 ‘The Wonderful War’ where Moore eats sheep’s eyeballs—something he wouldn’t do in Octopussy. Moore also wears desert attire many years before he would do so in The Spy Who Loved Me. In episode 3.21 ‘Sibao’, which also features Bruce Boa from Octopussy, the voodoo theme recalls Live and Let Die and we have Moore wearing a safari suit a la Octopussy. Episode 2.1 ‘The Fellow Traveller’, Moore tells a character: ‘Seven was always my lucky number.’ And 4.1 ‘The Chequered Flag’ has Moore ordering a drink ‘neither shaken or stirred’. In the episode 2.17 ‘The Noble Sportsman’—an episode that originally aired eight months before the release of Goldfinger—Anthony Quayle’s Lord Yearley drives an Aston Martin DB5 registration number BMT 216A.†

    The black and white series of “The Saint” debuted on UK TV on 4th October 1962 (the episode was ‘The Talented Husband’), and for those who believe Bond and Simon Templar have always had a close relationship, it may be interesting to learn that Dr. No premiered in the UK at The London Pavilion the following night. According to ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, Roger Moore was one of Ian Fleming’s top choices for the role of Bond in Dr. No, but it isn’t clear why he was not approached.

    Roger Moore

    In his autobiography When the Snow Melts, Broccoli recalls that Fleming had seen him on TV as “The Saint”, but it’s UK transmission date would have made it impossible. It is more likely that Fleming had seen him in the many TV series he had acted in before Simon Templar. His commitment to “The Saint” during the ’60s meant he was unable to accept the role of Bond once Sean Connery had left—but Harry Saltzman had spoken to him about filming The Man with the Golden Gun in Cambodia after You Only Live Twice, and it is rumoured he was considered for the 1967 Casino Royale spoof. “The Saint” black and white series ended on 26th August 1965 (with ‘The Old Treasure Story’, which Moore also directed), and covered 71 episodes. Season 1 consisted of only 12 episodes; Season 2 of 27 episodes; Season 3 of 23 episodes, and Season 4 of merely 9 episodes. The next two seasons were filmed in colour. The series was so popular in US TV syndication that NBC picked it up as a summer replacement for it’s evening schedule in 1966. The whole series played on UK TV for 6 and a half years, and 118 episodes were produced in total. It remains one of the most-loved and longest-running TV series ever made.

    In the recently recorded commentaries for the Ultimate Edition DVD releases of his Bond films, Moore revealed that he would suggest his previous colleagues and friends for roles in the films. From his 12 year reign in the role, series regulars Robert Brown, Lois Maxwell (in two colour episodes), Walter Gotell and Geoffrey Keen appeared in episodes, as well as other actors as Irvin Allen, Bruce Boa, Julian Glover, Jack Hedley, Marne Maitland, Bryan Marshall, Shane Rimmer and Douglas Wilmer. Notable actors from non-Moore entries include Shirley Eaton, Honor Blackman, Paul Stasino, Eric Pohlmann and Anthony Dawson.

    The next article will focus on the remaining two colour seasons, the episodes Moore directed, and the many references, links and coincidences to the non-Moore Bond films. It will also briefly look at the post-Moore “Saint” movies and TV series.

    Bond actors who appeared in episodes of the black and white series of “The Saint”
    Actor Film(s) “The Saint” Episode(s)
    Irvin Allen On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    The Spy Who Loved Me
    4.3 – The Crooked Ring
    David Bauer You Only Live Twice
    Diamonds are Forever
    1.8 – The Element of Doubt
    2.3 – Judith
    2.8 – Iris
    2.26 – The Ever-Loving Spouse
    Geoffrey Bayldon Casino Royale 1967 2.23 – The High Fence
    Reginald Beckwith Thunderball 2.23 – The High Fence
    Martin Benson Goldfinger 2.7 – The Work of Art
    Ed Bishop You Only Live Twice
    Diamonds are Forever
    3.5 – The Revolution Racket
    3.6 – The Saint Steps In
    4.7 – The Saint Bids Diamonds
    Honor Blackman Goldfinger 1.7 – The Arrow of God
    John Bluthal Casino Royale 1967 3.13 – The Damsel in Distress
    3.23 – The Happy Suicide
    Bruce Boa Octopussy 2.13 – The Sporting Chance
    3.21 – Sibao
    Robert Brown The Spy Who Loved Me
    A View to a Kill
    The Living Daylights
    Licence to Kill
    2.11 – The Saint Plays with Fire
    3.1 – The Miracle Tea Party
    Anthony Chin Dr. No
    You Only Live Twice
    A View to a Kill
    3.18 – The Sign of the Claw
    4.2 – The Abductors (uncredited)
    Michael Chow You Only Live Twice 3.18 – The Sign of the Claw
    Ronnie Corbett Casino Royale 1967 2.9 – The King of the Beggars
    Anthony Dawson Dr. No
    From Russia with Love (uncredited)
    Thunderball (uncredited)
    1.7 – The Arrow of God
    Shirley Eaton Goldfinger 1.1 – The Talented Husband
    1.9 – The Effete Angler
    Joseph Furst Diamonds are Forever 2.11 The Saint Plays with Fire
    2.27 The Saint Sees It Through
    Eunice Gayson Dr. No
    From Russia with Love
    2.22 – The Invisible Millionaire
    4.7 – The Saint Bids Diamonds
    Walter Gotell From Russia with Love
    The Spy Who Loved Me

    The Living Daylights
    3.11 – The Hi-jackers
    Julian Glover For Your Eyes Only 2.20 – The Lawless Lady
    David Hedison Live and Let Die also with Roger Moore
    Licence to Kill
    also appeared with Moore in
    North Sea Hijack (US: Ffolkes) 1980
    The Naked Face 1984
    2.19 – Luella
    Jack Hedley For Your Eyes Only 4.9 – The Old Treasure Story
    John Hollis Casino Royale 1967
    For Your Eyes Only (uncredited as ‘Blofeld’)
    2.11 – The Saint Plays with Fire
    Geoffrey Keen The Spy Who Loved Me
    The Living Daylights
    3.6 – The Saint Steps In
    Alexander Knox You Only Live Twice (uncredited) 1.2 – The Latin Touch
    Burt Kwouk Goldfinger 3.18 – The Sign of the Claw
    Margaret Lacey Diamonds are Forever 3.1 – The Miracle Tea Party (uncredited)
    Cec Linder Goldfinger 4.5 – The Persistent Parasites
    Marne Maitland The Man with the Golden Gun 2.4 – Teresa
    3.2 – Lida
    Andre Maranne Thunderball (uncredited)
    Also appeared in Gold 1974 with Roger Moore
    2.14 – The Bunco Artists
    2.15 – The Benevolent Burglary
    Bryan Marshall The Spy Who Loved Me 2.2 – Starring The Saint
    Michael Mellinger Goldfinger 2.4 – Teresa (uncredited)
    Bill Nagy Goldfinger 1.2 – The Latin Touch
    1.8 – The Element of Doubt
    2.21 – The Good Medicine
    Geoffrey Palmer Tomorrow Never Dies 2.10 – The Rough Diamonds
    George Pastell From Russia with Love 1.4 – The Covetous Headsman
    Peter Perkins From Russia with Love – stunt arranger/ uncredited stunt double for Sean Connery 2.27 – The Saint Sees It Through
    Eric Pohlmann From Russia with Love (uncredited)
    Thunderball (uncredited)
    2.4 – Teresa
    3.5 – The Revolution Racket
    George Pravda Thunderball 1.9 – The Effete Angler
    3.16 – The Rhine Maiden
    Shane Rimmer You Only Live Twice
    Diamonds are Forever
    Voice of Robert Dix in Live and Let Die (uncredited)
    The Spy Who Loved Me
    3.11 – The Hi-jackers
    Joe Robinson Diamonds are Forever 2.11 – The Saint Plays with Fire
    Jeanne Roland‡ You Only Live Twice
    Casino Royale
    1967 3.21 – Sibao
    Stuart Saunders Octopussy 2.20 – The Lawless Lady
    Edward de Souza‡ The Spy Who Loved Me 4.1 – The Chequered Flag
    Paul Stassino Thunderball 1.9 – The Effete Angler
    2.10 – The Rough Diamonds
    3.9 – The Death Penalty
    Philip Stone Thunderball (uncredited) 2.6 – Marcia
    Edward Underdown Thunderball 3.15 – The Set-Up
    Richard Vernon Goldfinger 2.5 – The Elusive Ellshaw
    James Villiers For Your Eyes Only 2.23 – The High Fence
    Douglas Wilmer Octopussy 2.10 – The Rough Diamonds