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The Best so far...
on January 6, 2002
Simon Templar, AKA the "Saint" is back, carrying on as only he can. Of the four boxed DVD sets released so far, this one is probably the one you should not miss. These episodes are from the 1967 season, and this time you get a bit more bang for your buck, as there are seven episodes instead of the six in previous sets. Volume 5 is excellent, probably the best so far. Volume 6, contains a bonus fourth episode, is not bad overall. Here's a quick take on the episodes in this set. These episode ratings are on a scale from one to five (best).
Flight Plan (4)
Simon Templar is back in jolly old England, and immediately leaps into action foiling the attempted kidnapping of Diana Gregory. The young woman's brother, an ex-RAF pilot, is involved in a plot to steal an Osprey, Britain's vertical take-off and landing plane. When the plane is taken, the Saint's mission is to keep it from falling into enemy hands. This exciting, well-written episode is full of action, including the Saint piloting the Osprey.
Escape Route (4)
At long last Claude Eustace! Ivor Dean makes his first appearance on DVD as Inspector Claude Eustace Teal. Realizing the dream of a lifetime, the sour faced detective catches the Saint burgling a safe, and Simon soon finds himself sharing a prison cell with John Wood (Donald Sutherland). Circumstances lead to a daring escape, and the two men find themselves under the control of a ruthless organization that helps criminals to "freedom", for a hefty price. The Saint must succeed in a deadly game of deception. A great episode, with an abrupt ending.
The Persistent Patriots (4)
This one should keep you guessing. The Saint prevents the assassination of Jack Liskard (Edward Woodward), the President of an unnamed African country. Liskard has other troubles too, and enlists Simon's help to retrieve some love letters written to a mistress. What starts out as case of blackmail, gets rough, as Liskard takes a bullet. Who is behind it all? The solution stretches things a bit, but should still surprise.
The Fast Women (2)
There's trouble at the racetrack between rival female drivers, and Simon is right in the middle of it. Sabotage, a sinister bald marksman, and a love triangle are part of this tale. The story however, does not take it to the finish line hard enough to make it a winner.
The Death Game (3)
College students play the "Death Game", where they plan ways to commit make-believe murders. What seems like harmless fun, turns deadly serious, as the game's winners gather in Zurich to be evaluated for their homicidal tendencies. Impersonating one of the players, Simon tries to get to the bottom of things, and winds up being the prey in a human death hunt. Extensive editing was used during the chase scenes in the forest. Roger Moore was present only for the shots in the studio, and was doubled in all the location shots. The result is a little uneven, and not entirely convincing. Watch for examples of doubling in other episodes featuring location work.
The Art Collectors (2)
While in France, the Saint encounters a beautiful woman with three previously unknown Da Vinci paintings for sale. Could it possibly be true? Such a find creates waves in the criminal world, and sharks appear to claim the prize. Simon plays hide and seek with the paintings around the French countryside, resulting in a generous payday for the Saint.
To Kill A Saint (3)
Shots ring out on the streets of Paris, but who wants Templar dead this time? Once again, someone wants to use The Saint as a pawn in a deadly scheme. In a strange twist, Simon is even hired to kill himselt. This episode returns to the harder edge found in Volume 5. Roger Moore was too busy to be present for location shots with the second unit, and so a double was used. In the opening precredit sequence, after shots are fired at the Saint, he runs to his car. You get a quick look at Moore's double as he drives away.
The Saint, Set 3 is a collection with a good variety of stories, with something for most tastes. Volume 5 features episodes with a more of and edge, while Volume 6 is a bit lighter. More of the action is centered in England, and so we see more interplay between the Saint and Inspector Teal. If you liked the first two sets, you will probably like this one even more. Highly recommended.