The Saint, which shot actor Roger Moore to international fame, is set to return to television screens in 2013.
The drama produced for ATV Network by sister company ITC Entertainment was based on the Simon Templar novels by Leslie Charteris. By the time its six seasons came to an end in 1969 the show had been shown in over 60 countries, and made a profit in excess of £350m for the Associated Television Corporation.
The Saint may stand more success in its revival than other ITC series – such as The Prisoner which when recently remade was met with critical panning – as the project is to be overseen by Sir Roger Moore himself as a producer on the series.
In the 2013 series Simon Templar will according to reports be played by Hunted actor Adam Rayner.
Suggestions that The Saint is to be revived have been in circulation since 2009. The first rumour named Scottish actor Dougray Scott as the new Templar with the show to be produced by American company Brightlight Pictures, nothing came of the project. In 2011 another remake was apparently on the cards, this time James Purefoy was alleged to be in line to take on the role. Again no series materialised.
The production will see Moore co-produce the programme alongside his son Geoffrey Moore. Author Ian Dickerson, an expert on the history of Charteris’ creation, will serve as a creative consultant reports Deadline Hollywood.
ATV boss Lord Lew Grade revived the character in 1978 with Ian Ogilvy taking the lead role In 1989 Simon Dutton took the lead in a short lived London Weekend Television attempt at the programme and a 1997 film of the same name starring Val Kilmer was loosely based on the Simon Templar storylines – all failed to capture audiences in the same way as the original television series did.
The Saint originally aired on ITV between 1962 and 1969 with Return of the Saint in 1978 and 1979. Both have been repeated in recent years with The Saint a regular in the ITV4 schedules and the ’70s revival can be found on UKTV’s Alibi. Moore may have become the defining iconic ‘saint’ but he wasn’t the first. Back in the late 1930s through to the early 40s a handful of film versions were made by RKO with George Sanders in the lead role.
Pictured above: Roger Moore in the 1960s original series and inset Ian Ogilvy in the 1970s revival.