Thank you, and keep them coming A&E...
trebe | 01/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Simon Templar, AKA the "Saint" is back, in the fourth boxed DVD set of his adventures from A&E. These episodes are from the 1967 season, and this time you get a bit more for your money, as there are seven episodes instead of six. Volume 7 has three episodes and Volume 8 contains the bonus fourth episode. Here's a quick take on the episodes in this set. These episode ratings are on a scale from one to five (best).VOLUME 7:The Counterfeit Countess (4)
In this tale, the Saint is on the trail of a gang of counterfeiters. Following the clues, leads Simon from London to Paris, and then to the Countess's country mansion for the final showdown. This is an excellent example of a classic "by the book" Saint adventure, with Simon investigating alone and then taking on the gang in the heart of their lair.Simon And Delilah (2)
In Rome, while visiting a movie set, Simon gets involved when the stars of the picture are kidnapped right off the set in their trailer. The Saint, suspects an inside job, and sets about proving it. There is a lack of suspense here, and a bit too much is played for laughs. And the resolution to the case, doesn't play fair with the audience.Island Of Chance (4)
A cable from a friend brings the Saint to the British West Indies. When that friend is killed, Simon is plunged into another adventure, aided by a pretty reporter. The pair soon find themselves in at the laboratory of an eccentric scientist obsessed with his work. The good doctor and his partners have a secret, and are willing to kill to preserve it. Somewhat typical for his adventures in the Third World, this episode is a bit more violent, with an ending that does leave you wondering a bit about the Saint's moral compass.VOLUME 8:The Gadget Lovers (3)
The cold war is heating up. Various electronic spy "gadgets" are malfunctioning, resulting in a number of dead Russian agents. The Saint steps in, collaborating with the Russians, impersonating "Colonel Smolenko" to find the source of the sabotaged devices. This adventure veers close to the far end of a credible Saint story, and approaches a poor imitation of "James Bond". One must after all, know one's limitations.A Double In Diamonds (3)
A bit of concentration is required to follow this story revolving around a valuable diamond necklace. The jewels disappear in the middle of a fashion show, and a copy is found in its place. Simon is along for the ride when the ransom for the necklace is being delivered. The Saint pulls the old "switcharoo" with the jewels more than once, in order to come out on top. This story is a bit complicated, and features a very untidy car crash, that leaves some gaping logical holes in the plot.The Power Artists (2)
In the Saint's own words, this is a "strange tale", one that goes a bit over the edge. Someone has been impersonating the Saint, setting him up to take a murder rap. Who? Well, not to give it all away, but let's just say that it is an old enemy. In addition, the story features eccentric artists, helpful hippies and large dose of Simon's buddy, Claude Eustace Teal of Scotland Yard. Writer John Kruse's interpretation of the Saint is often not in harmony with the established spirit of the character. This story is a good example of missing the mark.When Spring Is Sprung (4)
In this adventure, the Saint acts in the interest of the British government, to arrange the escape of a double agent (John Spring) to Russia. Simon must outwit the zealous Inspector Teal, in order to "spring" Spring. The Russians learn an expensive lesson when they try to play the Saint for a fool.The Saint, Set 4 is a collection with some good stories, and others that are not so well written, but are still entertaining. While there are some fine moments, I would rate Set 3 or 2 above this one. Still it is a must have for any big time fan of the "famous Simon Templar".What about future releases? I believe there are two episodes from 1967, six from 1968, and thirteen from 1969 left to be released. These include the two part features, "The Saint and the Fiction Makers" and "Vendetta for the Saint". It will be interesting to see how they are packaged. There are also 71 black and white episodes yet to be released on DVD as well. I hope the folks at A&E will keep working hard to ensure that, The Saint will be back!"
A&E Should Be More Careful
J. Ewaniuk | los angeles, ca United States | 01/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are all sorts of positive things to say about this series on DVD (good prints, clear picture) but I have problems with a number of the DVDs released on the A&E label, and this set is no exception.For one thing, there are no subtitles. Generally, with The Saint that is not a problem - except when the music drowns out certain key dialogue, or an actor does not speak clearly (star Roger Moore is known for his lazy drawal), and of course there are often times when a character will phrase something in British slang with which American audiences may be unfamiliar.But worse than that, there are mistakes on the boxes. Take Set 4. The box says there is a photo gallery and a history of the Saint included. There is not. Perhaps it is just as well. That History of The Saint is included on Set 2. Now I can't be misinterpreting it - it says "...nearly 100 Saint novels and stories followed, half of which have never been translated into English..." Huh? Are these people crazy or just incompetent? I have all the Saint books and stories and they are all in English. I am sure they were written in English. If they think they were written in some other language, why don't they identify what it is?And they also play fast and loose with the facts in the Roger Noore biography and filmography they provide. Do yourself a favor and just watch the shows and ignore their extra "bonus features". They are no bonus. _"