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THE SAINT
The Early Episodes: Set One

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Roger Moore
Directors: Various
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen Black & White
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Studio: A&E
Features: See Review
Length: 612 Minutes
Release Date: March 29, 2005

Film ***

From 1962 -1969 Simon Templar hung his hat on a halo and helped many a damsel in distress.  I'm sure most people will associate Roger Moore with that famous triple digit British spy 007.  However, it was his role as the fearless and debonair Saint in a suit which would put him on the path to Bond.

Hailed as a modern day Robin Hood, The Saint struck a chord in people when it debuted in 1962.  From the very first episode where we are introduced to the handsome, well mannered Mr. Templar, you can see there is something almost magical about the way he logically navigates his way through every situation presented to him.

This DVD box set from A&E will definitely take you back in time.  There are 12 black and white episodes spread out on three DVDs.   Each episode is approximately 50 minutes long, which seemed to just fly by when I was watching them. 

Each episode pits Simon against a different kind of foe.  Whether it's someone trying to kill their significant other, or a crooked cop who'll stop at nothing to gain fortune and fame, The Saint is always there to foil their plot, get the girl, and grab a smoke.  In an age where tobacco companies are being sued left and right, and smoking has been made illegal in most public places, I was surprised by how natural it seemed for him to grab a smoke, as he grabbed the girl!

The quality and style of writing on this show really lets you know what's missing on TV today.  Good clean, wholesome entertainment is possible, and once again A&E presents us with an opportunity to go back and re-examine where TV was, and where it should be going.

I would like to quickly add that if it's been a while since you have viewed a show or movie in black and white, you don't know what you are missing.  I found that without the colors, I paid more attention to the show itself.  This enhanced my viewing experience, while at the same time giving me something that, despite its age, felt refreshing and new.

I don't think you can go wrong with a great show like this one.  Grab your box set today, and let The Saint come marching in!

Video **

It's been a while since I viewed anything in black and white.  I have to say that I found myself paying more attention to the show over all without the color influencing my viewing experience.  

On the technical side of things, this print was extremely dirty.  In its defense, the digital realm was just a gleam in some techno geek's eye back when this was first filmed. (Disclaimer: The statement above was not intended to offend any techno geek.  If you were offended please press control-alt-delete two times…if you pressed control-alt-delete two times, you are not a techno geek and therefore had no right to be offended.)

Moving right along, there was a lot of dirt and graininess visible on each episode.  Some scenes were extremely dark and hard to see.  I would have liked to see some type of clean up or restoration.  However, it is an older show, and fans will just be excited that they get to view an old favorite once again. 

Audio *

The audio quality on these DVDs was less than impressive.  I typically try to give a little extra wiggle room to older shows, but nowadays there is a lot of clean up work that can be done, and I'm not sure how much TLC these DVDs got. 

The audio was very tinny, and the levels were all over the place.  The underlying white noise was quite distracting, but my annoyance with that was surpassed by the erratic mix of the music bed and the spoken dialogue.

Features *

This Saint brought his halo, but that's about all!

There is a featurette titled The History Of The Saint, as well as a Biography and Filmography for Roger Moore.

Summary:

The video quality wasn't the best, the audio wasn't either, but the show itself was entertaining.  You don't get a lot of extras with this Saint, but the halo special effect is cute so you might not mind as much.

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