To introduce a coming feature to the podcast, Keith shares some background on the Saint, and includes a handful of clips from a BBC presentation. Starting out in print form, the imperterbable, suave, worldly, sardonic, man about town, created by Lesley Charteress easily made the transition frolm the page, to the screen, radio, and eventually television.
Well established as a fictional character as early as 1928, the Saint was physically strong, egotistical, and bias, He had a past as a gambler, gun runner, smugler of whiskey and perfume, he was in the Spanish foreign legion, tramped across America, fought his way across Mexico, and struck it rich in South America. He lost fortunees as easily as he could make them.
No wonder the swashbuckling adventurer was known as the 20th Century Robin Hood. In living his life on the edge, he righted wrongs along the way.
By the time of it’s radio debut in 1939, the Saint had appeared in several movies. There would be a few short series that chronicled novels of Simon Templar’s adventures, before the long running feature would air, starring the velvet voiced Vincent Price.
Included today is the Audition from 1940, with introduction by Lesley Charteress himself. He introduces the primary characters, and sets up the story.
The Saint is believed to be a criminal, at least by the harried police commissioner. However, when a police detective, and friend of the Saint inadvertently gives a secrret password, he gets a special bundle from a spy ring.
Simon, just as randomly, happens along to help his friend who sports a fresh bump on the head. Finding the package contains bundles of dollar bills,, Simon investigates, finds trouble, and steps outside the law for some flamboyant poetic justice. Racketeers are raked over the coals, and a trap is set to capture the whole spy ring.
What does the Saint want in return? Just to alert his cop friend, Henry, to hand over the enemies of the state. Then, Lesley is back to comment on next week’s story, complete with a short preview of the drama under the sea.