Thursday, 24 March 2016
360 Return of the Saint
First viewed : September 1978
We switch back to ITV for the revival of The Saint franchise. With Roger Moore now unavailable the producers turned to Ian Ogilvy , star of late sixties films such as Witchfinder General and Upstairs Downstairs where he played the impotent aesthete Lawrence Kirkbride. At first he was going to be Templar's son with the idea of Moore perhaps being tempted to make guest appearances but this was ditched in favour of just transferring the character to a seventies setting. The suave and handsome Ogilvy was a natural fit to replace Moore though a rather better actor.
The series had 24 episodes in which Templar roamed all over Europe righting wrongs, chatting up beautiful women and defeating madmen in his own gentlemanly way and though it sold to Europe and the US a second series was never made.
It made Ogilvy one of the front runners for Bond when Roger Moore jacked it in - a prospect that appalled the Bond fanatic in my Hall of Residence who hated him. To his no doubt relief Ogilvy didn't get the role but has had a steady career in theatre, children's books and TV ever since. In fact looking at his long list of credits on imdb I find it quite remarkable that I've not seen him in anything since this series. You'd have thought on law of averages that he'd have picked something that floated my boat in 38 years but apparently not.