September 10, 1978: The Return of the Saint first airs on ITV

1978-The_Return_of_the_Saint-WikipediaReturn of the Saint was a British action-adventure television series starring Ian Ogilvy that aired for one season in 1978 and 1979 in Britain on ITV, and was also broadcast on CBS in the United States. It was co-produced by ITC Entertainment and the Italian broadcaster RAI and ran for 24 episodes.

Return of the Saint is a revival/updating of The Saint, a programme based upon the stories of Leslie Charteris that had originally aired from 1962 to 1969, and starred Roger Moore as Simon Templar (the character, in turn, had been introduced by Charteris in a series of novels and short stories dating back to 1928). An independently wealthy, somewhat mysterious ‘do-gooder’ known as ‘The Saint’. Simon Templar is shown travelling around Britain and Europe, helping out the people he encounters, though he is also often summoned by past acquaintances.

The series borrowed a few storytelling elements from its predecessor. Once again, each episode began with Simon narrating an introduction to set the scene for viewers, and each pre-credit sequence ended with an animated halo appearing above Templar’s head as he was identified. Return also made a recurring reference to the 1930s–40s film series, and the 1940s radio series that starred Vincent Price as Templar: just before the opening credits begin, a short musical phrase is heard that is not part of the theme music for the Return of the Saint, but is the character’s signature theme from film and radio.

Other than these cosmetic touches, there is no continuity implied between the Ogilvy and Moore series.

The first story, “The Judas Game”, featured British actress Judy Geeson. Other stars making appearances include Joss Ackland, Kate O’Mara, Burt Kwouk, Ian Hendry, Christopher Timothy, George Cole, Cathering Schell, Linda Thorson, Gayle Hunnicutt, Britt Ekland, Mel Ferrer and Sam Wanamaker.

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*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

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