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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Action > British TV > The Saint Steps In… To Television (Network U.K./Region Zero/PAL DVD Documentary)

The Saint Steps In… To Television (Network U.K./Region Zero/PAL DVD Documentary)


Picture: B-     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Documentary: B



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Zero/0/Region Free/PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Network U.K. at the website address provided at the end of the review.



Just as it seems another relaunch of The Saint may take place, a new documentary about the peak of the character on TV has been made and it is a must-see for fans of the character, action TV and TV history in general.  The Saint Steps In… To Television runs over two hours and begins with a brief history of the character in print, on film and even in radio dramas before the Roger Moore series became a huge success despite several major U.S. TV executives thinking it would bomb.  The special, produced by Network Home Video in Britain is now available in its own DVD and it is even better than expected.


Running up to the Ian Ogilvy Return Of The Saint series, marking both the last time Lord Lew Grade would co-produce the franchise and the last time it was any kind of noteworthy hit, Ogilvy narrates the first half of the program involving the Moore years, then Moore narrates the rest of the program, ending with the end of Ogilvy’s reign.  The show explains the other incarnations since (up to the Simon Dutton telefilms that failed and the Val Kilmer film that bombed) but does not go into those or why they failed.


The makers also have a huge sense of humor in the writing of the narration, endless illustrations getting the most out of the Saint Stickman symbol and employing all kinds of stills and classic footage, mixed with heaping doses of facts and great interviews throughout.  As a longtime diehard fan, even I heard of new things I had never heard of before and the overall result is a thoroughly entertaining ride through one of the most underrated histories of a character ever.  Once you start watching, you cannot stop.  Yes, it is that good.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 color PAL image originates on digital High Definition and is one of the best transfers of such material to DVD I have ever seen, from the almost total lack of motion blur, to the detail, to the color, to the quality of the film clips used.  I expected it to look good, but this was shocking and the Moore film clips rival any DVD transfers I have seen to date, while the Ogilvy clips arte a little richer than the PAL DVD set I have covered below.  Makes me want to see Blu-ray releases of all the shows the way ITC classics like Thunderbirds and The Prisoner are being treated to.  The episode clips are here at 1.78 X 1 and not the 1.33 they have been traditionally broadcast in or are on DVD as, but framing for the shows were always 1.85 X 1 safe in case they needed to use footage in theaters and because of the round nature of old analog TV picture tubes.


The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is just fine for this show, but know that the sound goes mono when the old clips show up.  There are no extras, but The Saint Steps In… To Television itself is so loaded with information that you will not notice much.



For more on the Moore and Ogilvy shows, try these links:


Saint – Early Years (Roger Moore Black & White) Set One



Saint – Early Years (Roger Moore Black & White) Set Two



Saint MegaSet (Roger Moore Color shows)



Return Of The Saint – 25th Anniversary Special Edition




As noted above, you can order this Saint PAL DVD import exclusively from Network U.K. at:









-   Nicholas Sheffo


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