Episode #115 - 6-18

The Ex-King of Diamonds

CAST:
Stuart Damon - Rod Huston
Ronald Radd - Henri Flambeau
Isla Blair - Janine Flambeau
Willoughby Goddard - Boris
Paul Stassino - Col. Rakosi
Jeremy Young - Gregorio
Antony Stamboulieh - Franco
Alan Rowe - Lafitre
Hugh Morton - Attendant

Directed by Alvin Rakoff; Screenplay by John Kruse

STORY:
Templar and several other rich people are invited to a high stakes baccarat game in Nice by Boris, the former king of Slavonia. On his way to the city of Nice he meets the american Rod Huston who challenges him to a car race. Simon wins. From then on there is a certain rivalry between the two.
Boris' plans are to both cheat at the game and smuggle bombs for a revolution into his home country.

OPINION:
Apart from the two Anton Vogler episodes (#88 "The Death Game" and #96 "The Power Artists") this is one of the weakest episodes I know of. It was intended as a "dry run" for The Persuaders but it didn't work as well.

NOTES:
* Ronald Radd also appears in Episode #14 "Starring the Saint" and #92 "Simon and Delilah"
* Paul Stassino also appears in Episode #9 "The Effete Angler", #22 "The Rough Diamonds", #48 "The Death Penalty" and #73 "Interlude in Venice"
* Jeremy Young also appears in Episode #79 "The Man Who Liked Lions"
* Hugh Morton also appears in Episode #86 "The Persistent Patriots"
The stock footage of the starting airplane was also used in Episode #104 "The Double Take". (0:00)
The angle from which Roger Moore was filmed in the studio doesn't quite fit with the outdoor material. (0:03)
* Commentary with Sir Roger Moore and Executive Producer Robert S. Baker on the Umbrella DVD
* Commentary with Roger Moore, Associate Producer Johnny Goodman, Director Alvin Rakoff and Producer Robert S. Baker on the network and the Koch Media DVDs

Robert S. Baker: <<...it was a dry run [for The Persuaders]. I just wanted to see how certain elements would work, so what we did in that episode was actually downplay the Saint a bit and give the American (The Champions' Stuart Damon) an equal share of the story - just to see the balance. So Roger played it ever so slightly differently.>> (Simper, p.22)

Leslie Charteris, 3rd June 1968: <<Kruse has set such a high standard in the past that this effort is quite a let-down.
The gimmick of cards with marking which are only visible through special glasses [...] was not new even when I used it myself [...]
Knowing how much I admire Kruse's usual work, you can imagine my disappointment.>> (Barer, p.156)

AIRDATE:
UK: 19th January 1969

GERMAN TITLE:
Ein Texaner in Monte Carlo

AVAILABLE ON:
* DVD (NTSC): AAE-70546 (2002)
* network (PAL): network 7952473f (2006)

THE SAINT
Last Updated: 12/23/2007