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Leslie Charteris

The Saint on TV

Hodder & Stoughton 1968
Jacket design Studio Stead

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Leslie Charteris

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When, after many years of noble and lofty-minded resistance,, I finally broke down and sold the Saint to the Philistines of Television, I fear that I must have added one more argument to the armoury of the cynics who maintain that every man has his price; because I certainly got mine. It must have been a shattering blow to the countless millions who until then had thought I was perfect, even though I myself had never made that claim. However, I did have enough remnants of probity to limit his period of bondage to two years, knowing full well the voracity of the mills which grind out the fodder for what I still regard as the mini-medium of mini-minds, and figuring that in that time, at the relentless pace of one show a week, they would have devoured the entire product of a not inactive writing lifetime, or anyway as much of it as was suitable for adaptation to filmlets of about 50 minutes without the commercial "messages" and the pauses for what is hilariously called "station identification". I was resigned to the expectation that my stories would be considerably garbled and mutilated to conform either with the puerile tabus of unwritten censorships of the congenital megalomania of all movie-makers who can never resist "improving" any literary creation that falls into their power

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