THE SAINT “The Latin Touch.” ITV, UK, 60m, 11 October 1962 (Season 1, Episode 2). Black and white. First shown in the US in first-run syndication, dates unknown, then per Wikipedia, it was picked up by NBC as a summer replacement series in 1967 (in color). Roger Moore (Simon Templar, aka The Saint), Alexander Knox, Doris Nolan, Bill Nagy, Warren Mitchell, Peter Illing, Marie Burke, Suzan Farmer, Robert Easton. Screenplay: Gerald Kelsey and Dick Sharples, based on the character created by Leslie Charteris. Director: John Gilling.

   Wherever Simon Templar goes, he always seems to find someone in trouble to help. In this case, he’s in Rome wandering around the outside the ruins of the Coliseum, when he overhears a young woman arguing with an aggressively over-shady taxi driver about the amount he would like to overcharge her. Solving that problem quickly, he walks off with her, only to be slugged over the head and then waking up to discover she has been kidnapped.

   It turns out that she is the daughter of the governor of Indiana, who is in Rome with his wife on a combination of vacation and trade mission. It is not money the kidnappers want, however, but a reprieve of a deported Mafia boss’s brother about to executed back in the states. Templar, of course, offers to help the distraught parents, but time is not on their side.

   Besides the more than satisfactory performance of Roger Moore, who was still very youthful looking at this early stage of his career, Alexander Knox’s well-defined role as the worried father, caught in a serious bind — choosing between his daughter’s life against that of a hardened criminal — is of special note, as is that of Warren Mitchell as the street savvy cabdriver, the first of three such appearances. And with veteran director John Gilling at the helm, the 60 minutes of running time (less commercials) goes by very quickly.

   With that said, I should also point out the only flaw I saw: I was able to pick up on the final twist a lot faster than The Saint did. That shouldn’t have happened!