The Saint 4.2 – The Abductors

Everybody knows that Ivor Dean played the Saint’s regular foil at Scotland Yard, Inspector Teal. It’s less well-remembered that he had another recurring irritant among the French police, Sergeant Luduc, played by Robert Cawdron. Luduc appears in six episodes, although unfortunately they couldn’t settle on a regular actor for Luduc’s superior, Inspector Quercy, and he was played by four or five different people. This time out, Templar calls Quercy a “second-hand Maigret,” which was a bit mean.

“The Abductors” is another one packed with memorable guests, including Annette Andre again, and a trio of villains played by Dudley Foster, David Garfield, and Nicholas Courtney, whose character is strangely more violent and base than we usually see from this series. Andre and Courtney crossed paths again a few years later for the Randall and Hopkirk that everybody remembers for its own amazing guest cast, “The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo”, and weirdly, in 1969-70, Foster, Garfield, and Courtney each appeared one at a time in consecutive Doctor Who serials: “The Space Pirates,” “The War Games,” and “Spearhead From Space.” No, I don’t know why I know that, either.

The kid liked this one much more than the previous two. It is a very straightforward tale of criminals with a goal that’s easy for a ten year-old to follow. No weird adult stuff like mistresses or market manipulation, just plenty of driving around, making the police look like idiots, with some funny quips, great brawls, and a credibility-straining dungeon where the bad guys stuff their captives. I’ve always liked it a lot. It was one of the episodes I taped off-air in 1986-87 and rewatched several times later, but I had forgotten just how ugly and bloodthirsty Courtney’s character is. We’re so predisposed to love Who‘s Brigadier that it feels downright wrong to know this dude strangled a prostitute to death. Maybe WATL cut some of that part out from their copy to make room for an extra commercial or something.

2 thoughts on “The Saint 4.2 – The Abductors

  1. I had the exact same reaction as you when I saw this one. Yes, Nicholas Courtney is an actor, and during his career he played a lot of different roles… but I’m so used to him as the beloved Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart that it was nevertheless genuinely shocking to see him play such a brutal, cold-blooded killer here.

    It reminds me of the time Martin Short guest-starred on Law & Order: SVU, and I was half-expecting him to deliver one of his usual wacky comedic performances… and then his character turned out to be this genuinely creepy serial rapist.

    1. I haven’t seen the episode with Martin Short, but SVU can really bring out the ugly, can’t they? I’d seen Robin Williams in a couple of dramatic roles – One-Hour Photo, a guest in Homicide – but the villain he played in SVU surprised me as well.

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