What’s Your Jericho Score? Simon Templar

Cigarettes are least of his fatal attractions

In my line of work, dying of lung cancer is the least of my worries!

Welcome back for the next Jericho candidate! In the previous weeks, some of the biggest and brightest espionage characters have passed through here including Jason Bourne, Napoleon Solo, Sydney Bristow, John Drake, Jack Bauer, and Ethan Hunt. We’ve examined their careers and evaluated their abilities to hypothesize how each of them would do if we dropped them into a real world game of Jericho. Be sure to check out how each of to them scored! This week, we’re visiting one of the most storied and longest running characters of all time, Simon Templar (AKA The Saint)

Simon has appeared in many mediums since first showing up in a story first published in 1928. He battled gangsters in the 30’s, Nazis in the 40’s, rich criminals & mafia in the 50’s & 60’s. He has been on radio, TV, and the silver screen (16 films, starting in ’38). His latest incarnation was back in ‘97. To tell the truth, if we were to split hairs, Simon is more of a modern day Robin Hood than a spy, but the fact that he comes up on the short list of everyone who remembers the spy craze of the 60’s (thanks to Roger Moore’s portrayal, no doubt), we felt Mr. Templar shouldn’t escape our gaze. He has all the characteristics of his 60’s contemporaries like burglary skills, etc. Any intelligence service would have been glad to have him. Since there have been so many incarnations, I’m going to go with the most popular and the one most folks know Roger Moore’s 1962-69 T.V. version. So let’s see how he stacks up!

Stealth – Like so many of his 60’s contemporaries, Simon was always sharply dressed. He rarely was seen without his coat & tie, even when sneaking into military installations in the middle of the night. A sign of simpler and different times to be sure, he was always found rubbing elbows with folks in the upper-crust wherever he went, so dressing for the occasion seemed to be a priority. I’m not so sure he even tried to work under an alias. He was always who he presented himself to be. For Simon, stealth appeared to be defined by how sneaky he could be in NOT being seen by the guards (i.e hiding in supply closets or throwing rocks to divert attention) In a real game of Jericho, Simon wouldn’t fare much better than most other 60’s spies after he’s played one mission. Simon gets 2 of 10 for Stealth.

Combat – Mr. Templar doesn’t have a gun. If you find him with one, it’s usually because he disarmed his opponent and turned it on them. My guess is that The Saint wouldn’t do too well in combat since his skills are usually performed close in hand to hand combat. He’s more a thief than a soldier. In  game of Jericho, he would be a better decoy than a pickup defender. Mr. Templar gets 2 of 10 for Combat

Teamwork – Every episode we see of all 7 seasons shows Simon not only interacting with other characters but also teaming up with them for heists, burglaries, and just plain old snooping around. He always travels alone and never works with anyone (save for occasional collaboration with inspector Teal, his psudeo-nemesis). So Simon is a lone-wolf, but he does play nice with others and doesn’t need to be the point man for any caper. In a game of Jericho he’d be able to work with his teammates well (which just reinforces my above postulate that he’d be a better Decoy than a Sentry.) For teamwork, The Saint gets 8 of 10.

Adaptability – There is a thread that runs through certain storylines of certain characters that basically makes them omnicient and infallible. We can see it in the Mission Impossible franchise, for example. They’ve accounted for everything, and even when it looks like a villain has outsmarted them, they knew that was going to happen too! Mr. Templar definitely falls into that category and just always seems to be one step ahead of his adversaries. In a real-world game of Jericho however, things just never go as planned. Someone who is used to having everything go right will be sorely out of luck and I doubt whether they would be equipped to adapt. Simon might be bright and adaptable, but we just don’t’ know. For Adaptability, Simon gets 5 of 10.

So once again we see a 60’s spy (err … thief/protagonist) coming up short of his modern day counterparts when playing Jericho. 17 of 40 is pretty par for the course for The Saint, but he’s in good company with his fellow UNCLE & NATO (and I daresay MI-6!) counterparts (imagine how the villains would rate!)

Next week: A modern femme fatal – Nikita!