Thursday, 4 May 2017

Dominic Flandry And Simon Templar?

Hank Davis says in his Introduction to Young Flandry that Poul Anderson originally conceived Flandry as an sf Simon Templar, the Saint. (Ironically, Roger Moore played both Templar and Bond. In one The Saint episode, Templar played by Moore kidded somebody that he was James Bond.)

I do not see any Templar-Flandry connection. In Charteris' books, Templar, a private operator, was a sort of privateer or buccaneer. The Saint made sure that the cops caught the bad guys but also made sure that he kept the bad guys' loot as a sort of reward for himself and his friends. Thus, he too broke the law. (Another series character in popular books, Blackshirt, written by Bruce Graeme, was a talented cat burglar and, before them, there was Raffles.)

On TV, the Saint was an unreservedly good guy although inexplicably suspected of wrongdoing by a police detective. Police suspicion was an unwarranted hangover from the books where the suspicion had been justified. But, in any case, none of this seems to be remotely connected with Flandry.

I am too tired to look this up in the books and cannot find it by searching the blog, but David Falkayn uses the alias, "Sebastian Tombs," I think. This is Anderson acknowledging Simon Templar but still doesn't connect Templar with Flandry.


  1. Paul:
    Falkayn calls himself "Sebastian Tombs" when being captured by a Neuheim warship in "A Sun Invisible."

    With regard to Flandry, could it be Mr. Davis believes (or has seen proof) that PA's original concept, before any stories were actually written, was for Flandry to NOT be a government agent?

    And at least one of the TV episodes opened with a woman introducing the Saint as, "the infamous Simon Templar." She, like the cop, clearly believed Simon to be a crook, though an at-times-useful crook.

    1. Kaor, DAVID!

      Leslie Charteris' "The Saint" books is one of those things I have in the back of my mind to look up. Because if Poul Anderson liked them then it's pretty odds I will too!

      I have wondered if we shouldn't try too hard to find any direct connections of Chateris' works with the books of PA. That it might be simpler to think Anderson simply LIKED those stories.


    2. Sean:
      Well, Paul mentions Hank Davis as saying PA "conceived Flandry as an sf Simon Templar." That does seem to imply more of a connection than simply "these are stories I like."

      It occurred to me after my first comment that the likeness might've been meant to be of attitude, rather than profession, giving Flandry a happy-go-lucky way of mocking his foes that would fit with much of the Saint's manner. If so, this collided with, and mostly didn't survive, the tragic "rear-guard-action" nature of Flandry's duties in holding back the Long Night. But there remain traces.

      I'm thinking just now of the time he mocked Fenross by softly singing, "Brown is the color of my true love's nose...." I can easily imagine Simon Templar singing something similar; he made up silly poems in some of the stories.

    3. Kaor, DAVID!

      I have to go to work soon, so I can't reply as fully as I would like to. But I will after I get back home!


    4. Kaor, DAVID!

      Yes, I remember Flandry derisively singing that bit about "brown noses" from WE CLAIM THESE STARS. But, however right Flandry was about other high ranking officers, that time he was being unjust about Admiral Fenross. We should remember what Fenross said after Flandry made a contemptuous remark about him "brown nosing" powerful men at the time the news arrived on Terra on Ardazir seizing the planet Vixen. To quote from Chapter VI: ' "Shut up!" Almost, it was a scream. A jag of pain went over Fenross' hollowed countenance. H reached for a pill. "If I didn't oblige the peerage," he said thickly, "I'd be begging my bread in Underground and someone would be in this office who'd never tell them no." '

      That is, if Fenross had not known how to get on with powerful persons and to please them in minor ways, then they would never listen to him when he had to say no at times when it really mattered. In other words, had to be as much a politician as a Navy Intelligence chief.