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Mark Saber


Donald Gray and Harry Fowler
("Killer and the Kid")


Donald Gray, Honor Blackman
and Robert Arden
("The Lady Doesn't Scare")


Honor Blackman and Donald Gray
("The Lady Doesn't Scare")


Denis Shaw and Honor Blackman
("The Lady Doesn't Scare")


Donald Gray and Honor Blackman
("The Lady Doesn't Scare")


Colin Tapley, Donald Gray
and Honor Blackman
("The Lady Doesn't Scare")

'Mark Saber' was the name of the original 65 episode series broadcast on Associated Rediffusion between Thursday June 20th 1957 and Friday February 6th 1959. It originally starred Tom Conway in the first four episodes. Donald Gray then took over in the title role starting with 'File It Under Murder' when Mark Saber got a secretary, Stevie Ames, played by singer Diane Decker. She was replaced in episode 41 'The Big Snatch' by secretary Judy (Theresa Thorne) and Saber got himself an assistant called Barney O'Keefe (Michael Balfour). After Judy's departure mark Saber was provided with a love interest played by Jennifer Jayne but only for six episodes. The first series was transmitted in the US as Saber who always got his man and, 'The Vise' and had started earlier in 1955. The public took to the gallant when the series finished, the public clamoured for more. Danziger who were the fifties experts at producing cheap films could make two episodes a week.

'Saber of London' was the follow up series (US 'Detectives Diary') starting at episode 66 'The Captain and his Killers' but Judy had gone and Michael Balfour was replaced by Canadian Neil McCallum as Pete Paulson. This started on ITV on Monday Nov 16th 1959 and ended with episode 90 'The Visitor' on Monday May 16th 1960. In episode 91, Neil McCallum was replaced with assistant Larry Nelson played by Gordon Tanner but he only lasted to episode 104 'Field Goal' broadcast on Monday June 20th 1960. Robert Arden took over as Bob Page in episode 105 'A Toast To Death' and stayed with the series until episode 142 'A Date with Trouble' (never shown on ITV London).

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Saber of London video clip

Saber's last assistant was Eddy Welles, played by Gary Thorne, for episodes 143 to 150 ending with 'The Scream in the Night' with Anton Rodgers on Monday April 23rd 1962. In the last six episodes from 'Lost and Found' until 'Sweetheart Beware', Saber had no assistant.

The series ended abruptly on April 30th 1962 but was confusing as ITV showed it out of sequence with Pete Paulson (Neil McCallum) as Saber's assistant one week and Bob Page (Robert Arden) the next. The series was shown for the last time on ITV in 1969 on Granada as '30 Minute Theatre' and 'Sweetheart Beware' shown for first time on June 13th 1969.

Danziger ceased production in 1961 but poor Donald Gray was sadly typecast as Mark Saber for the rest of his career.

The above information and photos are courtesy of Donald Gray's biographer, Trevor Jordan, who has written a synopsis of The Vise (1954) at imdb.com. His book 'Colonel White Meets Mark Saber' is in the British Film Institute library and can also be purchased from Createspace

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