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It was a long and winding road for TV's MARK SABER, who started off life as a British cop working for a big city American police force and ended his career as a one-armed private eye in London.
The first time he showed up was in Mystery Theater. It was an American production, and ran on ABC for three seasons, from 1951 to 1954 (it wandered all over the schedule, changing names frequently).
It starred Tom Conway (previously best known for playing The Falcon) as a rather foppish Saber -- a sauve Brit, dapper, well-dressed and sporting a jaunty pencil-thin mustache. This Saber was a cop, working homicide for the police department of an (as far as I know) unnamed American city. He was aided in his rather Holmesian leaps of deductive logic by the rather dim, though loyal, Watson-like figure of Sergeant Tim Maloney.
Mystery Theater (or whatever it was called by this time) went off the air in 1954, but Saber returned the next year on NBC's The Vise. Gone, however, was the gentleman homicide inspector working in the United States, but a decidedly more down to earth one-armed private eye based in London. He was played by South-African-born Donald Gray, who had, in fact, lost an arm in World War II. Not that a missing arm slowed Saber down. He was a determined gumshoe, and he could always count on his partner and legman, Barney O'Keefe, and his devoted, albeit rather bubbly, blonde secretary Stephanie.
The Vise ran on ABC for two seasons, ending its run in June 1957.
But you can't keep a good man down. A few months later, Gray reprised the role in Mark Saber's third incarnation, Saber of London, only now -- despite the title -- his cases were just as likely to take him to the streets of various hot spots around Europe, most notably glamour spots like Paris and the Riviera. This time, he was backed up by Peter Paulson, Bob Page and Eddie Wells, a reformed criminal. He even had a girlfriend for a while. And there was a new Scotland Yard detective hanging around, Inspector Parker (played by Colin Tapley, who had played the similar Inspector Chester in the previous series).
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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