Saber of London

Saber of London is a half-hour 1950s detective television series about a British police captain named Mark Saber,[1] who works, in the original version of the show, in the homicide department of a large American city. Tom Conway portrayed Mark Saber from October 1951 to June 1954. Donald Gray, played the part from December 1955 through May 1960.[2] Nelson Case was the announcer.[3] Several of the episodes were combined and released as second feature films. The character originally appeared in the radio series ABC Mystery Theater.

Saber of London
Written byKate Barley
James Eastwood
Directed byRichard Lester
David MacDonald
Max Varnel
StarringTom Conway
Donald Gray
Colin Tapley
James Burke
Composer(s)Edwin Astley
Albert Elms
Country of originUnited States
United Kingdom
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes221
Running time30 minutes
Original networkABC (1951–1957)
NBC (1957–1960)
Picture formatBlack and white (1951–1954; 1955–1960)
Original releaseOctober 5, 1951 
May 14, 1960

The debonair Saber wore pinstriped suits and sported a pencil-thin mustache. He tracked down criminals by his brilliant use of deduction as well as by regular police methods. Saber always got the culprit he pursued. His assistant, the more traditional Sergeant Tim Moloney, was first played by James Burke. A succession of actors comprised the supporting cast. One of the longest-performing of the cast members was Colin Tapley as Inspector Parker of Scotland Yard. The program also had different titles during its nearly-nine-year run: Mystery Theater, Inspector Mark Saber - Homicide Squad, The Vise, and finally Saber of London.[2] In syndication and in rebroadcasts on Saturday afternoons on NBC from 1957 to 1961, the series was entitled Detective's Diary.[4]


The series aired at various times on ABC between 1951 and 1957, with a year and a half absence from the screen between June 1954 and December 1955. Saber of London was renamed and switched to NBC beginning in September 1957, when it aired at 7:30 p.m. EST on Fridays, opposite Leave It to Beaver, then on CBS, and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin on ABC. In the 1958-1959 season, Saber of London switched to 7 pm on Sundays, opposite CBS's Lassie. In its last year, 1959–1960, it was moved half an hour earlier, just outside prime time, to 6:30 EST on Sundays.[2]

The 1955-1957 segments, which aired on ABC at 9:30 EST on Fridays, were called The Vise. In those particular sixty-five episodes, Saber was a private detective who, with one arm, worked exclusively in Europe—London, Paris, and The Riviera.[2] The Vise is so titled as a reference to people impacted in "the vise" of fate by their own actions or misdeeds.[5] In The Vise, Saber greets his viewers, accordingly: "I'm Mark Saber - and this is London".[6]

Danziger Brothers in London were the production company behind Saber of London.[5] In the 1950s, the Danzigers were considered proficient at producing low-budget films and could complete two episodes of the series each week.[1]


  1. "Saber of London". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  2. Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. New York City: Random House Publishing Co., 2003. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  3. Alicoate, Charles A., Ed. (1960). The 1960 Radio Annual and Television Year Book. Radio Daily Corp. P. 1198
  4. "Mark Saber on NBC". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  5. "The Vise". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  6. "DVD: Classic British TV Series: Saber Of London / Man From Interpol / Tales Of Edgar Wallace / Scotland Yard". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
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