MARK SABER
Says Robert Ayres in #4.11, "Mr Saber's a pretty good detective!"

All series starred Donald Gray.
Click Series Number for details
Series 1
+ Michael Balfour & Theresa Thorne
Series 2
with Diana Decker
Series 3
+ Neil McCallum/ Gordon Tanner
Series 4
with Robert Arden
Series 5
with Garry Thorne
The Danzigers' flagship British-made show, made at their New Elstree Studios.
Shooting started in Autumn 1955, when the long running anthology series 'The Vise' was taken over by stories exclusively about detective Mark Saber. Ex-BBC announcer Donald Gray played the title role. In America, the series continued to be shown as 'The Vise.' In Britain the Saber stories made their debut on ITV as 'Mark Saber'. From series 3, with a change of station in USA, the show's title was altered to Saber of London. Actual production finished early 1959 by which time Saber had solved an amazing total of 156 cases. None of the stories have been transmitted on British terrestrial tv since Granada aired some episodes in 1969, though in the late 1980s satellite channel Bravo screened 40 stories ad infinitum until 1996. Network dvd issued many stories in June 2022.
Mark Saber was certainly a huge financial success, yet it won little critical acclaim: "the corniest programme on tv," was the verdict of one critic. But to reject the Saber series outright would miss you a few real treasures! One reason, Brian Clemens was chief scriptwriter, cutting his teeth on tv drama with Mark Saber.

Saber of London did occasionally feature in regional Top Ten lists. For the week ending December 16th 1962 Tyne Tees, it came seventh with a rating of 63%, even ahead of No Hiding Place!
Click here for Brief Biographies of the main actors in this series.
For Memories by Robert Arden ('Bob Page' in series 4) . More on the pioneering Danziger brothers.
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MARK SABER - Series 1

1 A LADY IS MISSING
2 DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND
3 A COFFIN FOR JOHNNY
4 COLLECTOR'S ITEM
5 DEADLINE FOR MURDER
6 MANHUNT
7 DEATH HAS THREE FACES
9 THE CAPTIVE BRAIN
10 DEATH NEEDS NO CANE
11 FIND A BODY
13 THERE'S DANGER IN BEAUTY
14 THE GIRL FROM ROME
15 HEAR NO EVIL
17 WALK SOFTLY FOR MURDER
18 MURDER BY DESIGN
19 MURDER FOR GAIN
20 THE NIGHT HAS SECRETS
21 NO REPLY FROM ROOM 17
23 NO SHROUD FOR A LADY
24 IT'S ONLY MINK
25 THE LONG WAIT

The first series of 26 stories starred Donald Gray as the private detective, with Michael Balfour as Barney, and Theresa Thorne as secretary Judy.
It was screened in USA from December 1955 as "The Vise" and later repeated as "Uncovered."
From 1957 it was shown on ITV as "Mark Saber," screened generally after series 2.

In Series 1 Saber's office is situated above a large music store (WJ Elliott Ltd, probably in St Albans), one shot shows the name 'Rigby House.' He drives a modest saloon car PLC961. At the start of series 2 his office has a view of the Houses of Parliament from the other side of the Thames, though he is soon in an office in Little George Street closer to Big Ben, and takes to driving an open top sports car, PGY450. Then during the early stories of Saber of London, Saber's office moves round the corner to Great George Street, Big Ben clearly to be seen, and Saber drives a flash Porsche 356A T1 Cabriolet, TGP 668. This was Donald Gray's own which he purchased in November 1956.
My favourite episode: 15 Hear No Evil, the best of a fairly ordinary bunch.
Best moment: How about Leslie Phillips' mini-part in #14?
Dud episode: 9 The Captive Brain, one of the episodes shown on Bravo is definitely poor, but it's not the only one
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A LADY IS MISSING
A simple first story with nice banter between Saber and his associates. Judy has eyes on her boss, who tries to fob Barney off on her. Offer not accepted! Interesting that Saber refers back to his earlier work, "when I was a police force inspector I couldn't be choosey, now I'm on my own, I'm particular who I work for." This remark is to brash Eddie Crane (Robert Ayres) who has burst into Saber's office asking him to find his wife: "I'm looking for a girl," is how he puts it. "Who isn't?" jokes Barney.
Crane offers Saber a hefty wad of cash. Mark takes the case! Judy sums up his American wife's character from a photo, "sophisticated, attractive, good taste." Crane thinks she might have gone to their holiday chalet in Norfolk, so Mark and Barney drive there and discover a corpse under a bed, her face unrecognisable. Looking around, Saber has a gut feeling that something doesn't quite fit. Or, as Inspector Price puts it, "something stinks!" The obvious suspect is Crane himself, especially since he took out an insurance policy on his wife only 4 months ago. But how could he be guilty when his alibi is that he was in America at the time of the death? "You can't push his alibi over with a bulldozer."
Some sleuthing from Barney reveals that Crane had employed several maids. All had been sacked. One, Jessie (later renamed Jessica) Rawlings has, oddly, disappeared. But from a photo she looks rather like Mrs Crane. Saber realises what was bothering him. The shoes on the corpse were size 7, too big for a woman who wore only size 5. Also, they were black but she was wearing a brown suit. "What woman," asks Saber, "would wear black shoes with brown?" Elementary my dear Saber. Though how we were supposed to see that, I do not know, unless these films were originally made in colour!

The Yard Inspector is Price (Trevor Reid), who plays it in his best deadpan style, asking suspiciously at one point, "are you holding anything back, Saber?" Saber's car is PLC961. Minor uncredited speaking part: police doctor

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DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND

In this mundane story, Mark Saber is working on behalf of the International Insurance Agency charged with trying to recover the stolen de Winter diamond.
Barney had been trailing Dawson the thief when the chap unfortunately gets himself killed. However he thoughtfully leaves behind a clue, our old friend the matchbox, with the name The Purple Shade Nightclub on the label. Mark and Barney visit there to enjoy a Scotch. In charge is the fence Nichol (Eric Pohlmann), whom they follow as he collects his booty.
Barney "the gorilla" has a fight in a pub, while Mark follows Nichol back to his club, where he hands the diamond to his girl Linda (Sandra Dorne), "femme fatale." Her job is to take the diamond out of the country to Lisbon. Mark attempts to deal with Nichol but Mario his bodyguard gives Mark a hard time, until Barney arrives fresh from his other punchup.
All that remains is for them to dash to London Airport and catch Linda who is all ready to board Flight 279. She is relieved of her jewels.

Notes The cast lists Inspector Price but he's not seen or heard, though his help at London Airport is mentioned. However, uncredited extras are the no-expense-spared 4 piece band. Also the barman (George A Cooper), a customs official, and Mario (Arthur Mullard), who actually seems to enjoy bashing the hell out of nice Mr Saber

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A COFFIN FOR JOHNNY
As Barney remarks, "this is the screwiest case I've ever handled."
A graveyard worker at Pinehurst Cemetry, called Durvey (John Longden) is worried because an explosion had caused some of his graves to fall in. He had discovered one coffin was empty, except for a heap of sand. It is that of John Dillon, buried September 12th last year, his body flown in from Africa where he'd been an engineer prospecting for uranium. His brothers Peter (Neil Hallett) and Fred (Colin Croft) had made the arrangements for the burial. Durvey wants to know what has happened.
That night an intruder breaks into John's empty coffin. Durvey is disturbed and goes to investigate, receiving a cosh on the head for his trouble. But he manages to phone Saber, who discovers that the plans of the cemetry have been burnt and the brass plate on John's coffin stolen.
Saber approaches the vicar (Patrick Holt) for the only other plans of the graveyard. But the 'vicar' gives himself away by falling for Saber's neat trap. He agrees with Saber that the fifth commandment is Thou Shalt Not Steal, maybe such ignorance justifies Saber in punching this vicar on the nose. But he is no man of the cloth at all, really John Dillon. Mark explains how he knew, a story of customs evasion. Dillon had discovered gold (obviously not the uranium for which he had been prospecting) and had used the coffin to smuggle the gold into England.
Saber: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
Judy: "Instead of John in the coffin,
Barney: "Gold dust."
Notes- the story is ripe for the usual graveyard jokes, such as the place is "pretty quiet."
Inspector Parker is mentioned in this story but not seen

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Collector's Item
According to Jean (Jan Holden), Louise (Gladys Boot) is "an old hag," all because her boyfriend Harry Glover is dating this woman, old enough to be his mother. Harry's after her money, of course.
Saber is retained by Peter Edmunds to trace his Aunt Louise, who went missing two weeks ago. Saber learns that she had once been on the stage, and possesses a rare first edition of a Gilbert and Sullivan piece, signed by WS Gilbert.
We see the happy couple in Brighton- they have now married, and he is already spending her cash.
With Inspector Chester, Saber drives to Brighton, making for their rented house. But nobody is home. In the cellar is found a bloodstained coal hammer. More clues in a waste bin, but no sign of the collector's item.
So Mark places an ad in a newspaper wanted column for such a volume. He receives a reply from a Miss Bunton, who says she had been given this book by a friend. It is signed, so Saber is sure it's the one belonging to Aunt Louise. He accuses the old lady of being Louise, and killing her husband. In a flashback she relates the sorry tale, "he was a beast."

Saber drives PLC961 to Brighton, though we only see this car in the area near the studios, not in Brighton.
NOTE: John Martin in a non-speaking role as book dealer

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DEADLINE FOR MURDER
"I am going to kill you. Your days are numbered." Thus reads a printed letter to George Baxter (John Stuart). He's joint owner of a jewellery business, and though the letter is anonymous, he suspects his partner and erstwhile friend Charles Donaldson of sending this, the latest in a series of threatening notes. He disappeared a couple of weeks ago, after accusing George of falsifying the company accounts.
Barney decides George must be nuts. Why hasn't he called the police? Because they were friends, is the explanation.
Saber suspects Donaldson's wife Diana (Sandra Dorne), an ex-actress, who is sure her husband has not run off with Another Woman. Though she claims she doesn't know where he is, we see her later phoning him at a hunting lodge, so that must prove how wise Detective Saber really is.
Barney checks out her background, while Judy is set to tail her. That is pleasant enough as Judy dines at a swish restaurant, all in the line of business, though then somehow Diana manages to shake her off.
Someone shoots at Baxter at his home. Urgently he summons Saber. Mark examines the room and spots, what we can see also, that the broken glass through which the bullet had been fired, is on the outside.
Mark finds a clue to Donaldson's whereabouts. He's at this lodge on the east coast, 50 miles out of town. But when Mark and Barney get there, they learn their man has checked out and gone back to town.
Another shot! Donaldson is lying dead of the floor at Baxter's home when our detectives burst in. According to George, his partner had attempted to kill him, they had struggled and his assailant's gun had gone off in the struggle. But it seemed Mark Saber knew all this was going to occur, and had already called the cops. He reveals the two fatal mistakes Baxter had made.
Diana draws a gun to make a quick exit with George, only to land in Inspector Parker's clutches.
There's a good twist, though several earlier scenes are really too incidental to the plot.
"You forgot the last act of your play, Mrs Donaldson," Mark tells the ex-actress, "the criminal always gets caught." Those were the days.

Saber's car is PLC 961.
The credits call the inspector 'Inspector Pike', though twice in the story Mark and later Judy refer to him as Inspector Parker- he is played as ever by Colin Tapley.
Uncredited speaking parts: the receptionist at the lodge (John Martin, three speaking scenes). A wine waiter

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MANHUNT
Two crooks knock out a lorry driver, stealing two crates. They make off in a van driven by their accomplice.
Since Inspector Chester is utterly baffled, he appeals to Mark Saber for help. This is the ninth similar robbery in the past two months. He does know that Michael Lamont (Alan Tilvern) is the boss of the gang, but this ex-Chicago gangster is so elusive, improbably no police force has any photo of him. But Barney had once met him in the old days.
So Mark asks Barney to try and get in with the mob. Inspector Chester poses a nice little scene in the police station in front of the two thieves who have been caught, Karl and Benny. The pair are so impressed by Barney's apparent mastery of the policeman, this is Barney's ticket to be invited to join them.
Their hideout is Joe's Cafe, but Barney is disappointed to learn that nobody ever sees the boss. All his instructions are sent my mail with a final phone call to advise of the lorry to be robbed. They are paid by mail also.
Be ready for the next job! Barney goes to another cafe to tell Mark's secretary Judy what he knows. But Karl tails him and Barney has to pretend to be her girl friend, kissing her and so on.
Now the location is phoned through, Talber's Yard. Masked men ram a van and steal parcels. Barney drives the getaway van, but police swoop, and make their arrests, though allowing Barney to escape to make for the drop off, a warehouse.
There's no sign of Lamont, but the assigned police undercover agent Sgt Marley joins Barney there to wait for Lamont to collect the loot. But Marley shoots Barney, obviously he is Lamont with a beard for a disguise. He had killed the real Marley.
Barney had seen through the beard and Lamont had only shot a dummy. After a struggle, Lamont grabs his gun and prepares to shoot Barney properly. Fortunately Mark is on hand to stop such unpleasantness.
Notes: Gaffe- as Barney talks to Judy in the cafe he calls Inspector Chester 'Price,' the name of another Yard inspector in some other stories. Uncredited speaking extras: Police doctor (John Martin). Chester's assistant. The driver of the van at Talber's Yard. His passenger. The crooks' van is NYN162
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DEATH HAS THREE FACES

Poor acting does occasionally occur in the series! In the opening scene, an actor, pretending to have a knife wound in his lungs, staggers unconvincingly round the set of a dark alley. He's not given a screen credit!
Saber omits to tell Inspector Chester that the man, Johnny Stevens, in his death throes, handed him a packet. This contains three photos from a Fleet Street 'Scandal Section'. Barney gets his "chance to show his initiative" by going with Judy to interview the man in charge of the photo section of the Daily Courier.
He is very helpful, telling them the first photo is of Tony Lawson, who's currently lying low suspected of smuggling in Amsterdam. The second is of Harold J Larkin, who'd been involved with doubtful companies that folded up back in the 20's. Last year he shot a burglar in his apartment. Finally there' Lili Martin, a night club singer who had perjured herself five years ago.

Visits follow to the trio. Lily proves to be inebriate, a sad pathetic figure.
"I don't like you!" she informs Mark and Barney in her stupor. "Not so much a woman," Barney later tells Judy, "as a walking distillery."
Lawson is as uncooperative as Lily, though he at least admits he knew the dead man. He threatens our detectives, "People who stick their noses in my affairs usually end up with them broke." A tough character, pronounces Mark.
Larkin is far too busy even to know if he ever knew Stevens and he curtly shows Saber and Barney the door. "My charm's slipping!" declares Barney.
Saber sets a trap by pretending to blackmail the killer, inviting that person to come to his office to discuss terms. As the murderer enters, Donald Gray talks to the camera while we try and guess which of the three it is. Inspector Chester hides in the outer office to overhear the confession. But surely Mr Saber should be warned that in Britain we don't just go shooting blackmailers, even in the arm!

Saber drives PLC961. Uncredited speaking part: Johnny Stevens. Also in a walk on non speaking part is John Martin, whose photo is later shown in the background to the one of Larkin
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THE CAPTIVE BRAIN

Mark and Barney are putting golf balls in the office, when Mrs Sanson (Jenny Laird) arrives to consult Mark about her husband Karl who has disappeared "without a word." She has unearthed a book of his in code which makes her wonder if he has "a secret life." He appears to have been spending vast sums of money.
He worked as a bookkeeper, and Mark asks his boss if any of their money has gone missing. It is discovered that 10,000 is unaccoutned for from the safe, but though Sanson possessed a key, scratch marks suggest a forced entry.
After searching his home, Mark discoveres an unknown key, and his suspicions centre on "another woman." A receipt for 1,000 for a fur, takes Mark and Barney to a fashion shop where they learn the payment had been for a stole for a Julia (Jan Holden) at 15 Ashton Court.
They find her, but in her bedroom is another lover, named Hugo Berber (Gerard Heinz).
Berber: "You've caught me gentlemen, in a flagrante delicto."
Barney: "Flagrante, eh? What does that mean?"
Mark: "In the arms of love, Barney."
The key is for Julia's flat. When Berber tries to persuade Mrs Sanson to take Mark off the case, Mark realises that it has all been a plot to blacken Karl Sanson's name. "This is all very confusing," admits his employer.
One puzzle remains, why is Karl so important to anyone? In Sanson's home are some obscure books which show he used to be a nuclear scientist. Has he changed his name? Did he work for the Nazis in the war? Inspector Price is able to help by finding out Berber has a history of politically motivated crimes.
So Mark arranges to meet Berber again. He naughtily pretends to blackmail him- he does very well out of it!
After their meeting, it's simple. Berber is followed to where Sanson is being held prisoner, the captive brain.
"Nice shooting Mark!" Saber lectures Sanson sternly on using his talent for the common good then absorbs Berber's uttered threat of vengeance. Not for ten years, he scoffs.
Uncredited speaking extra: the employee at the fashion house. The clerk at Sanson's office does not speak but is played by John Martin

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DEATH NEEDS NO CANE
Counterfeit 5 notes are flooding London. The mastermind eliminates all evidence by killing the printers, starting with French forger Pierre, shot dead in Paris. A similar fate awaits McMichael in Edinburgh.
Inspector Parker is of course baffled, these forgeries are almost undetectable. Numerous descriptions of the crook vary, but all agree he's a middle aged man walking with a limp, and he uses a cane.
Joe Stewart, the driver who had delivered the notes from Scotland to London is traced, but too late, he has been silenced. However his employee is able to confirm the description of the man who had paid Joe for the job... he had a limp, and walked with a cane.
Miss Dolly Day (Sandra Dorne) is caught spending 200 of the notes. In a nice line, Saber sums up her innocent but dumb character. She doesn't realise they are forged notes and her boyfriend is traced, Willie Peabody. Yes he walks with a limp and uses a cane. But he denies all knowledge of the notes. So under Mark's persuasive questioning, she is persuaded to reveal from where she got the cash... a "Mr.Smith" (surprise!) in Eaton Gardens.
Saber gets Barney to break in to Smith's flat, right under the nose of Inspector Parker and much to his chagrin. But there was no need to break in, for once inside they find a George Bartholomew (Patrick Holt) no sign of a cane or even a limp. He is a librarian working for Smith, who has left for Paris. Bartholomew is about to take his leave when the ever suspicious Saber rumbles the villain. This is Smith. Inspector Parker looks suitably bewildered. But it is Smith, for he makes a dash for it. Quick as a flash, not entirely in keeping with British law and order, Saber shoots the crook.
Saber drives his Ford. The credits state the Yard man is Inspector, but Saber correctly calls him Inspector Parker. Uncredited speaking roles: Pierre the forger (Jacques Cey). McMichael the Scots forger. The PC in Joe's room. The police doctor (John Martin). PC in Parker's office- in three scenes. A Bartender
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FIND A BODY
Eating supper at home, Albert Towner (Basil Dignam) suffers from food poisoning. Taking a medicine in the dark, he takes the wrong pill, swallowing some poison. Then there's a sniper's bullet! Three events that persuade him to come and seek Saber's protection.
However at the appointed hour, he fails to meet up with Saber. He was last heard of by his wife (a sympathetic role for Catherine Finn) when he phoned at 5pm, just before catching a train for a weekend shoot at Stainton Lodge in Chester. Barney's theory: the wife's the murderer, "it's all over her kisser, murder in neon lights." And her motive? The 5,000 insurance money, plus perhaps her young lodger, Kirk Bannister.
Mrs Towner however gives her side of the story. She'd been locked for 11 years in a loveless marriage, her husband is/was a strange man: in a locked room he maintained a shrine to Alice Coats, his first love. While Saber talks to her, Bannister, an aspiring writer, is interviewed by "the orang outang" Barney and Judy. He tells them the Towners "lived in a climate of violence, mutual dislike, mutual hatred." Dramatically he produces a blood-stained knife which he'd just found hidden in his room.
Saber notices Towner hadn't taken his gun on the shoot and spots some signs of blood in the Towner's sitting room and on a cushion. It's high time to call in the Yard. Mrs Towner is immediately arrested and all that's left to do is Find the Body. But Saber could "almost believe" Mrs Towner innocent, especially when she attempts suicide. So it's off to find Alice, a piano teacher in Sussex to solve the case!

Footnotes- A typical Danziger economy is the scene outside the Towner's residence. There are a couple of trees either side of the door, with Christmas decorations on them, even though no other evidence of the festive season in the story.
The Inspector (played by Colin Tapley) is unnamed in this particular episode. They keep calling him simply "Inspector."
Amazingly on his way down from London to Sussex, Saber travels on a pre-war streamlined LMS train. A rare first sighting of the Coronation Scot south of the Thames!

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THERE'S DANGER IN BEAUTY

Not for the first time, business is a little slack in Mark Saber's office above WJ Elliott's store. Mark is cleaning out his old files, including one titled 'Broken Honeymoon' (a Vise story he wasn't actually seen in).
At Henri's Beauty Salon in New Bond Street, co-owner Maxine Hughes (Paula Byrne) is receiving a complaint from customer Mrs Taylor about her hair-do. This is the latest sabotage in a string of problems that threaten to ruin the business that she had inherited from her uncle, along with her partner, the "very cute" Miss Emily Swanson (Mary Laura Woods). Maxine calls in Saber.
Barney noses round the joint, enjoying his little chats with the female employees, in a nice comedy routine "in a lion's den." In one nice throwaway, a beauty therapist tells him simply, "facial rejuvenation down the hall." But he does spot a jar of ether, an odd item in a beauty parlour. However Judy explains that away, "this is a job for a woman."
Mark is inclined to agree, so Judy books an appointment, Mark and Barney stumping up half the cash each. She has the works, beauty bath, hair wash, for starters, then after lunch a massage from Miss Swanson. Judy spies her tampering with the new Radiation Wave Machine (sounds dangerous!), her reward is a dose of ether from Miss Swanson.
As the new treatment isn't working, bookings have to be cancelled. The business is going downhill rapidly.
Another new customer! Barney, to find out why Judy hasn't returned to the office, announces himself at the salon in drag. He enjoys some more fun moments. He discovers Judy hidden away in a store.
The case against Miss Swanson is proven and she gets arrested. Barney gets some more ribbing about his unladylike appearance.

Uncredited speaking roles: the receptionist at Henri's. Mary, an assistant. Another assistant that Barney talks to. Another assistant (Jennifer Jayne)- in two scenes. Mrs Taylor, an irate customer. A waiter. A technician for the wave machine (John Martin).
Saber's car: Ford. The Police Inspector: named Chester in the titles, though Saber only calls him 'Inspector'

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THE GIRL FROM ROME
In a park at night, Mark fends off a thug who is attacking a girl. But then he is knocked out by a second villain. Waking from unconsciousness he finds her knifed. Saber is curious about her, "that's what killed the cat," Barney tells him. "Not until the nine lives were up," retorts Saber and he discovers that the girl was an Italian and had been a maid at the Park Lane home of Mr CF Johnson. This man engages Saber to track down the killer.
Meanwhile, Inspector Chester has detained Benson (Leslie Phillips in a one scene part) who'd been in love with Maria. It was his knife in her back. But Saber is sure Benson was not one of his attackers, he's been framed!
Johnson tells Saber about the Continental Employment Agency who supplied this au pair.
Mark then meets another girl employed by the agency, Tina (Dorothy Gordon) but she is bumped off before she can tell anything. However Mark finds a letter among her possessions from a friend, a new agency recruit, whom she'd been due to meet at Victoria Station, so Saber meets her instead.
The two thugs capture them, taking them at gunpoint to the boss in a warehouse. The reason now becomes apparent why girls are being brought from Rome. They were carrying unawares in their luggage, counterfeit money.
Unusually the story ends with a full scale punch up. Inspector Chester weighs in and somehow gets an old car tyre wrapped round his neck, giving Saber the opportunity to end with a nice corny punchline.

Saber drives PLC961.
Uncredited speaking parts: a policeman interrogating with Chester. Later: another constable in Chester's office. Two customers in a cafe

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HEAR NO EVIL
Screams! In a large house near Bentley Heath, an old lady, Miriam Booth (Iris Vandeleur), thinks she sees a prowler from her sickbed. "They're just waiting and watching, waiting for me to die," she tells her nurse Julia (Nanette Newman). "The old witch" has several relations living with her, just waiting to inherit-
* Helen (Catherine Finn)- "sour faced" because Miriam years ago married her boyfriend.
* Andrew (John Stone) her nephew, a "worthess" heavy gambler who has just lost 500,
* Howard (Alastair Hunter)- who has "a chip on his shoulder" since his business collapsed, and
* Jessica (Shirley Lawrence) her sister who, says Miriam, is "harmless enough." So she'll be the murderer then!
Mark decides that Miriam is a neurotic old woman with a vivid imagination. She's certainly forthright with the Saber team- Judy is told she has "too much make-up" while Barney looks like "the missing link!"
So can Mark discover who's "helping her on her way?" He can't see any concrete proof to suggest her life's in danger so he refuses the case. "I should have sent for a better detective," she tells Mark. Replies Barney, "you don't need a detective, you need a psychiatrist."
For once Mark's not on the ball, as Mrs Booth is found dead, having fallen over the banisters. "Obviously an accident," declares Andrew.
Mark questions the household but with no evidence he tries a big bluff as he's sure it's murder. With Inspector Parker mysteriously not around, he reconstructs the crime. "You can't prove anything," says the murderer.
There's a final smile for nurse Julia and a kiss. It's a well written plot by Brian Clemens, even if a few lines of dialogue ring wooden.
Notes: Saber drives PLC961. Surprisingly, there are no police in sight in this story at all
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WALK SOFTLY FOR MURDER
Terribly upset, wartime heroine of the Resistance Miss Emma Crow (Lucy Mannheim) bursts into Mark Saber's office. The recent death of Ernst Lomack, with whom she'd worked as an Anti-Nazi underground agent is the reason for her call. She says she knows who killed him, she'd seen this tall dark American bent over the corpse. She fears she'll be next on the list.
Emma now works as personal interpreter to millionaire Robert Hillyer (Alan Gifford). In a panic when the American wants to meet her, she tells Saber, who insists on taking her place at the rendezvous, a coffee house in Chelsea. But the police warn Saber to lay off the case, something political.
Mark doesn't, naturally. The American isn't too cooperative, even though he claims he knows the murderer. Forget about Emma Crow, is his advice. Barney tails the American, but loses him. For no clear reason, the American changes his mind and says he'll meet Saber at, of all places, a bus stop.
This story is far too full of dialogue, until we actually see a quick murder, for, no shocks here, the American is done in, shot dead. But he does manage to find a dying word for our detectives, Chips.
Police are not amused by Saber's meddling. The dead man is Jack Sloan, a renowned OSS agent during the war. But he'd taken to blackmail. Among his clients is Hillyer, whom Saber accuses of murder. Some convoluted motive of political money laundering. Saber's verbose denouement completes this tedious case.
"What's going on here?" requests the baffled inspector. It'd take too long to explain, sir.

Notes- no car seen, but Saber says he's off to the Motor Show tomorrow.
The policeman is Inspector Chester who has one nice line, "I'm a policeman, we're not as stupid as people think"

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MURDER BY DESIGN

Mona Fitch is billed as a sensational blues singer, though we don't actually hear her sing. "She's rather nice," that's the opinion of Mark Saber. He is wining his secretary Judy at a club where the singer appears. As he is short of clients just at present, it's a good job he doesn't have to pay the bill. Owner of the club, Jim Lacey, asks Mark to do a favour in return, act as a middleman and pay off Richie Bonsell (Bill Nagy), an ex-croupier at the club who is just out of jail. Give him 1,000 and a boat ticket to get out of England.
Mark takes along Barney to complete this easy job. They find Richie drunk, but after he has sobered up, he refuses to take the cash or leave the country.
You could guess the next scene, Lacey is found dead. He has been shot, and his safe emptied.
Richie is only one of the suspects however.
There is also Mona, with whom Lacey in love.
Lacey's jealous wife Stella knew of all this.
Suraki (Marne Maitland) used to own the club, but now is only a menial manager here. He was also in love with Mona.
Johnny Halop, the club comic, had Lacey as his agent. Rumours are a big contract is lined up in Las Vegas for him.
All are questioned. Mark's theory, always right, is that the robbery of the safe is key. Were incriminating papers of some sort inside? Mark tries an old ruse, he has the rumour spread around that incriminating papers have come to light.
Soon these 'documents' are stolen and this brings us to another stock scene, all the suspects gathered together in the club, in the presence of the Yard inspector, who of course takes a back seat to Mark Saber. The evidence is clear, and a confession follows.
"Neatest murder I ever saw," admits Barney, though the story isn't that at all. It ends with a joke about Judy's hat.

Saber's car is nowhere in sight in this story. Saber makes one gaffe when speaking to Lacey about Bonsell, calling him "Bonsero"

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MURDER FOR GAIN

Mark is playing darts with Barney when a lawyer called Farell (Lloyd Lamble) calls. He represents Priscilla Wright who a few days ago committed suicide in hospital. She had taken a fatal dose of cyanide. But he suspects foul play as her three cousins are set to inherit her 500,000. Besides, she'd been cheerful enough when he'd seen her, indeed she was getting better.
Inspector Parker is convinced it's suicide. Traces of cyanide have been found on her tongue, but oddly little on her lips. Goodness knows where it had come from.
All three cousins had been to the hospital to see her. Mark visits the room where she died which is five floors up. He sees a broken glass by the bedside, a fountain pen and writing paper, a few cosmetics and a bowl of fruit. This had been brought by Jimmy Ward (Kenneth Luckman) but no sign any of it had been eaten. He is a research chemist, and Mark spots a bottle of cyanide in his lab. Yes, he had brought her the apples But maybe one of his cousins 'borrowed' some poison when they visited him recently?
In Flat 374 lives Miss Norma Ward (Gene Anderson) who'd seen Priscilla the day prior to the suicide. She'd taken candies and some stationery for her. Barney meets Edward "Fatso" Ward (David Horne) who is having a massage. He'd taken flowers.
From the head nurse (Catherine Finn) Mark discovers that just before Priscilla Wright died she had been writing a letter which the nurse had kindly posted. It had been addressed to Jimmy. When Jimmy is asked about it, he admits he had received it, and shows it to Mark. It asks Jimmy to get her house ready for when she comes home. Hardly a suicide note!
So in front of all the suspects, Saber reconstructs the crime in the hospital room. He proves how exactly it was done and gets the suspect to re-enact it. Of course, at the critical moment he coaxes a confession. Poor Inspector Parker, whom Saber says he loves "like a brother," looks on, amazed. So much for the suicide theory!

Note: Saber drives PLC961
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THE NIGHT HAS SECRETS

Saber is about to close his office for the night when a man staggers into his office. His name is George Whitney (John Stone), ex-racing driver, who had to retire when he got these blackouts. He had married Jane who had been divorced from Tony Wright, a crooked night club owner. The latter had been blackmailing her, and intending to kill Tony, George had gone to his flat, no 247, only to black out. So he cannot recall what happened next, only what he does remember next is coming round and finding Tony's corpse on the floor, a knife in his chest. "Boy, are you in a spot," observes Barney rather obviously.
Before informing the Yard, Mark and Barney give the body the once over. After a search of the flat they do ring Inspector Price, who is naturally angry at not being phoned earlier. They learn from the manager of the building, Allison, that Wright had lived there a few years, and the new hall porter Murray, who has a police record, confirms that Wright had received only one visitor that evening, and that was George. It's now 4.30am, and Inspector Price books George for murder.
In Wright's apartment, Price very kindly watches on his as Mark reconstructs the crime, in the presence of all the main characters, a classic crime motif. An elastic band is the vital clue. The line is that, as he entered the flat, George had been knocked out by someone who was being blackmailed by Tony, "it all fits." The killer draws a gun, neatly Judy distracts him and an arrest is made.
A simple case, an early Brian Clemens thriller

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NO REPLY FROM ROOM 17

In a hotel room Mrs Wilson Floyd III is robbed of her jewellery and murdered, "strangled with her own silk stocking."
Mark is retained by the Continental Insurance Company to recover her missing jewellery. She's the ninth in a long line of visitors to London who has been robbed in similar circumstances.
By the corpse is a hat labelled 'Madame Rita', real name the less exotic Mrs Lilian Grant. Mr Grant (Pat Holt) contacts Saber when he believes his wife has gone missing after travelling to Paris on business, to stay at the Hotel Centrale. He's very worried because the hotel say she never booked in there!
So Mark flies to Paris hoping to solve both mysteries, but he makes little progress. However he does talk to the wife of Brois the late porter at the hotel, who knows Mrs Grant had asked her husband to post postcards to Mr Grant.
Back in London, Saber and Grant search through her possessions to find some clue as to her possible whereabouts.
All this time Barney is keeping watch on her shop, Madame Rita's. After questioning Kranz the caretaker, Barney is tied up. Sp when he doesn't report back Saber breaks in to the shop and rescues poor Barney. There are the Floyd jewels plus one corpse. Mark solves the case whilst the clueless Inspector Chester looks on in admiration: "what beats me Saber, how did you get on to all this?" Perhaps he'd read the rather feeble script in advance!

The inspector in this story is Inspector Chester.
Uncredited speaking roles- Grand Hotel telephonist. A maid. The police photographer. The police doctor (John Martin). The sergeant with Chester

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NO SHROUD FOR A LADY
Judy is perusing Detective Monthly while Mark plays darts with Barney. Theatrical producer Miles Baxter intterupts them, asking Mark to find Belle Adams, the famous actress, whom he is hoping to lure out of her retirment.
Dr Eldridge is surprisingly open about Belle, whom her brother Ralph (Basil Dignam) had placed in his sanatorium because she is "not completely rational." Mark is permitted to see her, listening to some long classical speeches before leaving her.
Barney chats with Ralph, who resents Saber's interference. He says Belle had become eccentric, wearing her old acting costumes to meals, and even trying to kill herself.
Her estranged daughter Deborah (Kay Callard) is earning her living as a waitress, despite her mother having a small fortune. She despises her mother for being vain and egotistical.
Her lawyer Vance issues a petition for Belle to be declared insane. This angers Ralph who takes Belle away from the sanatorium, back home.
Ralph phones to warn Mark that Belle has locked herself in her room. When Mark breaks down the door, he enters the room alone, there she is dead on her bed. A suicide note he does not believe- it's murder.
As usual, suspects are gathered, "is this some kind of game?" Yes it is, for Mark doesn't reveal that Belle is dead, and by such a simple trick, the killer is exposed.

Note: Saber drives PLC961

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IT'S ONLY MINK (aka The Tall Dark Man)

At a party, a torch singer Carol Lomand (Kay Callard) sees a tall dark man stealing a haul of furs, including Mrs Fraser's mink coat worth over 5,000. She informs Mark Saber that the thief was wearing gloves as he struck her. Under the window, from which he made his getaway, Saber finds a distinctive small skull, an inch and a half across, weight two ounces and made of solid gold. But he is, very unconvincingly knocked out. After questioning numerous jewellers, Barney finally traces the shop which had made this unique item. It had been made for a playboy called Miles Robinson (Robert Ayres), who lives at 62 Kingsland Court. He is definitely tall and dark! But he claims he had lost his skull. Barney tails him and his socialite friend to the Purple Shade Club, where the smart set meet and where Carol sings. Off zips Mark to the club to meet the lovely Carol in her dressing room!
Another party is taking place, Miles is going and there will be a choice collection of minks. Secretary Judy is given a mink by Mark, but disappointingly for her, it has only been hired. It's Mark's trap to catch the thief. Accompanied by Barney in a dress suit, Judy goes to the party. Saber of course is lying in wait and catches an accomplice red handed receiving coats being passed through a window by the thief. No tall dark man to be seen!

Notes: The credits refer to Inspector "Chester" though Saber calls him" Parker". Uncredited speaking roles: two male guests and one female guest. The sergeant with the inspector. A jeweller (John Martin). A female customer in his shop. The blonde hostess at the second party and her balding husband. A female guest in the room where the coats are kept. A guest dancing with Judy. The thief's accomplice
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THE LONG WAIT
For 7 long years Mrs Westcott (Katharine Page) has been searching for John Collins. She had been placing numerous adverts in the personal columns of papers, with the result that the kindly Barney and Judy invite her to meet Mark Saber. She explains that this Collins was a witness to a shooting for which her son Jerry has been imprisoned.
"The police don't often make mistakes," Mark solemnly informs the poor woman. But surely, he'd never had said that later in his career! As it is, he agrees to take the case without payment, or as Barney remarks, "for laughs."
Yesterday she got her first break when someone called Tom Deeley contacted her, claiming to know of Collins' whereabouts. Until recently he had been in the same digs as Deeley. For a consideration he tells Barney, who goes to see the man at Darwell Court. He is indeed there, but he is dead. In the room Barney finds the inevitable clue, a notepad on which can just be discerned S Davies 5 Creswell Mansions. It's on Western Avenue.
Mark joins Barney to meet Sam Davies, who says he had met this John Collins in a bar two weeks ago.
Fortunately something "just clicks" for Saber, "something I'd overlooked." With the connivance of Inspector Parker (billed erroneously in the credits as Inspector Price,) Mark tells his suspect he knows everything and demands 10,000 for his silence. Of course it's a cunning plan to get a confession, and Parker has been listening in on the telephone, "an old trick, but very effective," Mark informs the killer.

Note: Garry Thorne obviously got typecast as a suspected murderer, as this happens again in 'The Missing Hours' (series 3) - still he eventually made good, becoming Saber's assistant!
Uncredited role: John Martin as Collins (non speaking)

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MARK SABER - Series 2

1 FILE IT UNDER MURDER
2 IF THIS BE MURDER
6 RECEIPT FOR MURDER
7 HOLIDAY FOR HEATHERTON
9 CORPSE IN THE CELLAR
10 A DRAM OF DEATH
12 A HATFUL OF TROUBLE
13 RETURN TO DANGER
14 BULLETS FOR SABER
15 CRY WOLF
16 ROOT OF EVIL
17 THE VERY LAST WITNESS
18 THE WRONG FACE
19 CORPSE WITH A SWORD
22 SIGNATURE FOR MURDER
24 MURDER BY ERROR
25 MAN ON A CLIFF
26 SOUND OF DEATH
27 DIAMOND JUBILEE
28 A COIN'S WORTH OF MURDER
29 FAREWELL TO MRS FOREST
30 DEATH IN A FLASK
31 HI-JACKED
33 YOU CAN'T LIVE TWICE
36 BISHOPS SOMETIMES BITE
37 SHORT DARK and HANDSOME
38 THE HOSTAGE
39 THE PINK SCARF

This series of 39 stories starred Donald Gray with Diana Decker as Stephanie Ames, or Stevie for short, Mark's new secretary... but she's more than just that, for she accompanies him on his cases, and, yes, let's face it, she's in love with him! In File It Under Murder, she describes him as "good looking, what a doll!" A reviewer in 1957 wrote, "I like the characters of Mark and Stevie who are good foils for one another... it's such a pleasure to hear the rich, manly voice of Donald Gray speaking the Queen's English, as it should be spoken."
This was a superior series to the first, though it's a shame the cheery Michael Balfour wasn't retained from the earlier cast. Diana Decker gives her role a nice shade of femininity making this final "The Vise" series quite watchable. This was the first British tv crime series to feature a woman in a prominent role. But the experiment didn't last, and for future stories the programme was renamed Saber of London.
In the first story we meet Stevie, who says she had come from America as a journalist, but had been unable to find work. Mark needs a secretary as, he explains, Judy his old secretary had "betrayed him," that is she had left to get married. No explanation of why Barney has disappeared! Perhaps he married Judy?!

My favourite episode: 12 A Hatful of Trouble, is 'different'- I love it
Best moment: Jack Watling in 15 Cry Wolf, when he realises he really is going to be the murder victim
Dud episode: Perhaps 18 The Wrong Face, a very muddled effort

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Corpse in the Cellar
Ray (Patrick Holt) is packing his bags as, surreptitiously, actress Betty joins him. "I don't want any evidence that you were ever here." They are interrupted by another caller, Emma Pine, who chatters to Ray about their secret. She thinks they are off to Scotland to be married, instead he strangles her.
Mark Saber is commissioned by bank manager Withers, who is worried about one of his tellers, Ray who is living above his means. Mark and Stevie follow him that evening to a club where he dines with Betty. Stevie overhears him talking about leaving the bank.
Ray is also watched next day at work at his counter, but nothing suspicious, But at the end of the day, Saber examines all the cheques that Ray has handled, one is for 2,000 from customer Emma Pine, though this lady had never been seen today at the bank. It is learned that she has left her rooms, making for Euston. Stevie also learns from Ray's landlady that he had been seeing a wealthy aunt- evidently this was Emma Pine.
Mark collects bags that Ray had deposited at Euston, but unfortunately is seen by Ray, who returns to Betty, realising he must silence her. Saber finds her corpse, Ray pulls his gun, but in a neat move, Stevie distracts him, and Ray is arrested.

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 waiter. 2 barman. 3 hotel receptionist. 4 left luggage attendant

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A HATFUL OF TROUBLE
Rather different, this one. I love this fascinating little tale. Full marks to the scriptwriter Carol Warner Gluck, whom the Danzigers failed to recognise as a talent since she contributed no more to their output.
Little Peggy (Lesley Dudley) runs away from her nurse Nancy to seek Mark Saber's help as her daddy, who works for the government, says he's "the best detective in the world." She believes her stepmother is a spy as she saw her passing papers to a "little man with glasses." As she's being sent away to school in Switzerland, she wants Mr Saber to help. Enter Stevie, to find Peggy in tears, so she upbraids the great detective as a "hard-hearted Hannah" in putting it all down to Peggy's imagination.
With so much feminine pressure, Mark agrees to escort Peggy home where Peggy's stepmother insists, "she's just being naughty." But he kindly takes the blame for Peggy running away, and then gets a shock, for he does spot this person in glasses- he is keeping watch on her house. When secret documents at Peggy's home go missing, hidden in her hat, Mark takes up the trail. While Stevie checks all who enter and leave the house, Mark goes over the large building with a toothcomb. "I wish there were somebody to call out 'hot' or 'cold' for me," he jokes.
But though clever Saber isn't quite so good at hide and seek, he's shrewd enough to tail Peggy when she's taken for a walk in the park by nursie (Dulcie Bowman). The spies have hidden the papers in the rim of Peggy's hat and when the little old man tries to snatch it, Peggy runs for her life. Deep into the bushes goes the lengthy chase. Mark gives chase with Stevie - in the first shots they are actually holding hands!- until Mark finally catches the spy. Rather needlessly he punches the little man with glasses.
Peggy enjoys afternoon tea with Stevie, before Mark returns. She realises she owes the detective a fee. Mark decides he will keep her hat.
Uncredited speaking roles: Mother with pram. Police constable in park. Mark drives PGY450, arriving at his office, and twice leaving. Unusually, the car is also seen twice on the studio set of the street outside Peggy's house- once the car even moves

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Corpse with a Sword

"Death will be instantaneous," Tony Preem (John Barron) assures his girlfriend Anita Rodock. He is planning to bump off her busband John.
We see him do the murder, then dispose of the corpse in an ingenious location, Hanningley Church, where martyrs are buried. He replaces one knight's remains with that of Rodock. The knight's embalmed skeleton he buries in a field. He returns to Anita, "we are in the clear!" They celebrate with a drink, as he boasts, "I planned it all very carefully." However, what he doesn't know is that developers have bought the field.
Mark and Stevie meet Professor Hughes at the Archaeological Club. They learn about this skeleton found in the field. The professor is puzzled because until 1878 this land had had buildings on ir. Thus the skeleton must have been buried there since then, though it is hundreds of years old.
"Where do you get a body like that?" Mark asks Stevie, after examining it. He deduces that it must have come from a nice dry place, a tomb maybe. He asks where any crusader knights might have been buried locally. Thus he gets to Hanningley. He explains his theory to the local police inspector, who agrees to a press release that the tomb will be opened tomorrow. Preem dashes to the church, opens the tomb and is arrested.

Saber drives PLC961. Uncredited speaking roles: 1 Hodges the builder. 2 Builder. 3 Another builder

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SOUND OF DEATH
Small town intimidation is the theme of this story. On a foggy night, a woman is attacked and bundled into a car.
Norma Farrington was the daughter of a wealthy local Kingsbrook businessman. Her secret fiance Dan has been arrested for her murder. Rosie Temple, his mother, a chambermaid at the hotel where Mark Saber is spending a peaceful holiday, asks for the great detective's assistance. She's very worried because villagers have already condemned him for this crime which she knows her son did not commit. A lynch mob may well try to kill him. Feelings are running high in the village.
Mark is persuaded to give up his vacation, and talks to Dan in jail. Dan explains he had been driving Norma home when his car had got a puncture, and she had walked the last few yards home. But she never reached there. His engagement had been kept a secret as her parents did not approve of their liaison. Dirk Sloan was their preferred choice, but Norma had broken off her engagement with Dirk some months ago.
Mark gets the hostile treatment also, in the pub, as the burly Mike starts an argument with him, while another customer, Dirk no less, strongly advises him to get out of town.
Stevie joins Mark on holiday, and accompanies him to interview Mr and Mrs Farrington, and on the way a car nearly runs them both over.
The parents' explanation of their daughter's murder is that Dan had been jealous of Dirk. Farrington also echoes the sinister threat to quit town.
But Mark is no quitter. Through Stevie, Dirk asks if Mark could find some letters he'd written to Norma. Clearly they must have some significance for the murder case. So in the pub, Mark chats with Dirk over a cider, implying he has found these threatening letters.
He also lectures the locals sternly on their shamefaced persecution of the Temple family, and when he leaves the pub, Dirk strikes again, holding a gun, demanding those letters. "She deserved to die," Dirk says of Norma, but he hasn't realised Stevie has followed with the angry villagers. The truth is out!
Final scenes- Dan and his mother enjoy a happy cup of tea with Mark and Stevie. Then Mark resumes his holiday, fishing off the pier, with some joy.

Uncredited speaking extras: 1 Barman (the odd grunt). 2 Mike the pub rough. Dirk's car is MMJ135, the car that nearly runs down Mark and Stevie is KMC347

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SHORT, DARK AND HANDSOME
An interesting opening scene at a busy lido. Jean Tracy (Sandra Dorne) and Vince Gibbons (Patrick Holt) are putting the final touches to their crooked scheme.
Tommy Wilson (Ian Whittaker) is being played for a sucker by them. She tells the gullible boy that her sister is being blackmailed by photographer Paul Gibbons, so as he is obsessed by her, he offers to help her retrieve the offending pictures.
But Vince has already broken in to the studio and killed his cousin Paul. Then Tommy and Jean come in, Vince fights with Tommy. Vince seems to be knocked out. Jean informs Tommy he must have killed him. In a panic they hurriedly leave.
Mrs Amy Wilson, Tommy's mum, calls in Saber. He'd been about to go out for dinner with Stevie, but work comes first and he listens to Tommy's story, which is a pack of lies. Tommy doesn't mention Jean.
Inspector Parker, ever on the ball, finds Tommy's wallet at the scene of the crime, and makes his arrest. Tommy doesn't tell the police the truth either.
Mark spots a photo of Jean in Vince's flat. He'd already found another in among Tommy's possessions. But she denies even knowing Tommy.
As per tradition, Mark gathers the suspects at 10.30pm at the scene of the crime, even Tommy is allowed to attend. Reconstruction of the killing by Saber. Tommy explains how he'd fought with his attacker. But with a clever piece of deduction, Mark proves he could not possibly have killed that man. Jean rashly denies having any hand in it, that makes Vince, who would have inherited his cousin's estate, fall out with her and the whole truth comes out.
No location shooting in this story. Near the start of Donald Gray's first meeting with Patrick Holt, some background off camera banging is heard. Uncredited speaking extras: 1 The model at Gibbons' studio. 2 Smith, a plain clothes policeman with Insp Parker in two scenes. 3 A police sergeant in the studio- he utters one word off camera
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Saber of London - The third Danziger series of stories about Mark Saber
with Neil McCallum as Pete
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1 THE CAPTAIN AND THE KILLERS
2 HANDS ACROSS THE SEA
3 DEEP IN THE HEART OF CHELSEA
4 DEATH BY DELAYED PAYMENT
5 THE MISSING HOURS
6 THE PENNY BLACK
7 GIRLS AND DIAMONDS
8 MURDER SHALL SPEAK
10 HOUR OF DECISION
11 LUGER FOR CHESSER
12 THE LAW AND THE LAWLESS
13 HIDDEN MONEY
14 FAST CARS AND GIRLS
15 SABER'S BOW AND ARROW
17 SABER AT SEA
18 CHEATING CHEATERS
19 SIX MONTHS TO TALK
21 THE MAID WAS CURIOUS
22 THE CASE OF MR SHORE
25 THE VISITOR
26 STRONG MAN OUT

27 POWER OF SUGGESTION
28 THE MAN WHO WAS TWICE
29 DEAD MAN'S HANDS
30 DIAMOND FOLLIES
31 A DIPLOMATIC AFFAIR
32 BLACK PAWN, WHITE PAWN
34 THE WHITE CANE
35 BEYOND FEAR
36 DON'T LOSE YOUR SHIRT
37 WEAKNESS DOESN'T PAY
38 FIELD GOAL
39 THE CORPSE CRIED MURDER

Made in 1957/8, as the show changed stations in America. it was given the new title Saber of London. The opening sequence shows police cars racing round the London streets (MGF287, NLN820, KXR761), before introducing the great detective, standing in front of Big Ben which is chiming 4 o'clock, announcing, "Good Evening. I'm Mark Saber, and this is London."
Saber's office telephone number is WHITEHALL 0011.
In this series, Saber is assisted by Pete (Neil McCallum), who left in mid-series, replaced by Larry (Gordon Tanner). Mark's secretaries have vanished! Someone call the Yard! Perhaps some belated explanation may be forthcoming of Saber's lack of any female in his office in #4.24, in which Mark comments on why he had to let his receptionist go. Apparently she kept making eyes at Mark's assistant! However in #3.29 we do meet Mrs Biggs, who cooks a meal for Saber at his office.

My favourite episode: 19 Six Months to Talk
Best moment: In 31 When Saber faces up to the evil Virnoff
Dud episode: Perhaps 38 Field Goal is the dullest story, but all are at the least watchable.
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HANDS ACROSS THE SEA
The story begins at a nightclub with an unnamed calypso group performing 'Please come back to Jamaica,' and 'Sunshine.' It's interesting that Saber introduces Pete as "a recently acquired assistant," to Inspector Parker. He drives TNM286.

At The Rendezvous Club (though an outside shot shows Le Pavilion), an American sergeant offers his girlfriend Betty Allen a drink of 30 year old brandy, that he has smuggled into the club. At once, she collapses. She dies. Poor Ron Baker (Graydon Gould) sneaks a quick call to his friend Pete at Saber's office before running away. Mark and Pete arrive at the club to learn that Betty had died of cyanide poisoning.
As Pete used to be an army buddy of Ron's, he thinks he can locate Ron at one of his old haunts, a Soho pub. Pete convinces Ron to talk to Mark.
His story is, that he'd known Betty for two months. She had no enemies, of course! The brandy he brought into the club had been given him by a complete stranger, not a story that would hold up very well in a courtroom. Ron is able to describe the stranger. He was aged 38-40, curly brown hair and glasses. They'd bumped into each other near Marble Arch.
"Didn't it strike you as odd," quizzes Mark with a knack for the obvious, "a strange man giving you a bottle of expensive brandy?"
But Mark decides the story is so incredible, it just has to be true.
The taxi the stranger had taken is traced, this leads Mark to the man, an artist named Benton (Philip Saville) in a Chelsea studio. Benton tries to make a bolt for it, but Pete is waiting for him! He claims he didn't know the brandy was poisoned, it had been given him by an old flame as a "sentimental gesture" when he had broken off their relationship. On a generous impulse he'd given the soldier the bottle.
At the police station, Benton's ex-girl admits all. "I'd made up my mind if he didn't come back, noone else was going to have him ever."
In the final scene, Mark leaves the office with his date, a blonde on his arm.

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 the singer at the club. 2 The manager at the club. 3 The police doctor. 4 Mark's girl friend.
Jan Holden is billed as 'Salesgirl,' her character is called Linda

Series 3 of Saber of London
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Death by Delayed Payment
Ray Prentice is a "very sick man," doctors can do nothing for him. After walking the streets, he returns home, but doesn't tell his wife the bad news. Instead he approaches Tony on the subject of murder, victim: himself! This way, his wife can collect insurance.. The man to pull the trigger will be a secret.
The doc phones about "a terrible mistake." X-rays had got mixed up: Ray is not going to die! So naturally Ray tries to undo the job, "call it off." Unconscious in hospital lies Tony, so Ray turns to Mark Saber for help in finding the potential killer, "certainly an unusual case."
Inspector Parker is informed, and police keep surveillance on Ray's home. However, the guard is overpowered, and the assassin enters Ray's home, shooting at Saber who dares intervene. Of course Mark is OK and it's the killer who is killed.
A well worn storyline, Brian Clemens gives it little sting.

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Tough. 2 Doctor. Mark drives TNM286, police car NLN820. The location shooting includes Philip Saville as Ray exiting hospital and walking across Westminster Bridge, past Buckingham Palace(!). He also catches a 107 bus to Queensway. The killer is seen lurking outside Ray's flat

Series 3 of Saber of London
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SABER AT SEA

Set entirely on board a Union Castle liner, where Julie Forbes (Ann Stephens) is recuperating from a traumatic car crash. As she has had a breakdown, it seems a trifle odd why she is travelling alone. Also on board from Southampton, on holiday to Naples, are Mark Saber and Pete. This proves to be most fortuitous.
In adjoining cabin 405, Julie sees a man being murdered. But by the time she has summoned help, the captain asking Saber's for professional assistance, the corpse has disappeared. No sign of any struggle and in fact, the body then appears, very much alive! It's a Mr Vance (Robert Arden) who's naturally rather bemused by Julie's story. "Maybe you were dreaming," suggests Pete to Julie.
It happens again, the case of the disappearing dead man! A shocked Julie had gone to her cabin 404 for a lie down. She screams, for the corpse is there! Or, it certainly had been there.
"We can't have any more of this," declares the irritated captain. But this time Saber's detecting skills notice "a dark spot on the carpet." More blood is discovered on the rail of the upper deck. He is positive that there really has been a murder. So while Pete "sits back and awaits developments," in others words chatting up Julie, Mark sends a cable to Toronto, to get the background on Canadian Vance.
Julie rashly, and improbably, snoops in Vance's cabin. Of course he catches her there. But the truth is out: she has found a photo of him, with a man who looks exactly like him.
Vance is to inherit his uncle's small fortune. But there are actually two Vances, Preston and Paul, "the black sheep of the family," and they are identical. Or rather were, as the evil Paul had pushed his brother's corpse in the sea

Uncredited speaking roles: 1 A steward (several scenes). 2 A male passenger. 3 A female passenger. 4 Another male passenger. As well as general shots of the liner, we see on film Donald Gray and Neil McCallum walking on deck, also Gray with Robert Arden. The latter is seen in another scene with the captain

Series 3 of Saber of London
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THE MAID WAS CURIOUS
Not really a whodunnit, as the plot never develops any real suspects, but it shows our detective, as irregular as ever with Scotland Yard, with the invaluable help of his assistant, solving a murder with only the thinnest of clues as a starting point.
The storyline is borrowed very heavily from a Paris Precinct Story,
The Case of The Pastry Chef

In Room 23 of the Hotel Dorset, Sarah the maid (Jan Holden) opens a large trunk.... and screams.
In his office, Big Ben showing 3.20, Mark Saber is asked by the hotel management if he could discreetly solve the crime. He examines the badly mutilated corpse of an unknown man in his early thirties. Watkins, the resident manager (Robert Dorning), says the man was a sailor who had booked in as George Peters. His trunk had been brought up to his room later. But the manager can't be sure that the body is that of Peters.
Inside the trunk there's a piece of paper which Pete thinks could be the names of horses, but wise old Saber believes are restaurants. So he enjoys lunch at one of them, Cater's Edge, learning that the notes emanated from a shop where pastry is sold, Rosemary Baker of Langton Street. Receipts were signed by Harry Quinn.
Pete chats with young Alice at this bakery, learning she had been engaged to Harry, whom she hasn't seen for a while as he's a cook's assistant on board The Silver Queen. The couple had been about to settle down and buy their own pastry shop, partly with money from a friend whose name she does not know. What cash Harry had himself, was kept in their joint account, but all the money had been withdrawn yesterday.
Inspector Parker complains about Mark's "highly irregular" actions, but in return for all Mark's help in the past, kindly overlooks his behaviour. The Yard lab inspects the body, but positive identification is not possible. Is it Quinn? The best that can be said is that the dead man had no criminal record.
In the Trafalgar Square offices of the Burston Shipping Company, Pete pores over their files. Quinn had signed up for The Silver Queen's next voyage- but is his signature genuine? On no less than Inspector Parker's authority, its departure is delayed for an hour.
A speedy drive to the docks by the Tower of London, and Mark is talking to the captain. In the galley he's introduced to the chef. Quinn has not yet reported for duty. Assistant chef Tobin is evasive, "I knew him." Mark picks up on the past tense. That's the cue for Mark to accuse him of murder. Tobin had robbed Harry, having been the 'friend' who had promised to give him the money to help buy his shop.

Notes: Uncredited speaking roles: 1 a girl carrying a tray at Rosemary Baker's. 2 The sergeant in Parker's office. Mark drives TGP668, he and Pete alight at Coburg Court lias Hotel Dorset. Later Mark parks this car outside a restaurant, and a longer sequence shows him driving in to the docks, where Mark alights and boards a ship near the Tower of London
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THE CASE OF MR SHORE

Enjoying a walk in the park, Pete is offered a package, untidily wrapped in newspaper, by a man sitting on the park bench. He's Roger Shore (Peter Reynolds), who tells Pete that he cannot go to the police. Pete takes him to see his boss.
Shore explains he's a widower, the cash inside the parcel is ransom money for his eight year old son Peter who has been kidnapped. As the kidnappers had not contacted him at 10.30 in the park, as arranged, he has to go to a pub and wait.
Mark Saber goes there, posing as Mr Shore. A phone call orders him to go to a newsagents. However the kidnapper's voice is a dead giveaway, though great detective as he is, Mark Saber doesn't notice.
A "hoodlum" named Tout (Brian Weske) follows Mark inside the shop and hands him a message to go to Waterloo Station. Pete who has been tailing Mark, gets Inspector Parker to arrest the yob, but it seems he was an innocent dupe who had been paid a fiver to deliver the note.
At Waterloo, a British Railways inspector tries to arrest Mark for stealing the package! Pete has to break cover and reveal who the great detective is.
Another phone call sends Mark to Piccadilly Underground, in this grand tour of London's sites.
But nothing happens there, and a disconsolate Mark is about to report back to Inspector Parker, when he hears Roger Shore's voice in a phone booth. "You've been calling You," Mark twigs at last.
Men in white coats take Shore by ambulance to hospital where a doctor (Ian Fleming) unravels Shore's sad story. His son Peter had been knocked down by a truck that morning, dying of his injuries. Shore had created this "fantasy" to convince himself his son would return home. "Sounds insane," comments the unsympathetic Parker. There follows a sad conversation with Mr Shore in his bed. Mark does not tell Shore the terrible truth, leaving him lying there happily, temporarily at least. This is an unusually sympathetic scene. "Poor chap," concludes Parker.

Mark drives TNM286. Uncredited talking roles: 1 Female shop assistant. 2 two boys in the park make some incomprehensible noises.
Location shooting: In the park Neil McCallum walks, later Peter Reynolds makes off for a lake. Donald Gray is seen walking into a pub, and later leaving. Peter Reynolds leaves a shop. Donald Gray gets out of TNM286, and is followed by Brian Weske and Neil McCallum. Scene at Waterloo shows Donald Gray waiting, then again at Piccadilly Underground station, where also Neil McCallum stands by the ticket machines

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THE VISITOR
A frightened Maureen Grady phones Mark as a matter of urgency, but is murdered.
Mark and Pete drive round to 22 Park Street and find she's been strangled. A photo "with love Henri" has been hastily ripped from its frame. Another clue scattered on the floor is a book of matches labelled Crescent Hotel. Mark leaves Pete looking after Maureen's unco-operative room mate Sheila Conway (Shirley Lawrence), while he confronts Henri Rivier (John Loder) at the hotel. He claims he doesn't know Miss Grady.
Henri has already packed, leaving with his wife (Mila Parely) to catch the 1600 Sabena flight for Brussels. In haste they rush off, so Mark phones Inspector Parker. Even though there's no evidence, Inspector Parker is a mere pawn, and obeys Mark's order to stop the couple at London Airport. This gives the opportunity for several minutes of interesting 1957 location work in and around a much quieter Heathrow than nowadays.
Henri and his wife arrive by taxi, then as they walk on to the tarmac, police detain them. Mark then Parker show up, and while the latter worries about the legality of proceedings, Mark "plays a long shot" and phones Brussels.
He shows Henri the rest of the torn photo which he'd found in the hotel room waste paper basket. Henri takes some cyanide.
The Brussels phone call exposes the complexity of the murderer's cunning. Parker listens incredulously adding at the end "you'd better tell the truth...." We watch a flashback of what actually occurred. Then a final dramatic twist.
.Notes- Mark drives TGP668 seen ariving at Grady's flat, driving along dual carriageway and calling at the hotel. An extended sequence shows Saber, as well as police driving to London Airport: police cars: NLN820, KXR761. Rivier and his wife are filmed at the airport. Saber is seen walking through the main entrance hall. Uncredited speaking extras: 1 Kenny the manager of the hotel. 2 A hotel porter. 3 A hotel maid. 4 Police radio operative in Parker's car. 5 Plain Clothes policeman
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POWER OF SUGGESTION
As Larry shakes hands with Inspector Parker, Saber introduces him as "my new assistant."
The story of two business partners who drink a poisoned bottle of wine. John Bellville (Neil Hallett), in agony, telephones Mark Saber and then collapses dramatically. AMB4159, Mark tries to reconnect. No luck, so he rushes round to find Mrs Bellville dead and her husband being wheeled off to hospital.
The wine had been brought by his partner Kane (John Stone) who asks Mark what possible reason he could have for trying to kill his dearest friend. But Inspector Parker is quite convinced that Kane is guilty, leading to a running joke in the program, "If Kane is innocent, I'm the King of Siam!"
Mark questions Kane. He admits he did love Mrs Bellville but claims John is trying to frame him. His story is checked out "carefully and thoroughly," with the result that Mark is convinced that Kane had neither time or opportunity to put any poison in the wine bottle.
Police reveal Bellville has enough arsenic in his body "to kill five men." So how is he still alive?! A doctor confirms that Bellville might have built up an immunity. But how to prove this? And how did he then introduce poison into that wine bottle unnoticed? The answers are found in Bellville's chemist shop, thanks to a bit of surreptitious breaking and entering by Mark and Larry.
Mark's unorthodox method of obtaining the truth, dubiously sanctioned by Inspector Parker, involves adminstering an 'arsenic' tablet to his suspect! In reality this is only aspirin, but 'the power of suggestion' is enough to evince the truth.
Uncredited speaking roles: 1 John Martin as the prison guard. 2 A nurse. Mark drives his old Vauxhall in this story. Film of Gray and Tanner walking along Farm Street to The Punch pub, which I think is in Mayfair
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A DIPLOMATIC AFFAIR

At long last, Professor Tomulkin (John le Mesurier) will be reunited with his daughter Petra. They are about to meet in the street, when he is snatched away in a passing car.
"It seems incredible," observes Larry, "that such a thing could happen in the open street in broad daylight."
He's taken to a foreign embassy and interrogated, in other words tortured into providing "the names."
With Inspector Parker's hands tied, Petra appeals to Mark Saber for help. As she had noticed her country's diplomatic plate on the car, he visits the embassy, and whilst waiting snoops around and bumps into Major Virnoff (played with style by Philip Saville). The major is no fool, and recognises Mark as the famous "dangerous" detective. Certainly he is all that, for in a highly unorthodox move, the embassy cooks are chloroformed and he and Larry infiltrate the building having borrowed the chefs' overalls. It's quite easy to get into the embassy, but how to get out?
At gunpoint, Virnoff is forced to take Saber and Larry to his prisoner. The major however proves a worthy opponent, as he stops all exits by ordering the bars to come down on all doors and windows.
Mark locks Virnoff in the cell, and sounds the fire alarm, starting a small fire in the major's office. The fire brigade must needs come to the rescue, and the professor is happily escorted away.
Saber drives TGP668. The kidnapper's car is FLN303: this is seen in Lancaster Gate, where Ellen Blueth as Petra, and John le Mesurier are filmed. Uncredited speaking part: 1 second cook
Series 3 of Saber of London
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BLACK PAWN WHITE PAWN
Ten years back, the Third National Bank had been robbed by Frank Charleston (Basil Dignam) and Ben Greer (Denis Shaw). Greer is arrested when the alarm goes off, though Frank escapes and, with the proceeds transforms himself into a country gent. Now he is engaged to Norma, and has become county chess champion.
Mark is retained by the Amalgamated Insurance Company to find the missing money and trail Greer who has been released from jail after "8 years." Mark can't find Greer.
But we can see what Greer is up to. He has traced Frank, now calling himself Frank Chester, and accepts the 5,000 offered with a promise for more. But Ben wants to resume the partnership and sees a golden opprtunity to steal from Frank's new and wealthy acquaintances. Greer believes he has "all the aces," but not quite all, for Frank shoots him. Greer's corpse is taken by car and dumped in a field near Hayward's Heath.
All Mark's searching has failed to find Ben, "it's like looking for a ghost!" declares Larry prophetically. Inspector Parker tells them that Greer's been found, "good old Parker!"
The corpse was clutching an unusual white pawn, so Mark travels to the local chess club to ask Keats the club secretary (Robert Raglan) about it. Surprisingly he can't help, but Larry finds the pub where Greer had been staying. In his room at The White Swan, is found a photo of Frank. Off to meet the chess champ, who has a piece of his unique Chinese chess set missing. "This is one game you've lost," teases Mark, in this neat, simple Brian Clemens story
Location work: the crooks exit the bank, one drives off, the other apprehended by a policeman. TGP668 passes a road sign saying "Hayward's Heath" and stops at the chess club. Later it stops by a pub, and Larry walks inside
To
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BEYOND FEAR

Harold Lang always played his baddies with a sneering menace. Typical is this role as a "noose-free, fear-free" criminal.
This dramatic story by George St George has an inauspicious start when a disembodied voice proclaims, "the place of detention for the most hardened criminal." At this jail, Jenkins is receiving the "usual farewell lecture" when the prison doctor suddenly reveals Jenkins has a rare disease and has only a week at most to live. The prisoner ponders, then, enjoys himself insulting the governor. The Voice returns: "Jenkins was a free man. With 7 days to live, in a way he was freer than he'd ever been in his life. Nothing could harm him any longer, neither jail, nor the gallows. Noone could cause him any fear."
Jenkins wants to put the fear of God into the man who'd put him behind bars, Saber. Is Saber scared? Well, he doesn't show it, he just lights his pipe.
Jenkins cold bloodedly shoots two of his old buddies, the third Hawkins (Edwin Richfield) is forced to help execute Jenkins' plan of revenge.
Saber is dancing at a club with his girl friend Ann Chertsey. Watching is Jenkins. "I want you to stop sleeping at night," he confides to Saber with a leer. Ann thinks Mark looks "worried." It's a war of nerves: "if you need a good undertaker...!"
That night, Ann is settling down into bed when a phone call causes her to leave her home at once. She's met by a "doctor" who chloroforms her.
Jenkins is a master forger, and Mark is embarrassed when Larry tells him his pay cheque has bounced. The manager shows Saber a wad of cheques, including one payable to "St Pancras Cemetry, a down payment on a burial plot." Clever forgeries by you know who.
Then Inspector Parker gets very worked up by a nasty phone complaint from Saber- of course it's Jenkins who can apparently also mimic Saber's voice.
Saber plans to put "fear back into his diseased mind." A confident Jenkins arrives at the office to complete his own plan. He demands Saber goes with him- if he wants to see Ann ever again. "I want to watch you squirm!"
But of course it's Mark who succeeds in turning Jenkins back into "the scared rat that you really are." And of course he rescues Ann.

Notes: Big Ben shows 1.30 as Mark drives up to his office. Inside, much later we have a night scene at 10.05pm, and next day another with Big Ben showing 4.45.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Lizard. 2 A gang member, 3 Two men singing a calyspo

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SABER of LONDON
Series 4 with Robert Arden as Bob Page, whom Saber describes thus, "Bob is an American, and a yard wide."

1 CURSE OF DEATH
2 THE KILLER AND THE KID
3 PAID OFF
4 TRAP FOR MURDER
6 BACKGROUND FOR MURDER
7 WHERE THERE'S A WILL
8 TOAST TO DEATH
9 IT WALKS AT NIGHT
10 THE LADY DOESN'T SCARE
11 UNCLE WILLIAM
12 THE BLACK WIDOW
13 HOUR OF RECKONING
14 DOUBLE TAKE
16 DARK MOMENTS
17 PLATINUM MURDER
18 SILENT ACCUSATION
19 UNDER SUSPICION
21 DILEMMA FOR HARRY
22 OPERATION ARSON
23 COME OUT FIGHTING
24 TIME ALIBI FOR MURDER
25 OUT OF THE PAST
26 INCIDENT IN SOHO
27 JOCKEY MISSING
28 DEATH HIDES OUT
29 SWITCH TO MURDER
31 ARENA FOR FRAUD
33 THE OPPORTUNISTS
34 DEATH AT HIS FINGERTIPS
35 MURDER FOR REVENGE
36 DEAD BEFORE ARRIVAL
38 FIRE!
39 FULL MOON
39 stories were made in 1958 and early 1959. By now Donald Gray had settled comfily into his role and arguably the series reached its zenith. I am grateful to the late Robert Arden for writing some happy memories of the series.
In the final story 4.39, Mark's girlfriend Ann asks him: "What happened to Bob (Page)?" Mark's reply is: "Well he suddenly decided to get married- went to America." This is suspiciously similar to why secretary Judy left (see series 2), and may hold a vital clue as to why the whole series eventually ended: perhaps Mark Saber 'got married'??

My favourite episode: 11 Uncle William- a nicely sinister tale. 39 Full Moon is pleasing also, perhaps they'd underspent on the budget for it shows some (almost) lavish (for the Danzigers) touches! 16 Dark Moments is a slightly more serious study in depression.
Best moment: In 10 The Lady Doesn't Scare, perhaps excited by Honor Blackman's appearance, the script gets in a right muddle over Bob Page's identity
Dud episode: 24 Come Out Fighting is an easy choice, a rambling story, cobbled together

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PAID OFF

This story takes place on (Thursday) 12th June 1958. It begins at Victoria Station, London.
Off the Paris-Londres boat train avec un small fortune in stolen diamonds arrives Pierre, who is met by Freddie Benson and promptly stabbed. Wounded, he nevertheless manages to hail a taxi, giving his destination, "9 'Obart Place". There he brandishes a gun at the owner but collapses and dies. He has come to the home of George Royston, an ex-embezzler, who never knew the man, or so he says. With his record, George decides to phone Saber, the man who sent him up "in 50," and who is now relaxing to the Moonlight Sonata on the radio.
Mark and Bob drive swiftly to Obart Place where George insists he's innocent, he had never seen the man before. All the stranger had said, a la James Cagney, was "you dirty rat!" But examination of his possessions shows he wasn't American at all, but French. Saber has to bring in the police, and, with George's record, how can Inspector Parker fail to arrest the unfortunate George for murder? Of course he can't!
Outside the house, Bob finds a ticket dated today, from Paris-Londres, first class. It must have been dropped by the dead man, for it is stained with blood. Charlie Mather (Hal Osmond) is the taxi driver who had driven Pierre, who had seemed sick or drunk and had a strong French accent. So the murder was done at Victoria. Saber tips off Parker who identifies a telephone booth complete with blood stains.
Mark tries out his theory, as George had only recently moved to this house, maybe the previous owner was the person Pierre had gone to visit. Mr King is in a wheelchair, so this proves a red herring, or a way of filling out the 25 minutes of the film! But eventually Mark spots the crucial clue, it's how French speak English. 'Obart Place is really Hobart Place! A brilliant piece of deduction(?) Or to put it technically as Saber does, the French can't pronounce their aspirates. At 9 Hobart Place Mark and Bob interrupt Freddie and his pal Henry Carter, who are awaiting payment for cutting up the diamonds.

Saber drives TGP668. Bob drives TNM286, but also uses a taxi (MLT232?). Parker's car is 894FPC.
For once the steam train seen at Victoria isn't incorrect, King Arthur class 30781 is glimpsed.
Uncredited speaking role: Mr King's assistant.
Quote: Mark tells his client that Inspector Parker, "he's a friend of mine"

To Series 4 of Saber of London
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TRAP FOR MURDER
On his beat on June 10th, Constable Prior spots a white cane by the side of the road, then a man with a fractured skull lying nearby on a construction site. What's he to do? Blow his police whistle of course! Inspector Parker decides that this licensed blind beggar, Jim Ferguson, had been accidentally killed. In tears, the beggar's daughter convinces a sympathetic Bob Page this was no accident. This is a role just made for Dorothy Gordon. In a touching scene with Bob Page, she tells how last night her dad had gone to The Retreat in Bayswater, to play checkers with his friend Fred. She's sure Inspector Parker is wrong in thinking her dad died accidentally, and of course we are sure too, as we know how dim Inspector Parker is!
When Mark has heard the story, he drives Bob to Bayswater to question blind Fred Bailey (Robert Dorning), the last man to have seen Jim alive. Mark hits on the vital clue: Jim was a tall chap but the cane by the corpse was much shorter. Just the size of cane Fred would carry! Bailey breaks down and confesses that he and Jim were being forced to take part in illegal street betting. Jim had tried to refuse this "tall heavy man who talks like a tough character wearing a tweed suit."
To entrap him, Bob is given the thankless task of posing as a blind beggar. But he needn't be afraid. Parker, who's now seen the error of his ways, provides the latest technology, giving Bob a tape recorder. "Don't waste it," he is warned, "it only records for 15 minutes." Bob gets punched in the groin by the villain, Ray Flanagan, but at least the recorder is OK and the gang is rounded up. Mark rewards Bob with a penny in his begging tin.
A nicely directed film by Godfrey Grayson, with good picture compositions, and some fine close-ups.

Location filming: 1 with Constable Prior. 2 TGP668 arriving at the Yard. 3 Leaving. 4 Driving along a terraced street in 'Bayswater.' Mark and Bob get out, pass two children sitting on a step and enter Bailey's house. 5 Leaving this house, reversing and driving away. 6 Big Ben shows 4.55 as they arrive back at the office. 7 Same sequence as number 3, but abbreviated. 8 TGP arriving at the Yard- different from earlier with a van also entering. 9 Back to the office, Big Ben now showing 1pm. 10 Long shot of TGP in London traffic by park. 11 TGP returning to office.
Uncredited on screen speaking part: Inspector Parker (Colin Tapley). Non speaking parts include PC Prior, Sgt Phillips, and there's one female customer who attracts'Blind' Bob's attention

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Where There's A Will
An old lady, Mrs Kraft, chases after Alfred her cat. The naughty creature runs next door, behind a bush. There's a dead body there, that of Mrs Ridley, housekeeper to the late owner of the house, Mrs Verity.
This Mrs Kraft phones Mark Saber and he agrees to investigate. To start, it proves a trifle difficult since the corpse has vanished, but bloodstains suggest the old lady is not wandering in her mind. Indeed Mrs Kraft outthinks the great detective and finds the corpse buried in her own compost heap.
Scotland Yard are on the scene in the shape of good old Inspector Parker. Mrs Verity's two children have been staying in the neighbourhood, while they sort through their late mother's possessions. Peter Verity (Peter Reynolds) and his sister Celia Potter are expecting to inherit, though as yet the will has not yet been read. Celia's 25 year old son Lionel, a simpleton (a difficult role for Ian Whittaker), is the only other one expected to benefit from the will. All three claim they were together at the time Mrs Verity died. Lionel believes it's a good thing Mrs Ridley is dead, because she was only after her mistress' money. Out of the mouths....?
The corpse had clearly been dropped from the roof of the house. Saber spots a blood stained brick on the roof. The murder weapon. A half eaten pear is lying nearby. And some split matches. Now Lionel has an odd habit of splitting matches. Lionel admits he had been on the roof, but alone. It seems odd that Inspector Parker failed to spot either of these clues!
Analysis back at the Yard shows some silver nitrate on the half eaten pear, that suggests someone using a mouthwash. But who?
Bob checks at the Falmouth Arms where the three are staying. A bloodstained jacket belonging to Peter Verity had been sent for dry cleaning.
When Bob returns to Mrs Verity's home, there are Peter and Lionel fighting. Bob splits them. Mummy comforts her baby. Apparently Peter had accused Lionel of hiding Mrs Ridley's body in the compost heap. That's true, admits Lionel, for he was worried the corpse might delay the reading of the will- he wants his share of the inheritance as soon as possible.
Inspector Parker runs over the motives for each of the three killing Mrs Ridley. Saber soon chips in, indeed takes over. There was this brick. The edge of the roof. Then a clever trick. But can Saber prove his words? Yes, that pear is his evidence.
Parker steps in for the confession. It seems Mrs Ridley had been going to inherit everything. The story ends in tears.
Uncredited speaking part: John Martin, who plays 'Cecil,' the policeman in Parker's office- Mark asks him how his family is. Twice Peter calls his sister Cecilia, though she is Celia in the credits

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TOAST TO DEATH
Heiress Miss Sylvia Holloway's mother Christine (Noel Dyson) is a rich widow who has just married Prince Pancracio Dariani (Philip Saville), 20 years her junior. Even though she too "reeks with money," Sylvia (Kay Callard) is worried he's after her mother's fortune, and consults Mark Saber.
Bob checks up on the Prince, while Mark drives down to their country home in Buckingham. posing as Miss Holloway's fiance Lord Percy, "born," says Mark, "with a silver umbrella in my mouth!" The role gives Donald Gray the chance to play some comedy as he takes on the part of an upper class twit ("just call me Your Lordship"). "How do you do Prince?" is his opening gambit off-stage as he arrives at the luxury home. The Prince is rather put out since he's on his honeymoon! 'Lord Percy' enters complete with monocle, an inane grin, plus that upper crust accent. Just one goodnight kiss is allowed with his slightly reluctant fiancee before he retires to his room to recite from Romeo and Juliet. He sends a Cupid's dart to his beloved on which is inscribed asn invitation to join him in the kitchen at 2am.
At the appointed hour they have their tryst, "stop this idiotic comedy," she orders him. So, sobering up, Mark tells Sylvia she is right to suspect the Prince. Bob has uncovered the fact that his two previous wives both died suddenly, one in Luxor, the other in Karachi. He's a male Lucrezia Borgia. "Play along with me," Mark asks her, as the Prince enters the kitchen, suspicious. Mark reveals that he has in fact already married Sylvia. "Father!" he adds slyly.
They all enjoy a celebratory champagne. Mark proposes a toast....
"Turnips are white, Socks are green,
The king is all right, But God save the Queen."
Down goes the drink, but, in the words of the title, it's a Toast to Death. While the Prince drops his glass, undrunk, Percy collapses dying in Sylvia's arms. "Kiss me Sylvia," says the besotted Lord Percy. And good news. "That kiss has bought me back to life." The Prince is exposed but no thanks from Countess Dariani, "you brute!" she raves at Percy. But Mark explains, though she still finds it hard to swallow.

This is a mild comedy. One wonders just how much normally staid writer George St George actually contributed. Director Max Varnel too, doesn't normally have such a light touch. The set of Prince Dariani's sitting room with its central fire built round a luxury flue, is the same as that used in the Danziger film The Great Van Robbery, in which Philip Saville and Kay Callard also appear.
Postscript: Girl friend Ann gets a mention when Bob is requested to cancel their dinner date, but she does not appear- just as well!!
Mark drives TGP668
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IT WALKS AT NIGHT
The title could suggest a horror tale, but in this you'd be disappointed.
A stormy night, rain lashing down, dogs howling, old Sir Thomas Winters (Ian Fleming) is so frightened he orders his loyal manservant Jaya (Francis Mathews) to take a note to Mark Saber begging his help.
Big Ben is at 10.10pm, as Saber is beating Bob Page at chess. Jaya reaches Saber's office. Observes Bob, "I didn't see anybody like that since Gary Cooper did Lives Of A Bengal Lancer."They hurry to Sir Thomas' mansion.
Winters believes The Curse of the Stone had been placed on him whilst out in India. It had been stolen from India and is now in the British Museum. 'Dmata Rhundi' was written on a mysterious note that Sir Thomas had received, then an audible warning to prepare for death. None of his family had heard such a threatening voice.
They are: Oscar, the brother who is gambling away the family fortune. Then there is "cold tomater" Toni, the daughter, engaged to John Allen, who lives beyond his means.
Toni is sure her father is losing his mind, sadly.
Inspector Parker is seen briefly, when he phones Mark to warn him that Sir Thomas is in arrears with his tax payments.
All these red herrings are unnecessary. Saber springs his trap, as he calls it, taking Sir Thomas' place in his favourite chair, Bob keeping watch behind an armchair. It's raining heavily yet again when footsteps approach. But they go not to scare Saber, but the real Sir Thomas. Someone had known of the plan. Who has been playing ghost?
Phosphorus helped the vision glow. Mark exposes the guilty party, who has it on their hands. "I don't believe it."
Minor Gaffe: As Mark talks about a maharajah, Donald Gray once says "Mayerajah." Little location shooting in this, apart from shots of the storm swept mansion. In the grounds of this house we do see Oscar carrying a rifle, meeting Mark and Bob.
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THE LADY DOESN'T SCARE

Flying into London Airport is the star, like in any self respecting B film of the era. But this passenger is Sally Evans (Honor Blackman) from South Africa on Flight 421. The receptionist (Rolf Harris) informs her that journalist friend Bill Turner is unable to meet her, so could she go to the Penguin Club in Old Compton Street Soho.
Here, the time is 7.10pm and Mark and Bob are enjoying a quiet drink, served by Fredy (Hal Osmond) your friendly barman. But then two gunshots and another customer, Bill Turner, is dead. He'd flown in from Johannesburg two days ago and had been waiting eagerly for Sally with a bunch of flowers. Maybe all this excitement explains the confusion when Inspector Parker and Saber both call Bob "Larry," presumably the script had been intended for Series 3:
Parker (to Saber): "You and Larry were sitting at the bar all the time?"
Saber: "I went to the man who was shot and Larry had a look outside."
Seconds later however Parker asks "did Bob get a look at it (a passing car)?" I suppose it's only surprising that overall there were so few continuity gaffes, given the speed of production. Ironically, Parker continues by remarking to Fredy "I say, I want to get this story straight....!"
Sally had run off whilst all this was happening, so Mark and 'Bob' go to Miramar Hotel. She tells them Bill was working on a big diamond smuggling story. Sally was bringing him the last piece of evidence he needed. It read "Honey Meadow Morgan Light Bright Harvest." Sally goes to the florists from where the flowers had come, a Tom Moore-Gantry in Portwell Road London E2. She goes without Mark. In charge at the shop is Tom. Anyone with any sense would now realise it's best not to tell HIM too much as the owner is played by hefty Denis Shaw. But Sally does.
Saber however has been using his brains. A visit to the British Museum tells him the words on Bill's evidence are all roses, only issued by special firms. He races to the florists in time to rescue Sally from her fate.
The boss meanwhile has kindly told Sally all about his smuggling. The roses are refrigerated (!) in South Africa and sent in crates, the box with the underlined name contains the contraband diamonds.

Reused footage department: the shot of Mark and Bob driving up to The Penguin Club is exactly the same, since each time another car vacates a space for TGP668. Sally uses a taxi LYL914 no less than for four journeys. Airport bus MLL759 is seen in one sequence.
Uncredited speaking roles: Frank, a police photographer (Frank Hawkins). A police inspector with Inspector Parker. A clerk at the British Museum

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UNCLE WILLIAM
Joe Kelly (Robert Ayres) draws up at a posh mansion. He wants to know why his fiancee Jane Grant had shot herself. Her Uncle William (Jack Melford) had written to Joe with the terrible news. He had brought up Jane and her older sister Kathleen (Silvia Francis) ever since their parents had been killed in a car crash.
She gives Joe the painful details. Apparently Jane had met a married man who had left her to go to Bermuda. Joe simply cannot accept it was suicide, or that she loved anyone else.
"Darling, I can't explain," that's what her suicide note had said, but it sounds phoney to Joe, not the kind of words Jane would ever use. Yet the police are satisfied with the suicide verdict.
Joe recounts the tragic story to Mark Saber, who advises him the case can't just be reopened simply because he feels something is wrong. But Mark agrees to take the case, and goes over the sad events with Kathleen. She explains that Uncle William looks after the sisters' trust fund of 50,000 each, until they marry. Jane had been working for her uncle, writing from a French book as she was fluent in that language.
Mark gets Kathleen to reconstruct that painful day when Jane died. Jane had been working in the study, when her uncle had returned home. Kathleen had been with him in the drawing room when the shot was fired. Uncle William had rushed into the study, but it was too late.
It is murder, decides Saber. He gets Joe to break this information to Kathleen. Joe quietly tells Kathleen her uncle murdered Jane, but she cannot accept it. "Mr Saber's a pretty good detective," is Joe's commercial. Saber has worked out that the fake 'suicide note' was really only her translation of a section of Racine that he had asked her to write down. All very high brow detection!
Kathleen clings to the hope that it is not so. Rashly, alone, she confronts her uncle with the evidence. The kind old gentleman abruptly changes character, though there is some sort of explanation, as he had been spending all the cash held in the trust fund. He tries to push her over a balcony, but Saber, with Bob Page and the inspector in the rear, rush in and it's Uncle William who somehow topples over the edge.
This is a neat story by Patricia Hill, with Silvia Francis giving a strong portrait of the vulnerable sister. The part of Uncle William is played sympathetically too, though it is a little hard to accept that the kindly old gentleman whom we met initially could be such a scheming villain. His elaborate method of murder is also unlikely, though not as tortuous as Saber's logic in solving the case. Neverthess, I found all characters sympathetically played, and the story hangs together well.

The film starts with a location sequence as Joe drives up to the impressive Caldecote Towers in Bushey. There is also a short sequence of TGP668 driving along a dual carriageway. And also at the Towers at the end, a body toppling over a parapet. In the cast list is Colin Tapley as 'Inspector' although he only shows up silently at the end to perform an arrest. Bob Page has one line in Saber's office and is briefly seen at the end. On one occasion Robert Ayres calls his fiancee Jean, and once also so does Silvia Francis! But otherwise she is always Jean. Saber drives TGP668. Joe drives UTM495. This film is dated 1959 and must be one of the last made in series 4
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THE BLACK WIDOW
Dr Krile phones Mark, concerned about a patient (Geoffrey Hibbert) with amnesia who keeps talking of some criminal act he's just committed. The man mutters about warning Henry, and of something in Henry's bag. Who is he? Bob and Mark search the man but there's no clue as to his identity except, maybe, two theatre tickets. Bob learns from the agency that they had been sold to a James Tasker (John Martin). But he turns out to be the secretary of the Wapping Sporting Club and the tickets were used as a lottery prize. The lottery ticket stub yields an address, 8 Lewin Drive, Bayswater.
"Warn Henry about the Black Widows," mutters the odd man. More questioning reveals he had put three of these poisonous spiders in Henry's bag.
Bob goes to Lewin Drive and talks to Mrs Janet Hinton who lives there. Henry's her husband! The sick man proves to be her brother who lives with them, Freddy, a docker.
But Henry is an elusive man, a travelling salesman, and with no mobiles, he can't be warned about the deadly spiders in his bag. But his car can be traced, a "two tone Cresta saloon UTM 496." His employers Gladstone Novelty Candy Co (phone GRO 2925) provide a list of calls Henry (John McClaren) was due to make this day.
Inspector Parker is a very humble man. He plays second fiddle in the Saber office as Henry's car is searched for by every police car in London. They whizz round the deserted streets as Saber phones White's Supermarket in Pentonville Road. Henry was there fifteen minutes ago. He was off to Necto Industries, heading north there, but it's too late as he's missed by seconds. Some guessing about his next destination- it could be a children's orphanage. The phone rings there, but the children are too busy dipping their hands into Henry's bag for free samples! By the time Saber gets through, Henry's just left. Inspector Parker emerges from his reverie to obey Mark's suggestion of setting up road blocks.
Saber speculates with Janet Hinton on why Freddy has sought revenge. Bob returns from seeing the children with some good news, "none of the kids at the orphanage got bitten." But Henry has eluded those road blocks. Then as if by magic he walks into Saber's office! He'd learnt from neighbours his wife is here. He gets a slight surprise. "Careful Mark," warns Parker as Saber pokes around inside the bag.

The main police car in the search is 892 FPC, among others seen are MGF 287, NLN 820, 894 FPC and XPC898. Bob drives UTM495. Among other location scenes are: a stock shot of Taxi OGT344 arriving at Saber's office, Robert Arden is filmed walking on the pavement and entering a theatre. Adrian Cairns as Phillips walks from his office to see UTM496 driving away. Then this car is seen arrving at the orphanage, surrounded by children and two staff. Finally we see the car arriving at Saber's office. Bob drives TNM286 and Mark TGP668.
Big Ben is showing 1.55 when Dr Krile first phones Saber. However we had been informed it was early morning! Later inside the office Big Ben is stuck on 1.05 as Saber chats with Mrs Hinton. But at least it moves round to 2.35 when Parker arrives

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HOUR OF RECKONING
After 15 minutes introduction, we finally meet Mark Saber. Nancy Palmer (Jean Aubrey) asks him for help.
She's fallen for Frank Forbes (Brian Nissen), The Man who didn't Break the Bank at Monte Carlo. They'd both been staying at the Hotel Metropole on the Riviera. Losing heavily at the casino,Frank had been loaned 2,000 by a Mr Kaslow (Denis Shaw) who describes himself as an "investor." If Forbes agrees to marry the wealthy Nancy, they must share her fortune 50-50, otherwise he will have to pay a forfeit... his life!
Problems follow thick and fast for Frank. He does propose, but Nancy says that although she does love him, she has not been entirely honest with him: for she is not rich at all. He replies by admitting he is broke also.
Kaslow wants his forfeit. But what Kaslow wants most, is his revenge because, before Frank had met Nancy he had jilted Emily, Kaslow's own daughter who had then driven her car over a cliff. Though it was suicide, he knows Frank had caused her death. Frank claims he never loved the girl.
Hiding in that old favourite Danziger location, the Buckingham Hotel "Cromwell Road" (a free plug?), an increasingly nervous Frank awaits the arrival of Keska, the hired assassin.
It's then that Nancy wisely calls Saber in. It's a curious scene as Saber at one point seems to say he had already met Frank. As it is, Bob interviews the suave Kaslow, who denies all, and even claims he has no children.
Into Frank's room, Kaslow enters with a gun. He tells Frank, sitting deep in his armchair, that he is here to finish him off in person. But it is Saber sitting there, and he shoots Kaslow first. It transpires Frank really does love Nancy, so all ends happily.
Saber drives TGP668 in the final scene. Earlier Bob takes taxis round London, one is OGT344. One location scene is at Victoria Station, Ryck Rydon tails Brian Nissen.
Uncredited small speaking parts: at the casino, 1 the banker, and 2 the croupier

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DARK MOMENTS
From a pawnbroker, Mrs Roberta Keel (Marion Mathie) buys a pistol and cartridges, the price a 25 bribe. She phones her husband (Arnold Bell) warning that she is going to shoot him. Harry Keel seeks help from Saber. He explains he allowed his wife to move to her own Mayfair flat, but today she returned outside the family home and pointed her gun at him.
"Your wife's a bit neurotic," observes the perceptive detective. They go to her flat (the location is "Chesil Court") but she's not been there for two days. A leaflet in her flat advertises treatment by a Dr Kirchway (Peter Elliot) Bob consults this "eminent doctor," pretending he's flipped it, but he doesn't fool the quack. The doc denies ever treating Mrs Keel, and tells Bob he is having hallucinations! However, investigation into her bank account proves she'd recently paid Kirchway some money.
Dr.Welsh, her first analyst, is shot and inured. In a flashback, he tells Mark that she had come back to him demanding medicine, wanting to be made better. She had grown impatient and wounded him. Inspector Parker arrives on the scene and of course wants to arrest her. But she still has to be found. Saber suggests Mr Keel declares his wife mentally incompetent.
"She'll come after me," argues a worried Harry. But that's what Saber wants, to flush her out. So Harry sits at his desk. The tortured Roberta comes in.
"I won't fail this time Harry," she tells him. A touching scene follows.
This is an interesting tale of mental breakdown with Saber concluding by pledging a war on "quack doctors."
Uncredited speaking role: a nurse. Saber drives TGP668 and is seen arriving at Chesil Court. Later it overtakes a taxi before stopping at the hospital. Taxi PXL887 is seen arriving in a street- Marion Mathie steps out, and later returns to it, alighting this time to walk to a phone box. Robert Arden is filmed walking along the pavement and entering the doctor's. Taxi OGT344 twice arrives at the office, another taxi used is TJJ676 shown stopping at the Yard.
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PLATINUM MURDER

By the Thames, the London Export Company is being robbed. Nightwatchman Dunphy throws a brick at an intruder to foil the crime. His boss Standish (John Longden) is puzzled why the criminal had been stealing only a very cheap light fitting. Inevitably it baffles Inspector Parker too, why would a thief risk being killed for such a petty haul? But Mark Saber of course is the man to solve this case. He's retained by the LEC. The crook, Albert Taft, later dies from that throw of the brick. Taft was a former bank guard, who, according to his boss Mr King, had left his employment suddenly two weeks ago, at the same time as King's secretary, Miss Thelma Stevens. She is now missing. He had been a keyholder for the bank's security vault.
Mark sends Bob Page to check out Thelma's flat. Thelma's room mate Marion Moore confirms Thelma had been friends with Albert, no more, but she hadn't returned to their flat in the past two weeks. This is a typical scene with Robert Arden as Bob, flirting, not for the first time, with a young lady. Bob leaves, with a list of phone numbers of Thelma's other friends, plus Marion adds her own home number! News that the safety box of a Mr Deeds has been robbed. It had contained platinum bars. The plot suddenly becomes clear, when a lab report reveals that those lighting fixtures were made of pure platinum.
Bob is interviewing the manager of a smelting factory where one Harry Brown worked as a senior supervisor. He is currently away on holiday, and is another friend of Thelma's. Her body now shows up in the Thames.
Via Bond, a passport photographer, Mark tracks down where this Harry is now staying (it's Chesil Court, a familiar location in the series). Harry claims he had been in love with Thelma. It was she who persuaded him to melt down the platinum, but too late he realised that she had been playing both him and Albert along. His rather long explanation ends the tale.

Extra: female customer at the photographers. In the first scene Taft is called "Alfred" by Inspector Parker.
Location shots include police cars (not always the same!) driving to the Export Company. Mr King makes two visits to Saber's office, each time arriving in taxi OGT344- and there are actually two different shots of this. Outside the office, Bob picks up this same taxi, but mysteriously alighting at Marion's in taxi KGW713. Later he goes off in TNM286, but alights at the workshop from UTM495. At least he returns in this same car! Mark drives TGP668 as usual, in several scenes, initially arriving alone at te Yard, then at the Immigration Department, driving past shops to Bonds, and reaching Brown's apartment, which is Chesil Court. Finally, with Bob, he returns to the office

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SILENT ACCUSATION
On a cold foggy day, Fred Winchell visits his old friends Tom and Lillian Brent. Fred is out of jail after four years inside, and Tom (Neil Hallett) requires his help. He needs an alibi for when he kills his Aunt Mary. He'll inherit her 100,000, so it will be a profitable piece of work, and Fred seems assured by that famous line, "there's no possible way it can go wrong."
"Everything's going to be all right," he repeats as, disguised, he drives off in his Morris Minor with dummy plates. En route he is held up for a short time, when the road is blocked by an accident. A girl called Pat (Lorna Henderson) idly watches his car. But Tom is soon on his way to his aunt's lonely house, and he smothers her with a cushion. Soon, despite the fog, he's safe back home, his disguise removed.
He phones his aunt's nearest neighbours, the Beales, saying he's worried he can't reach his aunt by phone. It's they who find the dead body.
They inform the police inspector (John Stuart) that she didn't get on very well with her only relative, Tom, as he wasn't "the sober type." Goodness knows why this case baffles the inspector, but anyway, he asks Mark Saber for assistance.
Mark offers his condolences to the Brents but finds Tom over eager to give his alibi. Also his car is rather dirty considering it hadn't, according to Tom, been driven recently. So Mark asks assistant Bob to cancel their tennis match with Ann and Helen so he can take a closer look at that car. That's all Bob does in this story. Mark creeps through the shrubbery to the driveway where the Morris is parked. The words PAT SNOWDON are traced in the dirt on the boot of the vehicle. It's where the girl had written her name, when the car was held up briefly by the accident.
Tom Lillian and Fred are toasting their good fortune, but it's short lived. Pat has been located, and identifies the car as the one she saw on the road. "They always slip up in the end," smiles Saber.
Notes: Uncredited screaming role: Tom's aunt. Uncredited speaking roles: 1 Local police sergeant. 2 Mr Beale (once called 'Beales'). 3 Sergeant (John Martin).
Location scenes: 1 Fred walking up to Tom's house. Tom exits house and drives his Morris Minor, with dummy plate GUD604. (Though Fred is told to put the real plate back on the car, he must have forgotten for the same plates are on the car throughout.) Three shots of the Morris along roads, at the third it is stopped because of an accident: the familiar UTM496 is one of the vehicles at the scene. Then Tom drives on and parks his car, entering his aunt's house via the back door. After killing her, we see him exit and drive off. He removes his beard before entering his home. 894XPC is the police car pulling up at the aunt's house. Saber leaves his office in TGP668. He drives along Whitehall, then some country roads, driving into Tom's driveway. Tom drives away in his Morris, then Saber departs arriving back at his office. He leaves again, back to Tom's house, sneaking through bushes to inspect the Morris. Back to his car. he drives off. Shot of a police station. At the end TGP668 drives away from Tom's house and into the road, on the opposite side of the road the same lorry is travelling! Also when he gets back to his office, Big Ben shows the same time as it did before, 12.20!
A gaffe: The inspector says Tom's alibi is that he was playing "Canastra" when he means Canasta

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DILEMMA FOR HARRY
Saber is enjoying a picnic with a one-off girlfriend, Carol (Shirley Cain in her screen debut). She says she's been trying to get Mark to come for a whole year! However Bob is chaperoning them. But when Bob stands up someone takes a pot shot at him. who chases after the rotter, and returns to find his boss kissing Carol! She never appears again. Must have been the end of the romance?
So who is after Bob? He says he's not "been around long enough" for anyone to nurse a grudge against him. In fact he can only remember "one or two cases." Inspector Parker himself finds four possible cases but only two men who are in current circulation:
a) Ben Roberts (Hal Osmond) - he'd been sent down last May for an insurance swindle, even though he protested his innocence.
b) Ed Blake (Arnold Yarrow) - a moneylender who had made threats on Bob's life.
However they are red herrings because while these suspects are being interrogated Bob gets a death threat from a man who calls him Harry and says he will get back at him for selling his friends out to the Nazis. A second call announces he's going to "get Harry real soon."
The potential killer is Mac, whose longsuffering wife is tired of Mac's obession with revenge, with the result that he strangles her. By tipping a taximan, Mac is able to slip past the police guard outside Saber's office. He prepares to shoot Bob. Saber calmly allows him to proceed- but that's a ruse to grab Mac's gun.
We never quite discover why Bob is erroneously confused for this Harry chappie.
Footnote: I can find no reference to Bob's involvement with 'Ben Roberts' or 'Ed Blake' in any other case. Does this mean there might be "missing" Saber episodes?!!

A lengthy location sequence at the start lasts just over four minutes: Mark and Bob are picnicking with actress Shirley Cain, the dialogue clearly added afterwards. A man shooting at Bob, drives off in one of the vehicles Saber's team uses, UTM495. He drives to a terrace house.
We see Mark and Bob arrive at the Yard in TGP668. Returning to his office Mark drives up in TGP 668 with Big Ben showing 11.50. (However inside the office Big Ben is indicating 11.40!) A familiar shot of the office shows Big Ben at 12.58. A sequence outside the office shows John McLaren as Mac lurking as a taxi driver draws up with his vehicle. Then we see him drive up again in JXU648(?) and fiddle with his engine outside the office entrance, distracting the police guard. At the end Mark drives away in TGP668.
There's rather a lot of poor acting in this story

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OPERATION ARSON

Antediluvian fire engines set the scene of arson. Over the past month four new houses of builder Mr Shaw (John Brooking) have burned down. Since Chief Fire Officer Denning (Ian Fleming) is unable to track down the arsonist, an angry Shaw, believing rivals are trying to ruin his thriving business, engages Mark Saber.
The great detective's first port of call is the bank to check on Shaw's financial situation. The Amalgamated Bank confirm Shaw's business is profitable, so it must be a matter of questioning employees and former employees who might have a grudge.
First Mark interrogates union agitator Rumson (Geoffrey Hibbert), bitter at his treatment by Shaw, "he's a giant octopus." Flirty Miss Meg Miles (Ann Lynn) is interviewed by Mark's assistant Bob Page. She is also bitter at being sacked by Shaw. He didn't like her flirting at work, she's clearly that sort since she advances on poor Bob. Exit Bob in some haste. It's the type of scene Robert Arden as Bob did several times in this series, and did it well. Dead ends. Mark Saber can only emulate Denning and wait for developments, not a stance that is welcomed by Mr Shaw.
They get their bit of luck when Harry Walston, a Cunard Line steward who had met the great detective on one of his cruises, turns to Mark Saber requesting help with his wayward son, Chester, allegedly sixteen but looking nearer twenty six. Harry's worried the lad is being indulged by his adoring mother Mary (Noel Dyson). He's going off the rails.
Bob Page is assigned to find out about Chester, while Mark focusss on the arsonist. Bob learns that Chester has had difficulty holding down any job. He'd worked as a delivery boy, but was sacked when he'd stolen money from pay packets he was supposed to deliver to Shaw's firm. Hurriedly Bob relays the news to his boss. So suddenly the arson case is solved. There's a distressing conclusion with Chester's mother receiving a sharp ticking off from Saber for not raising her son properly.

Location shooting: stock scenes to begin, with fire, engines and ambulances speeding to the scene. A shot of the entrance to Saber's office, Big Ben showing 12.58. It strikes one as Shaw meets Saber. TGP668 is shown leaving the office and arriving at a bank. We see it overtaking cars on a main road. Later several scenes on main roads. TNM286 is seen driving along and stopping at a house. Then along a main road- though it is UTM495 when it arrives back at the office! A taxi OGT344 arrives outside the office. Later it is seen arriving from a different camera angle. We see TGP arrive at flats. Finally, now with Bob as passenger, it returns to the office at 10 o'clock

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COME OUT FIGHTING
According to his manager 'Irish' Clancy, boxer Johnny French (Neil Hallett) is pure dynamite, the best he has ever managed. He's booked for a title fight showdown with Karminski.
In his Buckingham Hotel room, Johnny receives a surprise visitor. It is his opponent's beautiful sister, Tina (Vera Fusek), who gives him a sob story, in effect asking him to throw the fight so she can use the prize money (all 1,000 quid!) to rescue her dear Polish mother from behind the Iron Curtain. She uses moral blackmail too when she reveals her brother might go blind if he's hit too hard. Irish starts to get worried that his asset is cherchez la femme, so on the very day of the big fight he calls in Mark Saber to get the truth out of this girl: "dark, black hair, brown eyes, about 110 pounds."
So Saber rushes round London in his car as Johnny prepares to fight. As Johnny steps into the ring he bears all the marks of a loser. As Tina is there watching, quite why Mark is wasting his valuable time speeding through the city is a mystery.
The fight begins. Tina stares beseechingly at Johnny. Irish asks him after Round One why he seems to be throwing the fight away. Next round Johnny is really tottering.
But then Mark, having discovered the facts, shows up after his weary travels. Johnny has been all but counted out. Johnny is told that Tina's tale was "a fix," thus we know how the fight will end....

Brian Clemens script on back of envelope. Apart from several location shots with TGP668, Donald Gray has only two studio scenes which probably took an hour to shoot. Even so he stumbles uncharacteristically over some lines, suggesting it was all done in a hurry. Robert Arden is in the screen credits, but not the film! Tina calls Karminski Stan, though the MC introduces him in the ring as Julius. Uncredited speaking roles, all at the boxing match: a steward, a well wisher, the MC, and the ref
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OUT OF THE PAST
Amy Kubrick has come from Berlin to trace a man whose photo she had spotted in a paper. Pete Phillips, editor of the Daily Echo informs her that he is called Mason Crowder, vice president of Ervine Plastics. He got married last year to one of the main shareholders in the newspaper.
Amy confronts Crowder in his office. He had been her husband in Germany. Later she is found strangled in her digs in Moscow Road Bayswater.
Mark Saber "noses around" on behalf of the Echo. Her landlady, who had found the corpse, shows Mark a postcard that had just arrived for Amy. It's in German, Mark reads it half aloud, muttering in German. From Wilhelm Schultz. He says he's coming to London to see her.
At the airport, Mark meets him. In a difficult scene, his heartbroken figure explains that he loved her. She had gone to England to settle some mysterious business.
Mason learns about Amy's visit to the Echo, and complains to his father-in-law, owner of the newspaper. Mark discovers Mason's real name is Kubrick!
He asks Mason about it. The "boring, interesting" truth comes out as to why Amy was murdered. In the best Cluedo tradition, Mark gives out his line, "I am accusing you of the murder of Amy Kubrick."

Mark drives TGP668 in several sequences, the last driving and arriving at London Airport. Speaking parts not in the on screen credits: Amy's landlady in 2 scenes (Norah Gordon). Betty, Phillips' assistant in 4 scenes (Ann Lynn)
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INCIDENT IN SOHO
During the Soho Fair, a man is shot. Saber is called as a matter of urgency to the hospital where he enjoys some "flirting" with a nurse before Inspector Parker meets him and asks for his help. "I must be dreaming!" Mark exclaims.
Inspector Parker explains that the wounded man was an undercover policeman, David Sayers. He had been infiltrating a gang of bootleggers, "shades of Al Capone" (!) Miss Lila Longo (Jan Miller), a close friend of Sayers claims it was an accident and this is corroborated by her dad Nick (Arnold Bell) and her boyfriend Johnny (Raymond Young), "a pretty-boy hoodlum."
Bob, posing as an insurance adjuster, checks up on Sayers' fictitious life insurance. Mark has called on his girlfriend Ann in her dressing room, asking for her help in the case. Thus Ann (or as Bob calls her "Bo-Bo") accompanies Bob, since "big man" Johnny is one for the girls, to "captivate him with some feminine allure."
A drink of the illicit booze and Bo-bo makes up to Johnny. "How did I do?" she asks Bob afterwards: "You were magnificent!"
The plan works. Lila is aroused to jealousy and confesses all. She confesses that she had shot Sayers on Johnny's orders.

This story begins with 2 and a half minutes of footage of the Soho Carnival. Donald Gray's travelogue informs us that Soho is "famous for its good food," perhaps not what most people would list first in its claim to notoriety. The wounded man is seen being taken away by ambulance UNK310. Robert Arden is seen walking along a pavement, later driving UTM495. We also see TGP668 arriving at Ann's workplace. Robert Arden and Jennifer Jayne are seen alighting from a taxi enroute to Johnny. Uncredited speaking extras: the second nurse. The sergeant who poses as Sayers does not speak, but is played by John Martin

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JOCKEY MISSING

Tim Caldwell, ace young rider of Angulaine for Berkley Stables, disappears after a win, sending a note of resignation to his employer, offering no explanation.
Miss Kate Berkley asks Mark to find their good luck charm, if only because the stables are facing financial ruin without Tim's winning ways.
Barney King, a horse racing reporter, informs Bob that the whisper is that Dave Merton (Denis Shaw), a "big time bookie," is trying to foreclose on the stables. Bob also learns from Tim's landlady that he left his digs in a hurry. Oddly, though he had booked a taxi, she noticed him taking a lift in a passing car.
Mark travels with Bob to Colchester Racecourse (the credits mention the racing scenes were shot at Lincoln). There they bump into Inspector Parker who has bad news, Caldwell has been found in the river, two bullet holes in his head.
So it's the end of the case. Or is it? Mr Berkley wants that "dirty conniving blackguard" Merton caught. Unfortunately he has no proof. So Saber resorts to his familiar trick of entrapment. An Irish jockey Sean Regan (Geoffrey Hibbert) is retained by Berkley, and he is soon visited by Mr Merton and his henchmen. Regan is warned that it's not healthy working for Berkley. He's reminded of Caldwell's fate, after he refused to throw two races. Regan won't succumb so Merton tries some softening up. Bursting in, Parker makes his arrests.
In the final scene, it's 6.30 as Mark listens with Ann to Aguliane's next race, She collects a 5 bet off Mark as Angulaine wins again.

Ann Sears as Miss Berkley and William Hodge as Mr Berkley enjoy one nicely acted confrontational scene with Donald Gray.
Mark drives TGP668 seen in several sequences. Bob drives the Vauxhall. Merton's car is seen arriving at Regan's hotel. Uncredited speaking roles: 1 The race commentator. 2 Tom Caldwell. 3 Barney King. 4 Mrs Adams, the landlady 5 Ann (Jennifer Jayne). Also appearing but not speaking: Richard Shaw as one of Merton's heavies. John Martin, who is sitting next to the race commentator. Gaffe- in a newspaper headline the spelling is Berkeley, unlike the credits

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ARENA FOR FRAUD
Tommy Haines (Robert Dorning) is the manager of boxer Ray Gibbons, who's had an amazing 20 ko's in a row. But Ray's one desire is to get out of the fight game. But as he's partly owned by promoter Oscar Carno, he needs permission to pack it in.
As Mark knows Carno (they had allegedly met a year earlier), he agrees to act as a go-between. Oscar turns out to be a snob, even if his cockney accent is still much in evidence. Oscar curtly denies he owns Ray. For it would be illegal for him to own both him and the next boxer Ray is due to fight.
Bob finds out from Redell at the Boxing Board of Control who exactly does own the boxer. There are three people with a share in him, Tommy his manager, a woman called Marion Sitar, and Gunner Walsh.
Bob has the nicer job, he interviews Marion, who in a sparkling scene, flirts with Bob as he asks why she owns part of a boxer. She admits she's put up 500, and is happy to receive a tidy interest on the sum. She kisses Bob. "Will I see you again?" he asks hopefully. "I sincerely hope not," is her crushing reply.
Gunner Walsh is a lonely old man. Mark can't get anything out of him, but it turns out he is Tommy Haines' father-in-law. Haines admits all the funding to help promote Ray has come via Carno, indirectly. But Carno has been demanding exorbitant interest on these loans. Bob asks Carno why he is doing it. The pair lose their tempers.
"Strip him of his respectability," is Mark's ploy, for it's Carno Achilles Heel. Thus Mark persuades Marion to avoid prosecution for usury by giving up her loan. She informs Carno that he faces potential adverse publicity, and so the moneylender backs down.
Solemnly Mark warns Marion, "no woman should try to own a man."
This doesn't quite tie up all the loose ends, making the story rather unsatisfactory.

Uncredited speaking role: Carno's assistant (John Martin). Gene Anderson is incorrectly billed in the screen credits as Jean Anderson, and Ray Gibbons is in the credits as Ray Robbins. Location scenes: 1 Mark and Bob leaving at the office in TGP668 Big Ben showing 5.05. . Film of the boxing match. General film of traffic. Bob drives up to the Boxing Board (actually Left Court) in UTM495. He departs and we see TNM286 drive past Big Ben (showing 10.35). TGP668 draws up outside a terrace house, and Saber climbs the steps. Later to see Carno, Bob walks out of the office and hails a taxi OGT344, which also takes him back to the office, Bob exits and pays. TGP668 leaves the office again, with three street scenes of the car before he reaches Marion's flat

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THE OPPORTUNISTS
Leaving their fine detached house, Suzy Wilmot and her friend Betty bid mummy and daddy farewell, driving off to somewhere in the West Country, precise destination undecided, on a vacation.
They are followed. They stop off at a quiet inn ten miles outside Salisbury.
The man tailing them, Younger, tips off his accomplice Lloyd, who is back in London. Lloyd phones Old Man Wilmot. The butler Hughes (Adrian Cairns) takes the call and informs his master. Threats of harm to Suzy unless 10,000 is forthcoming. Mrs Wilmot is all for paying, but her husband Frank (Arnold Bell) is perceptive enough to realise that if they do so, more money might be demanded. No police, instead a private eye, Mark Saber, who awaits the next phone call from the blackmailer.
Wilmot does agree to the demand, Take the cash to Victoria Station at 11.30am next morning and wait by the news stand. Saber and Bob Page watch as Wilmot waits. 50 minutes later, with some of the 'extras' still wandering round the station, the station announcer asks Wilmot to call at the Information Desk.
He is ordered to catch the 12.35 to Brighton. Mark and Bob accompany him, and they speculate en route on what the kidnapper is planning next. A guard delivers a note, at Horsham Bridge the money must be thrown from the left window. At the appropriate place just after Horsham (actually we see a shot of Durham! Not that Horsham is on the line to Brighton anyway.) Lloyd collects his package.
Of course this is a golden goose for the crooks, and Younger follows the girls as they drive on to Seaford on the Devon coast (someone's geography is getting confused).
After pondering it all, Saber now decides on that old chesnut, the butler did it, Hughes that is, though according to Mrs Wilmot he is "such a nice man." So Bob, Mark and Wilmot follow the perfect butler as he takes his afternoon stroll. It leads him to a seedy house where he collects the cash from Lloyd. The gang are immediately arrested while the girls, oblivious of the threat, continue to enjoy their vacation.

Uncredited speaking extras: 1 Betty. 2 Ticket collector. Also, at HW Beumont (sic), the news vendors on Victoria Station, the man behind the counter is John Martin (in a non speaking part).
Lots of location shooting: Suzy's car is UTM 496, surely I've seen Saber's assistants driving this one! We see the boot being loaded before she drives off. The crooks follow in car UTM495, another series' regular. After some country road scenes the girls stop at the pub. Younger in the second car, goes to a phone box. Then we see Lloyd leave his house and cross the road to a phone box. He does this twice. There's also a standard shot of TGP668 on a main road. Shots of Victoria include the train departing and several scenes en route including one at Three Bridges. This electric train has route indicator 6 (except for one shot!). The girls' car is parked at a station. Bob, Mark and Wilmot tail Hughes as he emerges from the house and walks to where Lloyd lives. A final shot shows the girls out walking in the countryside

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DEATH AT HIS FINGERTIPS
Rex Verney is dubbed The Man with Death at His Fingertips (Francis Matthews). He is half of a knife throwing act with his wife Jill (Vera Fusek) the throwee, as it were.
When he receives anonymous phone calls claiming his wife is unfaithful, he gets "the jitters" and isn't exactly in the best frame of mind to throw knives at her on stage! He gets so angry, several witnesses at the theatre hear him threaten to kill her if she really is two-timing him. To their hotel room, someone sends flowers "to my darling Jill."
Verney is so worried he consults Saber. Talk it over with her, is the advice he receives.
But he cannot, for when he returns to their room, there she is, dead. Inspector Parker knows of course whodunnit, even though wise old Saber tells him he's making another mistake.
Saber delves back into Verney's past and travels to Liverpool's Alhambra Theatre to talk to Emma White, the wardrobe mistress. From her, he learns Jill had formerly been one half of a Apache dancing act, and Bert Miller her partner (Paul Stassino) went mad when they split up and sworn he'd "make her pay." Now why couldn't old Parker have found all that out?!
Saber tracks Miller stage name Sanchez down to the Hilton Apartments and bluffs a confession out of the glib blackmailer.

Notes- Location filming: stock shots of London at night and Victoria Palace Theatre. Inside a theatre, numerous audience shots. Several shots of Buckingham Hotel with Francis Matthews. Francis in the street by Anton's Coiffeur des Dames. Taxi OGT544 arriving at Saber's office. There's a stock shot of a railway guards carriage on the 2.30 London to Liverpool train, shown back to front. Two shots en route, one on return to Euston, with shot of Euston Arch. Saber arriving and departing his office in his Porsche.
Uncredited speaking roles: Customer at Anton's. Call Boy. Alhambra Stage doorkeeper. Saber's girl friend Ann is given a mention, but does not appear. Mark breezily asks Bob if he'd phone her to break their date.
On two occasions Jim the stage manager (John Stuart) introduces the act as "Rex VARNEY"

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MURDER FOR REVENGE (dated 1959)

Stella Adams (Marion Mathie) is a bitter twisted invalid, her husband John (Robert Raglan) a successful businessman. He gains his comfort from actress Betsy Lynton (Liz Fraser in an early role), their tryst on a park bench his only relief from his wife's complainings. The couple look an ill matched pair, but apparently they are in love. She is amazingly philosophical about the inadequacy of their relationship, since he can't leave Stella, but he has promised to leave her half his money should he die.
Frank Lynch is an engineer working in Adams' firm. But Lynch falls out with his boss over the percentage payment for one of his inventions. Frank needs more cash and attempts to blackmail Adams over his dalliance with Betsy.
John receives an urgent telegram from Betsy, asking to meet at their usual bench at 10.30am. While waiting for her here, Frank is shot dead.
Betsy consults Mark, knowing she is a prime suspect.
Inspector Parker is looking very smug, for he is about to make an arrest, he scoffs to Mark that Betsy has taken him in. His proof is the telegram sent to Adams.
Mrs Colby, Stella's housekeeper is certain that "hussy" is guilty too. Even Bob Page thinks this is a cut and dried case.
Stella does concede that she had just learned about Betsy from "a friend." This was Frank.
So Saber questions Frank, who has now ensconced himself in John's office. He does admit that he had blackmailed John, but never shot him.
The obvious clue is now followed up. Where was the telegram sent from? The unlikely truth exposes the killer, Mark does the business while Inspector Parker watches idly by.

This episode mostly uses studio scenes. At 11.40am, a taxi drives up to Mark Saber's office. We then see Betsy meeting Saber at 2.20- so she must have had a long wait! Saber drives TGP 668 which is seen arriving at Scotland Yard, Saber alighting. There are also shots of his car on a roundabout, and one of a police car speeding along a three lane highway.
Uncredited role, not speaking: John Martin plays a passer by in the park, arm in arm with a girl.
The telegram, dated 31st July 1958, is sent to 52 Oxford Street W1, the shot of Adams' office is not this address but is a little further along the road

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DEAD BEFORE ARRIVAL

At the Rivera Export Company an exceptionally heavy case is accidentally dropped, to expose a corpse inside.
Mark Saber and Bob are relaxing at the Club Bolivar, perhaps being entertained is too strong a word, for they are listening to some pretty average singing and watching some pretty average Latin dancing. "Not bad," Mark comments, maybe tongue in cheek. Presumably it's a way of filling up the 25 minute storyline in which the group called Mantas receive tv exposure, which may not have helped their careers a lot.
Next day in his office, Mark is phoning his girlfriend Ann, admitting that he misses her. In walks Miss Marie Carmen Diaz (Marianne Benet), with a request to find her missing Argentinian fiance Antonio Giron. He was a guitarist at the club, but failed to turn up for work a week ago. The owner of the club says he went back to Argentina. But Miss Diaz is worried, and Mark promises to investigate.
When she leaves the office, she is followed by two rough men, and after an inordinately long time they pick a quiet street in which to kidnap her.
Checking at the Immigration office, Bob finds they know nothing of Antonio, nor does the Argentinian Embassy have any details about him.
The story of a mutilated body found at the docks on a boat bound for South America excites Mark's suspicions. But Bob can't identify the body when he examines it, since it is so disfigured.
Inspector Parker pays a call on the Club Bolivar. A Jamaican group plays Please Come Back to Jamiaca in the background. Parker asks Rivera about the crate with the corpse.
Carmen Diaz has been taken to a mews property to be questioned by Rivera's bullies. She is told Antonio had been part of this gang until he had attempted to go straight. From out of nowhere, Saber bursts in, with gun, to expose the drugs smugglers. A fight, Carmen gets minor revenge by biting Rivera before "nick of time" Parker swoops.

This is a weak story which doesn't hang together.
Uncredited speaking parts: 1 Bill (Howard Lang. 2 Frank. 3 Pearce, the immigration officer. 4 Waiter. 5 Male singer at club. Lots of location scenes, though no sign of Saber's Porsche. UTM495 is seen arriving at the office, then driving to the Immigration office. Then returning to the office. We see TNM286 driving past Buckingham Palace before it is UTM that returns to the office! There are numerous shots of Miss Diaz walking along streets pursued by 436AMY, eventually they snatch her and drive into a mews. Inaspector Parker's police car is MRK422
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FULL MOON
This is a superior example from the series with a script by James Eastwood.

Actress and singer Miss Dora Dane has been strangled during the night in The Gordon Hotel. The third such murder, one at Windsor last month, the first in Putney two months ago. The Full Moon Murders, the case becomes known as.
Mark Saber is discussing his current case with a (silent) blonde client, when he's approached about investigating this murder. He's rather short staffed as his assistant Bob has just left, so his girl friend Ann Fellowes (Jennifer Jayne) agrees to help.
Dora, it seems, had a shadowy boyfriend, "tall with black hair, a bit like a movie star." He had been seen with her around midnight. Dora worked at the Red Slipper Club, and Louella the barmaid and Harry the pianist recognise the man as John Smith. Saber cleverly draws a primitive identikit picture of his face.
The parent of one of the earlier murdered girls recognises him as Wing Commander Bertram, whilst the other as Charles Cuthbertson Tillotson. His latest alias is Captain Charles Brigham, though his real name is Andrew Bordon (Robert Raikes), and at present he's befriending a girl on the train to Brighton. She's Barbara, but she's accompanied by her parents who are holidaying in Brighton. Bordon is staying at the Metropole.
Tonight's a full moon. Back in London, Ann is disconsolate that all her work hasn't unearthed the killer. But she gets a break when a singer at the Red Slipper, identifies the picture as that of Andrew Bordon. She'd met him yesterday in Brighton.
Ann grabs Mark and they dash to Brighton.
"You've been rather strange," Barbara tells the murderer. "Charles, you're so different tonight." Now he takes her to his room. "Don't get excited, Charles." He starts to strangle her, but enter our one armed detective. Just in time.

There's the usual shot of the outside of Saber's office, TGP668 parked outside, Big Ben showing 12.58. The Brighton train is authentic, three shots including one near Three Bridges, though with third class carriages, it must be an old film! Four of the cast are filmed in Brighton, Andrew Bordon by Palace Pier where he meets Mr and Mrs Spencer and Barbara. They walk along the Esplanade, relaxing on Palace Pier and visit The Royal Pavilion.
There are a lot of uncredited parts on the film print (though cast lists have identified some) in order of appearance: 1 Miss Logan the maid (Jan Holden) in two scenes and one not speaking, 2 another maid, 3 the police doctor in two scenes (Frank Forsyth), 4 Wilson, Parker's assistant, 5 Bendix, manager of The Gordon Hotel, 6 Harry the pianist (Rolf Harris) in two scenes, 7 the dining car attendant, 8 a waiter at the Spencer's hotel, 9 actress Eileen, at The Red Slipper, and 10 a waiter at the Metropole (Hal Osmond) in two scenes

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Saber of London - Series 5

#1 FLORENTINE MADONNA
#2 THE LAST CHAPTER
#*3 DAMAGES
*4 COUSIN FROM MONTREAL
*5 A BOXFUL OF TRAGEDY
*6 THE BIG STONE
*7 MURDER WITH MAKE-UP
*8 ORDEAL OF FEAR
*9 THE SCREAM IN THE NIGHT
*10 KILL AND RUN
~12 LOST AND FOUND
~13 SWEETHEART BEWARE

13 stories were made during the first half of 1959. In the first Saber was helped by Jennifer Jayne, his girl friend/ assistant Ann Fellows (marked #), originally she had been introduced as a fashion model with the surname Chertsey (3.35 Beyond Fear), then mentioned as Ann Churchill (3.39), then as Ann Fellows in 4.26 Incident in Soho and 4.27 Jockey Missing (uncredited). In 4.24 Time Alibi for Murder, Mark fails to recognise her, mainly because she is playing Kathy, an entirely unrelated character!
Saber's principle assistant in these stories is played by by Garry Thorne as Eddie Wells (marked with an asterisk *). However, for the final stories, there was no assistant for the overworked Saber, even though Eddie is in the screen titles (marked ~).

This final group of stories is rather a come-down after the generally very good previous season with Robert Arden. Thus Jennifer Jayne is used as a stop gap assistant in the first stories, before the arrival of Garry Thorne, who doesn't quite become the assistant befitting such an experienced detective.
Perhaps Donald Gray knew his fate was sealed, though he gives it his best shot still. None the less, some expense wasn't spared, as in at least one episode (5.6) we see Mark and Eddie in a new feature, a studio mock-up of Saber's Porsche.

My favourite episode: Perhaps #5.13 Sweetheart Beware, as the last of the long long series, has a certain nostalgic sadness.
Best moment: In #5:4 Garry Thorne tries to pretend he's a teddy boy. I also like the performance of Concepta Fennell as the scheming killer in #5.10 Kill and Run.
Dud story: #5:9 The Scream in the Night is poorly scripted

To Saber Menu . . . For the excellent site with detailed Saber of London cast lists

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DAMAGES
In the Frazer Building, a faulty handrail breaks causing Sam Hawtrey (Jack Melford) to falls downstairs. He is paralysed.
Even though three doctors each state there is nothing wrong, Sam decides to claim compensation from his insurance firm. He says he will never walk again. The Acme Insurance Company only offers a pittance so Sam decides to sue.
George Robinson, Acme's claims manager, approaches Mark Saber who is taking a break at Puckeridge House with his girl friend Ann (uncredited, who is only seen on horseback). George believes Sam is a fraud.
Mark sets up surveillance in a room opposite Sam's flat in St Ann's Villas in Kensington, along with assistant Eddie, who does suggest inviting Ann along, though this never happens. Now we see Sam at home, and the hunch is correct, it's all an act. His crooked pal Mike Frazer (Robert Dorning) is confident the pair will net 50,000. Whenever Sam hobbles slowly out for a walk, Mark films him and Eddie follows, and for several days Sam makes no slip at all.
Day 5. As Sam staggers slowly away from his house on foot, a roller skater bumps into him and instinctively, angrily, Sam goes after him for an instant.
That's enough proof for Robinson. But Mark has spotted a flaw in Sam's account of the accident, which "smells to high heaven." He must have an accomplice, and that is Frazer, who works at the building where Sam had had his fall. To prove their connivance, Mark continues his watch. After 4 days, Mike Frazer's car draws up at the house. Moments later, Mark and Eddie call also, Sam can do no better than offer Mark a bribe, which he turns down of course. So that leaves a fight, during which Sam makes a miraculous recovery and slips quickly away. However it's a case of poetic justice since in his haste Sam trips down the stairs.
No police in this story. Saber drives TGP668. At the end Big Ben is showing 11.45.
Uncredited speaking roles: A passer by outside Sam's flat (John Martin). Frazer's secretary

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A BOXFUL OF TRAGEDY
London, the opening narration informs us, is the Antique Collectors' Paradise. Into one such shop walks a suave well dressed man (Ferdy Mayne) to buy a present. He eyes a nest of Italian caskets but the shopkeeper tells him they have already been sold for 50. An offer of 100 is turned down, 150 no, 200 no, then 250 is rejected by the scrupulous antique dealer, Harold Jason.
He tells Mark Saber of this strange little episode and after posting the caskets, he returns to his shop to find it being ransacked by the smart customer. He is brutally killed.
Mark is playing bridge at his club when he receives a phone call from Inspector Parker to tell him of the murder.
From Chris, Jason's nephew, it is learnt that nothing has been stolen. However one page of a ledger had been torn out. This would record the sale of the mysterious casket (the set of 3 seems to have diminshed to one), and Chris knows the buyer was a Mr Venner of Hampstead. His daughter Julie has been given the boxes as a birthday present. Julia takes them to her home where she lives with her husband.
Clearly there is something in the casket, purchased from the house of the late Ken Spenser in Richmond. His wastrel son Roy had inherited the estate as there had been no will. Spenser's housekeeper clearly dislikes Roy, and who can blame her, for he is the well dressed customer!
Roy has found out from Venner where Julie lives- in Finchstone Heights. He tracks her down at the shops. He asks for the casket, and she very kindly gives him a lift to her home.
Mark has found out Julie's car registration- KBY660 and he and Eddie spot her car and follow her home. There Roy is admiring the casket for which he offers 250. To reinforce his offer he draws a gun when Mark walks in. Off he goes with the casket but Eddie is waiting, and overpowers him.
The box is closely examined. A false bottom. A missing will.
A nice final twist follows, in this Brian Clemens story.

Uncredited speaking parts: 1 A customer at Jason's shop. 2 The waiter at Saber's club. 3 Saber's bridge partner. 4 Mrs Barlow, Spenser's housekeeper (Norah Gordon).
Location scenes include: Ferdy Mayne walking along street and entering the antique shop. The much used shot of Big Ben at 12.58 and TGP668 outside Saber's office. Saber arrives in his car with Eddie at Spenser's house. Then seen driving along road, entering Venner's house, and later departing. Though KBY660 is stated as the number of Julie's car, in fact she is driving that old Danziger favourite, UTM495. Surely Saber should have spotted his old car?! Several shots of this car and Saber following

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Series 5

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THE BIG STONE
Along a quiet street, a lady is walking. In broad daylight, out of a passing car leaps a masked man, snatching her bag before jumping back into his car and away.
Secretary Jessica Roberts returns to G Ross and Son to report the theft of the diamond she was carrying, worth 50,000. She had been taking it to the cutters, Jonathan French & Co.
Saber gives the case his urgent attention. One puzzling matter is that French had suffered the loss of a small diamond three months ago, never traced. Miss Roberts admits she had gone to pieces and can't describe her assailants. But Mark notices her flat is expensively furnished.
Mark's first break comes with Jimmy Willis, French's assistant. He is pally with dancer Carlotta (Ann Lynn), who is seen wearing a diamond engagement ring like the one French said was missing. Mark and assistant Eddie enjoy a nice time watching her dance before chatting to her. She admits she is engaged, albeit secretly, to Jimmy. They are to fly to Rio to get married.
Mark returns the stolen ring, and the engagement is at a sudden end! The poor Scotland Yard inspector is also upbraided by French, for not solving this simple case himself.
But the Yard are making another gaffe in arresting Jimmy for both thefts, because Mark is certain that stealing the Ross' diamond is out of Jimmy's league. Also he has an alibi.
Mark and Eddie return to the route Jessica walked, along Farm Street to Bruton Street, the scene of the crime (in the Mayfair district of London). This road is currently closed to vehicles. So Jessica's story is clearly false, although it certainly wasn't according to what we saw of the crime!
She gets jittery and before she can talk, is silenced by the man pretending to be her admirer. It's easy enough to work out who shoots her, even though we never see his face.
Thus when Saber comes to question her, all they find is her dead body. Mark spots something, it's a match broken in two. Now who has a habit like that? The clue was there...
Location filming: Diana Chesney as Jessica walks along Bruton Street, where she is attacked. A setting scene of St Paul's doesn't fit the location. The vrooks' car is OUU275. Big Ben is at the familiar time of 12.58, when we first see Saber's office. Mark drives TGP668 with Eddie as passenger, driving to Lancaster Gate where they alight at Jessica's home, Barrie House. We then see Saber driving along 'Bruton Street.' Eddie drives 675LMY. At the end Saber escorts the murderer to the police car 894FPC.
Uncredited speaking roles: 1 A waiter at the club. 2 George, another waiter. 3 Ross' male secretary. 4 Jimmy Willis who is played by John Blythe who is not in the on screen credits, though he is in the tv listings.

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Series 5: Saber of London

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THE SCREAM IN THE NIGHT
Head Accountant William Pelham, working late in the offices of the Inter Dominion Builders, falls out of the window to his death. An incomplete note to his wife Ethel, and his remarks to Carter the nightwatchman point to suicide. Only puzzle for the police is why did he leave his letter unfinished? His wife Ethel is heartbroken, as is his daughter Susan (Wendy Williams) and nephew George Rye. His insurance is invalid because he killed himself.
He had heavy gambling debts. Charles Hooper, a squash partner of Saber's and friend of Susan's, asks for the great man's help. The main mystery is why did Pelham scream as he fell to his death? Not usual suicide behaviour.
Mark talks it over with the president of the company, Sir Basil (Ian Fleming). He says Pelham was an invaluable employee in charge of accounts. So Mark's theory is that someone had had a hand in the till, and Pelham found out.
For Pelham's replacement, Mark arranges for actor Henry Elliott (Jack Melford) to take the post, first task examine the books. As Henry J Ashwood, he's introduced to staff.
To relax, he takes out Helen, previously Pelham's secretary and now his. He tells her that he knows the books have been doctored, so she phones her boyfriend, worried the swindle is about to be exposed. The killer confronts Henry in his office, but of course Mark is waiting, "the game's over!" But not before Henry is pushed, as usual, out of the window. But luckily firemen were waiting with a net to break his fall.

Saber drives TGP668. Big Ben shows 9.35 at the start of the story. Later it's at 1.50. There are stock shots if it arriving and departing the office, as well as driving to the Inter Dominon office.
A large number of uncredited speaking parts: 1 Pelham (John Stuart). 2 Carter the nightwatchman (Hal Osmond). 3 Police Inspector (Howard Lang). 4 His assistant. 5 Mr Shortwood the solicitor. 6 Charles Hooper (Hugh Cross). 7 A waiter at a restaurant. 8 and 9 Two firemen

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BIOGRAPHIES
DONALD GRAY (1914 -1978) - Born in South Africa, he was overall winner of a Paramount talent competition but after appearing in some minor roles as El(d)red Tidbury he moved to England. He lost an arm in the war. In the 50's he became a BBC announcer for a while, before starring as Mark Saber. He had few further starring roles, though he does do a voiceover for the Captain Scarlet puppet TV series. Trevor Jordan has written his biography "Colonel White meets Mark Saber."

COLIN TAPLEY
(1909-1995) - He was the usual police inspector at Scotland Yard. It's likely he obtained the part as a result of his friendship with Donald Gray. In series one he appears irregularly, sharing the part with others but by the concluding stories of series two he is the regular inspector. Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, he, like Gray, was a winner in the Paramount competition. He made some films in Hollywood, before coming to England. Unlike Gray, Tapley continued working for the Danzigers, appearing, uncredited more often than not, in their later series Man from Interpol and The Cheaters. He made films until 1969. He was married to a titled lady.
Series 1: MICHAEL BALFOUR (1918-1997) 'Barney'- Born in America, he became one of the most commonly seen bit-players in British cinema. He moved to England before the war and served with the RAF Eagle Squadron. In one Danziger programme, the character he plays is described like this: "with a face like yours, you'd scare 'em to death." But in real life he was a gent with quite sophisticated tastes.
Series 1: THERESA THORNE 'Judy' - I have found little information on her. Can you help? She appeared in the 1955 film Joe Macbeth, made the same year as her role in the Saber series. She also played a photographer called Mary, in the 1957 Charlie Chan story "The Noble Art of Murder".
Series 2: DIANA DECKER (1924-2019) 'Stevie' - As a yougster, she moved to England and made her film debut in 1943. She appeared with Donald Gray in the 1952 Saturday Island. She is best known as a recording artist with the hit "Poppa Piccolino" and also appeared on the London stage and as a cabaret singer.
Series 3: NEIL McCALLUM (1929-1976) 'Pete'- born in Canada. After his role in Saber of London he starred in one film for the Danzigers 'On the Run' which also features Gordon Tanner. On the strength of his performances, ABC signed him as a contract artist, enabling him to appear in Armchair Theatre, as well as stock series like "International Detective" (he's in "The Prescott Case"). He also appeared on the London stage. In 1965 he hosted A-R's "A Swinging Scene". By the 70's he was a producer, notably for BBC Scotland's "Sutherland's Law". He died tragically of a brain haemorrhage.
Series 3: GORDON TANNER (1918-1983) 'Larry'- also Canadian. Also appears in a Series 2 story "Find Harry Clay". Earlier he had appeared in The Vise story "Never let me die". Later he's in Man from Interpol, International Detective and Interpol Calling.
Series 4: ROBERT ARDEN (1922-2004) 'Bob Page'- first English born asistant for Saber, even if he grew up in the States! A dance band vocalist with the likes of Joe Loss, he made his film debut in 1944 in 2,000 Women. He became prominent on television in the ITV panel game "What's it All About?"A prolific actor, he told me his favourite role was in "Flight Into Danger" a BBC live drama.
Series 5: GARRY THORNE 'Eddie Wells'- Was he related to Theresa above? He appears in one Danziger film ('The Depraved' 1956) and in at least one story from each of the earlier series of Mark Saber, often as a criminal! His mother was Lenore Coffee (1896-1984) - a Hollywood screen writer from the silent days to the 50's.She also provided the script outline for one Invisible Man episode. Apart from this series, Garry's only regular TV role was as "guard" in Sir Lancelot.

All series: PICTURED Actor John Martin undoubtedly had the most roles of any supporting actor. He is in the on screen credits five times in series four: 4.10 The Lady Doesn't Scare, 4.12 The Black Widow, 4.23 Come Out Fighting, 4.25 Out of the Past, 4.38 Fire. But he has numerous more uncredited small parts, including 1.4*, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7*, 1.9*, 1.10, 1.13, 1.19*, 1.21, 1.24, 1.25*, 2.4, 2.15, 2.18, 2.22, 2.28, 2.29*, 2.33, 2.38, 3.1?, 3.6, 3.8?, 3.11, 3.14, 3.15, 3.27, 3.36, 3.37*, 3.38*, 3.39, 4.7, 4.18, 4.19, 4.26, 4.27*, 4.31, 4.33*, 4.35*, 5.2*, 5.3, 5.7*, 5.8, and 5.13. (* in this list means his part is non speaking)
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