Mercenary, Vigilante, Children’s Book Author…Sable!

Sable was an extremely short-lived television program that aired on ABC for 7 episodes during the 1987-1988 television season. Based on the comic book, Jon Sable: Freelance, by Mike Grell. The show was a one-hour comic adventure/drama about mercenary, vigilante and children’s book author Jon Sable, played by Lewis Van Bergen. Notably the show had two pilots, one with Van Bergen and the other with Gene Simmons from KISS playing the lead. The Simmons’ version of the show did not make it to air and I have not seen it circulating anywhere. The Van Bergen version of the show was broadcast on Saturdays at 8:00 om starting in the fall of 1987, but it would quickly run out of steam and its final episode aired on January 2, 1988.

Notably, the aired pilot included Lara Flynn Boyle, as a kidnap victim, in her first acting role and in another actress first this would also be Rene Russo’s first series television role.

The entire pilot and a few other episodes have been posted online by planetiowa. Here is part 1 for your viewing pleasure:

The show intrigued me when it came out at the time. I loved the idea of a show based on a comic book, especially one that I had not checked out at the time and after a quick trip to the comic book store I was quickly hooked on Sable in comic book form. Although I gotta admit, I was a little disappointed to not see Cheesecake on those pages.

If you are interested in Sable, you cannot get the series on DVD yet, so check out those episodes on YouTube. If you are in the mood for some comic magic, pick up a copy of Jon Sable, Freelance: Omnibus Volume 1. They could have done a higher quality job on the printing, but the work of Grell shines through no matter what.


The Retroist

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