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Monday, 11 March 2013

UK Retro Sci/Fi - Supernatural T.V. Series - Sapphire and Steel


There were six series of Sapphire and Steel and each series had a number of 25 minuet episodes. Each series never had a title, but fans have since added names of their own. The six series ran from 1979 to 1982 though I don’t think there was a showing in 1980 between the mentioned years.

Supernatural Beings Sapphire and Steel

Sapphire and Steel are strange cosmic beings that we do not know much about. They seem to be sentient elements that appear in human form when dispatched to restore order upon Earth. They are strange guardians who know that time is a corridor encircling all things in the known universe. At some points, of this corridor of time, there are weak spots that need to be sealed so that order and universal balance is maintained. There are creatures that live along the corridor constantly looking for weak spots to brake into the real universe and such weak spots can be created inadvertently by a nursery rhyme, a simple curse or a painting.


When these problems occur, Sapphire and Steel mysteriously appear much to everyone else’s surprise and suspicion. We do not know much about them and they retain this strange anonymity through out the different stories. Sapphire is beautiful and played by Joanna Lumley. Her character is very approachable and she often appears kind and sympathetic to the troubled humans caught up in the unearthly dilemmas. Steel is played by David McCallum and is much more aloof and irritated by the people he is forced to deal with. In reality, Sapphire and Steel will sacrifice anyone to amend a situation if it is necessary. They are on occasions forced to be indifferent to humans.

Steel has little patience for the amateur Ghost Hunter

Of all these stories, my favourite is series 2 (The Railway Station - called by Fans.) There is a breach in the time lines and we are presented with a derelict and long ago disused railway station. An eccentric middle aged man has his camp bed, flask, sandwiches and tape recorder. He is an amateur ghost hunter searching for lost spirits in the abandoned rail station. He gets more then he bargained for when Sapphire and Steel suddenly appear. The story is very good and Sapphire and Steel lock horns with a dark entity that feeds on resentment. The place is full of ghosts wandering the platform and flowers blooming in winter. The story is a peach and a must for anyone who enjoys British Retro Sci/fi or ghostly stories.  

Sapphire allows the dark entity to enter her being
so that it can communicate with Steel using her  form as an apparatus.

The presentation of the time beings is well done on a limited T.V. budget and the settings are always confined and isolated making it easy for the watcher to be drawn into the supernatural stories.




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