Sapphire and Steel

ITV (ended 1982)





Sapphire and Steel Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
102 votes
  • Great idea

    Even with the cheap effects and sets, Sapphire and Steel is based in a very interesting and attracting idea: that the Universe we live in is always in a precarious balance and that there are powers beyond human perception that are locked in a fight for keeping/destroying that balance. The series main characters are soldiers in this battle and are always trying to mend ruptures in the space/time continuum and keeping creatures that are obviously not humans at bay.

    I hope that soon, someone in the showbiz bring this great idea back to life with better special effects and new scripts.
  • An odd show, mostly on cheap-looking sets, with at times incomprehensible dialogue, characters and plot, and no background information. So, a show that treated viewers as intelligent and with imaginations - no wonder this great show didn't last.

    The stark indoor sets, the mostly dialogue-driven scenes with sometimes baffling plots, and characters that had to sound at least a little wooden and alien - you wouldn't think these things would make for a good show but they did. Viewers had to think about concepts and what was happening rather than having it all dished up with special effects on a plate.
    For me, these features made the series all the more claustrophobic and eerie. Although it's our world it feels like somewhere alien and threatening inside our world; somewhere that's just around the corner from where you are now. And that's what really makes it scarey.
    Even the abrupt and quite awful ending of the last episode fits in with the rest of the series. I would have loved more episodes, or even (god forbid) a remake (done well, of course), but at the same time there is something horribly fitting about our characters' final, eternal fate.
    And there was very subtle character development through the episodes that built up as you watched - a grumpy interplay between the stern Steel and the lively Sapphire, and the foppish Silver who seems almost too familar with Sapphire. Slowly you learned something of what these agents/operators/specialists do and why, and something of the enemies they face - but it is the vagueness that intrigues and haunts and is the main reason why even now I still think about these six stories.
  • Sapphire and Steel was the first show I watched that scared me and attracted me at the same time. I loved this characters, and was fascinated by the mysteries. And I accepted the limited amount of background information - it just wasn't needed.

    When I was growing up, Sapphire and Steel was a revelation to me. I had never seen anything like it before.

    In many episodes, nothing much really happens, characters are scant and background information just isn't touched on at all sometimes.

    But I was fascinated and scared, attracted and appalled. Two assignments that stood out for me was the Railway Station and the Man with No Face. Both very creepy - and fear was more what you didn't see, not what you did.

    As I grew older, there seemed to be little else like it on TV, until The X-Files. Now of course, there is endless mysteries with unknown forces at work (supernatural, alien, whatever the cause), but none of them seem quite the same. Maybe it was the very Britishness of it all that added to the appeal.

    The lead characters too were appealing, both looked great and both played well.

    It was one of those series that for me, ended too soon.

    (My final and only caveat was that in recent years, I watched a few episodes, and found them sadly disappointing; if I had not, my memories would have been untarnished).
  • An excellent Sci-fi series

    Sapphire and Steel is a very different sci-fi series, an excellent series with some brilliant story lines and ideas. My personal favourite episode would be Assighment for with the man with no face, I first heard of the show on channel 4s top 10 TV sci-fi. I know have it on DVD and I love it.
  • Sapphire and Steel is the most eerie and atmospheric tv show I have seen in all my life. Always dealing with obscure entities, ancient enemies and time-rippings, they were the super-heroes ahead of their era.

    Sapphire and Steel is the most eerie and atmospheric tv show I have seen in all my life. Always dealing with obscure entities, ancient enemies and time-rippings, they were the super-heroes ahead of their era.

    "There is a corridor, and the corridor is Time. It surrounds all things and it passes through all things. You can't see it. Only sometimes, and it's dangerous. You cannot enter into Time, but sometimes... Time can try to enter into the Present. Break in. Burst through and take things. Take people." With this premise, P. J. Hammond wrote the first adventure of Sapphire and Steel and summoned a world full of odd situations, strange enemies, eerie atmospheres that was definitely ahead of his own Time.

    I've never seen another show or movie that matches this show's sense of menace and doom that this has acquitted with only six adventures split into 34 episodes only 25 minutes long. Situations were as weird as a house that traps the parents of two children and stops all clocks, an abandoned train station invaded by the Darkness, a couple from the future experimenting in present era, a faceless man threatening people through photographs, an Agatha Christie set-up that Time brokes into changing events, and a hopeless group of people trapped in a Gas Station in the middle of nowhere.

    Sapphire and Steel, a pair of agents from an unknown (and presumibably unearthly) organization, enter each episode trying to correct the anomalies and speaking each other in cryptic gibberish. That was indeed the most interesting aspect from this show: asisting to S&S's dilucidation of clues and facts gives the spectator a chilling sense of realism. The enemies were frequently hidden menaces and the solutions for each problem almost impossible to guess.

    A feast of weirdness for the action and high-end fx tired viewer. Hard to imagine why this idea hasn't been rediscovered and remade for this century.
  • Before Mulder and Scully there was Sapphire and Steel, investigating anomalies and keeping the world safe, the Universe in balance.

    Despite the creaky sets and 70's special effects, this is a very atmospheric and frequently chilling set of stories.
    The two stars of this series were perfectly chosen, David McCallum already known as the cold Russian spy Illya Kuryakin in "Man From U.N.C.L.E.", and Joanna Lumley as Purdey, a woman capable of making the hard choices, in "The New Avengers".
    The stories told are from different time periods, and this helps to prevent the series from appearing dated. The use of simple things as central to the story, be it a childs Nursery Rhyme or an old photograph, deepens the sense of reality, making the stories more tangible and thus deepening the fear factor.
    The ending of the series in such an unusual way left the way open for a return. . . which as the years have passed has gradually faded, but the premise of this series leaves the opportunity
    for many new stories to be told, with a new set of characters. Surely when we live in an age virtually bereft of new ideas, when so much trash is re-hashed and "re-imagined", someone will see the possibilities of reviving this great idea?