Sapphire & Steel (TV Series 1979–1982) Poster


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A fantastic show I'll never forget.
skillwithaquill8 July 2005
I'll admit it; I'm not the biggest fan sci-fi television. I'm not a Star Wars or X-Files fanatic. When I read about Sapphire & Steel, I wasn't expecting much. I figured that if I didn't like it, I could MST it. (MST stands for Mystery Science Theater 3000, read my comments about it if you've never heard of it before) To my surprise, I didn't need to use my fleeting talent for mocking films. I became hooked on Sapphire & Steel after I watched the first episode.

I was intrigued by the premise of the entire show. Sapphire and Steel, played by Joanna Lumley and David McCallum, are extraterrestrial beings (for lack of better explanation – none is ever really given or necessary as to who they really are) sent on different assignments including breaks in time, people being locked in pictures, and ghosts seeking revenge for their wrongful deaths.

I was wrong to write this show off as another X-Files. Sapphire and Steel is much more thought provoking, mysterious, and different from all the other shows floating around out there. The series finale was one of the best ends to a television show I've ever seen! If I had the money, I'd buy the entire six-season DVD set, but since I'm broke I'll have to live with repeatedly renting it from Netflix. It's a definite guilty pleasure of mine.

10/10 - I recommend it anyone with an open-mind who has a couple of hours to kill on a rainy day.
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Wonderfully quirky stuff
Leda7429 March 1999
For a five year old, "Sapphire & Steel" was delightfully terrifying fare. I found it easy - then and now - to ignore the low-budget effects and concentrate on the fantastic scenarios and the eerie twists and turns of the plot. The entire series seemed almost claustrophobic at times, as most of the action took place in isolated or deserted places.

"Sapphire & Steel" was very much a product of its time, perhaps the last of a great line of 1970's British sci-fi such as "Blake's 7" and "Dr Who", with their eccentric characters, surreal scripts and ramshackle sets. As such, for someone of my generation it provides a great sense of nostalgia, and gives me something to look back upon...and smile about.
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Eerie shivers
ezznic23 August 2002
I vaguely remember watching S&S on first broadcast, and clutching a handy sofa cushion. Watching it again, curtesy of the DVD collection (and at least 20 years older,) It still makes me shiver. Story is great, characterisation & acting excellent, and effects as expected (it works for me, and to see CGI implementations of `TIME` couldn`t be as effective as eerie pools of light).

Still, watching again as a fierce man (cough, possibly,) I still experience the same shivers I did first time round. Believe me, as a psychological thriller, it really works. Situations, and snippets of dialogue from the series, tend to surface when I try to get to sleep. This will soon pass, as it did 20-odd years ago...

Extras, they`re interesting - copies of TV times articles, and production stills related to each episode. Adequate, interesting, but not exceptionable.
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quirky sci-fi show that still cuts the mustard.
cornz_125 August 2005
A fore runner to the x-files would be the simplest way to explain Saphire and Steel. Steel (David McCullum, Man From UNCLE) and Sapphire (Joanna Lumley, The New Avengers, AbFab) are a team sent from some other dimension to correct errors in the fabric of our space time. Errors include places and times when some brutal crime has been committed or some evil force from another time/place/dimension is trying to enter our world. These errors manifest themselves invariably as ghosts or shadows or something similar and evil. Strangely dark and decidedly unsettling (man without a face episode scared me 25 years ago and still scares me today). The sets are small, rustic and highly claustrophobic and this adds to the already unsettling mood. Strange music with odd eerie sound effects all add atmosphere. Steel is a short tempered man who doesn't tolerate fools easily and tolerates children even less. Sapphire, however, is the warmer of the two. It seems there are many people who remember the name of the program but not the content and this is a shame as it easily rivals the X-Files in quality of stories and positively outshines it in sheer "spine tingle". The acting is excellent as you would expect from such high profile stars. Pity there was such a short run of it. The video quality is a tiny bit grainy but it was originally filmed in analogue and is the best part of 25 years old. However, this is a not a problem as far as I am concerned. I did read that both Joanna Lumley and David McCullum both expressed a particular fondness for the show and its a shame that it hasn't had the airplay it should have. Spooky, eerie, dark, eerie, did I mention eerie? Yeah. Scares the crap out of me still. Worth buying........
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Sapphire and Steel have been assigned...
gnb8 September 2002
A star-scape, trumpeting music, a booming voice announcing the entrance of those mysterious elemental agents...

So began each installment of the fantastic, and very underrated, "Sapphire and Steel" starring David "Man from UNCLE" McCallum and Joanna "Purdey" Lumley.

Produced by ATV in the late 70s and early 80s, this show certainly left the audiences divided. You either loved it or hated it.

Some, baffled by its weighty plots, weird characters and bizarre set pieces found it an instant turn off. Other, perhaps more patient people, who stuck with the series were rewarded with some of the best TV science-fiction this country has ever produced.

Innovative out of necessity rather than choice given its miniscule budget, "Sapphire and Steel" was a triumph of experimentation. Weird music, disturbing imagery, film noir-esque lighting and solid performances from almost every actor to feature in it, everything about the show is a joy to behold.

Now deleted on video, but with a rumoured DVD release in the offing, it is well worth catching this enthralling show. Only 6 stories were ever produced and its short run makes this gem all the more worthy of cherishing. So if you're sick of time travelling Doctors, battles in space and little green men on Mars, then give this intelligent and brooding fantasy treat a try!
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Wonderful stuff
icj-127 May 2006
I watched this when I was at University and it held a cult status with my friends and I. I bought the tapes then the DVDs when they came out and I still enjoy watching it 25 years later. Some parts of it are still scary and it just goes to show that you don't need huge budgets to make fine TV shows.

The choices of David McCallum and Joanna Lumley for the stars was the hook that got a lot of people watching it but I stayed watching it for the stories - not the stars. There were only six miniseries made. My personal favourite was the one set in a deserted railway station. The ending was a real surprise.

Its a real shame it ended when it did.
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spooky show
darren107322 August 2007
I remember this show from when i was a child. I was always getting ready for bed when it was shown and always managed to stay up and be terrified for the rest of the night. It involved two almost extra terrestrial agents who were assigned to earth to fix rips in time that were being caused by dark forces. Stunningly acted and creepy as hell with an almost intense and oppressive atmosphere. Joanna Lumley and David Macallum are perfectly cast as the two beings and despite the budget, the sets look great, almost as if you were watching a play at times. The spookiest story and the one that everyone seems to remember is the story set in a deserted railway station involving dead soldiers. Watched the DVD release recently and it still packs a punch. Highly recommended for anyone who loves creepy stuff.
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scrol27 June 1999
As a teenager I lapped up every episode of this magnificent, highly informative and truly the most intelligent B.B.C. Sci.Fi. series.

The actors Joanne Lumley and David Mc Callum brought magic to the series as two investigators into the paranormal.The series was streets ahead of anything on TV in those days.

It was also educational, taking episodes from history and weaving them into the plotlines.
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Very creepy - great suspense
welshNick22 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Sapphire and Steel proves that a TV show can be made well on a very small budget. The acting was top notch and the suspense which PJ Hammond put into the writing was in a class of its own.

This show played all sorts of mind games with the viewer, it was about dark corners and creaky staircases - in short, it scared you because of what you didn't see, not what you could see.

The last of the six stories was the best. In all the stories you never really knew who Sapphire and Steel were or where they came from. The last story was a trap in which they ended up being marooned 'nowhere' for ever.

A great show which has aged well - show it to the next generation, I'm sure they will love it. The 'tomorrow people' for adults perhaps ???
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The UK's most imaginative series
orac_uk8 September 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Its amazing to think that ITV (a UK TV station well known for its bland programming) would agree to such a unique and mind bending series being made. Saphire & Steel was ITV's answer to BBC's long running Dr Who and it terms of script quality and acting, Dr Who was given a serious run for its money. Saphire & Steel boasted intelligent scripts involving two agents from another dimension who would protect our reality from other intelligences who would try to manipulate time. Nightmarish forces included an ancient, faceless life form that could exist in photos, a black entity that fed on the resentment of dead World War 2 soldiers. A foe so deadly that the only way Steel can be rid of this entity is to offer it the soul of a ghost hunter (whom they had befriended), a shocking twist to one of the finest stories ever shown on UK TV. The series also works because of the superb unscreen chemistry between David McCallum (Man from Uncle) and Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous). Lumley was perfect at playing this stunningly beautiful character with an odd air of something quite different about her, whilst Steel (as his name suggests) is cold and inhuman (which they both were). The magic of the series lies in the fact that very little is revealed about who they are, what they are or even where they are from, though in the final story we discover that they have enemies in the form of Transient Beings. These creatures of human form, devise a time trap for Saphire and Steel and without giving too much away, I compare this shock ending to that of Blake's 7. Not surprisingly, ITV panicked when viewers wrote in asking what the series was about, and the final story wasn't shown until 2 and a half years after it was filmed during the summer of 1982. Soon to be released on DVD by Carlton, check this series out if you can and discover why current shows like Buffy are so woeful.
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Another British sci-fi gem
dr_foreman23 January 2004
My taste in science fiction and fantasy entertainment is a strange thing. I hated "Lord of the Rings," but I love a good Godzilla movie. "Doctor Who" is fantastic, "Star Wars" leaves me cold. I think it's fair to say that I like interesting concepts more than expensive special effects, and I'm particularly fond of fantasy entertainment from other countries since it often has entirely different sensibilities from the action-oriented stuff that Americans produce.

So, it's no surprise that I loved watching "Sapphire and Steel" over my Christmas break! Talk about interesting concepts...the whole show is a mass of enigmas, time paradoxes, all kinds of weird and wonderful ideas. And it's not just cold, cerebral stuff; the strangely warm rapport between Sapphire, Steel, and the people they help holds it all together. And you know what? I really like the slow pacing and the stifled feeling created by the use of confining sets. For such a low-budget production, "Sapphire and Steel" is oddly terrifying sometimes, and I've got to give credit to its production team for stretching the TV medium so effectively.

It's more humane than "Twilight Zone," more fascinating than "X-Files," and, like so many other great British shows, it had the dignity to end before it got tiresome! Get out and buy the DVD boxed set's worth it.
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One of the best TV series of all time
peter-faizey22 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Sapphire and Steel follows a long line of great creativity in 1970's programming. The series had an incredibly short run, was shown on the rapidly dying ATV Network at a crisis time and was made on an very small budget. However, this never stopped it becoming one of the most memorable science fiction series ever made. There are so many reasons for this, and I will attempt to explain some of them in this brief summary. P.J Hammond was and is an incredibly intelligent and skilled writer, never one to talk down to his audiences, Hammond had contributed scripts to the highly successful Ace of Wands series and the anthology series Shadows before pitching the idea of Sapphire and Steel - or as it was originally known 'The Time Menders'. The idea took some time to catch on, but eventually it was picked up by ATV and filming began in January 1979. The appealing factors to ATV about Sapphire and Steel was the fascinating concept - the idea of two time travellers (elements from the stars) called to solve dangerous breaks in time, no one knows who they are and where they really come from, but they simply appear when they are needed. The other factor is that P.J Hammond was happy with the show being a low budget production, this in many ways was always the original intention. The strength of this lies in the nature of the material written by P.J Hammond and later writers Anthony Read and Don Houghton in Assignment Five. No major special effects were needed, sets could be small and few in number, the beauty of the concept is that it actually relied upon small, claustrophobic, poky settings to work and thats why in so many ways the series has stood the test of time. Throughout its three year run, the programme was (despite the restrictions) extremely well made, the excellent sets and wonderful low key lighting standing out as making the production particularly creepy and mysterious, in an era when television lighting tended to be hideously over-lit (you only have to look at the early 1980's episodes of Doctor Who to realise that!) P.J Hammond's strength was working with the power of suggestion. No violence and very little blood is ever seen and yet the series was (and is) extremely frightening to audiences. Cyril Ornadel's marvellous music is also a highpoint. Subtle, often beautiful and deeply sinister, the music was a key ingredient that complimented the other qualities of the series perfectly. Another essential ingredient was the excellent casting. The programmes ITC connections allowed the series to hire two leads that many low budget shows would never have dreamt of. David McCallum is excellent as the cold and ruthless Steel,playing all of his scenes with astonishing conviction and pathos,complimented by the excellent Joanna Lumley as Sapphire, a more compassionate character, but equally as sinister and unnerving in many instances. As a result the trend of acting throughout is exceptionally good (the only exception being the woeful child actress playing the little girl in Assignment One). The supporting artists were never big names like the leads but they still gave tremendous performances. The excellent David Collings as Silver, a superb, quirky actor (now also known for his terrific performances in Doctor Who and Blakes 7) John Golightly, Edward De Souza and the particularly excellent Gerald James, who plays Tully in Assignment Two (one of the finest stories). The final sequence where Steel gives up Tully for sacrifice is a highlight of the series. The scene is heart wrenching, tense and poignant, with actor Gerald James easily matching the marvellous acting talents of David McCallum as he has an inkling of his impending fate. Beautifully directed and acted, with exceptional music, the audience have a real sense of sympathy for Tully, by all accounts a nice individual, an ordinary man who is ultimately consumed by darkness. Steel watches and listens emotionless as Tully gives a final wave, and screams. Probably the most memorable scene (that and Sapphire's mind being taken over by Darkness - in Assignment Two)in the entire series. Generally speaking every story is memorable, thought provoking incredibly complex and intelligent, and therefore deserves a huge amount of respect. The writing, the excellent direction (often the supremely talented Shaun O'Riordan) and acting is top notch. From a modern day perspective the series is admittedly very slow in its pacing, but this is part of the overall style, the laboured realisation of ideas adds to the suspense and intrigue of the story lines. This is also not a series to watch if you want answers (much is left to the imagination) - the lead characters are an enigma themselves, and to this extent the series can be likened to the equally excellent 'The Prisoner' or 'Children of the Stones'. But if you want intelligent, memorable and thought provoking drama, with wonderful elements of science fiction and fantasy, Sapphire and Steel is the one for you. Essential watching includes Assignments Two, Three, Four and Six, but all are excellent. Assignment One suffers from its toned down nature (a response to what was thought to be its original time-slot - 5:30) to appeal more to a younger audience and Assignment Five is a more generic fare, but all beat the hideously generic, repetitive and self obsessed drama that is modern day television. P.J Hammond has recently written for Torchwood (which is a fine showcasing of all of those negative qualities). Because of its very nature many of the episodes stand up better now than some Doctor Who stories (which always tried to be more ambitious with a similar budget) in production value terms and equally well in the script writing quality as say Doctor Who or Blakes 7. Like the latter series Sapphire and Steel had a poignant downbeat ending. A remarkable, well acted series - a fine example of television of its era - an era we may sadly never see again.
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Classic British SciFi
sweh11 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
When I was a child in England my parents never let me see this show. I did manage to catch one episode (Assignment IV; Sapphire and Steel get captured in a photograph and talk to each other telepathically and cause the picture to turn silver to reflect away the heat of a match) and that image remained with me for years. When it came out on VHS in the UK I bought the whole box set and watched all the stories over one weekend. When they came out on DVD I did the same thing.

Interestingly, each story line was merely numbered; there was no title. The titles on these IMDb listings are not as broadcast.

Like a lot of British SciFi the hook is in the writing and acting. It's not the sets or special effects, but in everything else. It can actually make following a spotlight track across a carpet engrossing and scary! An excellent series. Shame it was so short.
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yuzanjii19 July 2011
This show is incredible! All the horror with out the horror--just true suspense and no blood, guts or screaming, half naked teenagers. Joanna Lumley is sexy in her understated way and David McCallum is just drop- dead sexy. Wonder if they ever could ever hook-up? They smolder but then nada happens (at least on screen)--and Steel DOES appear quite jealous of that fop Silver. (OK- I DO know these are just my imaginary friends-I have real ones-honest!) I don't even get cable so my imaginary friends have to visit me on YouTube--which I think is ruining my attention span

Now-what was i saying? Oh yes! Anyone know where I can buy a DVD set of the show? especially a "pre-owned" set in decent shape?

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To be repeated????
Sleepy0031 May 2005
I watched Sapphire and Steel when it was on the telly and, unfortunately, missed the last episode. (long story, but in short, my house was being rewired and electricity was off)

I was confused when i went to work the next day (being a Wednesday) and my work colleague told me that it had been the last episode..... SHOCK, HORROR!!!! "But" I said, "it's on Tuesday and Thursday, how can they end it on a Tuesday???"

So...... for years i asked around, scoured the TV guides (in the hope it would be repeated), all to no avail. :o( Then about 4 years ago, I was chatting to a friend of mine who informed me he had the series on video..... JOY O JOY!!!! :o)

I borrowed the series and watched the last episode first... as I remembered where I had left off..

Then I proceeded to watch the other episodes, along with my daughter, who incidentally is now an avid 'Fan'. We have now bought them on DVD. :o)) How wonderful to watch it again, and again. Despite the fact that i can still remember, almost, everything that happens, from all those years ago. Which storyline belongs to what etc etc etc.

If they can repeat Fawlty Towers, Reggie Perrin, Fools and Horses etc... (admittedly they are comedies) why can't Sapphire and Steel be repeated? A bit contradictory i know, as I say i have it on DVD, but then there are so many people missing out of such an excellent short lived series.

Not sure it would be possible to do a remake, as JL and DM played their 'roles' so well, and the 'chemistry' they had on screen was magnificent.

I suppose i could always loan out my DVD's (would I ever get them back though? ;o) For the time being, my piece has been said.
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A Time capsule of a UK Sci-Fi Experiment
Rabh176 March 2013
I ran across this series when I just ran Google search of past Sci-Fi shows. And being American, I never saw it. So I got it from Netflix DVD.

Caveats-- 1-- the series was made in '79 - '81, and was a drama more or less based in that present time-- so it will seem a little 'dated'

2-- It has the general hallmark of UK drama, so don't expect Hollywood style budgets, sets and FX. What's more, the shows are staged almost with a Theatre sensibility. Everything happens IN the opening set and the adjacent rooms. No running about. No Car chases. No Daleks.

3-- It's British. So it's all about the DIALOGUE.

4-- It's British. It moves more 'Patiently' than us impatient Americans usually allow for in a Sci-Fi show.

5-- It's visually low-budget. But Once you get over that, then try and get into the STORY. But if Sci-Fi means Spaceships and Lasers and Robots and pyrotechnics...this show is not for you.

6-- Some reviewers have called this a show that would be more interesting for Kids....Well, I would say that if YOUR child can watch this kind of show, he or she is a LOT more intellectually Mature than even you as the adoring parent realize. Start saving for Harvard!!!

Kind of a flavor of Dark Twilight Zone running at the sedate pace of Masterpiece Theatre, Sapphire and Steel are Extra-dimensional Time Agents are come to Earth to 'Fix' obscure problems or violations of Time.

We know they're NOT Human, But we never find out WHAT they are.

We Don't Know WHO or WHAT they work for. The Voice in the beginning that 'Assigns Sapphire & Steel' remains Unknown.

They will attempt to fix the problems they are assigned with the goal of safeguarding the Earth and Humanity....but they are prepared to Sacrifice innocents if needed. And that's where the Drama of the show gets a Star from me.

Assuming you're ready to accept the 'Science Fantasy' of a Dimensional Time Agent, you can enjoy the show as an exercise in trying to figure out WHERE they are GOING with trying to solve their problem.

Warning-- the Series is NOT complete. They never finished it. The Last Set of Chapters: "The Trap", brings Sapphire & Steel up against ANOTHER set of Extra-dimensional Agents call 'Transient Beings'...and the viewer suddenly starts hearing hints of information as to WHO & WHAT Sapphire and Steel are, WHO they Answer To, Something called a 'Higher Authority'...

But then comes an ending that all but screams 'Cliff-Hanger' an understated British way, mind.

That's it. Nothing more. Complete Stop.

It won't knock your socks off. I dare say that 'Dr Who' fans will not find anything enticing either. But if you're sitting up on a late night and don't have anything else to watch and you are patient...give it a try.

You might like it...or you might not.
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"A little piece of darkness..."
poe42612 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
What a revelation has been SAPPHIRE AND STEEL! I'd never even heard of this series (let alone seen it) before it turned up (all but the first "assignment") at my local library. For decades, I've been cranking out no-budget, surreal "fantasies" for Public Access channels that have left viewers scratching their heads in wonder- fantasies not totally unlike what's been wrought here, on SAPPHIRE AND STEEL. David McCallum starred in two of my all-time favorite episodes of THE OUTER LIMITS (the original, black and white series- first season): THE SIXTH FINGER (as a mild-mannered miner turned mutant mastermind) and a pilot for what could very well have been SAPPHIRE AND STEEL itself, THE FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN. In fact, THE FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN plays out not totally unlike an episode of SAPPHIRE AND STEEL. One can't help but lament the passing of shows like THE OUTER LIMITS (the original, black and white series) and SAPPHIRE AND STEEL. They are far too few and far between. (Just this past weekend, I recorded the latest episode of the latest reincarnation of DR. WHO for a friend, which I didn't mind- but that was followed by a recording of the pilot for the new FLASH GORDON TV series for said friend that proved so odious a task that I called him up midway through the taping and expressed my dissatisfaction with the whole sordid affair.) SAPPHIRE AND STEEL, despite its budgetary limitations, reminds me more than a little of another low-key but effective series from days gone by: THE PRISONER.
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Science fiction for the thinker
aaronesaxton14 August 2016
You will have questions and many will never be answered as you witness scenarios unfold with violations of time being corrected by the team sapphire and steel. Modern science fiction seeks to allude to answers and leave no leaf unturned and leaves little to the imagination. Not so here as you will be guessing as much as the operatives sapphire and steel as to what has caused what and how it is to be corrected. Eerie settings and even darker scenes bring back the old per style of science fiction where your imagination will play a central role as the story unfolds. It was a rare series indeed and unlikely to be produced again. You will be as confused and curious as the players in each episode trying to piece together what has happened. Of particular to me are the spiders in the old house, train station and gas station as standouts of science fiction at its best.
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Absorbing, complex, slow paced
jlfittro6 January 2016
The slow pace of this show, the methodical way the main characters investigate and solve their assigned dilemmas, is what makes it so believable and realistic for a fantasy drama. There is history, curiosity, mystery, suspense, chemistry, and even humor in this unusual series. Joanna Lumley and David McCallum play off of each other very well- Sapphire with endless beauty, patience and humanity, and Steel living up to his cold, but not uncaring, nature. I don't want to criticize it for dated sets and special effects because these are irrelevant to the character development and stories. Highly recommended. ( I wish some reviewers would not give away so much, especially the ending. A major spoiler for those who have not seen the show. Why not keep that discussion for the message board.)
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A classic of its' time
Joxerlives6 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Treated myself to the DVD boxset and it was certainly a treat, commentaries on the first and last episodes of the series (although the writer and producer seem to have fading memories) and a lovely documentary with both Lumley and McCallum.

Just as good as I remember it, great mood, writing, acting, terrific premises all around. If I were to have one complaint it would be that some episodes go on for far too long and would have been much better if they'd been cut to nearly have their length, especially adventure 2. But it's still great fun and shows what you can do without big special effects and graphic sex and violence. Would love to have seen more especially if they could have expanded their universe, we could have got to see other members of their community and understood a little more but then one of the appealing points was that it was never all explained, we were always left wondering.

And the ending? On face value Sapphire and Steel are trapped in the café in 'nowhere' forever whilst Silver's fate is unknown. However rather than being trapped by their opponents it seems they have been imprisoned by the higher authorities of their own organisation who resent their 'independence'. When Sapphire looked into their future she saw this fate as 'thousands' of years and not eternity. In adventure 3 Steel observes that it would be better if 'operatives' were in place before time crises erupted rather than being dispatched when they had already occurred but Sapphire points out that no one would volunteer to wait for hundreds of years, including him. It is possible that they have actually been put on ice for just such an occasion.
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NOT a Science Fiction series - a Fantasy series in a Science Fiction motif!
hoytyhoyty3 January 2015
And let me just say - bloody excellent! Joanna Lumley and David McCallum were perfect for the roles. I'm sure many of us have dreamed of a reboot...

Well, here's something you may not know. There is an Audio Book *continuation* - yes! set after the roadside café!! - done by The Big Finish, with David Warner and Susannah Harker! They are PERFECT! And even the change in their voices (and their aging) is taken into account! Mark Gatiss even turns up as Gold!

Ahem, frothing a little there.

But yes, I'm sorry this is NOT science fiction. What it is, is a Lovecraftian-type fantasy universe, done with superb low-budget BBC creepiness. In fact it's just BIZARRE. Which is what's so just soul-gorgingly great about it. Its *strangeness*.

And the fantasy story and background are unfolded - with blinding, unbelievably far-looking originality - in a Science Fiction manner. The two protagonists are 'Agents'. Their assistants are called 'Technicians', and 'Engineers'. They rabbit on about the strange properties of the universe they come from: and amazingly, the gibberish is actually rather self-consistent. It hangs together.

There are times you find yourself leaning forward on the couch, squinting, going "I... *almost*... get what they're on about... how's that again...". There are times that it manages to chill your blood - that creeping blackness... brrrr.

There are some moments of unintentional hilarity, yes, just due to the budget and time constraints (unexplained coughing fit...). Who cares.

This series pinned a high-water mark for BBC conceptual-fiction originality. I proudly display my DVD's on the shelf! Newcomers - you will need your brain ON, and not all of the stories 'shine' as much as others. But the ones that do you will not be able to forget, and I mean for all the right, delicious reasons.



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A unique and mysterious TV show.
OllieSuave-00729 June 2017
I remembered during a time I was a little kid, my dad hurried home to catch an episode of a TV show. I've watched scenes of it and always remembered it containing an eerie image of a soldier behind a glass door or appearing in random places throughout the story.

I didn't know what the name of the show was and after describing the scenes in a former IMDb contributor board, somebody mentioned that it was probably the "The Railway Station" episode of "Sapphire & Steel." I've watched parts of the episode online, especially paying attention to all the soldier scenes and it did look familiar. It was a very eerie show with a steady-moving plot and a very foreboding-toned acting. The show's premise are these two investigators who are sent to protect the universe from evil forces from other dimensions trying to disrupt life's time-line.

Definitely a unique TV show with out-of-this world episodes and mysterious stories.

Grade B
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Early British sci-fi at it's very best
garychapman7225 December 2016
Apart from 'Assignment 1' which clearly struggles a little, this show is an absolute TV gem. I do worry that modern audiences weened on CGI creatures and big budgets might find it difficult to engage with at first.

So, here is a 40somethings view...

I was quite young when it first aired and I wasn't allowed to watch it after begging to watch one episode - and then being too frightened to sleep (I was a sensitive kid). After that one viewing, I couldn't even hear the theme tune without getting distressed. I didn't get the opportunity to view it again until my late 20's Like much of the TV of that period it is low budget and feels much like a play in it's delivery. To counter the low budget difficulties the show was produced on very small sets - and this lead to a very cramped, claustrophobic feel which pervades the entire series.

The result is a show which is hard to watch without genuinely feeling quite trapped.

By way of comparison: the early doctor who's from about the same period tried to do so much more with a similarly low budget, and it shows. By keeping the sets small S&S creates worlds which are detailed and dark, cramped and claustrophobic ... and this leads to a level of viewer tension you really don't get from the early Doctor Who... or, indeed, any modern attempts at sci-fi or sci-fi horror.

Since my impressionable childhood I've become quite the horror buff and love the deeply psychological horror that Hollywood seems largely incapable of producing. But every so often I return to re-watch this series, and every time it manages to draw me back in.

Yes, it's low budget and it really is showing it's age... but it gets so much right. after all, good horror is rarely about what you see - it's about what you don't.

And that's what you get in S&S. Storytelling in its purest form... uncluttered, tense and utterly engaging.
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Fun program
squirrelyanne11 February 2019
I really enjoyed this series, and the characters. The suspense was good. Wish there had been more.
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Budget horror/suspense
admin-33130 July 2004
I've now got all 6 "Assignments" on DVD. It's like an early X-Files/Most Haunted cross-breed. Scary horror but you never actually see anything. The booming introduction voice listing the elements reminds me of the beginning of "Two Tribes" the single, or the announcer in Vic Reeves Big Night Out. There's strong performances, great actors and very 80's outfits. It didn't try to be amazing, and the stories are really odd, but I'm enjoying it. According to the extras on the DVD, the series was never repeated after it's first airing ended. I could barely remember seeing one or two episodes as a kid but bought them out of curiosity.
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