Sapphire and Steel

Dave

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'Sapphire and Steel' was a BBC Sci-Fi series from the late 1970' early 1980's which an amazing number of people have told me they remember fondly. IMHO it suffered badly from the BBC's usual lack of budget, just like 'Dr Who' and 'Blake's 7', which was in turn, really a symptom of the BBC's lack of commitment to Sci-Fi. Eventually, they just stopped trying to make Sci-Fi at all.

All irregularities will be handled by the forces controlling each dimension. Transuranic heavy elements may not be used where there is life. Medium atomic weights are available: Gold, Lead, Copper, Jet, Diamond, Radium, Sapphire, Silver and Steel. Sapphire and Steel have been assigned.

Sapphire and Steel are beings from another dimension assigned to prevent the fabric of time from being compromised. We learn they have special powers that are meant to assist them in their duties. Among Sapphire's abilities she can roll back time to a limited extent, as well as being able to tell the age of objects by touching them. She also demonstrates some telekinetic powers as she unlocks a door with her mind. Sapphire and Steel also appear to have a telepathic link with each other.

I have no idea what it was all about, but it was all good fun. There has been a big discussion this week in the UK about the influence of US TV, and whether the rules should be relaxed to allow more foreign broadcasters to take over UK TV stations. IMHO until we actually make something that can compete with American shows such as 'Star Trek', 'Stargate', and the endless list of imports I can't live without, the question is of no importance.
 

ray gower

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Steel was David McCallum (Kuryakyn in Man from Uncle).
Sapphire- Joanna Lumley.
Made an excellent pairing I thought.

Could never decide who they were supposed to be protecting. But yes it was a rollicking show to watch.

Last one I saw was on a railway station that was replaying itself. Turned out to be a trap to capture Sapphire and Steel. So I think it was the last of the series.
Showed a fair amount of enmity between the metal elements Steel and Silver. The latter turning up to 'help' them (into the trap)

I have to get Sky if these are replaying like this!
 

Annette

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I have to admit that I used to watch this. Was a looooooooooong time ago. The most I can remember is them 'talking' to each other by telepathy. I think I also fancied David McCallum so that may have been one reason for watching it.

annette :D
 

Fried Egg

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Well, I know this thread is long dead but...

I just obtained the complete series on DVD and have started watching them again for the first time since I was very young (when it was originally on tv). I was trepedicious that it might ruin my recollections but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Despite the low budget and some appalling acting, it still managed to be quite creepy and atmospheric.
 

Dave

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Despite the low budget and some appalling acting, it still managed to be quite creepy and atmospheric.
That is also my recollection, but like you I find those recollections seem to improve with time, when in actual fact production values today are far higher than they were. I might look into getting them if you give them the thumbs up as DVDs are so cheap now (and there isn't much on TV other than reality shows and some costume drama.)

This really is an old thread, but I stand by my earlier comments, in that I remember being a little lost as to where they came from, who they worked for, and what it was all about. IIRC there were other characters that appeared sometimes from the same organisation with names of other elements and gems. I think I only ever saw one series as well. I was in my late teens and much too busy to watch TV. Maybe everything was explained later?
 

Jo Zebedee

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blah - flags. So many flags.
Yep, everytime I hear "pack up your troubles" this series comes back to me; I think it was a haunted railway station, or something, but it definitely had the creep factor. Plus, I liked David McCallum.
 

ktabic

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Yeah, that was the train station one. Really creepy. And "pack up your troubles" does the same to me.
 

TheTomG

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Got to re-watch this sometime soon, as it was great. I have re-watched the intro and it was pretty terrible haha, in terms of animation and the fact that things that were not elements were called elements if I remember, but once I get into the story and filming proper I am sure it will work out great.

Production values have risen with time, but a good, creepy story and good at-a-slant-to-the-norm is ageless.

Not to mention, Joanna Lumley! The New Avengers, Sapphire and Steel, then Absolutely Fabulous. Good to see someone succeed in such different roles and avoid being typecast and relegated to the bin of forever being "That character from that series that was big 7 years ago." as can happen with cult hits.
 

psychotick

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Hi,

I had the full three series on dvd, but two of them were stolen - Go figure. But yes I enjoyed it a lot, and Joanna was a babe! Of course the real problem with the show wasn't budget or a lack of commitment to sci fi or anything like that. It was that the writers literally lost the plot. In fact there were changes made to the writing team between seasons and no one knew what the story actually was.

But it was still damned creepy and good fun. And did I mention that Joanna was a babe!

Cheers, Greg.
 

MaxSpender

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I was probably only 7 or 8 yrs old when I first saw Sapphire & Steel, so yes, it scared me back then (probably even more so than Doctor Who).

It was great rediscovering the complete series on DVD years later. Some of the first episodes are very slow moving & the pacing wouldn't be tolerated in this day & age, but as others have noted, it added to the creepy atmosphere.

Adventure 4 is my favourite: The man without a face. The children made of paper. The lady trapped in the photograph - still unnerving even today.

Some favourite parts from Adventure 4: When Sapphire is trying to make the faceless man appear & he keeps blocking her, repeating: 'But you've seen my face, but you've seen my face. Why should I hide? Why should I hide? And the part where the other lady in the building is helping them & she tries to cuddle one of the crying children, only for it to turn to crumpled paper in her arms. Also, when the faceless man burns the photograph the woman is trapped in & you can hear her screaming. :eek:

I remember me & my brother not being able to hide how scared we were watching this show & my mum made us turn it off. :mad: Thank God for these old shows getting re-released on DVD. :)
 

MaxHeadroom

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Sapphire and Steel recently appeared in my y'you may also be interested in' banners.

I'm tempted to give it a rerun but worried that as with Blake's Seven, it took something away from my childhood memories of it. Although Oric still seems to retain all its charm.
 

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