Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982)

TV Series   |    |  Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Episode Guide
Sapphire & Steel (1979) Poster

A special force of interdimensional operatives protect the universe from evil forces trying to gain a foothold by disrupting the timeline. The strange energy beings are assigned to cases, ... See full summary »


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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

25 August 2005 | cornz_1
quirky sci-fi show that still cuts the mustard.
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........

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


According to the documentary accompanying the Network DVD release, the concept for this show originally envisioned it as a programme aimed at youngsters in the mold of other children orientated sci-fi such as The Tomorrow People or Doctor Who. However the documentary goes on to state that this idea soon dissipated when the two stars (McCallum and Lumley) were signed, the production costs subsequently spiralled and made it impractical to keep this as part of childrens TV programming. The programme was then written for an older (i.e. teenage) audience in mind and moved up the schedules from a childrens tv slot to an early evening slot (most ITV networks screened it around 7pm). Despite the big name casting and sci-fi elements the show was not a massive hit not because of perceived lack of quality but because the haphazard way it was produced with the stars availability together for filming being restricted due to other commitments. This meant that the show could never really get a strong foothold in tv programming due to the irregular way the stories were becoming available for transmission. Without a regular production schedule the shows ended up showing at different times and dates all across the ITV network and as such production eventually fizzled out with some ITV networks not showing the final stories until 2 years after they had been filmed.


Voice-over in titles: 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. ...


The introduction talks about elements and their atomic weights, but sapphire is a gemstone composed of the mineral corundum, an aluminum oxide, and steel is an alloy of iron, carbon and other elements. Jet and diamond are also mentioned - while diamond is a form of carbon (and is, therefore, an element) jet is not.


Plot Summary


Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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