TV Cream

TV: S is for...

Sapphire and Steel

Steely Visions in blue Erm... sapphirey

WOBBLY FRIDGE magnet letters and tadgerish geometric cartoons began this pretentious sci-fi supernatuum about two elemental agents Sapphire (JOANNA LUMLEY) and Steel (DAVID McCALLUM). Opening bullshit portent tried to impress with flash vocabulary “heavy transuranic elements may not be used.” Yeah, and Sapphire and Steel are not fucking elements. Ludicrous bag of wank plots involved being able to see through time, baubles of light, railway stations being dragged back through history and being able to reduce your body temperature below freezing. The sort of stuff, then, that comprises an entire series of Torchwood.



  1. paulus - Bangkok

    July 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    The episode that had a man without a face… no eyes, no mouth, nothing… ran second in scariness only to Dr Who’s Whaaa Whaaa theme music.
    Hid behind the sofa at both.

    It’s crap(yourself)tastic!

  2. Clio

    April 10, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I never understood a word of it.

  3. Tony Hughes

    May 12, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I recall the one guest-starring “Lead”, played by a large black guy who kept saying “I’m Lead. I’m insulating”.

  4. Lee James Turnock

    July 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Apparently one of the inspirations behind Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, which was also, as TV Cream so succinctly puts it, a ludicrous bag of wank.

  5. richardpd

    June 1, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    As the admins seem to be AWOL here, I’ll mention that this is being screened on Forces TV at 11pm tonight.

    I remember my old girlfriend had the box set & we watched some of the stories.

    Adventures 1, 3, & 4 were OK but 2 has an amazing amount of padding, you could chop out the dullest hour from the runtime & wouldn’t lose anything crucial to the plot.

  6. Droogie

    June 2, 2020 at 4:53 am

    I recall a story told by comic artist Arthur Ranson who drew the Sapphire & Steel strip in Look-In. Ranson was famous for his meticulous realistic style made from photos, and was told years later by his agent that Joanna Lumley had seen the comic strip and had offered to pose and model for reference photographs for the strip for added realism. The agent declined her offer because he thought Ranson was too busy to spend an afternoon photographing Lumley in various poses. Ranson was understandably very unhappy on later learning this.

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