Thursday, 28 June 2018

Sapphire And Steel.

Just finished watching a boxed set of the entire series of Sapphire And Steel starring the steely David McCallum and the er...Sapphirey Joanna Lumley. What a dark edged and riveting watch. Its the closest I have come to binge watching as that practice normally ruins a good show for me. Yet this series was so atmospheric and intense I found myself unable to resist viewing each assignment, as the seperate stories are designated. The stories did not have different titles and I found myself naming them; "The One In the Haunted Railway" or "The One in the Junk Shop" or even "The One in the Creepiest Petrol Station Ever."
               Written mostly by the legendary PJ Hammond each assignment revolves around a small set of individuals in a spooky location. There are no elaborate fight scenes, no gun fire, no awkward romances, none of the standard tropes for present day science fiction or fantasy. They generally involve small incidents which if left unchecked could lead to larger disasters; enter the mysterious Sapphire And Steel if not quite to save the day at least to prevent that larger fall out. Their resolutions could not quite be considered happy endings.
                The two leads are just fantastic and a special mention must surely go to David Collings as the hugely likable and clever Silver. I believe in some alternate reality David Collings was cast as The Doctor after Tom Baker left the role (Well, sort of left the role when in fact he never did.) and stayed for just as many years as the great man.
                Hard SF mixed with Weird Fantasy mark this short lived series like no other genre series before or since.
                Did we, the viewing public, really sit though a very disturbing but riveting half hour of Sapphire And Steel only to then watch a half hour of Coronation Street?
                A weird juxtaposition of programmes that showed British Television at its most British.