TV Shows »Sapphire and Steel

sapphire and steelIt's only fair to start by warning you that the short lived cult show Sapphire and Steel is possibly the most challenging television show I've recommended. It does not pander to the audience with luxuries like explanations or making sense. The pacing is plodding, but the slow speed along with editing, sound design, cinematography and art direction make for a very compellingly creepy and unique atmosphere. Watching it is almost likened to a surreal dream that drifts in and out of nightmare.

It originally aired in 1979 and surprisingly lasted for three seasons, but it's convoluted plot lines left most audiences more confused than enamored and the show nearly faded into obscurity until fans revived an interest in it, and now it's considered a cult classic and a precursor to the X Files. Don't get me wrong with all my warnings, it's a very distinct show and one worth seeing, but often the going is not easy and there is very little payoff after the roughly three hour long plot arcs.

The adventure we watched began with a boy's parents being taken by their house after a nursery rhyme opened some sort of portal in time and ends with a glowing brick and time reversal. Oh, and in between there is a painting that swallows people, a group of soldier ghosts, and spots of light that cause mischief. And by the end I still had no idea what was gong on.

To give you an idea of the craziness in store for you, this is the voice over in the introduction, an introduction worth noting that is just as interesting and amazing visually as the rest of the production:

“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…….”

That's it. That's all the information you'll be getting. Sapphire and Steel played by Joanna Lumley and David McCallum, are elements who must keep order in Time. He has the ability to freeze ghosts, she can loop time and reverse it to a degree.

It's bonkers, but often chilling, often fascinating, and always unlike anything else you've seen. It's interesting to see that once upon a time makers of television believed audiences could grasp totally out there stuff, but sadly I have to admit, some of Sapphire and Steel is way beyond me.

Available on DVD thanks to A&E.

See more: TV Shows

Posted on March 10, 2008

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