Research for the downthetubes review of Doctor Who – It Takes You Away has revealed award-winning writer Ed Hime is part of the team working on the reboot of ITV’s fantasy drama Sapphire and Steel.
The reboot of the show focusing on two alien agents tackling the paranormal, played in the original series by Joanna Lumley and David McCallum, was given new life earlier this year during the C21’s Content event in London.
ITV Studios-owned independent Big Talk Productions – company behind TV productions such as Cold Feet and Timewasters – confirmed that it was remaking Sapphire & Steel, with Luther creator Neil Cross attached to the project, who first teased fans about a reboot back in 2015, with ITV confirming its interest the following year at C21.
First broadcast in the 1970s, Sapphire & Steel featured the adventures of two mysterious agents, assigned by an unknown authority to correct anomalies that have allowed the mysterious and malevolent forces of time itself to break into the present, material world.
Both characters were telepathic, with Steel possessing inhuman strength, telekinesis and the ability to drain thermal energy, while Sapphire could rewind time temporarily, divine the history of objects and possesses some control over human minds.
The creation of future Torchwood writer PJ Hammond, the series has a cult following, despite running to just eight adventures over 34 episodes between 1979 and 1982, ending on a tantalising cliffhanger.
The show spawned a fantastic tie-in strip for the weekly comic Look-In, written by Angus Allan and drawn by Arthur Ranson, and other limited merchandise.
The show was revived and given a well-received new run of a few of seasons as an audio drama from 2005 – 2008 by Big Finish Audio Productions.
Doctor Who writer Ed Home’s online CV indicates he is one of the writers on the new Big Talk incarnation, as well as a writer on the next season of the Time Lord’s adventures.
Talking to the Daily Record in December 2015, Cross recalled: “I have a very, very
powerful sense memory of watching Sapphire and Steel in Tarbrax.
“I can tell you the chair I would sit in when I watched it, the big black and white TV next to the phone. In a weird way, Sapphire and Steel is inextricable with Tarbrax.”
Cross noted he’d mentioned the revival in a US podcast for screenwriters – Nerdist Writers – and was amazed at the reaction it got.
“I thought a podcast for a limited audience talking about a little-known show from so long ago and so far away would go completely unnoticed but it didn’t. Watch this space.”
We certainly will be!