Sapphire & Steel – ITV’s cult science-fiction series about a special force of inter-dimensional operatives whose task is to protect the universe from evil forces – turns 41 today.
The series, created by PJ Hammond, starred Joanna Lumley and David McCallum as Sapphire and Steel, the mysterious agents charged with protecting the Universe from the malevolent forces of Time with their uncanny powers.
Broadcast between 1979 and 1982 the show ran for just 34 episodes, ending on a cliffhanger. Big Finish Productions revived the show in 2005, in a series of audio dramas, starring David Warner and Susannah Harker as the titular Steel and Sapphire.
Back in 2015, we ran a challenge for downthetubes readers to come up with their interpretation of the spooky show, after it was revealed that Luther creator and Doctor Who script writer Neil Cross was, hopefully, to re-make the show, a project that got further attention back in 2018 when we discovered award-winning writer Ed Hime was apparently then part of the team working on the reboot.
Sadly, we didn’t get a huge response to the competition, unlike our previous Doctor Who and Dan Dare challenges, but Nigel Auchterlounie, Davey Candlish (his art above), Simon Daly and the late Tony Luke did step up the plate and sent in some great art. You can view it all here on Flickr.
Sapphire & Steel has a great history in comics of course, with some brilliant strips drawn by Arthur Ranson for the weekly comic, Look-In – sadly still not collected, though some have tried to cut a licensing deal.