Happy Birthday, Sapphire and Steel!

Sapphire & Steel by Davey Candlish
Sapphire & Steel by Davey Candlish

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.

Sapphire & Steel by Simon Daly
A quirky strip featuring Sapphire & Steel by Simon Daly

Sadly, we didn’t get a huge response to the competition, unlike our previous Doctor Who and Dan Dare challenges, but Nigel AuchterlounieDavey 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.

Look-In - Sapphire and Steel
The very first Sapphire & Steel adventure published in Look-In
The very first Sapphire & Steel adventure published in Look-In

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.

Sapphire & Steel is available to buy on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Check out the Sapphire & Steel Audio Dramas from Big Finish (Affiliate Link)

You can view our Sapphire & Steel competition entries here on Flickr

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, SF Comics

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