Sapphire & Steel Art Competition!

The cover of Look-In, cover dated 11th August 1979, featuring Sapphire and Steel

The cover of Look-In, cover dated 11th August 1979, featuring Sapphire and Steel

With the news that Luther creator and Doctor Who script writer Neil Cross is, hopefully, to re-make Sapphire & Steel, the spooky ITV-commissioned 1970s show starring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum as mysterious times agents, we think it’s time for one of our occasional art competitions!

The news reminded us of the glorious Sapphire & Steel strip that ran in the weekly “Junior TV Times”, Look-In, written by Angus Allan and drawn by Arthur Ranson, who also collaborated such as “The Beatles Story” (re-published digitally by ROK Comics) and “Elvis Presley”, among others. The strip ran for 76 two page episodes encompassing fifteen “assignments” (including an annual story) that were every bit as creepy and weird as the fondly-remembered TV show that inspired it.

Page 1 of The very first Sapphire & Steel adventure published in Look-In

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

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

The TV series created by Peter J Hammond left Sapphire and Steel in limbo, trapped in an inter dimensional cafe, although they did escape for a series of audio adventures produced by Big Finish, although these did not feature Lumley or McCallum.

Now, Neil Cross, who is also working on River View, a paranormal series set in New York for US premium cable network HBO, told  the Nerdist Writers’ Panel podcast that a UK broadcaster was very close to commissioning a remake of Sapphire & Steel. (His comments on the possible new show are about 01:32:28 in, just before he talks about writing comics, something he has yet to do).

“I’m planning to – it looks like I’m going to – relaunch Sapphire & Steel, a late ‘70s science fiction horror show that was incredibly low budget, where the enemy is time itself,” Cross said. “There’s ghost stories and monster stories and time is the villain.”

The news prompted various comic artists to pipe up that they’d love to draw a new comic based on the show, so we’re challenging our readers to do just that. It’s just for fun and open to any style – realistic, cartoon, montage, or even a one-off illustration (but strip preferred). All we ask is that you tell your new Sapphire & Steel tale in one or two pages. No epics!

The winner – I’ll pick three – will receive some goodies from my hoard of British comic-related goodies, and we’ll publish the best entires here on downthetubes.

• Please send your entries to the downthetubes web site address – no high res files, ideally 1600 pixel width at least and no web links. Entries must be received by 12 noon on Thursday 8th October 2015. Good luck!



The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. 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 "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: Comics Competitions, downthetubes Comics News, Featured News

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2 replies


  1. Sapphire and Steel Competition: First Entry, by Tony Luke |
  2. Sapphire & Steel Competition: Nigel “Spleenal” Auchterlounie joins the fun |
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