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Sapphire And Steel (ITV 1979-1982, Joanna Lumley, David McCallum)

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Sci-Fi drama series Sapphire and Steel saw two ‘ethereal’ time travellers appear in different times and locations to combat the forces of evil.

The opening narration stated ‘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, Mercury, Copper, Jet, Diamond, Radium, Sapphire, Silver and Steel. Sapphire and Steel have been assigned!’

This twice-weekly series of adventures was created by P.J. Hammond, better known for scripting more routine police shows such as Z-Cars or Hunter’s Walk. His premise was that instead of having people going from everyday life into time, he would have time breaking into everyday life. Thus, Sapphire tells us, in the first episode, that ‘time is a corridor . . . Once in a while Time itself can try to enter into the Present – break in – burst through, to take things… to take people’.

PRODUCTION CREDITS
United Kingdom | ATV for the ITV Network | 34x25m-e | 1979-82

Creator: P.J. Hammond | Music: Cyril Ornadel | Design: Stanley Mills ( 1-4/6 ) | Sue Chases (5 ) | Executive Producer: David Reid | Producer: Shaun O’ Riordan

regular cast
JOANNA LUMLEY as Sapphire / DAVID McCALLUM as Steel / DAVID COLLINS as Silver

THE EPISODES

SEASON ONE 14 Episodes | 10th July – 22nd November 1979.

ADVENTURE ONE
Sapphire and Steel appear in a strange lonely house when the parents of a young boy and girl mysteriously vanish, Sapphire and Steel face an awesome battle, helped by Lead to ‘win back’ the parents.

guest cast
STEVEN O’ SHEA as ROB / TAMASIN BRIDGE as HELEN / FELICITY HARRISON as MOTHER / JOHN GOLIGHTLY as FATHER / RONALD GOODALE as COUNTRYMAN / VAL PRINGLE as LEAD

Writer: P.J. Hammond (A 6 Part story)
Director: Shaun O’ Riordan

 

ADVENTURE TWO
Sapphire and Steel get involved with spectral forces at a spooky railway station owned by psychic expert George Tully.

guest cast
GERALD JAMES as George Tully / TOM KELLY as Pearce / DAVID CANN as Pilot / DAVID WOODCOCK as Submariner

Writer: P.J. Hammond (An 8 Part Story)
Directors: Shaun O’ Riordan, David Foster

 

SEASON TWO 10 Episodes | 6th January – 5th February 1981

ADVENTURE THREE
A tower block has an invisible penthouse attached to it run by two time travelers from the future, but when a ‘ changeling’ brought by them kidnaps Sapphire, Steel and Silver are forced into action.

guest cast
DAVID COLLINGS as Silver / DAVID GANT as Eldred / CATHARINE HALL as Rothwyn / RUSSELL WOOTTON as Changeling

Writer: P.J. Hammond (A 6 Part Story)
Director: Shaun O’ Riordan

 

ADVENTURE FOUR
Sapphire and Steel must repair a break in the time corridor to prevent children ‘escaping’ from old photographs. Meanwhile a creature called the Shape is creating havoc with his ability to enter photographs.

guest cast
ALYSON SPIRO as Liz / PHILLIP BIRD as Shape 1 / BOB HORNERY as Shape 2 / SHELAGH STEPHENSON as Ruth / NATALIE HEDGES as Parasol Girl

Writer: P.J Hammond (A 4 Part Story)
Director: David Foster

 

SEASON THREE 6 Episodes / 11th August – 26th August 1981

ADVENTURE FIVE
Sapphire and Steel must try and prevent a murder at a party given by Lord Mullrine.

guest cast
DAVY KAYE as Lord Mullrine / PATIENCE COLLIER as Emma Mullrine / NAN MUNRO as Felicity McDee / JEFFERY WICKHAM as Felix Harborough / JEREMY CHILD as Howard McDee / JENNY STOLLER as Annabelle Harborough / PETER LAIRD as Greville / STEPHEN MacDonald as George McDee / CHRISTOPHER BRAMWELL as Tony Purnell / PATRICIA SHAKESBY as Anne Shaw / DEBBIE FARRINGTON as Veronica Blamey

Writers: Don Houghton, Anthony Read (A 6 Part Story)
Director: Shaun O’ Riordan

 

SEASON FOUR 4 Episodes | 19th August –31st August 1982

ADVENTURE SIX
Sapphire, Steel and Silver find themselves in a service station where all the inhabitants are from the past.

DAVID COLLINGS as Silver / EDWARD DE SOUZA as Man / JOHANNA KERBY as Woman / JOHN BOSWALL as Old Man / CHRISTOPHER FAIRBANK as Johnny Jack.

Writer: P.J. Hammond (A 4 Part Story)
Director: Shaun O’Riordan

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