Sapphire & Steel 6.1 and 6.2

Two people from 1948, fleeing their unhappy marriages together, take a wrong turn and arrive in 1981. But something’s even stranger than this Twilight Zone-styled setup. The service station where they stop is in a frozen pocket of time. Nobody else is there, except for Sapphire, Steel, and Silver, who find these two and their lack of curiosity very puzzling. And except for an old man from 1925, only he seems to be correctly in his own time, and sees the other characters as faded ghosts. And except for somebody who none of them can see, only hear. He keeps slapping a tambourine…

The final assignment in this series is absolutely astonishing. I love all six stories, but I might love this one most of all. I’ve certainly watched it the most. The attention to detail is amazing, and I am really impressed with Edward de Souza and Johanna Kirby’s performances as the stubborn, incurious couple who are prepared to wait indefinitely to go home. De Souza was often cast as characters who were a little louche, and he’s perfect here. He radiates insincerity, but that seems to be because he and his pretty young girlfriend are up to no good and he doesn’t feel that anybody has the right to question them.

The tension in Sapphire & Steel is always really tangible, but it’s through the roof in this one. Everybody knows that something is wrong, but nobody can identify what, and as more time zones enter the narrative, the weirder and the worse it gets. Our son went from being pleased to see Silver back to wrapping himself up in a tight ball. “I was so scared I couldn’t move,” he told us.

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