Sometimes I spoil some things but not others. Part eight of the second Sapphire & Steel serial features one of television’s all-time great leap-out-of-your-skin moments, when Sapphire opens her eyes to reveal that the Darkness has taken them while speaking through her. Our protagonists have been “shunted” forward in time twelve days, and Steel, despite basically screwing up every single step of this assignment, has an idea to get them back in their correct time zone and convince the Darkness to leave all the dead ghosts alone.
And this idea… that’s what I won’t discuss. I did hint a little that Sapphire and Steel are inhuman, and are tasked to do whatever is necessary to neutralize threats to time, and I did point out the implications of one of their previous jobs, the one on the ship that the characters discussed in the previous story. Marie figured out where this was going earlier in the narrative than I did, but of course our son didn’t. He wasn’t happy.
Knowing how this story ends, there’s a horrible inevitability to episodes seven and eight, as the characters go through the motions working toward a conclusion they can’t escape. And I have to say that David McCallum acts the absolute hell out of the sad climax, trying to be kind, trying to be human, while being alien and terrible underneath. It’s a fantastic ending. Not a happy one at all.
This story completed Sapphire & Steel‘s first order, and first season, of 14 episodes in 1979. The following year, ATV ordered 20 more episodes. These would be shown in three “seasons” between 1981 and 1982. We’ll start looking at these very soon, but first, we’re going to take a detour for a week…