If we’re totally honest, I’ve always thought that part five of this first story drags a bit. They had to make the ghost-pretending-to-be-Dad bit run for longer than the plot really needed in order to fill twenty-five minutes. But if you’re seven, and the idea of some thing pretending to be your father fills you with horror, it’s hard to watch in another way. It’s endless.
Our son contends that the spectral plague victim was the scariest thing about this serial, but the real shock came when the ghost-pretending-to-be-Mom turns around and her eyes are incredibly freaky. He leapt out of his skin. We assured him that it’s an old makeup trick, painting weird-looking eyes on the actress’s eyelids, and that brought him down to Earth a bit.
This was just phenomenally good overall. It’s creepy from start to finish, with just a few punctuations of wit and humor. I really loved the part where Lead keeps the trapped-in-time Rob occupied by singing “Drunken Sailor,” while Sapphire and Steel quietly discuss their next move. Steel is so focused that he has absolutely no idea there’s a rousing chorus going on right next to him. We never see Val Pringle’s Lead again after this story. But just like my fondness for Ochre and Magenta in Captain Scarlet, I guess that I have a soft spot for the very minor recurring characters!