Oh my god the Daily Post challenge Missing Sequels today has given me the perfect opportunity to ramble on about my favourite show ever! What follows is complete word vomit apologies in advance.
So imagine a detective agency right. But instead of crimes they investigate people and places effected by ‘time’ doing things it shouldn’t. And instead of humans the main characters are the personification of different elements (with powers kind of based on whatever element they are). HOW COOL DOES THAT SOUND? PRETTY DAMN COOL. Well good news everyone, it totally exists!
Sapphire & Steel was everything my thirteen year old self wanted in a sci-fi show. It was mysterious, insanely cool and starred David McCallum (who was already the love of my young life thanks to The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) and Joanna Lumley (who I wanted to be when I grew up). It ran for 34 odd episodes which included creepy faceless men who could trap people in photographs, time warped dinner parties and, of course, pissed off ghosts.
The thing I loved most about it was the fact that it never gave anything away. The intro gave you a vague idea about the different elements and some kind of hierarchy (with so-called ‘Transient Beings’ at the top – though they’re never seen or mentioned), but that was pretty much all it ever explained. Steel was an aloof, impatient man who didn’t seem particularly concerned with the pesky humans who begged answers of him, and Sapphire seemed to have the most fun when she knew something everyone else didn’t. It made for a show that left it up to the audience to decide what the hell was going on, and to this day it’s one of my favourites for that reason alone.
It was a nice change, not being spoon fed everything. I liked imagining explanations myself, creating little background stories around the plot in my own head.
I didn’t mind the cardboard sets or the laughable special effects (think Doctor Who’s original run – but a little more silly), the only problem I had with it was THE BLOODY ENDING.
Okay, so obviously from here on out there are spoilers, but if you’re a fan of old school British sci-fi you should absolutely go watch it before you come back here and read on! (Then leave a comment about what a travesty that was and how I’m right and we should write someone an angry letter.)
SO HERE’S THE THING: In the final story arc, Sapphire & Steel are sent to this gas station somewhere in the middle of nowhere to investigate the ~strange time related happenings~ and encounter a few odd humans that appear to be stuck inside the cafe. So they go about their business, doing their thing but by the end we realise it was all essentially a trap set up for the two of them. Apparently annoyed at how well these two kick the shit out of the paranormal their higher-ups decided, you know what? You two could use a time out. The last episode ends with them both sitting in the now empty cafe, staring out at infinite space, which they’ve been banished to forever. WHAT?!
Clearly if any TV show needed a sequel, it would be this one. I don’t know how ITV have lived with themselves, leaving two of the most epic characters ever created floating in space for eternity.
How would I write it? Well in the style of the original show, they’d start off investigating a case without any explanation of how they managed to escape – until their former colleges start showing up. Because as the case progresses it soon becomes apparent that Sapphire & Steel don’t really care much for the direction of the Transient Beings and are now working freelance. Much to the chagrin of the other elements. Also at some point they admit their eternal love for each other.