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Sapphire & Steel

Review by: Sinister Ornament

To say the concept behind Sapphire and Steel is hard to describe to someone who has never seen it, is an understatement. Boiled down to its barest components a description would simply read; 'two non-humans in human form work to protect the corridor of time, by moving back and forth in time and undoing or preventing damage.' Although this barely does justice to this show. In fact to accurately describe the show I need to resort to a quote:

"...Possibly the most mystifying and the least coherent SF series ever to appear on TV, Sapphire and Steel made a virtue of enigma. Sapphire and Steel are elemental forces in human form, policing the integrity of the corridor of time, which suffers incursions (often appearing as ghosts) from the past or future. Sapphire has paranormal powers, but is not as time-resistant as Steel. Time shifts and stops; people appear and disappear memories dissolve; the atmosphere is theatrical, ardent, brooding; Doppelgangers proliferate; characters become absorbed into pictures and photographs. The audience was deeply divided: many saw it drivel, some as a triumph of popular Surrealism - Magritte meets The Avengers - challenging our perceptions of what is real. It is most unusual for an entire four year TV series to have been written by a single person."
Source: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

Can you spot the mistake in the above quote?

It seems, from this programme that the corridor of time is, rather like the National Health Service, in a neglected and threadbare state, and at these damaged places time can flood in and cause problems by adding things or taking them away - this damage is often used by malevolent intelligent entities recognisable as patches of light or shadow or sometimes possessing human forms.

Sapphire and Steel are two investigating agents, of which there are many - all working for some unnamed and not even vaguely described organisation. All these agents are named after materials. In the opening titles they are described as "elements", but those mentioned on the credits are not all elements. Most are compounds. Elements are found on the Periodic table (Carbon, Iron, Oxygen), compounds are made up of several elements. (Steel is an alloy, compound of different metals).
(And people say this site doesn't teach people anything! They're noticeable by their absence now, aren't they? - Ed.)

"We didn't give too much away because that would have spoiled it."
P. J. Hammond, in an interview.

These operatives are divided into various types: Specialist, Operators, Investigators, Technicians - although once again these are never explicitly defined. Steel at one point corrects Sapphire saying that Investigators are a type of Specialist.

Steel (David "Good luck - Thank you" McCallum) is strong and time-resistant, and Sapphire (Joanna "brown Triumph TR7" Lumley) has the power to move time backwards and can make humans trust her. Both can communicate telepathically with each other and other investigators that turn up, such as the clichéd Lead in the first adventure, or the smooth and flirty Silver (played by David Collings). Another power they have (which seems to be never mentioned in reviews) is a perfect memory of what has been said. Sapphire also seems to have access to some type of mental database of human activities. Both can teleport short distances.

The fact that they're not human allows for them to make mistakes and have gaps in their knowledge - for example not being aware of some item of slang; or human behaviour, such as or how to gamble or which direction to pass the port in (Haven't we all been there? - Ed.). This gives some amusing dialogue and help the viewers to sympathise with them.

Sapphire and Steel watch Silver playing a one-armed bandit, he is using his skills as a technician to win every time…
Sapphire: "You're supposed to gamble."
Silver: "Gamble?"
Sapphire: "Yes, sometimes you're supposed to lose - well, most of the time you're supposed to lose."
Silver: "Oh! I wondered why I wasn't enjoying it."

The format of Sapphire & Steel is reminiscent of that of Doctor Who. Not that they are similar, merely that they both display certain traits. Both seem to be the sort of shows an experienced screenwriter would create. Flexible script driven shows - being able to be placed in any number of locations and setting (murder mystery, far future, etc) both seem to be incredibly flexible concepts bringing along from story to story only the barest essential returning characters and the longevity of both is surprising, I have no doubt saying some adventures of both these British series will be watched and enjoyed decades from now.

P.J. Hammond was well established as a writer, working on Ace of Wands, and the terrifying (but sadly seemingly forgotten) children's anthology show Dramarama (confusingly also shown under the Shadows banner as well).

In interviews he has mentioned that Sapphire and Steel was originally envisaged as a children's programme, I think this is could explain away some of the awkwardness in the first adventure, as teething troubles as to the audience he is aiming for. The series only really seems to get to grips with it terrifying underlying concepts in the second adventure, where the programme would from then on revel in an atmosphere of death and despair.
" The Ace of Wands stuff led onto some Fantasy plays for children's series like Shadows and Dramarama, and then I decided I wanted to do a Fantasy show of my own. So I tried Sapphire and Steel as a one-off half-hour show for children."
P. J. Hammond, in an interview.

I've seen it mentioned in various sources that the best adventures of Sapphire & Steel are the even numbered ones, and as a general rule of thumb I think this statement holds water. While the 'evens' aren't bad they seem to suffer from padding. And as most of the series' episodes, twenty-eight of thirty-four - that's over 82%, were written by one man, it is surprising that there were so few duds amongst the episodes.

Atmosphere & Cliff-hangers

One of the truly horrific aspects of the series, that you only begin to realise as you watch the series is that as Sapphire and Steel are non-human, they are not overly concerned about the humans present. They merely wish to fix the problem. This adds to the horror as they could quite easily turn up and not be on 'your side'.

The Cliff-hangers and images of surreal horror and fantastic sets all add to the atmosphere.

In fact I think the device of the cliff-hanger is a much maligned and undervalued in television. If I was preparing a defence of the whole concept of cliff-hangers I would definitely want to include cliff-hangers from Sapphire & Steel, Doctor Who, and Thriller, all of which have utilized breathtaking episode and/or advert break endings.

The American programmes Quantum Leap and 24 both seem to be built solely on their cliff-hangers so much so, I feel that seeing two episodes in close succession seems to detract from the thrill of the programme and the suspense inherent in waiting a week to see the next instalment.

The lack of title to each adventure is rather cunning, if your are going to watch a television series that is both surreal and minimalist, the absence of a title means there is no clue to help you decipher what is going on. For example, if an episode had a title say, 'The Teleporting Grandfather clock' for example, (Yes, I know that's naff but I'm just trying to make a point) then the audience would be looking for clues and generally trying to figure in a Grandfather clock into the aspect of the plot we had witnessed the plot. And when the Grandfather Clock teleports there is no shock - (This is why I do not like the way in which the Americans have named the Adventures - totally ruining some excellent surprises - damn spoilsports!)

Without this we are drawn into the game of relying on what we see, and having no expectations. I feel that 'Adventure' was the wrong word conjuring up images of far-flung travels and adrenaline pumping daring-do. Especially as most of the early parts of each adventure consist of our heroes turning up at some gloomy semi-derelict or long deserted location. Assignment would have been a better choice, as each story is more like a mission - if you view it from Sapphire and Steel's point of view. Break-through, Incursions or Irregularity would also have been improvements over Adventure.

All the settings are sparsely furnished if not actually semi derelict. The family house (Adventure one) first and the, the Manor house (Adventure five) are minimalist. The Petrol station/ Roadside Cafe & Garage (Adventure Six) seems lived in but has that bland feel that most commercial properties have. The Railway Station & Hotel (Adventure Two) Junk Shop and the flat above (Adventure Four) are deserted except for their sole human occupant/s.

It is rather wise, considering budget and tension factors, to set whole Adventures in a single location. This also helps the Adventures maintain a rather curious play-like feeling, with the flavour of a locked room mystery or an isolated horror tale. Although in this case the fearful humans are often trapped in and of course Sapphire and Steel have no desire to leave.

I don't want to get bogged down giving a blow-by-blow episode guide because better ones than I can write are already on the Internet or have been published (See Sources listed at end). So here's my...

Thoughts on the different adventures (SPOILERS AHOY!)

Adventure One

Although both child actors are superb, in my opinion this first adventure is the worst one because it suffers from poor plotting - the attacks are good and there is plenty of menace, there are several moments that extremely poor; Steel's almost Absolute zero performance (which would surely require vast amounts of energy and cause a massive temperature drop in surrounding room) and the very end which sadly doesn't continue the Nursery Rhymes theme.

Adventure Two

I think it is a photographic finish to which is the best Sapphire and Steel Adventure. This race would be one, in my opinion between Adventure Two (The Railway one) and Adventure Four (Photographs one).
"I was writing the script to a very tight deadline, close to the actual production, and in retrospect I would have liked more time to think them out. But the again, I think it can be a danger when you know what the ending is. When I was writing the second story which was about the old railway station, I had no idea what the ending was, and in a way it came over on the screen and that made it more exciting. But I do think that at eight episodes long it was a bit too long, and if I could go back and do it again, I would edit out an episode's length."
P. J. Hammond, in an interview.
He is wrong - it's almost perfect.
The chattering darkness is an excellent villain; all the more chilling because of the fact that the ghosts are so sacred of it and the way the furniture disappears in the séance room is a great effect.

Adventure Three

Adventure Three is the one most actively disliked by critics in their reviews.

"...was an unsubtle critique of meat eating"
Source: The Guinness Book of Classic British TV (on Adventure Three)

And although it's definitely not the worst, it suffers from too much padding - the whole grown-up baby thing, for example, by going on too long strained credibility more for me, than Steel being attacked by a pillow/swan, which would have been silly if it wasn't for the fact that (McCallum is a good actor) he was also in danger of falling off a tower at the same time.
Sapphire's costume also is rather odd with boots that exaggerate her height, an oriental blue tunic and similar trousers (pyjamas?) and hair cut with a severe fringe. All of which are fine on their own, but together seem a mistake.
Adventure Three is the only adventure to feature any location work and is the one I feel that is rooted so firmly in its time frame. Most of other stories - because the locations are semi-deserted - feel like they could happen at any time (deserted buildings are fairly easy to find anywhere). Adventure three - not only because of the decor and furniture, but the way the science fiction aspects are handled - seems firmly set in the seventies. This is apparent in the viewing room itself (and the way it is used) with its control chair and hidden wall-based view screen that leads to a brilliant bit of low budget horror when the screen is used to look at all the other time capsules and their inhabitants' fate is found out.
It also is rather grisly - when Steel picks up the knife near the end and the music becomes more ominous - you really think he's going to do some damage.
The physical movement of Silver, Sapphire, and Steel in the bedroom of the capsule underlines how alien they are to humans, as they show they're angry not by shouting, but by quietly facing in different directions.

Adventure Four

Solid plotting with a good ending. Helped by a effervescent performance Alyson Spiro (latter to crop up in Emmerdale as the second person to play the depressing character of Sarah Sugden).
Sapphire: "Paper Children?" (Lunges forward)
When they first arrive in this adventure Sapphire is outside and steel is inside. He undoes the locks. This got me thinking; do they need to have to visited a room before they can teleport into it?
Steel: "Nothing new here."
Sapphire: "No."
Steel: "A room full of triggers - thousands of them. Could be anyone of them."
Sapphire: "No."
Steel: "Time has broken through hasn't it?"
Sapphire: "Yes."
Steel: "We - as usual - have been told too late."
Sapphire: "We're not too late to stop whatever's happening."
Steel: "We should have been earlier, before things happened, before things break through. Someone should be here, waiting."
Sapphire: "That's impossible."
Steel: "It's not at all impossible."
Sapphire: "There aren't enough of us."
Steel: "There are more than enough of us."
Sapphire: "Well - who'd volunteer."
Steel: "Volunteer?"
Sapphire: "Yes - simply to sit and wait maybe for hundreds of Earth years - would you?"
Steel: "That depends."
Sapphire: "You wouldn't (smiling) - I know you."
Steel: "Well, there are those of us who are very good at sitting down doing nothing they do it non-stop."
Sapphire: "The Specialists."
Steel: "The Specialists! What are we, what am I!"
Sapphire: "You're an Operator. We're all Operators."
Steel: "Oh, those, well this particular Operator has made up his mind about something and it's his expert opinion this room is loaded with active triggers anyone of them could cause a Breakthrough."

Sapphire and Steel often complain about the dangers of mixing old and new objects, which often act as triggers for time to break through. After mulling it over I don't think humanity can resolve this problem unless once something is over a certain age it is destroyed (a subtle consumerism message lurking behind the series?) or every one has a house only containing things made in at a certain time. Perhaps this adds to the threat - dangers which we cannot avoid.

Episode One's cliff-hanger is excellent, possibly the best in the whole series. I personally have a soft spot for the second cliff-hanger featuring the umbrella - although the resolution is slightly better that the threat.

The man comes through the back door the old-fashioned children are playing games. The eldest girl talks to the man.
Girl: "There was some people here."
Man: "People?" His voice is paternal.
Girl: "Yes."
Man: "What kind of people?" he said shutting the door.
Girl: "A man and a lady. Can we hurt them? Oh please, lets hurt them."
Man: "What's wrong?"
Girl: "They haven't come to send us back have they? We don't want that, don't want to go back we want to stay here with you."

The man listens patiently while he fishes in his suit's pocket for the key.

Man: "I brought you here - brought you with me. Nobody on this world can send you back. You just remember that," he says calmly as he moves down the corridor, his children cease their playground games and follow him.

The sepia children cluster around him as he unlocks the door. He pushes the door and it swings wide open. The children's frightened eyes scan the room searching for the strangers. The man puts his hands up in a protective gesture to emphasise what he is about to say.

Man: "Be still my children."

If you haven't spotted Philip Bird, the chap who plays the younger version of the villain in this show on television then you haven't really been paying attention!

Adventure Five

This is only Adventure not written by P. J. Hammond. (So now you know the mistake in the section quoted earlier!) This was written by Don Houghton and Anthony Read (former Doctor Who writers) taking the curious but inventive method of separately writing alternate episodes.

They both have substantial genre credits
Don Houghton (Doctor Who; Inferno & Mind of Evil, The Satanic Rites of Dracula, Episode(s?) of Ace of Wands).
Anthony Read (Doctor Who script editor and writer of Horns of Nimon & Invasion of Time, also dramatized Chocky, Episodes of The Omega Factor and Into the Labyrinth).

This Adventure takes the style of a murder mystery. The costumes of Sapphire and Steel (with slicked back locks and sporting a moustache that makes him look very dashing than usual) shows that the programme could have easily supported Adventures set in the past. In fact Sapphire's sparkling costume in the adventure is my favourite.
This adventure breaks the series rules in several ways, and although it's not a brilliant script it could have been far, far worse and does indeed have moment of brilliance here and there that shine through unfortunately these are far outnumbered by the clunky bits.

Steel: "How else do humans destroy one another?"
Sapphire: "Oh, they have so many ways."

The good bits are; the changes in temperature - very logical as the exchange of energy into one form from enough you often get lots of overspill.
The flirting by Sapphire to Steel about which side of the bed to sleep on which is amusing if you consider the elements don't seem to capable of sleeping, eating or drinking. Interesting that Steel says during the course of this story that 'I don't drink' (by which I took to mean all liquids), and Sapphire is often to be seen bringing a drink to her lips - is, I wonder, she faking it?
The exploding glass effect is also very good and makes me jump.
Acting is initially wooden from the guests but picks up when they have more to say
The 'Brass' bit sits uneasily with me for two reasons; first of Sapphire & Steel blatantly tell him the format of the series that had previously only been hinted at. And secondly when Malcolm/Howard comes back 'from the dead' and describing the 'limbo' he been in strikes me as hell itself - I wouldn't want to watch my first day at school. Perhaps Sapphire is faking this; they are after all trying to get Felix out of the way.
The occasional wobbly banister can be ignored, but the fact that the party guest all start to talk rubbish after a few episodes starts to drag and watch the whole lot in one endurance marathon I realised that Sapphire and Steel seem too concerned about the irrelevant party guests in this show, when it is clear that all the answers are behind that green door.
Sapphire and Steel can't cross through the green door so we know something rotten is going on behind this handless door. And it is strange that as there usual operating procedure is to initially have a good look around, they leave it so long before investigating behind the automatic padded door.
Everyone is losing his or her memory (a sign of time having broken through) and Steel, supposedly time-resistant, has trouble with his memory. He forgets his cover name of Miles Cavendish in episode three, (which is amusing - especially when Sapphire rolls her eyes while telepathically prompting him) and he forgets that Sapphire has foretold the gunshot that occurs later on.
Tony Parnell's death by gunshot is quite amusing. Everybody burst into the dinning room after the gunshot is heard and Tony (sat down) with a blood stain on his front slumps forwards head onto plate style, Lord Mullrine exclaims, hilariously, "Suicide!"
This is hilarious for two reasons - first of all because of all we can see the small calibre revolver is some distance (well over an arm's length) away from Tony's body (making this an exceptionally talented suicide). And secondly the fact that the poor, poor actor playing Tony bares a striking resemblance to what I'd imagine a young Richard Madely would look like (Surely a compelling reason for any 21st century viewer to seek it out? - Ed.).
This firearm is a bit shiny and purse sized - the sort of thing that Smith & Weston make with pink handles for ladies - now I'm not accusing McDee (the guns owner) of being a bit light on his feet, but he can't use it for much - if the manor is rural then a shotgun would be more appropriate, or perhaps a break-action revolver or something more convincing as a service revolver.

Steel: "Now it is impossible to tell what is happening outside - assuming there is an outside (There is a clap of Thunder) -for the moment there is no past and no future."

As to the Butler Grevil, who is dismissed as a character with Sapphires telepathic dialogue line "a totally repressed personality", I thought this a red herring, and often wondered if it would turn out that the butler did it (I also idly wondered if he had a distant relation called Breville).
Another thing that occurs here is the highlighting (in episode two) of the cover of a telephone directory by the use of a spotlight effect placed on it - to draw the audiences' attention to it. This is curiously un-subtle device and feels awkward. It is used again with more justification in Adventure Six (The glass of water) but I still think this interrupts the inward reality of the series and reminds you that you are watching a television programme - not at all helpful when trying to build tension.
By far the worst adventure.

Adventure Six

Sapphire: "Why Silver, why's he here?"
Steel: "He's here because he was sent."
Sapphire: "Sent to do what?"
Steel: "To wait and watch, same as us."
Sapphire: "Steel - I want to talk. Silver is a Technician why has he been sent to watch?
Steel: "Why don't you ask?"
Sapphire: "I have asked him, he doesn't know, he simply doesn't know why he is here. Neither do we."

Three episodes of carefully tense dialogue and investigation, which you only realise in hindsight, is padding, and then everything seems to happen in episode four.
This is a very subversive Adventure; the critics had often complained that Sapphire & Steel made no sense; well here the time break deliberately makes no sense for a reason.
The order of dialogue scenes in Adventure Six, episode four seems out of order. I think that Silver & Steel's 'Transit Device' conversation should take place before Steel and Sapphire's 'Resent us' conversation. As Sapphire and Steel have had a discussion, and come to a conclusion. Then later Steel is talking to Silver who suggests something the same something that Steel raised earlier with Sapphire.
The script mentions half finished food and coats over chairs. Where are these? It's on the page but not on the stage!
Best ending to a horror series - so in keeping with the themes and style of the series. Other 'Cult' tv series often leave the narrative hanging at the end; Blake's 7, Twin Peaks, The Prisoner, we all have different feelings about the success of these different resolutions. The ambiguity with which they end should be in keeping with the series; I feel Sapphire and Steel manages this.

Although when the videos were released a number of fanzines were produced as various admirers of the story attempted to write further extensions to Adventure Six to resolve the cliff-hanger. Only one of these came my way, and perhaps owes more to superheroes comics than Sapphire and Steel, but the writing was fuelled by enthusiasm and that is what I remember most about it (apart from Steel bring his body down to absolute zero and Radium and Diamond being in it as well as Stonehenge!)

My Memories

This is one of those things - a rare occurrence - where a programme or film changes the way you think (not in a Panorama or political way). I can well imagine someone new stumbling across this series for the first time and being quite mentally shaken by it - perhaps not in the same way as Night of the Living Dead made the next normal day seem strange as your mind considers which houses are defensible, and the ping of the lift arriving on your floor at work makes you step back, just in case the doors open and the lift disgorges its content of zombies (Think that's just you, mate - Ed.). Sapphire and Steel made me look at inanimate objects in such a different way. Suddenly, (Much like the short story by Philip K. Dick entitled Colony) they were a possible threat, possessing sinister attributes. Perhaps I'm just trying to shift the blame for me being clumsy on inanimate objects!
I have vivid memories of Sapphire and Steel, oddly the earliest I have the better memory of is Adventure Two - I remember Sapphire being on the railway platform and the ghostly flowers appearing in the tubs and her being in danger - the flowers scared me stupid, being about five years old at the time (Same here! - Ed.). I distinctly remember the visual image of this was totally dwarfed by the overwhelming sense of doom that seemed to radiate out of the television set.
My only other memories were of Adventure five; how it ended, and one of the cliff-hangers which I seem to have mis-remembered as a man falling out of a wardrobe his face pitted by acid. Strange my memory of two deaths (Veronica and Felix) from Adventure Five should have combined in this way.

Conclusion

"People liked it because it scared them a little bit, and confused them a little bit. It was a good show, we enjoyed it...Its just been released on video and I'm told is doing extremely well in the sales which is interesting that people want to have them."
David McCallum, in an interview.

I think Sapphire and Steel as a series can be viewed as a success.
It triumphed by using horror on the small screen effectively, especially demonstrating how effective surrealism can be when used as a device to create unexpected cliff-hangers and moments of sheer horror.
It also shows that British television viewing public are able to cope with programmes that are quirkier and more eccentric than modern programme makers think they are capable of dealing with.
With the technology and visuals that have appeared in recent advertising campaigns such as the one where factories and streets are packed full of headless people and the one for a computer printer manufacture where picture freeze and come to life, it inspires the question why has no modern horror picked up on Surrealism as a strong source of horror?

Sapphire: "Space, hours will become days and months, and years will become thousands of years - there is nothing but space."

Sources

Books


Novel: Sapphire & Steel (First published in 1972 revised 1992 to coincide with VHS releases) by P. J. Hammond (a novelisation of Adventure One) 135pp, Softback, Published by Virgin Books

The Guinness book of classic British TV (Chapter)

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (Page 1048)

Magazines

The Second SFX Episode Guide to the Galaxy (Free with SFX magazine)

TV Zone Special 6 (Time Travel) Overview by Andrew Martin

TV Zone issue 35: David McCallum interview by Jane Killick

TV Zone issue 37: P. J. Hammond interview by Jamie Woolley
Also of interest
Fanzine: The Elemental War, or, The Return of Sapphire & Steel by Paul Rees, illustrations by Alan Ivins. Copyright 1994, Photocopied & Stapled A4 sheets, 35pp

Web site: www.anorakzone.com/sapphireandsteel/


Television series (1979 - 1982)

An ATV Network production
Thirty-four episodes each of twenty-five minutes duration
Four seasons, Six Adventures, shown twice weekly


Season; Year shown; Adventure; Setting; Episodes; Notes
1; 1979; One; Remote House; 6; Features Lead
1; 1979; Two; Deserted Railway Station & Hotel; 8
2; 1981; Three; Various Flats; 6; Features Silver
2; 1981; Four; Lost Property Shop & flat; 4
3; 1981; Five; Large House; 6; Written by Don Houghton & Anthony Read
4; 1982; Six; Petrol Station, with Garage, Office & Café; 4; Features Silver


Created & Written by: P. J. Hammond
Producer/Director: Shaun O'Riodan
Director David Foster
Music: Cyril Ornadel
Starring David Callum - Steel
Joanna Lumley - Sapphire
Also Starring
David Collings - Silver (3, 6,)
Val Pringle - Lead (1)
Steven O'shea - Rob (1)
Tamasin Bridge - Helen (1)
Gerald James - Tully (2)
Tom Kelly - Soldier (2)
David Gant - Eldred (3)
Catherine Hall - Rothwyn (3)
Russell Wootton - Changling (3)
Alyson Spiro - Liz (4)
Philip Bird - Shape (4)
Bob Hornery - Shape (4)
Edward De Souza - 1925 man (6)
Johanna Kirby - 1925 woman (6)
Chris Fairbank - Johnny Jack (6)

Appendix

A company called Big Finish, which has and still produces Doctor Who audio stories, has made Sapphire & Steel adventures. David McCallum and Joanna Lumley have unfortunately not reprised their roles. Instead we have the vocal talents of David Warner and Susannah Harker as Steel and Sapphire respectfully.
I have not heard these yet and I wonder how well Sapphire & Steel will fare when taken away from the team of Hammond, O'Riodan, Foster, Lumley and McCallum.

"I would imagine anybody who wanted to do Sapphire & Steel could again, provided they used Shaun O'Riordan. They could go ahead and make a new series. We're still floating up there, for anybody to bring us down."
David McCallum, in an interview.

For me the television series ended so well, and like The Prisoner it stands complete as a body of work that needs nothing added.
At the very least they could have P.J. Hammond listed as script editor or even advisor.

Media students will recognizes the term "hyphenate" when I use it - and I think any series whether it's Callan or NYPD Blue (but particularly SF/Horror/Fantasy genre shows) when they have a central Creator/Author/Executive Producer figure that drives the show - Any resurrections of shows (in any format) that ignore the hyphenate at their peril (The Thunderbirds film without involving Gerry Anderson is a good example of a project failing because the hyphenate is the only way who understands what makes the show tick). But, perhaps I just a sceptic and I should not judge any work until I've heard it so, please ignore my sceptic's view and check them out

The audio adventures have titles

Story 1: The Passenger
Story 2: Daisy Chain
Story 3: All Fall Down
Story 4: The Lighthouse
Story 5: Dead Man Walking

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