Sapphire And Steel Assignment 5

Sapphire And Steel Assignment 5-86
Even the climax of this fourth episode is something of an audacious masterwork; a master's thesis on economy of storytelling.

This resourceful genre series ran for four years on British television over thirty years ago, and there were six, multi-part stories overall.

Usually, an entire multi-part serial is set at just one location (like a haunted train station, an isolated country house; an abandoned antique shop, or even a futuristic penthouse apartment building).

Apparently, this thing was trapped within the world of the photograph (an infinite world, Steel suggests), but the amateur conjuring of a photographer living in this very building -- the combining of a very old image with a new image inside a kaleidoscope -- has released it into our reality. For instance, he can trap living beings inside photographs.

In one of the most horrific (not gory, but horrific...) scenes I've ever seen on television, Sapphire and Steel stand by helpless while the Man with No Face burns up a photograph with a living woman trapped inside it.

We see the photograph burn to ash, and we hear her dying screams as she is seared alive.

Before she is killed, this innocent woman communicates to Sapphire her first sight of the released Man with No Face.

These are amazing performances which strongly "hint" alien, but are also filled with a kind of nuanced complexity as well..

Today, I've decided to focus on the fourth adventure in the series, which is sometimes known as "The Man Without A Face." In particular, a "time break" involving antique photographs has occurred.

They are "Operatives" working at the behest of another Unseen Force to repair breaches and incursions into Time Itself (which in one episode is described as "a long tunnel.") though they are sometimes aided by "Specialists" such as Silver.

What this all amounts to is - in essence - a paranormal police procedural of a most unique and singular quality, with Sapphire and Steel utilizing their special unearthly skills to preserve the integrity of time.


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