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Sapphire & Steel: The Complete Series

82 customer reviews

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(Aug 27, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

’All irregularities will be handled by the forces controlling each dimension. Transuranic, heavy elements may not be used where there is life. Medium atomic weights are available: Gold, Lead, Copper, Jet, Diamond, Radium, Sapphire, Silver and Steel. Sapphire and Steel have been assigned. ’

When time itself is threatened by the forces of evil, it’s time to call on Sapphire & Steel! Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) and David McCallum (The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ) play the two inter-dimensional agents charged with investigating breaks in the corridor of time. Their atmospheric and enigmatic adventures form one of the most unconventional science-fiction series ever created.

Originally airing from 1979 to 1982 on British television network ITV, Sapphire & Steel is a cult classic series in the vein of Doctor Who and The X-Files, with a fan base that continues to grow more than three decades after its debut. Shout! Factory is pleased to present the entire series to both longtime fans as well as those admirers of intelligent sci-fi who are discovering Sapphire & Steel for the first time.

Product Details

  • Actors: David McCallum, Joanna Lumley
  • Directors: Shaun O'Riordan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 2013
  • Run Time: 870 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,089 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Twiddles42 VINE VOICE on September 23, 2004
Format: DVD
Nice to see this show finally get released by mainstream channels. (current fans will have found the set elsewhere...)

If you're a fan of The X-Files, you'll LOVE Sapphire And Steel. Especially if you prefer intellectual horror above quantitive gore, guts, and circus acts. Made between 1978 and 1982, this low-budget BBC series used inventive plotlines, a strong atmosphere, and strongly written and acted characters to sell it self. And it packs a whollop. Indeed, some of the stories are so complex that they could be benefitted from a second viewing. (pity VCRs didn't exist when this show was first aired!)

I personally recommend Story 2 ("The Railway Station") for first viewing. It's got the series' premise down pat and despite a lengthy 8 episodes, remains taut and gripping all the way through so the padding to fill out the timeslot isn't noticed. The story puts a new dimension on ghosts and their influence, and episode 8 has some excellent make-up and a grizzly resolution.

Story 4, "The Man Without a Face" is another fan favorite. The malignancy in this story puts photography in a different light. Either by imprisoning people in photographs or taking them out, this story is inventive - and suitably horrific. The final episode isn't as strong as it could have been, but the rest of the story more than makes up for it.

Story 6, with a working title of "The Petrol Station" features a new type of enemy for Sapphire and Steel. This one doesn't use horror in the way the other stories had, but it is highly enjoyable and also keeps one's interest. It's also the series' finale and, as many BBC Sci-fi series' go, this one isn't particularly pleasant.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Kali on October 27, 2006
Format: DVD
This was a real attempt at intelligent sci-fi and though I loved it I knew it would never be a hit in the way that the X-Files was, simply because it was far too intelligent for your average sci-fi watcher.

I was amazing it lasted as long as did.

I am really glad the whole series is on DVD as the VHS versions are real clunkers in that each adventure is on two tapes, so you end up with a HUGE collection of video tapes if you wanted the whole series.

I think Joanna Lumley and David McCallum are great as Sapphire and Steel, two beings sent to sort out rips and problems in time that could devastate the universe if left unchecked.

My favourite adventure was the railway station, it was very atmospheric but all of the adventures had their own merits and I loved the quirky way that Lumley and McCallum bounced off each other, one wry, the other droll, both human but not human.

Many people think this series has dated badly but I actually think it has done okay, considering it was a pioneer in its own genre and well worth buying and watching again just for the sheer brilliance of what the writers and producers were trying to do in a time of bad hair, bad clothes, bad songs, bad movies and even badder actors!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Parsons on February 23, 2005
Format: DVD
I was very happy to learn that Sapphire and Steel was FINALLY coming out on DVD. Once I got the set and watched the series, I was not disappointed. The show has an eerie, claustrophobic feel that makes it unlike many other shows out there. One can forgive the limited sets and average quality video effects because the stories are so entertaining and original (A creature that exists in photographs, a darkness that lives off of the bitterness of the dead, time itself being a destructive force, etc.).

While the show itself is excellent the DVD's themselves don't live up to their potential. The extras are rather thin (although the introduction voice-overs by P.J. Hammond and Shaun O'Riordan at the beginning of each assignment are very insightful). The other problem is that the episodes were not transferred from PAL to NTSC (the U.S. video encoding standand) properly so the video images have a slightly jerky film-like motion to them. (Episode 5 of Assignment 5 is the only episode that was transferred properly) Although the problem is not distracting, it is a shame that A&E couldn't have got it right the first time. Maybe this set will be rereleased with the flaws fixed (as they did for some episodes of Space:1999).

Overall, this is a great series that anyone who likes original writing and spooky atmosphere will enjoy. A must have.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Navarro Parker on January 12, 2008
Format: DVD
S&S is surprisingly engaging and mysterious! McCallum and Lumley are the Mulder and Scully of their day. They are a couple of enigmatic time menders who fix fissures in the spacetime continuum. Like most UK series from the 70s, it's a series of slowly paced 30 minute episodes that form a larger story arc. While it's not as quickly edited as what one is used to in a modern show, I was surprisingly captivated. The special effects are really astounding for the time (and tiny TV budget). Credit is really due to Joanna Lumley and David McCallum for making this show work -- they are absolutely magnetic to watch. If you like shows like the original Doctor Who and The Tomorrow People, you should enjoy this!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn Bailey on August 26, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
SAPPHIRE AND STEEL is a 1980s British sci-fi series with a very limited special effects budget. (Let's face it, it makes DOCTOR WHO look like STAR WARS.) That means that the leads have to sell the scares through acting alone. And they do. David McCallum's ruthlessly efficient Steel and Joanna Lumley's more sympathetic Sapphire create an atmosphere of creeping dread that does not need high-tech special effects to raise goosebumps. I recommend SAPPHIRE AND STEEL to all those who want to see two consummate professionals at work.
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Sapphire & Steel: The Complete Series
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