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Transuranic Encasements / The Non-Capturing Of Elusive Phantasms: Wanderings #6/52a


Now, I’m rather fond of Sapphire & Steel: I think it stands up well in being both thoroughly entertaining and also having various otherly, spectral, hauntological resonances and points of interest.

Often when I’m quite taken by a film or television I’ll find myself browsing related memorabilia, posters, lobby cards etc…

Which I have done with Sapphire & Steel, although there isn’t all that much available, possibly in part because it was made in a time before the thorough saturation of such things for the likes of cult, science fiction and fantasy television.

I actually think with Sapphire & Steel it exists perfectly well on its own without endless merchandise but longstanding habits can reappear as if by magic and a reasonable number of related things seemed to have “accidentally” arrived through my letterbox…

Here are a few of those and also a few I’ve resisted so far…


The Sapphire & Steel annual and novel tie-in…

The artwork in the annual is not dissimilar to that in the Look-Ins of the time, which was a television orientated weekly comic/magazine for younger folk which featured stories based on broadcast series and characters (Sapphire & Steel being one of those featured).


It is quite odd; there’s a sort of deliberate almost brutish / primitive / slightly off-kilter feel to it that puts me in mind of illustrations in the Doctor Who annuals from a similar time.


…and then on to later cult fan publications from 1989 and 2005…


I’m rather fond of this publicity still from the final (and very final) episode. It puts me in mind of an earlier era in the way it reflects 1960s kitchen sink post-war austerity and lack of showiness, filtered gently through a later period’s lens.


There have been a fair few British and elsewhere DVD releases of Sapphire & Steel… and (note to self), no it is not necessary to own them all just to peruse the packaging and the sometimes minute differences in how the episodes are presented.

And now… well, the grail of all things Sapphire & Steel:

sapphire-steel-tv-times-1979-july-7-13-cover-a-year-in-the-countryThe 1979 TV Times magazine which featured our heroes (is that the right word?) on the cover.

This was a weekly television listings magazine and I guess because of it only being needed for one week, very few have survived.

Over time, the very mainstream content of such magazines seems to have gained extra layers of resonance; possibly partly because of their nowadays scarcity and maybe also because they can capture or present a brief window into what seems like a very other time and place.

I have found a copy of the TV Times in question but I’m not quite sure yet if I can bring myself to tip a… well, not king’s ransom but maybe a small local lord’s ransom in its direction so that it can also “accidentally” arrive through my letterbox.


sapphire-steel-magazine-clipping-page-a-year-in-the-countryThis magazine clipping/spread is heading in that general direction but well, it’s not that actual brief one-week-window-to-elsewhere of the TV Times.

Sapphire & Steel was intended / marketed / broadcast as mainstream entertainment but viewed now it is very much all of its own and maybe  what I’m looking for when I peruse related memorabilia is something which captures and represents the otherlyness of the series away from it’s mainstream presentation…

…but that otherly spirit is an elusive thing and possibly it being so phantasm like in nature, while being mixed in inseparably with that mainstream presentation is part of what makes the series so intriguing.

And so maybe (note so self) even that fairly elusive TV Times issue won’t put any kind of butterfly net around that particular spirit.



(File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings)

Intertwined wanderings around these parts:
Day #284/365: Sapphire and Steel; a haunting by the haunting and a denial of tales of stopping the waves of history…

Week #27/52: Sapphire & Steel, various ghosts in the machine and a revisiting of broken circuits…

Week #45/52: Quatermass finds and ephemera from back when


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