View Full Version : Sapphire & Steel - most boring show ever? [spoilers, no spoilers, who cares?]

03-13-2008, 07:45 PM
I heard about the show here on the Dope. It's supposedly a competitor to Dr. Who, and ran from '79-'82.

Really? Looks 60's-ish to me. What's up with British shows anyway? Seems like until recently they all seemed like they were filmed ten years before they were. When did the UK climb its way out of the sixties? :p

The series is available on Netflix here in the States. I thought I was bored enough to give it a go.

OMG, how boring. And somewhat disturbing. I just got done watching the first disc, which is I guess Adventure One, comprising six 25-minute episodes. What a snore-fest. Sapphire & Steel are some sort of alien extra-dimensional beings representing "medium elements" because we all know you can't trust those "transuranic" heavy elements - too unstable. But whatever.

They spend all six episodes walking around the house in slow motion and bossing these two poor little kids around who have just lost their parents to some weird spooky evil time something or other malevolent force. Or something. See, time is like your old underwear and it breaks down and gets weak in spots and then crap leaks through and steals your parents. Then Sapphire & Steel show up and boss your kids around.

Then, a large black man called "lead" shows up and he's Mr. Nice guy except he's got some form of turrets syndrome which causes him to laugh incessantly, no matter what happens. Someone dies? "Heh, heh, heh, heh!" Hey, dude, it's not funny! Quit laughing at everything!

Then, at the end when these poor two kids' parents return they're mean to the little boy who's been trying to save them the whole time. And the boy is all happy his mean parents are back. WTF?

My God, should I even bother trying to watch disc two? Do I need to smoke copious quantities of illegal substances first? Does the series ever get better?

It's no wonder according to wikipedia, "Joanna Lumley and David McCallum both decided that they'd had enough and didn't wish to do any more."

03-13-2008, 07:49 PM
The series is somewhat better if you are a paranoid, introspective college student who has smoked lots and lots of weed. But only somewhat. It never makes any real sense, and it contains negative action. Save your money and get Up The Creek instead.

Exapno Mapcase
03-13-2008, 08:30 PM
We did a thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=445920) about the series a few months ago. In it I said that the series crams one hour's worth of plot into three hours of air time. Some people claimed to have liked it, though.

The real problem is that it had one hour's worth of budget that had to last for a three-hour series. That's why everything is as slow as possible, there are few sets and few costumes, and people talk endlessly at one another. It got canceled when the leads got too expensive to stand around doing nothing.

03-13-2008, 09:13 PM
Well, I just watched disc two. Sort of watched it. It took place at an old train station. I watched the first 10-15 minutes, then started skipping forward. Every time I checked back in they were still standing around saying things like, "did you sense that? Did you feel that presence? What does it mean?" Then I watched the final 10 minutes, and really didn't feel like I missed anything.

03-13-2008, 09:43 PM
I bought the box set based on the comments in my previous thread, linked above. I watched the first few series and liked them well enough. I knew that I was in for some Dr Who-style looooong draaaawwwwn ooouuut scenes and, knowing that, was able to adjust my expectations sufficiently to enjoy them. I don't know that I'll ever go back and watch them again, but, from a purely "did I spend too much on these DVDs relative to my enjoyment" perspective, I'm not disappointed with them.

03-18-2008, 05:18 PM
Otto, did you really watch the whole thing? Like, every little episode? I'm trying to watch disc three and Steele just got attacked by a floating pillow. A floating pillow??? This is beyond bad. Time to start fast forwarding again.

03-18-2008, 05:59 PM
I have not watched the entire series. Not that I didn't enjoy the shows I watched, it's just that I've bought a ton of DVDs over the last couple of months and there's been a bunch of things I've wanted to watch more. S&S can't compete with Veronica Mars.

I have so far watched "Escape Through a Crack in Time" (and disturbingly found myself a leeetle too attracted to the teenage son character than I should have been given his age at the time), "The Railway Station" and "The Creature's Revenge." IOW, half the box set. As I said above, I liked them well enough but I don't know that I'd go back and watch them again any time in the near future. I do intend to watch the remaining three serials, but I have 2/3 of "The Flash" box set to get through. And now because of a couple of threads here I want to watch Twin Peaks again.

03-18-2008, 06:24 PM
Never shown here in Hawaii. I always presumed it was something in between Dr. Who and Space:1999.

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