A bit of a change for our heroes this time. Sapphire and Steel arrive at a suburban home to deal with an incursion by time. They meet a normal family – son on holiday from university; daughter still at school and coming into her womanhood; and their widowed mother. All seems to be ordinary, but why does Brahms Lullaby keep playing and why does the television seem to be attempting to communicate… As the story progresses, Sapphire and Steel face death and danger and uncover secrets going back 16 years. Finally, Sapphire and Steel have a hard decision to make that will affect the family deeply.
In the audio plays, it’s possible to see the writers struggling with the format – trying to break away from the set up put in place by the television series. Whereas the television series portrayed isolation by making the settings fairly isolated from everywhere else (the remote farmhouse, a railway station, a filling station by the side of the motorway), the audio plays have more range – the steam train is clearly isolated, but this has a suburban house as the setting: showing that you can be alone even in a large crowd. The characters also show their isolation (and we will see this recurring motif in later episodes) – the family secrets, Philip Burgess with his own secret in 1.1.
This is a choo-choo train
Puffing down the track.
Now it’s going forward.
Now it’s going back.
In this, the first outing for David Warner and Susannah Harker, our eponymous heroes meet on a train. Their “target” is Philip Burgess, a steam train enthusiast and antique book seller. While investigating, they realise that each of the carriages has it’s own time and each of the passengers in the carriage has their own story and their own connection with Philip Burgess. An old detective novel appears to be the trigger for the events. A new operative, Gold (Mark Gatiss), is also on the train in one of his first missions – how will his actions affect the resolution of the case? And what is Philip Burgess’ secret? Read the rest of this entry