1979 Star books edition. I think it was re-printed at some time in the nineties as well.
(sorry about the blotchy cover scan!)
When a rip appears in the fabric of Time, the stability of the entire Universe is threateded.
Two strange 'experts' appear out of nowhere and take control of the situation. No-one knows who they are.
A beautiful, remote woman and a terse, efficient man - real, yet with an air of unreality about them.
Cooly combatting the negative forces of Time out-of-control, endowed with incredible powers beyond human comprehension, they are unnerving but fascinating. They are SAPPHIRE AND STEEL.
One of the greatest TV serials of all time, in my opinion. Loved it as a kid, and can still watch and re-watch each of the six stories again and again without getting tired of them - even the one with the ghastly swan 'special' effect!
A few years back it returned as a series of audio plays, with different actors (although Silver from the original series did make an appearance in one of the later ones, apparently). I've heard the first, and it was OK, but it hasn't caused me to rush out and get the other ones. It was lacking a certain something.
David McCallum and Joahna Lumley were superb in their roles, almost normal but not quite, Steel being a rude bastard to any bog standard humans he met and Sapphire understandably charming everyone in sight.
This, unfortunately, was the only novelisation to appear alongside the series and it only covers the first story (or 'assignment' as it was called on the Carlton DVD release - each was title-less). Written by Peter J Hammond (who wrote the majority of the series) it varies from his own script not a jot. As far as I can tell, pretty much all the dialogue remains exactly as it was spoken on TV. You don't get to learn much more about the mysterious twosome, but I suppose that'd spoil the fun anyway (although in the TV series and the book, mention is made of their involvement in the Marie Celeste mystery).
An isolated old house full of clocks (the father's hobby) is the location of the story. One evening, the parents of the children Rob and Helen vanish, and the clocks all stop. Almost immediatley Sapphire and Steel turn up to put things right.
They treat time almost as a force of evil, which is an interesting way of looking at it. Soon enough spooky nursery rhymes are being chanted (forwards and backwards), long dead soldiers march through the house, strange lights sneak about doing mischeif, and nasty immitations of the missing parents appear to furthur confuse the children.
Lead (another time 'expert') arrives to lend a hand. Sapphire gets herself stuck in a room in a painting, and, as the end approaches, Rob is taken back in time to when the foundations for the house were first laid.
This isn't the best S&S story - that would have to be either the one with Shape (the faceless man with an obsession with photographs) or the one with the ghosts of the war-dead inhabiting a deserted train station. Saying that, it served as a good introduction. What is a shame is that all the other stories didn't end up in book form as well.
yep, remember being a bit disappointed the book wasn't the shape/photo story when i found it years ago. i've also picked up a couple of videos (including the shape story) and even though the budget is so low as to be laughable, the stories are strong, and the acting is likewise. if it was made now, with a bit more money... an underrated series, and the work of an underrated writer, imho.