And in some good reboot news, a Sapphire and Steel reboot may be on the way
Reboots can be a tricky thing. On one hand, fans of the property can look forward to more of the thing they love. On the other, the thing they love is about to change in ways they can’t predict, which could – at worst – cheapen the original. But in some cases, a reboot is awesome.
While speaking to Nerdist, British novelist and screenwriter Neil Cross said that he is working on a reboot of the British cult sci-fi show, Sapphire and Steel. Rejoice!
An said rejoice, dammit!
“I am planning – it looks very much like I’m going to – relaunch a show called Sapphire and Steel,” he said.
It should be noted that Cross says “relaunch” rather than reboot, but that probably doesn’t mean anything. Despite the show’s cult following, it would make more sense to reboot a series that lasted just 34 episodes and went off the air 33 years ago. Besides, given the nature of Sapphire and Steel, a new should could technically be connected to the original without an issue.
Cross’ name probably isn’t tossed around the dinner table of the average American TV watchers, but it should ring a few bells with fans of British TV. Cross is the creator and showrunner of the Idris Elba detective vehicle, Luther, and he wrote the episodes “The Rings of Akhaten” and “Hide.”
If you don’t know Sapphire and Steel, stop reading this post immediately and go rectify that. Fly over to England and find a copy of the series on home media if you must. If the DVDs are region locked, buy a British DVD player and bring it home with you. It’s worth it – the show remains one of the best British sci-fi shows ever made.
The series ran from 1979 through 1982 in that weird way that only British shows could get a way with back then. The series technically ran for four seasons, but the first two consisted of two serials, while the third and fourth were each one. Each serial also consisted of a different number of 25-minute episodes ranging from four to eight.
Sapphire and Steel starred Joanna Lumley and David McCallum as Sapphire and Steel, a pair of celestial operatives sent to investigate disturbances in reality, often caused by a malevolent manifestation of time. The serials were sharp and original, and there has never really been anything quite it. Cross X-Files and Twilight Zone and you still aren’t quite there.
The main characters were never explained, nor was it ever clear exactly what they were, or who they even worked for – if “work” is the right word. The series ended on what became a very, very dark note. There are hints that there was supposed to be another season that would resolve the cliffhanger, but it never happened.
You can argue that a reboot may end up stepping on the original – which holds up fairly well – but there was still so much the show could have done. In some ways, you can look at Cross’ work as a rescue as much as a reboot. Sure, it could end up being horrible, but Sapphire and Steel deserved more. And now it may actually get it.
Given that this is British TV, the show could be on the air in a year or in a decade. It also sounds like it hasn’t been officially approved yet – the original aired on ITV, which means it isn’t as simple as the studio just shrugging and saying “whatever,” as sometimes happens with the BBC. ITV is a advertising driven network like those in the U.S., so Cross will probably need to prove the reboot is worth the money.
If he needs some help with that ComicCon is a great place to generate some interest, but that’s just a guess. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.