Sapphire & Steel
The Lighthouse

Starring: David Warner and Susannah Harker
Big Finish Productions
RRP: 10.99
ISBN 1 84435 140 8
Available 02 November 2005

A lighthouse in the middle of a thunderstorm. In the lamp room, a young man is being sketched. Downstairs in the coal room, newlyweds meet with their architect to discuss plans to develop the place into a home. On the stairs, two children play cat and mouse. And somewhere Sapphire and Steel see time twisting out of shape in front of them...

Big Finish's Sapphire & Steel series continues to successfully emulate the format of the original ITV show. Just as the TV series was a mixture of longer (six- to eight-part) and shorter (four-part) serials, Big Finish has opted for a combination of double- and single-disc releases. The Lighthouse is the first of two single-disc adventures in this run.

In his sleeve notes, writer/co-producer Nigel Fairs expresses concern that his tale of a fractured "storm" of time might prove confusing and maybe even meaningless to some listeners. Well, I don't think he need have worried. Though the story is non-linear, I found that I grasped it the first time around - unlike a few Faction Paradox and Doctor Who audio adventures I could mention. Maybe I'm just acclimatised to the offbeat style of the original Sapphire & Steel programme, which often eschewed rational scientific explanations.

Talking of explanations, we learn here why children are so often involved in the agents' cases. Sapphire (Susannah Harker) tells Steel (David Warner) that the young are less aware of Time and therefore less wary of it.

The Lighthouse doesn't rock boats like The Passenger or Daisy Chain did, but it certainly isn't all at sea.

Richard McGinlay

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