Sapphire & Steel #29: Doctor McDee Must Die Part 5

"How else do humans destroy one another?" "Oh, they have so many ways."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Aug.25 1981.

IN THIS ONE... Annabelle is killed. Sapphire and Steel take her husband Felix into their confidence. They penetrate de 1980 office. And Felix is killed by McDee's plague.

REVIEW: The irony is becoming clear. George McDee is a good, honorable man, so he's the one history has decreed must die. As must everyone who is the least bit sympathetic. Annabelle, electrocuted on a door. Her husband Felix, perhaps a womanizer like everyone else in the guest cast, makes a jolly recruit for Sapphire and Steel, but still dies a horrible death when McDee absentmindedly slaps viral cultures in his face... Okay, McDee might be a good man trying to do good, but he's a rather careless fellow. A careless fellow surrounded by fools and unscrupulous people. This world's taint of evil is represented in the direction, with plenty of hellish smoke - there's a fire coming, don't you know? - and extreme dutch angles as we reach the tipping point.

Felix's recruitment is one of my favorite bits of the episode. Since he's the next to go by virtue of his age, Sapphire and Steel let him in on what's really going on (as it's understood). Once he's shown that neither his wife nor the other murdered characters are actually dead, merely floating outside time, looking in (Sapphire manifests the younger McDee the way the Enemy has often done), his spirits improve and he becomes enthusiastic about helping the time elements. He even demands a codename like theirs, and Sapphire nicknames him "Brass". He likes it, and yes, it's the perfect monicker. They even give him the gift of telepathy so they can communicate with him. He proves only slightly useful, keeping tabs on the butler in case he did it (the Enemy is surely not above cliché), but Steel only really wants to distract him and keep him out of his way. It's clever. The Enemy tries to distract them with a murder mystery, so they have someone else carry on the investigation while they're being time elements. Except it might prove a fatal move. Felix's detective work brings him to McDee's lab where he might well become patient zero. Our heroes also let him think (because I'm done trying to pin down who they are exactly versus who they say they are) they're extraterrestrial members of an interstellar police force. I mean, yes, but what does that mean exactly?

Sapphire and Steel go into that room too, but in 1980. Another good sequence. Steel gently taunts Sapphire to see if she can make the modern door appear, then uses the old-timey radio to simulate the remote control frequency. He has little luck getting information from Mullrive's secretary however, so a second attempt uses Sapphire's social talents to cause a diversion after which, shockingly, the secretary calls her a bitch. I wasn't expecting that kind of language. A little out of place maybe, but if I have to complain about something, let it be the bridge sequence instead. I've never played bridge, and I just don't get the jokes. Are they jokes? Goes on a while and right over my head, too.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VORTEX: An electrified door that works only once? The Enemy's been poaching ideas from the Tomb of the Cybermen!

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - If there's leftover aristocratic tedium, they compensate for it with some fun interplay between the two stars and their new recruit.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine