Sapphire & Steel #10: The Railway Station Part 4

"Come on, talk with me. Tell me your name. Perhaps we can have a nice, warm human conversation. Ah, but you can't do that, can you? You don't belong here, you don't belong with us. You belong in the darkness! You and your friends!"
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Aug.9 1979.

IN THIS ONE... Steel rescues Sapphire an Tully from the submarine experience and they hold a seance.

REVIEW: Having antagonized the ghosts - or perhaps just the lead ghosts that's drafting others into its service - Steel is unable to make the soldier "prove" his existence. The soldier can't accept his invitation to a warm human conversation, not any more than Steel has a right to extend it, because he is neither. Further, his antagonism has put Sapphire and Tully in grave danger, as part of the station's hotel has been turned into a doomed submarine. The environment, represented by dim blue light, metallic reverb, thin air and the occasional tipping, is well realized and hard to get out of. Civilian workers appearing out of nowhere and extending their hands seem a trap - the force behind all this preys on one's empathy, and even Steel has some - but they get their help from someone else and are soon loose in the train station. That someone else is the resentful WWI soldier who won't give his name. It's notable that Sapphire is resentful herself of Steel's antagonistic ploy, and that he's enjoying all this. Steel is a weapon, happier in battle, whereas she's a softer element, looking for a more peaceful solution.

Though Tully seemed to be the key, if this is 1979, he's too young to have driving connection to a young man who died in WWI, or even 1938's submarine engineers. Perhaps it's just because he drew them here in the first place with his one-man seance. Did his half-assed attempt at spiritualism trap them between dimensions? The experience is repeated with Sapphire as a much more able medium, and Lumley dishes out a potent performance, juggling several voices and accents as she brings the submariners to life. Tully's "way" wrings some information from them, to be sure, but just enough that we know they aren't behind the incursion. They might even only be pawns, just as they were long ago. History is repeating itself, with the used consistently being used by those who would make empty promises. This is still about what they were TOLD versus the reality of a situation. That's remained a unifying theme, now matter what's really going on.

Directorially, we're still in good hands, with lots of atmosphere, dramatic shadows, and that same osmotic play between the ghosts and the time elements. A door creaks open, but it's the heroes, not the phantoms. Steel denies the power of the cross. The line is always very thin between the two temporal forces at work in our world, and so Tully keeps siding with what the show would have us think is the Enemy.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - The mystery continues to deepen and shows no sign of growing tedious. Plus, a nice performance showpiece for Sapphire and some great atmospherics.



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