Created and written by Peter J. Hammond
Starring David McCallum, Joanna Lumley
Sometimes you get the wrong impression of a TV series that you heard of but never saw. When I first heard of the UK series Sapphire and Steel, I got the impression it was some sort of private detective show where the stars solved mundane crimes. Having seen it, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Sapphire (Joanna Lumley) and Steel (David McCallum) are two mysterious beings that appear at places where mysterious things are happening, usually involving ghosts. Their origins were never explained, other than their job is to fix anomalies in times. Sapphire has some ability to control time, and Steel can kill the creatures by lowering his body temperature to near absolute zero. They can also communicate telepathically. It's implied that there are other people carrying out other missions.
The show has a Doctor Who feel to it -- low budget, cheap special effects -- and was conceived to rival the Doctor in its adventures, but didn't quite work as well, possibly due to a lack of humor of the characters. Steel is cold and dismissive of the people they meet. Sapphire is more considerate and more willing to listen to see if it includes any clues to what's happening.
There were six serials of the show, ranging from 4-8 episodes each. The pacing was very slow, but it seemed to work as a way to ratchet up the tension. Another problem was the availability of the main actors, who had thriving careers that led to availability issues. Further, issues with the production company management also worked against it. The final series was basically just burned off.
The show was revived as a series of audio dramas at Big Finish with Susanna Harker and David Warner.
The show never seemed to have a regular run in the US, probably because of the lack of episodes. But it is an interesting attempt at a science fiction/fantasy series.