Sapphire and Steel are drawn to a house that seems much like
any other in its dreary suburb. The difference is that this
house, and the family living in it, harbours a secret that
threatens to destroy them all. How is it that a music box
and other household items are able to activate themselves...?
You may recall that I raved about Big Finish's first Sapphire
& Steel adventure, The
Passenger. Well, if anything this one is even
Joseph Lidster has crafted a truly creepy story that entirely
befits the spirit of the original series. This is particularly
remarkable since he admits, in his sleeve notes, that he never
saw the show until last year.
Lidster's tale is ably augmented by Nigel Fairs' direction,
post-production and music, which turn repeated phrases from
a teenage girl's favourite single, the inane ramblings of
daytime television broadcasts, and the tinkling of a music
box into the stuff of nightmares.
Harker seems more confident as Sapphire this time around,
and she and co-star David Warner are joined by the competent
guest cast of Kim Hartman, Lena Rae and Stuart Piper, who
are never anything less than totally convincing as a single-parent
family haunted by... something.
nature of that something is not too difficult to guess, but
this element of predictability is more than compensated for
by the way in which it is dealt with in the grim conclusion.
more serious criticism of the Big Finish series to date is
that the plots seem rather similar to Sapphire and Steel's
television assignments. The Passenger echoed the railway
setting and the resentful spirits of Assignment Two.
Now Daisy Chain rehashes the humble family home, complete
with two children (admittedly older children on this occasion),
one of each gender, from Assignment One, with a bit
of Brahms' Lullaby from Assignment Three thrown in.
However, as a piece of supernatural drama, there is no denying
this story's quality.
an extra item at the end of Disc One, Nigel Fairs discusses
the realisation of the music for this series. He reveals,
among other things, the fact that he had to prepare an alternate
main theme when it appeared as though the production team
would not be able to obtain the rights to use the original
television version. Sadly we don't get to hear Fairs' theme
in full. Still, this is a nice addition to a great double
only £14.99, it's a (Sapphire and) steal!
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