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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Sapphire & Steel: The Meeting Place Sapphire & Steel
"The Meeting Place"
Look-In (1980) #7-11
Written by: Angus Allan
Art by: Arthur Ransom


A wartime officer is brought back from the past by a military badge and Sapphire and Steel must prevent him from bringing a deadly weapon into the future.


Notes from the Sapphire & Steel chronology


Read the story summary at the Internet Archive copy of Animus Web


Didja Know?


Comic strips in Look-In magazine were generally not credited to author and artist. According to the Animus Web site, the Sapphire & Steel strips were written by Angus Allan and drawn by Arthur Ransom.


All of the strips feature Sapphire and Steel dressed in the clothes they wore in the first television storyline, "Escape Through a Crack in Time". The artist must have had only photo references from those early episodes.


This story appeared in five issues of Look-In, a UK magazine geared towards kids. The story is told in comic strip form and appeared in two-page chapters of each issue.


The story itself is untitled. I borrowed the title "The Meeting Place" and short description from the Sapphire & Steel Chronology on the Look-In wiki.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Danny Lewis

Geoff Foster

Danny's mother (unnamed)

Captain Simpson




Professor Mannix


Didja Notice?


On page 2 of the story, Sapphire finds Mrs. Lewis in a cataleptic trance after the woman attempted to use her clairvoyant abilities to absorb information about the unidentified military cap badge. Is cataleptic trance a common mental state for the incursions of time to leave a human in whom it has used to enter the present? Recall that Diane Simson was said to have been left cataleptic after her belief in an imaginary cat allowed a witch and her familiar to enter the modern world in "Evil Feline".


As usual, the story takes place in London. Why do Sapphire and Steel get assigned on missions to UK, and London specifically, the vast majority of the time? Considering their seemingly "otherworldly" origins, you'd think they'd be called to places all over the globe. (There are a couple instances of missions in the United States, "Finger of Blood" and "Wall of Darkness".)


The soldier-out-of-time is named Captain Simpson. In the previous story, "Evil Feline", the modern family involved in the time incursion had the similar name "Simson". 


On page 6, panel 1 of the story, it appears that Sapphire and Steel are meeting in a McDonald's restaurant to compare notes! We don't see the restaurant's name, but at the top of the panel, the very bottom of the restaurant sign is seen in the red and yellow colors of the fast food chain. And the sign on the menu visible through the window appears to be advertising McDonald's Big Mac hamburger! Sapphire and Steel at McDonald's


On page 6 of the story, Captain Simpson is contacting a Professor Mannix, who wants to come through into modern time to "destroy the world--and only Time will line on!" Is that what Time wants in all these incursions? To destroy "the world"?


In this story, Sapphire's ability to glimpse the past through contact with an object seems to blossom into virtually astral time travel into the past! She is able to manifest the past body she is in and make people there see her and even converse with them!


On page 7 of the story, Sapphire walks into Whitehall in 1943 and converses with Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965). Whitehall is a district of London, where the governmental offices and many minsters' residences are located.


In the last panel of page 8 of the story, it appears that Steel was playing checkers with young Danny while they waited for Sapphire to return "from the past".


On page 10 of the story, Sapphire and Steel enter "the fourth dimension of time that parallels our own world." Presumably, this is the "corridor of time" that Sapphire explained to Robert Jardine in "Escape Through a Crack in Time" Part 1. The corridor appears to be populated with demons and ghosts, swirling through the corridor; these must be the creatures Sapphire explained in that episode from the very beginnings of time and the very end of time, forever moving along the corridor, searching for a hole in the fabric to the modern world.


On the last page of the story, Sapphire turns time back 36 years for Simpson and Mannix to the place they were planning to escape the country and defect to the enemy, where they are shot down fatally by British soldiers. In the TV episodes, Sapphire only has the ability to turn back time about half a day! It's hard to provide a good No-Prize explanation for how to square her solution here with her actual powers in the TV series.


Unanswered Questions


What was the weapon Mannix had developed that was "so diabolical, so destructive" that Churchill ordered the plans for it utterly burned?


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