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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Sapphire & Steel: Chamber of Horrors Sapphire & Steel
"Chamber of Horrors"
Sapphire & Steel Annual 1981
World International Publishing
Written by: Brenda Apsley (?)
Art by: Paul Crompton and Genn Rix (?)


Overnight, an on-loan exhibit of wax figures comes to life.


Read the story summary at Animus Web


Didja Know?


"Chamber of Horrors" is a 5-page text story that appeared in Sapphire & Steel Annual 1981 published by World International Publishing. According to Steve Holland at the Bear Alley Books website, this story was probably written by Brenda Apsley, with art by Paul Crompton and Genn Rix.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Reg Ferrell










Didja Notice?


On the first page of the story, Reg is settling himself in at home to watch a Greta Garbo movie on TV. Greta Garbo (1905-1990) was a well-known Swedish-American film actress in the early half of the 20th Century.


The illustration of Reg sitting in his living room shows a lamp with a base in the form of a topless woman! Seems a little risque for a kids book!



The students engaged in the overnight stay inside the Chamber of Horrors wax exhibit are said to be participating in "rag week". In the UK, "rag week" is a week of events designed to raise funds for charitable organizations by "rag societies", student societies with a goal of fundraising for various charities.


On page 3 of the story, one of the wax statues is wearing a swastika on its left arm, likely indicating it is a representation of a German Nazi soldier of WWII.


In this story, the entity of Time is able to drain life force from the students and channel it into the wax statues to make them come to a sort of mechanical life in order to destroy something.


Sapphire is able to use the glowing effect of her eyes, reflected and focused into a tight beam off a hand mirror, to start a fire!


At the end of the story, the wax figures of the Chamber of Horrors display are all destroyed while the students slept. The students wake up and wonder if Sapphire and Steel were really there, for they have no proof it. They plan to tell Ferrell what happened and hope he believes them. What if he and others don't believe them? Will the students have to pay for the lost waxworks?


Unanswered Questions


Time has generally needed an old artifact or something of the sort to make a breech in time and manifest trouble. What was the trigger here that allowed Time to drain the students' energies into the wax figures?


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