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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Sapphire & Steel: Cruel Immortality Sapphire & Steel
"Cruel Immortality" Part 2
Audio drama
Big Finish Productions
Written by Nigel Fairs
Directed by Lisa Bowerman
January 2007


Steel finds that the retirement home is a cruel prison.


Notes from the Sapphire & Steel chronology


This story takes place in "current day", probably 2007, but the retirement home in which it takes place is stuck in 1949. April 14, 1949 is the major date of the story, though a revelation later in the story later says that time stopped at the retirement home on December 31, 1949...515 years ago.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode



female carer (unnamed)

male carer (unnamed)






Sapphire (as Mrs. P)

Ted (mentioned only)

Enid (Stanley's wife)

Tommy Handley (mentioned only)

music man (mentioned only)



Didja Notice?


The song sung by the old folks at the beginning of this episode is an original for the production. The simple lyrics are, "What's the matter, Fido? Give the dog a bone. Stick it in the kennel, he'll come home." An explanation of the song and extended lyrics are provided in "Cruel Immortality" Part 4.


Complaining about their time-locked retirement home prison, Stanley remarks, "There's no V-E Day celebrations...just them and us going on and on and on forever." V-E Day is "Victory in Europe Day", the day marked to celebrate the acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies, ending WWII.


The matron tells Steel the name of the retirement home is Tivinus Home. This appears to be a fictitious retirement home.


The matron implies that residents of the retirement home who are being punished go to the Nowhere Place for a while. Possibly, this is a nod to the Doctor Who audio drama called "The Nowhere Place", also by Big Finish Productions (written by Nicholas Briggs).


Trying to pry Mrs. P's favorite day out of her, Enid remarks on a day walking on the beach at Brighton.


Mrs. P sings "Fight the Good Fight", a Christian hymn written by Rev. John Samuel Bewley Monsell in 1863.


Harry remarks to Steel that he believes in "three impossible things before breakfast." This is a reference to the 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, wherein the Queen of Hearts says, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


Steel tries to remember something called the de Grey theory. Presumably, he is thinking of the theory of English biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey who has posited that advances in medical technology may be able to prevent people alive today from dying of age-related causes.


Memorable Dialog


a distortion in time.mp3

most unlike you.mp3

one and the same.mp3 



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