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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Sapphire & Steel: Disappearing Act Sapphire & Steel
"Disappearing Act"
Look-In (1979) #52 - (1980) #3
Written by: Angus Allan
Art by: Arthur Ransom


When a man actually disappears during a magic act, he is replaced by an evil Egyptian god.


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 six 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 "Disappearing Act" and short description from the Sapphire & Steel Chronology on the Look-In wiki.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


The Great Boldini (Arthur Penman, dies in this story)

Bernard Smith

David Smith

Sally Smith

theatre manager (unnamed)



(David?) Devant


Didja Notice?


On page 1 of the story, a nervous Bernard Smith in the Great Boldini's Chinese vanishing cabinet sings to himself, "Wear a smile all the while, never mind the dark." As far as I can tell, these are lyrics to a fictitious song.


On page 3 of the story, Boldini says the vanishing cabinet is a rebuilt job, originally by Devant in the Victorian Age. He must be referring to David Devant (1868-1941), a British master magician of his time.


The ram's head Egyptian god seen on page 4 of the story may be a representation of Khnum, the ancient Egyptian god of water and fertility.


On page 6 of the story, Sapphire refers to the lion-headed god who has replaced Bernard Smith as the Egyptian god of destruction. The Egyptian god of destruction is generally said to be the serpent god Apep (or Set), not a lion-headed god.


Page 8 of the story reveals it takes place at the Majestic Theatre in Clayport, London. This appears to be a fictitious theatre in a fictitious district of London.


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