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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

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


An observatory in England receives some strange signals from space.


Read the story summary at Animus Web


Didja Know?


"Stargazing" is a 9-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.


Twin Peaks note: In this story, an observatory receives strange signals from space. In Twin Peaks, Major Briggs worked for Listening Post Alpha on Blue Pine Mountain, scanning for signals from space or from the ground beneath the town of Twin Peaks.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Dr. Ernest Smalley

Professor Bateman





Didja Notice?


On page 2 of the story, the security guard, Simpson, punches Steel. The blow has no effect on Steel and Simpson feels like his hand hit a wall of cast iron. Is Steel made of steel?


Simpson thinks to himself he's going to need knuckle dusters if he's to confront "that Hercules" (Steel) again. Hercules was the Roman name for the Greek hero/demigod Heracles, who had prodigious strength.


Dr. Smalley tells Sapphire and Steel that the observatory he works at is in Northumberland and is the finest in the country with the exception of Jodrell Bank. Northumberland is a county is northeast England. There are a number of observatories in Northumberland, but I don't know that any of them are said to be second only to Jodrell.


 Dr. Smalley's observatory receives coded mathematic messages from the star Zinon-4 in the galaxy of Elysia. This galaxy and star appear to be fictitious. It's not clear whether Dr. Smalley was aware of a galaxy called Elysia; he doesn't remark on the names given to him by Sapphire and Steel. It's also not clear whether Sapphire and Steel were aware of the star and galaxy before this.


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