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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Sapphire & Steel: The Beast in the Picture Sapphire & Steel
"The Beast in the Picture"
Look-In (1979) #33-40
Written by: Angus Allan
Art by: Arthur Ransom


A strange being forces an artist to paint pictures with the power to enslave.


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 Look-In magazine 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 eight 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 Beast in the Picture" and short description from the Sapphire & Steel Chronology on the Look-In wiki.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Jack Terriss

Jack Terriss' wife (unnamed, mentioned only, deceased)

Marcus Terriss




Didja Notice?


The story opens at Scarstone House, a fictitious mansion in the moorlands of England.


Widower Jack Terriss sends his son Marcus on his bicycle to Gatefield Post Office to send the latest package of art off to Dixon Advertising. Gatefield Post Office and Dixon Advertising appear to be fictitious enterprises.


On page 8 of the story, one of Terriss' accursed paintings falls from the wall directly in front of Steel and he runs into it, becoming absorbed into the painting. In "Escape Through a Crack in Time" Part 3, Sapphire becomes trapped inside a room in the painting of a cottage. On page 12 of our current story, Sapphire becomes stuck in a mirror.


In panel 1 of page 9 of the story, the French executioner struggling to force Steel into place for the guillotine says, "Venez ici aristo!" This is French for "Come here, aristocrat!"


In panel 1 of page 12 of the story, Sapphire has a vision of a druidic ceremony at a sacrificial circle that once existed on the same site as the house. The circle similar to Stonehenge, but must be a different site since Stonehenge is still standing. 


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