Book Review – Sapphire and Steel: The Lighthouse

  • Title: The Lighthouse
  • Series: Sapphire and Steel
  • Discs: 1 CD
  • Author: Nigel Fairs
  • Director: John Ainsworth
  • Characters: Sapphire, Steel
  • Cast: Susannah Harker, David Warner
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 07/25/2018

**Spoiler Alert** When I listened to the trailer for The Lighthouse on All Fall Down I realised that I had listened to this audio play before, however, I did just listen to it again – twice. I still feel that The Lighthouse is one of the more violent and depressing Big Finish Sapphire and Steel stories that I’ve listened to, but the story is also complex and multi-layered, which makes it successful, if a bit violent.

Often, in a Sapphire and Steel story, the titular characters arrive and try to find the trigger which time is using to break out. However, in this story, they basically arrive late, and in the middle of events. A young couple visits the Lighthouse with their architect, in hopes of converting it into a home. But Nicholas and Adrian seem to know each other. Meanwhile, a young boy is horribly abused by his father. And an old man pretends to be an artist, but really he is luring young homosexual men to their deaths. And another man kills his wife. How are these events connected? All take place in the Lighthouse, but first Sapphire and then Steel are caught up in events – unable to influence or stop them. A Time Storm is coming and there seems to be no way to stop it.

Sapphire realises the young boy, the husband – who first visits the Lighthouse with his wife, Susie, and later kills her, and the old man who is luring young men to their deaths at his hands – are the same person. Nicholas has made a bargain with Time, but he cannot change things, he can only repeat the same loop – over and over again. First, Sapphire is drawn into the loop as Susie accuses her of having an affair with her husband, Nicholas. Then, Steel is drawn in. Finally, the two are pushed out of Time altogether.

Being pushed out of time gives the two a little clarity, and they realise they need to find the trigger, or rather, triggers – three of them. Sapphire finds one trigger. Steel finds another. And then Steel forces a change in time that breaks the loop and stops the breakout. Sapphire realises that Time was even able to use her, her sympathy, her disgust at the waste of life, and her horror at all the death.

The Lighthouse is about cycles of violence, and how men abused as children often become child abusers themselves. It’s also about homophobia – and has some very rough language, so be warned. This also means it’s not a story for everyone – it’s violent and rough. But it is also complex, and although it has a downbeat ending, it is a well-told tale. If the listener can handle the violence and rough language, I do recommend it, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

This CD includes a trailer for the next CD in the range: “Dead Man Walking”. There is also a trailer for “The Tomorrow People”.

Find out more about Big Finish audios at their website:

Sadly, it looks like the Sapphire and Steel range is no longer available from the Big Finish website. But be sure to check out their other audio ranges.

Note: No promotional consideration was paid for this review. I review because I enjoy it!