The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.


Less than 10% of the ocean has been explored.

Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . . .

"Palimpsest (/ˈpælɪmpsɛst/) is a manuscript page, either from a scroll or a book, from which the text has been scraped or washed off so that the page can be reused for another document. Pergamene (now known as parchment) was made of lamb, calf, or goat kid skin (best made in ancient Pergamon) and was expensive and not readily available, so in the interest of economy a pergamene often was re-used by scraping the previous writing."

"The problem that Sapphire and Steel have come to solve is, as ever, to do with time. At the service station, there is temporal bleed-through from earlier periods: images and figures from 1925 and 1948 keep appearing, so that, as Sapphire and Steel’s colleague Silver puts it ‘time just got mixed, jumbled up, together, making no sort of sense’. Anachronism, the slippage of discrete time periods into one another, was throughout the series the major symptom of time breaking down. In one of the earlier assignments, Steel complains that these temporal anomalies are triggered by human beings’ predilection for the mixing of artefacts from different eras. In this final assignment, the anachronism has led to stasis: time has stopped. The service station is in ‘a pocket, a vacuum’. There’s ‘still traffic, but it’s not going anywhere’: the sound of cars is locked into a looped drone. Silver says, ‘there is no time here, not any more’. It’s as if the whole scenario is a literalization of the lines in Pinter’s No Man’s Land: ‘No man’s land, which never moves, which never changes, which never grows older, which remains forever icy and silent."
“The feeling of the eerie is very different from that of the weird. The simplest way to get to this difference is by thinking about the (highly metaphysically freighted) opposition — perhaps it is the most fundamental opposition of all — between presence and absence. As we have seen, the weird is constituted by a presence — the presence of that which does not belong. In some cases of the weird (those with which Lovecraft was obsessed) the weird is marked by an exorbitant presence, a teeming which exceeds our capacity to represent it. The eerie, by contrast, is constituted by a failure of absence or by a failure of presence. The sensation of the eerie occurs either when there is something present where there should be nothing, or is there is nothing present when there should be something.”