The Time of the Metalanterns, part 2

I used to love Sapphire & Steel as a kid. This was a UK TV show which, back in the day, ranked right up there with Doctor Who as being guaranteed to scare the bejeezus out of adult and child alike. The two central characters – the lovely Sapphire and enigmatic Steel of the title – were agents of an unnamed organization charged with correcting errors in Time. The show’s premise could have fit straight into the Doctor Who continuity like a glove (indeed, many fan-based stories did just that) but instead it stood alone, yet another quirky testament to we Brits’ ability to produce stunning and original TV series when we put our minds to it.

Sapphire and Steel were occasionally teamed up with other metal and gem themed allies including Copper (an annoying prankster, as I recall), Silver and Lead. Each had their own special talents and the overall impression was that we only get to see a tiny part of the action, that the organization behind it all is far larger in scale than just the precious few agents we see on screen.

Which leads me, in a roundabout way, to my new campaign idea for DC Adventures. What if you combine Green Lanterns with Sapphire and Steel? The colour-based heroes live on, but their rings no longer find replacement Lanterns when the old guard dies. A new breed of heroes arise – Gold Lanterns, Silver Lanterns, Bronze Lanterns and more. No longer are they kept apart, but expected to work together as a team with cadres of Metalanterns allocated to a sector and able to call on (or be assigned) additional Lanterns as required.

Unlike the original Green, Red, Orange, Yellow, etc Lanterns, the Metalanterns do not so much embody all-too-human emotions but instead characterize concepts on a much larger and generalized scale. More on that another time though.

This is where the heroes come in. The Green Lanterns are the last of their kind, left to die and be forgotten among the pages of history as new Lanterns arise to take their place. The Guardians – original creators and keepers of the Lantern at Oa – do not know what is causing this, but feel there is something even larger than their own considerable egos at work.

The heroes are the new Lanterns for Sector 2814. Earth.

Welcome to a new dawn.

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7 Responses

  1. vbwyrde says:

    I absolutely love Sapphire & Steel. I describe it to my friends as a cross between Dr. Who and Dark Shadows (a horror soap opera from the 1970’s about vampires, werewolves, and their friends). It’s utterly brilliant.

    I also consider drawing elements of that series into my world, so I applaud your direction. Interesting twist regarding the different lantern types.

    I’m not sure if you are aware, and I may well be wrong, but I am thinking that Green Lantern is likely based on EE Doc Smith’s “The Lensmen Series”, which was the original Space Opera written in the mid 1900’s. Great series if you have not had the chance to read it.

    • greywulf says:

      Yep. Green Lantern is certainly inspired (if not entirely based) on the Lensman series. I love those books.

      Hmmmm. Wonder if I can draw from those too for the new campaign. Now there’s a thought.

  2. Sean Holland says:

    Sapphire & Steel is such an amazing show, if a touch slow paced a times. It seems a shame to mix it with the terrible mess that is the Green Lantern Corps. *wink*

    But, yes, the organization S&S work for could be folding into a superhero universe fairly easily.

    • greywulf says:

      Heh. The Green Lantern Corps certainly has been messed with to a crazy degree, and each story arc just makes it worse.

      I just wish the blue smurf guys would disappear. The stories would be much better (I hope!) without their smug little chops.

  3. vbwyrde says:

    Hey GreyWulf, btw, I added an edit to my blog entry. I thought you might find this interesting so I’m cross-posting it for you here:

    Edit: Another aspect that I glean from S&S is that Time will tend to be attracted to beings who are fixated in some way on Time, or an object that has deep significance to Time. Some examples are: 1) a Scientist who invented a Time Machine, 2) the Oldest Photograph in the world, 3) a Race from the Future who wanted to transport a Monster they accidentally created into another time to escape its Civilization destroying wrath, 4) a ghost who refused to leave the hotel where she was killed by clinging to a Grandfather clock, etc. As it happens Time will devour every living thing eventually, and if you consider that life spans typically do not last very long in big scheme of things, Time can be seen as a ravenous monster indeed. On the other hand, some races live very long lives, and so have found ways to evade Time’s traps. As such the vast majority of Time’s conquests are quite normal, and really amount to dying of Old Age, which everyone takes as natural. However, mankind in Elthos was not intended to be a mortal race originally, but through the original deception in Eden, Time gained a foothold on the race of men, and so every person is doomed to die, at some point in Time. And thus, the Time Keepers know that even natural deaths of Old Age are really the Serpent Time devouring its victims. However, dying of Old Age does not cause any temporal rifts, and so the Time Keepers do not involve themselves typically with Old Age deaths at all. That is just beyond the scope of their duties.

  4. darktouch says:

    The concept of Metalanterns has interesting implications for the motive force responsible for the metal men. Did Dr. Magnus tap into some ancient force yearing to be free?

  5. The metalanterns (great band name too!) sound much cooler than the green lanterns by far. But I’m an unapologetic Marvelite so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    I think darktouch is definitely on to something though.

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