Downtimers: ‘Sapphire and Steel’ Writer, PJ Hammond, Releases Red-Hot Time Travel Thriller

Hammond’s ‘Downtimers’ ships readers off to a barren town, as people from another time move in and a renowned CID Sergeant is left to not only grapple with his new residents – but a killer who is commanding death. It’s an intense and engrossing story from one of UK television’s most progressive writers.

United Kingdom – While PJ Hammond can walk down the street without being noticed, almost everyone he passes knows his work. From his creation of the cult TV series ‘Sapphire and Steel’ to his writing credits with ‘Torchwood’, ‘The Bill’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’ – Hammond has been a staple of British television for decades.

And now he returns with ‘Downtimers’, a cinematic time travel thriller that is unlike anything released before.

Synopsis: Time travel has arrived but so has a ruthless killer.

Sol Bonner was content as a CID Sergeant on the featureless streets of Gate Town, where local industry was in decline and those who could had packed up and moved on to somewhere more appealing. It was a passing through place, not somewhere you would expect people to choose to start a new life, especially not those from another time.

But Sol’s no-nonsense approach to the job got him hand-picked for a promotion to DI of a specialist unit, tasked with tracking down the Downtimers. Unravelling the secrets of the time travellers takes a sinister turn when a chance discovery leads Sol on the trail of a killer who commands death from the palm of his hands.

PJ Hammond is best known as the creator of cult sci-fi TV series Sapphire and Steel. His extensive writing credits also include The Bill, Midsomer Murders, and Dr. Who spin-off Torchwood.

“I’ve spent most of my adult life writing, and television writing is of course extremely visual and compelling. It’s something that crosses over into my literary works, and this novel is no exception,” explains the author. “It’s a culmination of the creativity developed writing some of the UK’s most popular television shows.

“Time travel is something most people are curious about and, with technology getting to where it is, we are now starting to ask more serious questions about its plausibility. I hope this novel leaves readers with plenty to think about.”

About the Author

PJ Hammond is best known as the creator and writer of cult science-fiction series Sapphire and Steel starring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum. He began writing for television in the 1970’s after working as a script editor and writer on Z-Cars.

His extensive writing credits also include The Sweeney, The Bill, and Midsomer Murders, plus sci-fi and fantasy series Ace of Wands and Shadows for Thames TV and Sky TV’s Space Island One.

Hammond was approached to write for Doctor Who in the 1980’s, however his story Paradise Five was eventually recorded as a full cast audio drama starring the sixth doctor, Colin Baker, as part of the ‘Lost Stories’ season. Hammond also penned two episodes of the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood.

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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