My brother told me that I really ought to watch a docudrama called Threads, made by the BBC in 1984 and currently on both youtube and google video. I had heard a fair bit about Threads before, knowing that it scared my mum like nothing before or since and caused my brother to have nightmares for weeks afterward. Yes, this is exactly the thing that I should be watching. We live in times where there is no longer a massive nuclear threat and no cold war to worry about. (Terrorists, in all places except 24, don’t seem to have access to such weapons). So, on Tuesday night, I sat down to watch the two hour play after my shift at work.
I tell no like when I say that it was one of the most frightening and certainly bleakest thing that I have ever seen. The consensus of such things these days is to concentrate on the actual moment of explosion/flood/invasion, making it as visually stimulating and shocking as possible. What Threads does is to concentrate on the impact that the impending crisis has on society, and the devastation that the aftermath creates. I quickly reached the conclusion that, if a nuclear attack was to happen on a large scale, then the best course of action would be to get as close as possible to where the bombs will be dropped and just stand there, arms open, to embrace the quick death of the heat flash.
If this wasn’t bad enough, I went and read at the government issued Protect and Survive pamphlet, which details what to do in case of nuclear attack. Scary stuff. And if this wasn’t enough, I went to the youtube Protect and Survive Channel which is dedicated to the public service films made in the late 70s to run alongside the pamphlet. And after all that, I feel rather worried by the thought of nuclear attack. Unlikely it could be, but it only takes one madman (like there is in North Korea). As Francis Bacon said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. Not that it makes it any easier.
If any are curious and/or hardy, then you can see Threads here. Yes, it is scary and depressing, but so is Schindler’s List and I urge you to watch it.