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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 01:07 am:   

I've just watched "Threads", the 1980s BBC drama about a nuclear attack on Britain. I never watched it when it was first broadcast because my first wife was pregnant, about due and was unable to bear the sheer grimness of the film. Our son was born a couple of days later as it happened (he's 29 now with a son and daughter of his own!).

Anyway, having watched "Cold War Britain" which references the film I finally searched it out on YouTube.

What an amazing work it is. It is unrelentingly grim. It is brutal and unflinching (unlike the similar US drama aired at roughly the same time). It is also intensely moving.

I kept thinking about Iraq, the ordinary people there, not the vile dictators and bastards wielding power, but the kids and women and ordinary, decent citizens whose lives were torn apart in a quick, “hygienic” war that ended with a grinning world leader arriving on an aircraft carrier in a jet fighter like some sort of grotesque John Wayne figure to announce that the job was done.

And Syria, now a battleground between inhuman fascist authority, genuine freedom fighters and all manner of dangerous and hideous religious fruitcakes. Stuck right in the middle of all this, guess who, the brothers and sisters of those you see walking down the high-street, drinking in the pub, shopping, working, of you and me in fact.

I watched actors tonight, but for too many people, it is reality.

I’ve said nothing new here, in fact it might seem a little tired, but that dated, thirty-year old film struck a deep, emotional chord, and reminded me forcefully of just how much we are at the mercy of those in power over us and the vagaries of their policies and decisions. When India and Pakistan crept towards a nuclear abyss over Kashmir a few years ago, Arundhati Roy, author of "The God of Small things"(one of my Desert Island Books), described the leaders of the two nations as monsters. Most of us on this message board love monsters, we invent them read about them, but the real monsters, those who make war, are far worse than anything we can create.

And we're squandering millions on Trident, seems like good value for money to me, lots of bang for our buck...

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Lincoln (Lincoln_brown)
Username: Lincoln_brown

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 06:15 am:   

What a coincidence - I was thinking about 'Threads' the other day.
I'm currently reading 'Swan Song', which reminded me that I need to try and find, and re-watch, 'Threads' and the not-quite-as-good 'The Day After'.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 03:01 pm:   

I remember well watching 'Threads' and 'The Day After' at the time and being shocked rigid by the in-your-face horror and terrifying bleakness of the former and completely unphased by the polite sentimentality of the latter. They stood out as the most extreme example of the difference in quality between British and American TV productions of the time.

'Threads' was a harrowingly convincing and compelling dramatisation of the then very real possibility of a nuclear conflict striking Britain and the ordinary people who live there. The graphic horrors it showed us and the intensity of the performances, before and after Armageddon struck, have haunted me since first seeing it. It's the greatest and most frighteningly plausible post-apocalypse TV production ever made, imho. 'Survivors' and 'The Walking Dead' are nothing more than cosy entertainment by comparison.

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