Threads

This is the first film in my ‘Post-Apocalyptic Movie Club’ – a series of regular features, essays and discussions about films which depict the end of the world in one way or another. I know it’s not right, but I’m addicted to this stuff! Please check out the movie, read my thoughts, then join me to talk about it in the forum or on Facebook, Twitter etc.

Threads, a BBC TV production, was first broadcast in September 1984 and subsequently repeated the following August to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It wasn’t shown again on UK TV until 2003 and despite owning a VHS copy since the early 1990’s, it had been more than 15 years since I’d watched the film when I sat down to watch it again recently. Looking back, I think I may have set the bar too high by selecting Threads as my first film for discussion. I’ve yet to find a more harrowing or thought-provoking PA movie.

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The Post-Apocalyptic Movie Club and the Secret Nuclear Bunker

Forgive the bizarre title of this post – it will make sense!

I never really intended to use this website to tell you what I did on my summer holidays, but today I’m making an exception.

I’m sure any writers who are reading this will agree: we never really stop working. Even when you’re not sat at your desk staring at your computer screen, banging away at the keyboard or reading through reams of papers, signing and posting books, answering emails etc., you’re still working. You’re still thinking – thinking about the book you’re writing now or the book you’re planning to write next, or the one you were supposed to have finished last month… Being away on holiday is no exception, and often the new places you visit and the people you meet along the way provide huge amounts of unexpected inspiration.

Back in 2004 when I was writing Autumn: Purification, I started looking into the large number of underground structures which can be found along the length and breadth of the UK. Have a look at Subterranea Britannica if this isn’t something you’ve come across before – it’s fascinating. Bunkers are a mainstay of countless end-of-the-world stories and I’ve been researching them again recently for something I’m currently working on (not telling you what!). Just before the school holidays began in July and my daily writing routine went completely to pot, I posted Remain Indoors – a brief article about my intention to re-watch and write about as many post-apocalyptic movies as I could get my hands on. The response was phenomenal and even now, more than six weeks later, I’m still getting film suggestions emailed to me regularly. (Thanks to everyone who got in touch – please keep your ideas coming).

So as you can probably imagine, even though I was supposed to be on holiday, with my head swimming with post-apocalyptic movies and stories of Cold War bunkers, when the opportunity to visit such a site unexpectedly presented itself, I was in there like a shot.

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