DIRECTOR: Val Guest
I first revised this, one of my all time favourite Sci-Fi films, five years ago and to be honest I’m pretty happy with what I had to say then. So here it is…
If this isn’t one of the best and yet widely unseen environmental sci fi shockers then I don’t know what is.
Though it is not just the science, though certainly unlikely, but serves as a simple narrative to explain the consequences of man’s obsession with pushing the boundaries, that makes this such a winner.
Ultimately, it’s the gritty presentation and cynical characterisations that give this a very British feel of how we would deal with such a calamity.
Told through the press room at the Daily Express in the 1960’s, this has an uncompromising view, never patronising nor afraid to use dialogue that is accurate to then characters regardless of whether the viewer understands.
This is one of the factors that made “The West Wing” so popular and the this film in my view, rivals “All The President’s Men” for its portrayal of dogged reporting uncovering the nasty truths.
With a shot of Scotch here and water fight there, it would seem to be all to realistic view of our nature should this ever befall us and one day, it just might…
But last year, the BFI have restored this British masterpiece again, this time preserving and future-proofing it with a 4k transfer, loaded with vintage special features, including three nuclear themed shorts, Operation Hurricane, The H-Bomb and The Hole In The Ground, crystal clear trailers, radio ads, a new retrospective documentary, a 1998 Guardian Lecture with the late Val Guest, and one of those late night road safety ads from 1978, entitled “Think Bike” with balding Edward Judd.
All in all, this is MUST HAVE disc for Sci-fi and film fans alike, at the the very least, a real gem of a movie and a Blu-ray set bustling with interesting features.