1984 | United Kingdom

A chillingly realised and intense drama-documentary that harrowingly depicted the unimaginably grim events of the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Britain. Concentrating on a single city, Sheffield, the production presented the all too grim story of the nuclear strike from the a trio of viewpoints, two ordinary Sheffield families, the Beckett's and the Kemp's, and that of the city's peacetime Chief Executive and harried wartime controller, Clive Sutton. As the story unfolded, it deftly backtracked to trace the events of the four weeks that led up to the devastating nuclear exchange, as the East and West power blocs all too believably became drawn into war due to a crisis of control in the Middle East. 

In disturbingly, but never sensationally, graphic detail, it depicted the nightmarishly plausible inferno of suffering and chaos inflicted on the city and its population, before taking the scenario through the first post holocaust decade as the 'threads' of civilisation slowly unravelled before the audience's eyes. Writer Barry Hines and producer/director Mick Jackson employed masses of detailed scientific studies to chillingly telling effect to ensure that the production emerged as factual and starkly realistic as possible, in contrast to the high profile gloss of the similarly themed, American TV movie 

Threads effortlessly evoked the haunting images of the previously banned BBC film The War Game. The city of Sheffield and its citizens also rose to the occasion by providing the production with more than 1000 volunteers to be 'victims'.

Published on February 6th, 2019. Written by Steve Hulse (2000) for Television Heaven.