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Threads (1984 film)

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Threads
Threadsmoviecover.jpg
Genre
  • Drama
  • Sci-fi
  • War
Written byBarry Hines
Directed byMick Jackson
Starring
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producersGraham Massey
John Purdie
Producers
Cinematography
Editors
  • Jim Latham
  • Donna Bickerstaff
Running time112 minutes
Production companies
DistributorBBC
Budget£400,000[1]
Release
Original networkBBC
Picture formatColour
Audio formatMono
Original release23 September 1984 (1984-09-23)

Threads is a 1984 apocalyptic war drama television film jointly produced by the BBC, Nine Network and Western-World Television Inc. Written by Barry Hines and directed and produced by Mick Jackson, it is a dramatic account of nuclear war and its effects in Britain, specifically on the city of Sheffield in Northern England. The plot centres on two families as a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union erupts. As the nuclear exchange between NATO and the Warsaw Pact begins, the film depicts the medical, economic, social and environmental consequences of nuclear war.[2]

Shot on a budget of £400,000, the film was the first of its kind to depict a nuclear winter. It has been called "a film which comes closest to representing the full horror of nuclear war and its aftermath, as well as the catastrophic impact that the event would have on human culture."[3] It has been compared to The War Game produced in Britain two decades prior and its contemporary counterpart The Day After, a 1983 ABC television film depicting a similar scenario in the United States.

Threads was nominated for seven BAFTA awards in 1985 and won for Best Single Drama, Best Design, Best Film Cameraman and Best Film Editor.

Discover more about Threads (1984 film) related topics

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of speculative fiction in which the Earth's civilization is collapsing or has collapsed. The apocalypse event may be climatic, such as runaway climate change; astronomical, such as an impact event; destructive, such as nuclear holocaust or resource depletion; medical, such as a pandemic, whether natural or human-caused; end time, such as the Last Judgment, Second Coming or Ragnarök; or more imaginative, such as a zombie apocalypse, cybernetic revolt, technological singularity, dysgenics or alien invasion.

BBC

BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom, based at Broadcasting House in London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, employing over 22,000 staff in total, of whom approximately 19,000 are in public-sector broadcasting.

Nine Network

Nine Network

The Nine Network is an Australian commercial free-to-air television network. It is owned by parent company Nine Entertainment and is one of five main free-to-air television networks in Australia.

Barry Hines

Barry Hines

Melvin Barry Hines, FRSL was an English author, playwright and screenwriter. His novels and screenplays explore the political and economic struggles of working-class Northern England, particularly in his native West Riding/South Yorkshire.

Mick Jackson (director)

Mick Jackson (director)

Mick Jackson is an English film director and television producer best known for the 1984 BAFTA-winning TV film Threads.

Sheffield

Sheffield

Sheffield is a city in South Yorkshire, England, whose name derives from the River Sheaf which runs through it. The city serves as the administrative centre of the City of Sheffield. It is historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire and some of its southern suburbs were transferred from Derbyshire to the city council. It is the largest settlement in South Yorkshire.

Northern England

Northern England

Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North Country, or simply the North, is the northern area of England. It broadly corresponds to the former borders of Angle Northumbria, the Anglo-Scandinavian Kingdom of Jorvik, and the Celt Britonic Yr Hen Ogledd Kingdoms.

NATO

NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two North American. Established in the aftermath of World War II, the organization implemented the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington, D.C., on 4 April 1949. NATO is a collective security system: its independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties. During the Cold War, NATO operated as a check on the perceived threat posed by the Soviet Union. The alliance remained in place after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and has been involved in military operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. The organization's motto is animus in consulendo liber.

Pound sterling

Pound sterling

Sterling is the currency of the United Kingdom and nine of its associated territories. The pound is the main unit of sterling, and the word "pound" is also used to refer to the British currency generally, often qualified in international contexts as the British pound or the pound sterling.

Nuclear winter

Nuclear winter

Nuclear winter is a severe and prolonged global climatic cooling effect that is hypothesized to occur after widespread firestorms following a large-scale nuclear war. The hypothesis is based on the fact that such fires can inject soot into the stratosphere, where it can block some direct sunlight from reaching the surface of the Earth. It is speculated that the resulting cooling would lead to widespread crop failure and famine. When developing computer models of nuclear-winter scenarios, researchers use the conventional bombing of Hamburg, and the Hiroshima firestorm in World War II as example cases where soot might have been injected into the stratosphere, alongside modern observations of natural, large-area wildfire-firestorms.

American Broadcasting Company

American Broadcasting Company

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network. It is the flagship property of the ABC Entertainment Group division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California, on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. The network's secondary offices, and headquarters of its news division, are in New York City, at its broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

British Academy Film Awards

British Academy Film Awards

The British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTA Film Awards is an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to honour the best British and international contributions to film. The ceremonies were initially held at the flagship Odeon cinema in Leicester Square in London, before being held at the Royal Opera House from 2007 to 2016. From 2017 to 2022, the ceremony was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London before moving to the Royal Festival Hall for the 2023 ceremony. The statue awarded to recipients depicts a theatrical mask.

Plot

Soviet troop movements into Iran as shown in a newspaper clipping early in the film
Soviet troop movements into Iran as shown in a newspaper clipping early in the film

In the city of Sheffield, Ruth Beckett and Jimmy Kemp plan to marry after learning of Ruth's unplanned pregnancy. Radio broadcasts indicate that this is a time of escalating tensions in Iran, which has been invaded by the Soviet Union in response to a U.S.-backed coup. The United States mobilizes its own forces and occupies the southern part of the country, and the Soviet Union moves nuclear warheads into the Iranian city of Mashhad.

Tensions escalate, and U.S. bombers attack the Soviet base at Mashad, resulting in the use of battlefield nuclear weapons by both sides.

News of the breakout of hostilities between the U.S. and Soviet forces spurs Britain into panic buying and looting. The British Government enacts the Emergency Powers Act, and local authorities are granted powers to suspend peacetime function and confiscate property and material for civil defence purposes. Travel is restricted to essential services only. In Sheffield, officials move to underground offices beneath the town hall.

As the panic escalates, Attack Warning Red is transmitted. Minutes later, a single warhead detonates above the North Sea, which generates an electromagnetic pulse, causing major damage to communications across Britain and north-western Europe. A second wave of attacks target NATO military installations, including RAF Finningley, 17 miles from Sheffield. The detonation and mushroom cloud is seen from Sheffield, which plunges into chaos. A third and final attack targets primary economic targets such as the Tinsley Viaduct. This third attack causes massive structural damage to Sheffield; the blast and heat kill an estimated 12 to 30 million people in the U.K. in the wider exchange.

An hour following the attack, prevailing winds have sent fallout from a ground burst at Crewe over Sheffield. Communications between local authorities are shown to be established but limited due to disruption. Fires are left to burn uncontrollably, as the danger of fallout is too great. A month later, soldiers make their way into what remains of the Sheffield Town Hall, where the local authorities were headquartered - all are dead. Elsewhere, the dead begin to mount, neither buried nor cremated, and rats swarm, bringing disease.

Due to the vast amounts of atmospheric smoke caused by the worldwide detonations, the sun is blocked out and nuclear winter sends temperatures plummeting, adding to the suffering. In the following year, sunlight returns but with a higher ultraviolet index due to damage to the ozone layer, which in turn increases the likelihood of cataracts and cancer. Crop cultivation is poor due to the lack of fertilizers and equipment. A food merchant is shown selling dead rats. Capital punishment is authorized by the Government, whose attempts to maintain order are largely ignored. Since money serves no value, food takes place as the only form of currency that is awarded for labour and withheld as punishment. Several people, including Ruth, flee to the Buxton countryside, where she gives birth alone, chewing off the umbilical cord with her teeth.

Ten years later, what remains of Britain's surviving population has dropped to a medieval level of 4 to 11 million people. Survivors work in cultivating crops, and the generation born after the nuclear explosions suffer from radiation-induced birth defects and poor education.

Ruth dies in bed, prematurely aged and blinded by cataracts; Jane, her now nine-year-old mentally impaired daughter, reacts unemotionally to her mother's death. Industry begins to return with limited electricity and steam-powered technology, but the population continues to live in barbaric squalor.

Three years after Ruth's death, Jane and two boys are caught stealing food. One of the boys is killed, and Jane and the other boy engage in a struggle for the food that degenerates into rape.[4] Months later, she gives birth in a makeshift hospital. The nurse puts the baby into Jane's arms. Jane screams.

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Iran

Iran

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north, by Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to the south. It covers an area of 1.64 million square kilometres, making it the 17th-largest country. Iran has an estimated population of 86.8 million, making it the 17th-most populous country in the world, and the second-largest in the Middle East. Its largest cities, in descending order, are the capital Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj, Shiraz, and Tabriz.

Mashhad

Mashhad

Mashhad, also spelled Mashad, is the second-most-populous city in Iran, located in the relatively remote north-east of the country about 900 kilometres from Tehran. It serves as the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province and has a population of 3,001,184, which includes the areas of Mashhad Taman and Torqabeh.

Panic buying

Panic buying

Panic buying occurs when consumers buy unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of, or after, a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage.

Looting

Looting

Looting is the act of stealing, or the taking of goods by force, typically in the midst of a military, political, or other social crisis, such as war, natural disasters, or rioting. The proceeds of all these activities can be described as booty, loot, plunder, spoils, or pillage.

Emergency Powers Act 1964

Emergency Powers Act 1964

The Emergency Powers Act 1964 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and was passed to amend the Emergency Powers Act 1920 and make permanent the Defence Regulations 1939. Section 1 of this Act did not apply to Northern Ireland.

North Sea

North Sea

The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian Sea in the north. It is more than 970 kilometres (600 mi) long and 580 kilometres (360 mi) wide, covering 570,000 square kilometres (220,000 sq mi).

Electromagnetic pulse

Electromagnetic pulse

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), also a transient electromagnetic disturbance (TED), is a brief burst of electromagnetic energy. Depending upon the source, the origin of an EMP can be natural or artificial, and can occur as an electromagnetic field, as an electric field, as a magnetic field, or as a conducted electric current. The electromagnetic interference caused by an EMP disrupts communications and damages electronic equipment; at higher levels of energy, an EMP such as a lightning strike can physically damage objects such as buildings and aircraft. The management of EMP effects is a branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering.

RAF Finningley

RAF Finningley

Royal Air Force Finningley or RAF Finningley was a Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force station at Finningley, in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. The station straddled the historic county boundaries of both Nottinghamshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Mushroom cloud

Mushroom cloud

A mushroom cloud is a distinctive mushroom-shaped flammagenitus cloud of debris, smoke and usually condensed water vapor resulting from a large explosion. The effect is most commonly associated with a nuclear explosion, but any sufficiently energetic detonation or deflagration will produce the same effect. They can be caused by powerful conventional weapons, like thermobaric weapons, including the ATBIP and GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast. Some volcanic eruptions and impact events can produce natural mushroom clouds.

Crewe

Crewe

Crewe is a railway town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The Crewe built-up area had a total population of 75,556 in 2011, which also covers parts of the adjacent civil parishes of Willaston, Shavington cum Gresty and Wistaston.

Nuclear winter

Nuclear winter

Nuclear winter is a severe and prolonged global climatic cooling effect that is hypothesized to occur after widespread firestorms following a large-scale nuclear war. The hypothesis is based on the fact that such fires can inject soot into the stratosphere, where it can block some direct sunlight from reaching the surface of the Earth. It is speculated that the resulting cooling would lead to widespread crop failure and famine. When developing computer models of nuclear-winter scenarios, researchers use the conventional bombing of Hamburg, and the Hiroshima firestorm in World War II as example cases where soot might have been injected into the stratosphere, alongside modern observations of natural, large-area wildfire-firestorms.

Ozone layer

Ozone layer

The ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth's stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. It contains a high concentration of ozone (O3) in relation to other parts of the atmosphere, although still small in relation to other gases in the stratosphere. The ozone layer contains less than 10 parts per million of ozone, while the average ozone concentration in Earth's atmosphere as a whole is about 0.3 parts per million. The ozone layer is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere, from approximately 15 to 35 kilometers (9 to 22 mi) above Earth, although its thickness varies seasonally and geographically.

Cast

  • Paul Vaughan as the Narrator
  • Karen Meagher as Ruth Beckett
  • Reece Dinsdale as Jimmy Kemp
  • David Brierley as Mr Bill Kemp
  • Rita May as Mrs Rita Kemp
  • Nicholas Lane as Michael Kemp
  • Jane Hazlegrove as Alison Kemp
  • Phil Rose as Doctor Talbot
  • Henry Moxon as Mr Beckett
  • June Broughton as Mrs Beckett
  • Sylvia Stoker as Granny Beckett
  • Harry Beety as Clive J. Sutton (Controller)
  • Ruth Holden as Marjorie Sutton
  • Ashley Barker as Bob
  • Michael O'Hagan as Chief Superintendent Hirst
  • Phil Askham as Mr Stothard
  • Anna Seymour as Mrs Stothard
  • Fiona Rook as Carol Stothard
  • Steve Halliwell as Information Officer
  • Joe Holmes as Mr Langley
  • Victoria O'Keefe as Jane
  • Lesley Judd as TV newsreader
  • Maggie Ford as Peace Speaker
  • Lee Daley as Spike
  • Marcus Lund as Gaz
  • Ian Parkinson and Tony Grant as Radio Announcers
  • Ed Bishop as US President (uncredited)

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Paul Vaughan

Paul Vaughan

Paul William Vaughan was a British journalist, radio presenter throughout the 1970s and 1990s, semi-professional jazz and classical musician and a narrator of many BBC Television science documentaries, among them Horizon.

Karen Meagher

Karen Meagher

Karen Meagher, formerly Karen Lloyd, is an actress born in Rock Ferry, Birkenhead in Cheshire. Her family are originally from North Wales and what is now the Merseyside area.

Reece Dinsdale

Reece Dinsdale

Reece Dinsdale is an English actor and director of stage, film and television. He is a Huddersfield Town fan. In 2017 he became a patron of the Square Chapel, an arts centre in Halifax. He is also an honorary patron of The Old Courts multi-arts centre in Wigan

David Brierly

David Brierly

David Brierly, also known as David Brierley, was an English actor.

Rita May (actress)

Rita May (actress)

Rita May is an English actress. She is known for her roles as Mags in the ITV children's drama Children's Ward, Margaret in the Sky One sitcom Trollied, as well as Julie "Nana" Booth in the Channel 4 drama Ackley Bridge.

Jane Hazlegrove

Jane Hazlegrove

Sarah Jane Hazlegrove is an English actress, known for portraying the role of Kathleen "Dixie" Dixon in the BBC medical drama Casualty. She has also appeared as Rosie in Making Out, Rosemary Mason in Silent Witness, Yvonne Bradley in London's Burning, and roles in Jonathan Creek, The Bill, Doctors, Families, Lovejoy, Coronation Street, and Holby City.

Phil Rose

Phil Rose

Phil Rose is an English actor, best known for his role as Friar Tuck in the 1980s TV series Robin of Sherwood.

Steve Halliwell

Steve Halliwell

Stephen Harold Halliwell is an English actor, known for portraying the role of Zak Dingle in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, which he has played since 1994.

Victoria O'Keefe

Victoria O'Keefe

Victoria O'Keefe was an English actress.

Lesley Judd

Lesley Judd

Lesley Judd is an English former television presenter and dancer, best known as a long-serving host of the BBC children's programme Blue Peter (1972–1979).

Ed Bishop

Ed Bishop

George Victor Bishop, known professionally as Ed Bishop or sometimes Edward Bishop, was an American actor. He was known for playing Commander Ed Straker in UFO, Captain Blue in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and for voicing Philip Marlowe in a series of BBC Radio adaptations of the Marlowe novels by Raymond Chandler.

Production and themes

"Our intention in making Threads was to step aside from the politics and – I hope convincingly – show the actual effects on either side should our best endeavours to prevent nuclear war fail."

Screenwriter Barry Hines[5]

Threads was first commissioned (under the working title Beyond Armageddon) by the Director-General of the BBC Alasdair Milne, after he watched the 1965 drama-documentary The War Game, which had not been shown on the BBC when it was made, due to pressure from the Wilson government, although it had had a limited release in cinemas.[6] Mick Jackson was hired to direct the film, as he had previously worked in the area of nuclear apocalypse in 1982, producing the BBC Q.E.D. documentary A Guide to Armageddon.[7][8] This was considered a breakthrough at the time, considering the previous banning of The War Game, which BBC staff believed would have resulted in mass suicides if aired. Jackson subsequently travelled around the UK and the US, consulting leading scientists, psychologists, doctors, defence specialists and strategic experts in order to create the most realistic depiction of nuclear war possible for his next film.[9] Jackson consulted various sources in his research, including the 1983 Science article Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions, penned by Carl Sagan and James B. Pollack. Details of a possible attack scenario and the extent of the damage were derived from Doomsday, Britain after Nuclear Attack (1983), while the ineffective post-war plans of the UK government came from Duncan Campbell's 1982 exposé War Plan UK.[10] In portraying the psychological damage suffered by survivors, Jackson took inspiration from the behaviour of the Hibakusha[6] and Magnus Clarke's 1982 book Nuclear Destruction of Britain.[10] Sheffield was chosen as the main location partly because of its "nuclear-free zone" policy that made the council sympathetic to the local filming[5] and partly because it seemed likely that the USSR would strike an industrial city in the centre of the country.[11]

Jackson hired Barry Hines to write the script because of his political awareness. The relationship between the two was strained on several occasions, as Hines spent much of his time on set, and apparently disliked Jackson on account of his middle class upbringing.[9] They also disagreed about Paul Vaughan's narration, which Hines felt was detrimental to the drama.[12] As part of their research, the two spent a week at the Home Office training centre for "official survivors" in Easingwold which, according to Hines, showed just "how disorganised [post-war reconstruction] would be."[13]

Auditions were advertised in The Star,[14] and took place in the ballroom of Sheffield City Hall, where 1,100 candidates turned up.[13] Extras were chosen on the basis of height and age, and were all told to look "miserable" and to wear ragged clothes; the majority were CND supporters.[12] The makeup for extras playing third-degree-burn victims consisted of Rice Krispies and tomato ketchup.[14] The scenes taking place six weeks after the attack were shot at Curbar Edge in the Peak District National Park; because weather conditions were considered too fine to pass off as a nuclear winter, stage snow had to be spread around the rocks and heather, and cameramen installed light filters on their equipment to block out the sunlight.[13] Although Jackson initially considered casting actors from Granada Television's Coronation Street, he later decided to take a neorealist approach, and opted to cast relatively unknown actors in order to heighten the film's impact through the use of characters the audience could relate to.[9]

In order for the horror of Threads to work, Jackson made an effort to leave some things unseen: "to let images and emotion happen in people's minds, or rather in the extensions of their imaginations."[12] He later recalled that while BBC productions would usually be followed by phone calls of congratulations from friends or colleagues immediately after airing, no such calls came after the first screening of Threads. Jackson later "realised...that people had just sat there thinking about it, in many cases not sleeping or being able to talk." He stated that he had it on good authority that Ronald Reagan watched the film when it aired in the US.[9] Along with Hines, Jackson also received a letter of praise from Labour leader Neil Kinnock, stating "the dangers of complacency are much greater than any risks of knowledge."[12][15]

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Director-General of the BBC

Director-General of the BBC

The director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation is chief executive and editor-in-chief of the BBC.

Alasdair Milne

Alasdair Milne

Alasdair David Gordon Milne was a British television producer and executive. He had a long career at the BBC, where he was eventually promoted to Director-General, and was described by The Independent as "one of the most original and talented programme-makers to emerge during television's formative years".

Labour government, 1964–1970

Labour government, 1964–1970

Harold Wilson was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II on 16 October 1964 and formed the first Wilson ministry, a Labour government, which held office with a thin majority between 1964 and 1966. In an attempt to gain a workable majority in the House of Commons, Wilson called a new election for 31 March 1966, after which he formed the second Wilson ministry, a government which held office for four years until 1970.

Science (journal)

Science (journal)

Science, also widely referred to as Science Magazine, is the peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and one of the world's top academic journals. It was first published in 1880, is currently circulated weekly and has a subscriber base of around 130,000. Because institutional subscriptions and online access serve a larger audience, its estimated readership is over 400,000 people.

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan

Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, and science communicator. His best known scientific contribution is his research on the possibility of extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space, the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them. Sagan argued in favor of the hypothesis, accepted since, that the high surface temperatures of Venus are the result of the greenhouse effect.

James B. Pollack

James B. Pollack

James Barney Pollack was an American astrophysicist who worked for NASA's Ames Research Center.

Duncan Campbell (journalist)

Duncan Campbell (journalist)

Duncan Campbell is a British freelance investigative journalist, author, and television producer. Since 1975, he has specialised in the subjects of intelligence and security services, defence, policing, civil liberties and, latterly, computer forensics. He was a staff writer at the New Statesman from 1978 to 1991 and associate editor (Investigations) from 1988 to 1991. He was prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act in the ABC trial in 1978 and made the controversial series Secret Society for the BBC in 1987. In 1988, he revealed the existence of the ECHELON surveillance program.

Hibakusha

Hibakusha

Hibakusha is a word of Japanese origin generally designating the people affected by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

Paul Vaughan

Paul Vaughan

Paul William Vaughan was a British journalist, radio presenter throughout the 1970s and 1990s, semi-professional jazz and classical musician and a narrator of many BBC Television science documentaries, among them Horizon.

Easingwold

Easingwold

Easingwold is a market town, electoral ward and civil parish in the Hambleton District in North Yorkshire, England. Historically, part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, it had a population of 4,233 at the 2001 census, increasing to 4,627 at the 2011 Census. It is located about 12 miles (19 km) north of York, at the foot of the Howardian Hills.

Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies is a breakfast cereal, marketed by Kellogg's in 1927 and released to the public in 1928. Rice Krispies are made of crisped rice, and expand forming very thin and hollowed out walls that are crunchy and crisp. When milk is added to the cereal the walls tend to collapse, creating the "snap, crackle and pop" sounds.

Peak District

Peak District

The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. Mostly in Derbyshire, it extends into Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. It includes the Dark Peak, where moorland is found and the geology is dominated by gritstone, and the White Peak, a limestone area with valleys and gorges. The Dark Peak forms an arc on the north, east and west sides; the White Peak covers central and southern tracts. The historic Peak District extends beyond the National Park, which excludes major towns, quarries and industrial areas. It became the first of the national parks of England and Wales in 1951. Nearby Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Sheffield send millions of visitors – some 20 million live within an hour's ride. Inhabited from the Mesolithic era, it shows evidence of the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. Settled by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons, it remained largely agricultural; mining arose in the Middle Ages. Richard Arkwright built cotton mills in the Industrial Revolution. As mining declined, quarrying grew. Tourism came with the railways, spurred by the landscape, spa towns and Castleton's show caves.

Broadcast and release history

Threads was a co-production of the BBC, Nine Network and Western-World Television, Inc. It was first broadcast on BBC Two on 23 September 1984 at 9:30 pm, and achieved the highest ratings on the channel (6.9 million) of the week.[5] It was repeated on BBC One on 1 August 1985 as part of a week of programmes marking the fortieth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which also saw the first television screening of The War Game (which had been deemed too disturbing for television in the 20 years since it had been made). Threads was not shown again on British screens until the digital channel BBC Four broadcast it in October 2003.[16] It was also shown on UKTV Documentary in September 2004 and was repeated in April 2005.[17]

Threads was broadcast in the United States on cable network Superstation TBS on 13 January 1985,[18] with Ted Turner presenting the introduction.[19] This was followed by a panel discussion on nuclear war. It was also shown in syndication to local commercial stations and, later, on many PBS stations. In Canada, Threads was broadcast on Citytv in Toronto, CKVU in Vancouver[20] and CKND in Winnipeg,[21] while in Australia it was shown on the Nine Network on 19 June 1985.[22] Unusually for a commercial network, it broadcast the film without commercial breaks;[23] many commercial outlets in the United States and Canada that broadcast the film also did so without commercial interruption, or interrupting only for disclaimers or promos.

In January 2018, journalist Julie McDowall led a distributed viewing of the film, encouraging the audience to share their reactions on Twitter under the hashtag #threaddread, as part of a campaign to ask the BBC to show the movie for the first time since 2003.[12] As of August 2022, the film is available to watch on Britbox, having previously been pulled due to the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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BBC

BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom, based at Broadcasting House in London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, employing over 22,000 staff in total, of whom approximately 19,000 are in public-sector broadcasting.

Nine Network

Nine Network

The Nine Network is an Australian commercial free-to-air television network. It is owned by parent company Nine Entertainment and is one of five main free-to-air television networks in Australia.

BBC Two

BBC Two

BBC Two is a British free-to-air public broadcast television channel owned and operated by the BBC. It covers a wide range of subject matter, with a remit "to broadcast programmes of depth and substance" in contrast to the more mainstream and popular BBC One.

BBC One

BBC One

BBC One is a British free-to-air public broadcast television channel owned and operated by the BBC. It is the corporation's flagship channel and is known for broadcasting mainstream programming, which includes BBC News television bulletins, primetime drama and entertainment, and live BBC Sport events.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the detonation of two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 by the United States. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict.

The War Game

The War Game

The War Game is a 1966 British pseudo-documentary film that depicts a nuclear war and its aftermath. Written, directed and produced by Peter Watkins for the BBC, it caused dismay within the BBC and also within government, and was subsequently withdrawn before the provisional screening date of 6 October 1965. The corporation said that "the effect of the film has been judged by the BBC to be too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting. It will, however, be shown to invited audiences..."

BBC Four

BBC Four

BBC Four is a British free-to-air public broadcast television channel owned and operated by the BBC. It was launched on 2 March 2002 and shows a wide variety of programmes including arts, documentaries, music, international film and drama, and current affairs. It is required by its licence to air at least 100 hours of new arts and music programmes, 110 hours of new factual programmes, and to premiere twenty foreign films each year. The channel broadcasts daily from 7:00 pm to 4:00 am, timesharing with CBeebies.

Ted Turner

Ted Turner

Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III is an American entrepreneur, television producer, media proprietor, and philanthropist. He founded the Cable News Network (CNN), the first 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television, which later became TBS.

CITY-DT

CITY-DT

CITY-DT is a television station in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, serving as the flagship station of the Citytv network. It is owned and operated by network parent Rogers Sports & Media alongside Omni Television outlets CFMT-DT and CJMT-DT. The stations share studios at 33 Dundas Street East on Yonge–Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, while CITY-DT's transmitter is located atop the CN Tower.

CKVU-DT

CKVU-DT

CKVU-DT is a television station in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, serving as the West Coast flagship of the Citytv network. It is owned and operated by network parent Rogers Sports & Media alongside Omni Television station CHNM-DT. Both stations share studios at the corner of West 2nd Avenue and Columbia Street in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of Vancouver, while CKVU-DT's transmitter is located atop Mount Seymour in the district municipality of North Vancouver, with additional transmitter link facilities on the roof of the Century Plaza Hotel in Downtown Vancouver.

CKND-DT

CKND-DT

CKND-DT is a television station in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, part of the Global Television Network. The station is owned and operated by network parent Corus Entertainment, with studios on the 30th floor of 201 Portage in downtown Winnipeg, and transmitter atop the building.

Hashtag

Hashtag

A hashtag is a metadata tag that is prefaced by the hash sign, #. On social media, hashtags are used on microblogging and photo-sharing services such as Twitter or Tumblr as a form of user-generated tagging that enables cross-referencing of content by topic or theme. For example, a search within Facebook or Instagram for the hashtag #bluesky returns all posts that have been tagged with that term. After the initial hash symbol, a hashtag may include letters, numerals, or underscores.

Reaction and legacy

Threads was not widely reviewed, but the critics who reviewed it at the time of release gave generally positive reviews.[24] John J. O'Connor of The New York Times wrote that the film "is not a balanced discussion about the pros and cons of nuclear armaments. It is a candidly biased warning. And it is, as calculated, unsettlingly powerful."[25] Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail wrote that "[t]he British crew here, headed by writer Barry Hines and producer/director Mick Jackson, accomplish what would seem to be an impossible task: depicting the carnage without distancing the viewer, without once letting him retreat behind the safe wall of fictitious play. Formidable and foreboding, Threads leaves nothing to our imagination, and Nothingness to our conscience."[26] In his movie guide, Leonard Maltin gave the film a rating of three stars (out of a possible four). He called Threads "Britain's answer to The Day After" and wrote that the film was "unrelentingly graphic and grim, sobering, and shattering, as it should be."[27]

Threads works on the viewer with a peculiar power: one finds oneself horrified, fascinated, numbed, provoked, unsettled, made restless. Its power may be the effect of its oscillation between form and content being so heavily weighted toward the pole of content—in this case, that threat of nuclear destruction which cannot help but feel 'real'--so that we are unable to relax into Threads as 'just' a movie.

Professor Andrew Bartlett of UCLA. Nuclear Warfare in the Movies, 2004[28]

On Metacritic, the film has a score of 92 based on 5 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim",[29] whilst it has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100% based on 10 reviews (with an average score of 8.90/10). The critical consensus reads: "An urgent warning against nuclear conflict, Threads is a chilling hypothetical that achieves visceral horror with its matter-of-fact presentation of an apocalypse."[24]

Threads is regarded as one of the most terrifying films ever made.[30][31][32] Thirty years after the film's release, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called it a "masterpiece", writing: "It wasn't until I saw Threads that I found that something on screen could make me break out in a cold, shivering sweat and keep me in that condition for 20 minutes, followed by weeks of depression and anxiety."[33] Sam Toy of Empire gave the film a perfect score, writing that "this British work of (technically) science fiction teaches an unforgettable lesson in true horror" and went on to praise its ability "to create an almost impossible illusion on clearly paltry funds."[34] Jonathan Hatfull of SciFiNow gave a perfect score to the remastered DVD of the film. "No one ever forgets the experience of watching Threads. [...It] is arguably the most devastating piece of television ever produced. It's perfectly crafted, totally human and so completely harrowing you'll think that you'll probably never want to watch it again." He praised the pacing and Hines' "impeccable" screenplay and described its portrayal of the "immediate effects" of the bombing as "jaw-dropping [...] watching the survivors in the days and weeks to come is heart-breaking."[35] Both Little White Lies and The A.V. Club have emphasized the film's contemporary relevance, especially in light of political events such as Brexit.[36][37] According to the former, the film paints a "nightmarish picture of a Britain woefully unprepared for what is coming, and reduced, when it does come, to isolation, collapse and medieval regression, with a failed health service, very little food being harvested, mass homelessness, and the pound and the penny losing all value."[36]

Discover more about Reaction and legacy related topics

Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide

Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide

Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide was a book-format collection of movie capsule reviews that began in 1969, was updated biannually after 1978, and then annually after 1986. The final edition was published in September 2014. It was originally called TV Movies, which became Leonard Maltin's TV Movies and Video Guide, and then Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide, before arriving at its final title. Film critic Leonard Maltin edited it and contributed a large portion of its reviews.

Leonard Maltin

Leonard Maltin

Leonard Michael Maltin is an American film critic and film historian, as well as an author of several mainstream books on cinema, focusing on nostalgic, celebratory narratives. He is perhaps best known for his book of film capsule reviews, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, published annually from 1969 to 2014.

The Day After

The Day After

The Day After is an American television film that first aired on November 20, 1983 on the ABC television network. More than 100 million people, in nearly 39 million households, watched the film during its initial broadcast. With a 46 rating and a 62% share of the viewing audience during the initial broadcast, the film was the seventh-highest-rated non-sports show until then, and it set a record as the highest-rated television film in history, which it held as of 2009.

Metacritic

Metacritic

Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, television shows, music albums, video games, and formerly books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999, and is owned by Fandom, Inc. as of 2023.

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. Although the name "Rotten Tomatoes" connects to the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes in disapproval of a poor stage performance, the original inspiration comes from a scene featuring tomatoes in the Canadian film Léolo (1992).

List of films with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

List of films with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, a film has a rating of 100% if each professional review recorded by the website is assessed as positive rather than negative. The percentage is based on the film's reviews aggregated by the website and assessed as positive or negative, and when all aggregated reviews are positive, the film has a 100% rating. Listed below are films with 100% ratings that have a critics' consensus or have been reviewed by at least twenty film critics. Many of these films, particularly those with a high number of positive reviews, have achieved wide critical acclaim and are often considered among the best films ever made. A number of these films also appear on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies lists, but there are many others and several entries with dozens of positive reviews, which are considered surprising to some experts. To date, Leave No Trace holds the site's record, with a rating of 100% and 251 positive reviews.

Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw is a British writer and film critic. He has been chief film critic at The Guardian since 1999, and is a contributing editor at Esquire.

Science fiction

Science fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction can trace its roots to ancient mythology. It is related to fantasy, horror, and superhero fiction and contains many subgenres. Its exact definition has long been disputed among authors, critics, scholars, and readers.

SciFiNow

SciFiNow

SciFiNow was a British magazine published every four weeks by Kelsey Media in the United Kingdom, covering the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. It launched in April 2007, with the print publication ceasing in May 2020.

Little White Lies (magazine)

Little White Lies (magazine)

Little White Lies is a British, internationally distributed, movie magazine and website. It is published by London-based media company TCOLondon, who also publish the DIY culture magazine Huck.

The A.V. Club

The A.V. Club

The A.V. Club is an American online newspaper and entertainment website featuring reviews, interviews, and other articles that examine films, music, television, books, games, and other elements of pop-culture media. The A.V. Club was created in 1993 as a supplement to its satirical parent publication, The Onion. While it was a part of The Onion's 1996 website launch, The A.V. Club had minimal presence on the website at that point.

Brexit

Brexit

Brexit was the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) at 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020. The UK is the only sovereign country to have left the EU or the EC. The UK had been a member state of the EU or its predecessor the European Communities (EC), sometimes of both at the same time, since 1 January 1973. Following Brexit, EU law and the Court of Justice of the European Union no longer have primacy over British laws, except in select areas in relation to Northern Ireland. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 retains relevant EU law as domestic law, which the UK can now amend or repeal. Under the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, Northern Ireland continues to participate in the European Single Market in relation to goods, and to be a de facto member of the EU Customs Union.

Awards and nominations

The film was nominated for seven BAFTA awards in 1985. It won for Best Single Drama, Best Design, Best Film Cameraman and Best Film Editor. Its other nominations were for Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up, and Best Film Sound.[38]

Home media

Threads was originally released by BBC Video (on VHS and, for a very short period, Betamax) in 1987 in the United Kingdom. The film was re-released on both VHS and DVD in 2000 on the Revelation label, followed by a new DVD edition in 2005. Due to licensing difficulties the 1987 release replaced Chuck Berry's recording of his song "Johnny B. Goode" with an alternative recording of the song. In all these cases, the original music over the opening narration was removed, again due to licensing problems; this was an extract from the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss, performed by the Dresden State Opera Orchestra, conducted by Rudolf Kempe (HMV ASD 3173).

On 13 February 2018, Threads was released by Severin Films on Blu-ray in the United States. The programme was scanned in 2K from a broadcast print for this release, including extras such as an audio commentary with director Mick Jackson and interviews with actress Karen Meagher, Director Of Photography Andrew Dunn, Production Designer Christopher Robilliard and film writer Stephen Thrower.[39][40] This is also the first home video release in which the extract from the Alpine Symphony remains intact.

On 9 April 2018, Simply Media released a Special Edition DVD in the UK, featuring a different 2K scan, restored and remastered from the original BBC 16mm CRI prints, which Severin did not have access to. This also featured all the original music, for the first time on home video in the UK. Whereas the previous releases had no extra features, the Special Edition included commentaries and associated documentaries.

Discover more about Home media related topics

VHS

VHS

VHS is a standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes.

Betamax

Betamax

Betamax is a consumer-level analog recording and cassette format of magnetic tape for video, commonly known as a video cassette recorder. It was developed by Sony and was released in Japan on May 10, 1975, followed by the US in November of the same year.

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll. Nicknamed the "Father of Rock and Roll", he refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive with songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958). Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Johnny B. Goode

Johnny B. Goode

"Johnny B. Goode" is a 1958 rock song written and first recorded by Chuck Berry. Released as a single, it peaked at number two on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B Sides chart and number eight on its pre-Hot 100 chart.

Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss

Richard Georg Strauss was a German composer, conductor, pianist, and violinist. Considered a leading composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras, he has been described as a successor of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt. Along with Gustav Mahler, he represents the late flowering of German Romanticism, in which pioneering subtleties of orchestration are combined with an advanced harmonic style.

Rudolf Kempe

Rudolf Kempe

Rudolf Kempe was a German conductor.

Severin Films

Severin Films

Severin Films is an American film production and distribution company known for restoring and releasing cult films on DVD and Blu-ray.

Blu-ray

Blu-ray

The Blu-ray Disc (BD), often known simply as Blu-ray, is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 2005 and released on June 20, 2006 worldwide. It is designed to supersede the DVD format, and capable of storing several hours of high-definition video. The main application of Blu-ray is as a medium for video material such as feature films and for the physical distribution of video games for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The name "Blu-ray" refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs.

Stephen Thrower

Stephen Thrower

Stephen Thrower is an English musician and author.

Source: "Threads (1984 film)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threads_(1984_film).

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See also
References
  1. ^ Audio Commentary: Mick Jackson. Threads. Dir. Mick Jackson. 1984. Blu-ray. Severin Films, 2018.
  2. ^ THREADS (Mick Jackson, 1984) on Vimeo
  3. ^ "Film and the Nuclear Age: Representing Cultural Anxiety" By Toni A. Perrine, p. 237 on Google books.
  4. ^ Mangan, Michael, ed. (1990). Threads and Other Sheffield Plays. Critical Stages. Vol. 3. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-850-75140-3. ISSN 0953-0533.
  5. ^ a b c Kibble-White, Jack (September 2001). "Let's All Hide in the Linen Cupboard". Off The Telly.
  6. ^ a b Binnion, Paul (May 2003). "Threads" (PDF). Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies. University of Nottingham. ISSN 1465-9166.
  7. ^ Q.E.D.: A Guide to Armageddon (TV Episode 1982) at IMDb
  8. ^ QED: A Guide to Armageddon. Nuclear war facts from the 1980s on YouTube
  9. ^ a b c d "End of the world revisited: BBC's Threads is 25 years old". The Scotsman. 5 September 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  10. ^ a b Hall, Kevin (21 January 2013). "Threads – Select References and Bibliography". Fallout Warning. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  11. ^ Mike Jackson's commentary on 2018 Special Edition
  12. ^ a b c d e Rogers, Jude (17 March 2018). "Here come the bombs: the making of Threads, the nuclear war film that shocked a generation". www.newstatesman.com. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  13. ^ a b c Bean, Patrick (3 January 2002). "Threads by Barry Hines". Archived from the original on 29 May 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Nuclear fallout in Sheffield". BBC South Yorkshire. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  15. ^ Whitelaw, Paul (21 November 2013). "Threads – box set review". The Guardian.
  16. ^ Bunn, Mike (23 June 2010). "Threads – BBC Film Review". Suite 101.
  17. ^ "Sheffield film 'Threads' - Megathread. | Sheffield Fourm". www.sheffieldforum.co.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  18. ^ Clark, Kenneth R. (11 January 1985). "'Threads': Nightmare After the Holocaust". Chicago Tribune.
  19. ^ WTBS introduction Threads 1985
  20. ^ Threads on CKVU 1984
  21. ^ CKND - Introduction to Threads (1985)
  22. ^ Carlton, Mike (26 June 1985). "Clive has a certain appeal, despite the colonial cringe". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  23. ^ Hutchinson, Garrie (27 June 1985). "Threads: A Devastating Piece Of TV". The Age.
  24. ^ a b Threads at Rotten Tomatoes
  25. ^ The New York Times 12 February 1985, p.42
  26. ^ The Globe and Mail 2 March 1985
  27. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2006). Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide. USA: Signet. pp. 1348. ISBN 0-451-21916-3.
  28. ^ Bartlett, Andrew (2004). "Nuclear Warfare in the Movies". Anthropoetics. UCLA. 10 (1). ISSN 1083-7264. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  29. ^ Threads, retrieved 28 April 2019
  30. ^ "Threads: revisiting one of the most terrifying films ever made". Film Stories. 13 July 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  31. ^ "The Director of the Scariest Movie We've Ever Seen Still Fears Nuclear War the Most". www.vice.com. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  32. ^ Davies, Ross. "Was Threads the scariest TV show ever made?". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  33. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (20 October 2014). "Threads: the film that frightened me most". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  34. ^ Toy, Sam (1 January 2000). "Threads". Empire. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Threads remastered DVD review: this is the way the world ends". SciFiNow. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Discover the post-apocalyptic nightmare of this landmark social drama".
  37. ^ "Threads served up a bleakly British depiction of our impending nuclear doom". The A.V. Club. 10 October 2017.
  38. ^ "Awards database". BAFTA. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  39. ^ "Threads Review (Severin Films Blu-ray)". Cultsploitation. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  40. ^ Michele "Izzy" Galgana (29 January 2018). "Blu-ray Review: THREADS Still Destroys". ScreenAnarchy. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
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