Threads: A Few Personal Thoughts

Several weeks back I finally got around to watching the DVD release of the BBC nuclear holocaust drama Threads. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the production.

Over the years I’ve heard and read much about this one-off drama but had never seen it until recently. I don’t recall this ever being broadcast in Canada (but I do recall watching the original TV broadcast of the similar American production The Day After back in the early 80s). I don’t know if I had any preconceived notions regarding Threads and while I’m aware that the drama is highly regarded by many, I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed with production. Unfortunately I found the overall production to be rather dated and poorly made. It seemed to be all over the place – maybe this was intentional, I don’t know. I just know I didn’t like it.

I fully realize that the subject matter is extremely depressing and the show is not something you’d sit down to watch with the same frame of mind as if you were watching an episode of Doomwatch or Adam Adamant (Lives) – this is a serious examination of the affects and aftermath of a nuclear attack – that alone is depressing material for any television drama – I just couldn’t endure the story.

I never made it through the whole two-hour production. I ended up turning off the DVD at the point where they find the town hall emergency staff all dead from suffocation. I found the story slow, and somewhat tedious, but I also found it disjointed. I also found it to be horrific, indecent, sickening and disgusting – though I’m sure this was because the producers of the story intended viewers to feel this way.

While I wasn’t able to sit through the entire story, this isn’t something I’d want to go back and watch again, or go back and pick up from where I left off. It’s just not something I want to watch again. And while I say this, this doesn’t mean that there is any thing wrong with Threads. Perhaps for me, the producers achieved what they set out to achieve by making such a production. I know it’s not a show one can say they enjoyed or appreciated, but I do know it unsettled me. Maybe that’s the whole point of Threads.