In this adaptation of Raymond Briggs’s chilling cartoon book, elderly British couple Jim and Hilda Bloggs build a shelter and prepare for an impending nuclear attack – with the help of government-issued ‘Protect and Survive’ pamphlets – unaware that times and the nature of war have changed from their romantic memories of World War II.
When the missiles strike, the couple survive but find that they are the last remnants of civilisation. They maintain their everyday routine in the face of despair but are eventually worn down by isolation and radiation sickness.
The stark reality of a nuclear winter is powerfully brought home in the superbly told story, while the disarmingly charming voiceovers of John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft, recalling more innocent conflicts, add poignancy to the proceedings.
Although the geopolitical map of the world is different now, this is a heartbreaking vignette of what the risks were during the Cold War and a reminder that, although the Cold War may be over, the weapons are still here.
“There’s the three-minute warning!”
“I’ll get the washing in.”
Jimmy T Murakami