1 9 5 9 (UK)
1 x 90 minute episode
This gloomy (but highly acclaimed) view of the future was produced by BBC television as a stand-alone 90-minute drama starring the film actress Ann Todd.
The televised play was written by Marganhita Laski and was set in the near future when a largely uninhabitable Britain (tainted by radioactivity) maintained a small area of population, itself interpreted as a threat to prevailing international stability by competing world powers.
The play begins with a mother (Ann Todd), son (Tim Seely) and daughter (Diane Clare) who have survived a period of nuclear warfare and built up some kind of life on their farm, which has escaped contamination.
It reaches a dramatic point with the entrance of the Americans, and then tails off somewhat with rather too much talk but is revitalised with a second and much more tragic crisis.
It appears that this area, like others in the country, is to be finally destroyed by American nuclear weapons and the survivors removed, sterilised and put to work for the war effort in American labour camps.
The daughter escapes to join another colony of survivors, the son is shot, and the mother remains to meet her death singing a tune from Beethoven’s Choral Symphony.
Given recent events in the nuclear power industry at the time of broadcast – not to mention the abundant sabre-rattling in the world – the play was almost prophetic.