RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Archive

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-21-2010, 11:25 PM
kato13's Avatar
kato13 kato13 is online now
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chicago, Il USA
Posts: 3,664
Send a message via ICQ to kato13
Default Threads and The Day After

TiggerCCW UK 09-02-2005, 05:41 AM I watched The Day After yesterday, and now find myself comparing it to its British equivalent Threads. I don't know how many of you have seen these films, but here are a few links for threads




And a couple for The Day After




I'm not sure of the relevance of these films to our game worlds as they seem to show a much more devastated world than that which we like to imagine, for our own peace of mind. As far as the films themselves go, The Day After Tomorrow made me feel sad, and relieved that we are slightly furthur from the possibility of an all out nuclear exchange than we were, where as Threads gave me nightmares - and please bear in mind that I was 26 when I saw it first and I'm not usually troubled by books or films. Threads presents a much grimmer vision than Day After, but I think that both are valuable reminders of what could have happend to us, and indeed still could.


thefusilier 09-02-2005, 11:39 AM I saw both and can say I was almost sick after watching Threads. I take some minor ideas from both of them for my games but never incorporate such a massive nuke exchange as protrayed.


pmulcahy 09-02-2005, 07:54 PM The Day After (to me anyway) was basically another unexceptional TV movie.

Threads, on the other hand...it was horrifying, sickening, gruesome -- and much more realistic than The Day After. It's been about ten years since I saw Threads, and every time I hear about it, the first thing that pops into my head is that horrible image of a baby burning to death (more like melting to death) in the ruins of its house...

And if a nuclear war ever does happen, I'm killing myself, my mother, and my dogs so we don't have to live in the aftermath. I'm not a suicidal person, just a practical one.


Rainbow Six 09-03-2005, 05:17 PM Tigger, just an FYI, if you have satellite or digital TV, Threads has been shown a few times within the last 12 months or so on BBC3.


TiggerCCW UK 09-04-2005, 03:57 AM Thanks Rainbow6. I managed to get it on DVD a while back, but I've only ever watched it once - too disturbing.


Webstral 09-26-2005, 10:31 AM Threads and The Day After are fine examples of the differences between American and British film making. The Day After was pretty well-produced but managed to avoid the worst. Threads, though not as generously endowed a film, took an unapologetically honest look at an East-West nuclear exchange. I feel Threads is remarkably similar.

I would like to think that I am creating something partway between The Day After and Threads as I work on "Thunder Empire". I want hope, of which there is little in Threads. I also want realism and grimness, of which Threads has plenty. In my mind, Twilight: 2000 is more Threads-like in its tone, if not in the level of suffering, hopelessness, and destruction.



ReHerakhte 09-27-2005, 04:16 AM Something else about 'Threads' and why it depicts the aftermath of a nuclear war so harshly is because it was pretty much backed by the anti-nuclear weapon movement in the UK. The anti-nuke crowd wanted the worst possible depiction of the aftermath because they wanted to make everyone very afraid of a war going nuclear. The 'nuclear winter' theory was the only theory on the after effects so it got displayed with grim & gritty intensity although nowdays with better understanding of aspects of vulcanology & global temperature, it is considered that a nuclear war would have produced a 'nuclear autumn' rather than a 'winter'.

For an example of this check out the Tambora eruption of 1815, it spewed out something like 150 cubic kilometres of ash and caused global temperatures to drop so much so that winter snow in Europe hardly melted and crop failures caused widespread famine - but the 'winter' only lasted a year with after effects reducing in a short period of time. As an aside, the conditions in Europe in 1816 were considered so bad that food thieves were typically punished by death and it was named "The Year Without Summer". Bleak, dismal, with famine on the doorstep and in her own words "...it proved a wet, ungenial summer, and incessant rain often confined us for days to the house.", is it any wonder Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein that same year...

I vaguely recall that the producers didn't make 'Threads' as horrific as the anti-nuke crowd wanted although that may have simply been rumour from the time the movie was made. Or they may have been a little sensitive to the harsh portrayal particularly as an earlier attempt at a nuke war docu-drama was commisioned by the BBC and then not shown as it was deemed too frightening ('The War Game', 1965 - apparently it was even banned from being shown!).

Incidentally, I seem to recall that here in Australia, 'Threads' was billed as an important piece of education about the after effects of nuclear war that all the family should watch and I think I saw it on television (I don't recall it actually going to the cinemas, I think it went straight to TV to hit a wider audience).

But enough dribbling from me!



P.S. If anyone wants some links to the Tambora eruption, try the following: -




All of the above are short descriptions, for a more wordy write-up: -



thefusilier 09-27-2005, 07:23 AM I saw "War Game", and where it wasn't anywhere near as difficult to watch as threads I can't believe it was banned from seeing.

I know about the Tambora eruption of 1815 and some other big ones, and the nuc winter debate, but how much dust was estimated being put up in the sky from a major nuclear exchange, anyone know?


Grimace 09-30-2005, 09:10 PM How much dust...well, that's a toughie. Doing some research, I found some comparison models that measured volcanic eruptions, assumed meteor impacts, and the estimated total nuclear exchange.

The largest volcanic eruption, Tambora, was put at 10 to the 16th power in grams of material thrown into the air. It had an effect of lowering temperatures by 10 degrees celcius in a large area (Europe and surrounding areas) for a period of about 12 months.

The assumed meteor impact that brought the end of the dinosaurs (a rock about 10km across)was estimated to be at 10 to the 19th power in grams of material thrown into the air. Due to the impact speed and energy released, it had the potential to throw the material over a majority of the world.

A substantially smaller rock, measuring only 2 km across, was assumed to have hit during the time of the dinosaurs, as the effects have been seen in fossil evidence, and released a total of 10 to the 17th power in grams of material. This amount, while causing an effect on the life at the time, did not wipe out any species and was not responsible for any sort of lasting "winter" effect.

However, a total nuclear exchange, estimated at 6500 Mt of yield, is 10 to the 4th power SMALLER than the smaller of the meteor impacts (the 2 km rock). The total amount of material estimated in such an exchange is somewhere around 10 to the 13th power in grams.

Using the above relations, the nuclear exchange is substantially smaller than the largest volcanic eruption in material thrown into the air. Contrary to a volcano, though, a nuclear exchange would affect a much larger area. By the same comparison, though, a 2km meteor impact, releasing even more material than the largest volcanic eruption, only had "some" effect on life, and did not result in any sort of extinction event. A person could then suppose that a total nuclear exchange, while causing a lot of dust and probably cooling the world by a degree or two, would only affect the world for a relatively short time (probably a year at most) and would likely not have any serious effect on plant or animal life.

Where a nuclear exchange rivals the others is the amount of energy released and the fact that radioactivity will pollute the debris thrown into the air. These two effects, not addressed in the document I read, would have a much more serious effect on life compared to a volcanic eruption or meteor impact.

For reference, I found this information on the National Academies Press, the book "The Effects on the Atmosphere of a Major Nuclear Exchange" printed 1985.

Hope this helps.


thefusilier 09-30-2005, 11:52 PM Thanks alot for the info, I always thought a nuclear winter was more probable... at least for a short while. Now I actually have something researched


Ben Webster 10-03-2005, 01:07 AM I first watched this back in school on the eighties. And found a copy on video a few years back in one of those discount video stores.

What I remember the most from Threads is the Traffic Warden with a gun guarding people in a tennis court and the group of soldiers marching through the rubble shooting looters (think one was playing some music).

These aspects interest me the most. The fall of civilised society, rather than the general death of everybody from radiation and sickness.



Last edited by kato13; 02-06-2010 at 06:59 AM.
Reply With Quote

movies, post apoc

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.