thu 18/07/2024

The End of the World? A Horizon Guide to Armageddon, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

The End of the World? A Horizon Guide to Armageddon, BBC Four

The End of the World? A Horizon Guide to Armageddon, BBC Four

The science programme’s archives suggest our future is scarily precarious

Don’t worry, we’ll only be pushed to the brink of extinction, suggests cheery voyeur of destruction, Dallas Campbell

“Some say it will end in fire, others say there will be a flood…” So began Horizon’s sobering look at past Armageddon-themed episodes. But why not both? As I was writing this review from a preview DVD, ahead of its original scheduled broadcast on 17 March, news came through that the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan had been upgraded to a level-six crisis, on a scale of seven. Two thoughts simultaneously occurred to me: firstly, that doing the review was tempting fate. And secondly, that such superstitious, solipsistic thinking was symptomatic of the human race’s primitive ongoing preoccupation with its own destruction.

“Some say it will end in fire, others say there will be a flood…” So began Horizon’s sobering look at past Armageddon-themed episodes. But why not both? As I was writing this review from a preview DVD, ahead of its original scheduled broadcast on 17 March, news came through that the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan had been upgraded to a level-six crisis, on a scale of seven. Two thoughts simultaneously occurred to me: firstly, that doing the review was tempting fate. And secondly, that such superstitious, solipsistic thinking was symptomatic of the human race’s primitive ongoing preoccupation with its own destruction.

‘In one scenario worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, a 2003 programme focused on a giant asteroid with our name on it’

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