Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 16th, 2018
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1984
Director: Mick Jackson
Writer: Barry Hines
Cast: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly, Rita May, Nicholas Lane, Jane Hazlegrove, Henry Moxon, June Broughton, Sylvia Stoker, Harry Beety, Ruth Holden, Ashley Barker, Michael O’Hagan
BluRay Release Date: February 13th, 2018
Approximate running times: 117 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Encoding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
“In September 1984, it was aired on the BBC and shocked tens of millions of UK viewers. Four months later, it was broadcast in America and became the most watched basic cable program in history. After more than three decades, it remains one of the most acclaimed and shattering made-for-television movies of all time.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
Though there have been numerous films, that have explored the effects of nuclear fallout. All of these films pale in comparison to Threads, a film that gives what is arguably the most accurate account of what would happen due to nuclear fallout.
From a production standpoint, this film achieves all of its goals. And nowhere is more evident, then in regards to this film’s use of background research about nuclear fallout. Another strength of this film is how it employs a documentary-style to tell the events that unfold.
Not to be overlooked are the outstanding performances from the cast. Most notably, Karen Meagher in the role of young woman named Ruth Beckett, who discovers that she is pregnant with child, only a few days before the nuclear bomb drops. And though there are few characters that are featured throughout this film. It is ultimately the character of Ruth that serves as this film’s protagonist.
In the aftermath of nuclear weapons being used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in 1945. There has been a constant fear of these type of weapons ever being used again. And though there have been a few moments since 1945, where things appeared to be reaching a boiling point. Most notably, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. In more recent times, things have begun to heat up once again, since rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea, have become nuclear powers. And because of these recent events, a film like Threads, remains an utterly potent cautionary tale about nuclear weapons.
Threads comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The transfer for this release comes a brand new 2k scan. And throughout this made for TV film, there was a wide variety of sources used. The scenes shot for this film look better, then any stock footage that appears in this film. Print related damaged is never intrusive and though, grain remains intact, there are some scenes where it looks thicker. When compared to previous home video for this film, this new transfer is an improvement in every way.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio is in very good shape, dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise, this audio mix sounds most expansive during the moments where destruction unfolds.
Extras for this release include, the U.S. release trailer for the film (2 minutes 23 seconds), a re-release trailer for the film (2 minutes 21 seconds), an interview with author Stephen Thrower (30 minutes 13 seconds), an interview with actress Karen Meagher titled Audition For The Apocalypse (9 minutes 40 seconds), an interview with director of photography Andrew Dunn titled Shooting The Annihilation (8 minutes 37 seconds), an interview with production designer Christopher Robilliard titled Destruction Designer and an audio commentary with director Mick Jackson and moderated by Kier-La Janisse and David Gregory.
Topics discussed in the interview with Stephen Thrower include, background information and his thoughts about the film, Mick Jackson, the cast and audience reaction to the film. He also discusses other similar themed films like, The War Game and The Day After.
Topics discussed in the interview with Andrew Dunn include, how he got involved in the making of Threads, Mick Jackson, how the film was shot in 17 days, the cast, Barry Hines, onset memories and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Christopher Robilliard include, how he got involved in the making of Threads, Mick Jackson, the role of a production designer, onset memories and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, why he decided to make Threads, the research he did in preparation for the film, what he was trying to achieve as a filmmaker, Barry Hines, production related topics, his thoughts about director Peter Watkins / The War Game and The Day After.
Overall Threads gets a solid release from Severin Films, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by Severin Films on DVD.