Originally aired on British television in 1984, this harrowing drama imagines what would happen to England during and after a nuclear war. The first half, set against an intensifying standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, is understated but tense. Barry Hines’s script focuses on a young, working-class married couple in Sheffield as they poignantly try to carry on with life despite the ominous reports. The filmmaking here is functional and earnest after the fashion of an educational short—the central couple is clearly meant to stand for every average man and woman, and the modest performances (which director Mick Jackson often presents in close-up) have an anonymous quality that helps inspire cold, clinical reflection. The film’s second half proceeds through short, illustrative scenes depicting how speedily civilization would collapse in nuclear winter, with Hines and Jackson often abandoning the main characters to consider life on a societal level. The film dares us to think about the unthinkable—just how humanity might revert to barbarism—yet it does so soberly and responsibly.