BritBox: Streaming service relists Sheffield nuclear apocalypse drama Threads

A film depicting a nuclear apocalypse set in Sheffield has been relisted on BritBox after it was removed at the outset of the Russian invasion.
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The 1984 drama ‘Threads’, directed by Mick Jackson, won four BAFTAs and is renowned for its brutal portrayal of a nuclear war.

It explored the impact of nuclear fallout on Sheffield following a Soviet strike on the UK, with one harrowing sequence made up of a walk through the ruined Steel City.

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Threads has been named as one of the top 100 influential BBC programmes of all time.Threads has been named as one of the top 100 influential BBC programmes of all time.
Threads has been named as one of the top 100 influential BBC programmes of all time.
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However, on 12 February this year, streaming service BritBox removed the film from its platform and even deleted a tweet asking for people’s opinions on the harrowing drama.

In the original tweet, BritBox UK said: “The classic 1984 drama series #Threads is now streaming on BritBox. This bleak and unsettling film was the first of its kind to depict a unclear war and was nominated for 7 BAFTAs (and won 4 of them).

“Tell us about your experience of watching Threads.”

Readers on social media saw the tweet as poor timing on BritxBox’s part for promoting the film at a time when tensions were high with Russian over the imminent invasion of Ukraine.

1980s drama Threads depicted a nuclear attack on Sheffield.1980s drama Threads depicted a nuclear attack on Sheffield.
1980s drama Threads depicted a nuclear attack on Sheffield.

One Twitter user wrote: “Threads going onto Britbox just in time for actual World War Three is fantastic brand synergy.”

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Another tweeted: “Was browsing @BritBox_UK and spotted that #Threads is coming soon on there, ironic given the current Russia/Ukraine situation… Be afraid, be very afraid.”

At the time, 100,000 Russian troops had amassed on the borders of Ukraine, before invading on February 24 on the orders of Vladamir Putin.

Now, nearly six months to the day since the crisis began, Threads has been relisted on BritBox and can be seen by viewers at home.

Shot on a budget of £400,000, the film was the first of its kind to depict a nuclear winter and featured hundreds of Sheffield residents as extras.

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It has been called “a film which comes closest to representing the full horror of nuclear war and its aftermath, as well as the catastrophic impact that the event would have on human culture”.

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