Just the name "Threads" re-traumatizes viewers of unbelievably grim postapocalyptic BBC drama aired 40 years ago

When Meta's new Twitter clone was announced as "Threads," I wondered why they named it after an obscure but harrowing TV movie about global thermonuclear war and its aftermath. This morbid but nerdy thought, it turns out, was widely experienced and the BBC has a new article about its own cheap but not remotely cheerful classic: "the name of the service conjures up a rather different meaning to viewers who caught a seminal BBC drama aired almost 40 years ago."

From a kitchen sink drama focused around a young couple in a South Yorkshire, then riven by the Miners' Strike, Threads shows society breaking down as nuclear winter sets in.

"It never loses its power, ever. I have never seen anything so horrible and bleak in my life," said Stephen Brotherstone.

He and David Lawrence are the authors of Scarred for Life – a series of books looking at the impact of 70s and 80s pop culture.

Both vividly remember the film, with Brotherstone admitting he only managed to watch the first half when it was broadcast as it "wrecked" his head.

For a 1980s TV movie, it was extra. Glass being blasted in people's faces. An old lady urinating herself at the sight of a mushroom cloud over Sheffield. Horrifying radiation burns and genetic problems. Here's the full movie, embedded below. Jump to 48m in if you want to get right to the (screams).

Compare and contrast: