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Recommended television

Anonymous — November 1983

The Day After

ABC-TV, November 20

On Sunday, November 20th, ABC will present a two-hour graphic T. V. show called The Day After. This drama depicts the effects of a nuclear war — on an American town, Kansas City. and problems of “survivability” in nearby Lawrence, Kansas. Jason Robards plays the part of a Lawrence doctor attempting to deal with this horrifying event.

During the filming 3,000 residents of Lawrence posed as corpses. Recently, these extras were invited to view the finished film and they were stunned by the impact of what has been described as “the most controversial and horrifying (film) ever made for the home screen. to According to descriptions by viewers, the film is relentlessly depressing, with scenes of enormous destruction by firestorms, people being. vaporised. mass graves, the irretrievable loss of food and water supplies, vandalism, murder, the breakdown of medical care, disfigurement and death from radiation sickness, Even though the film is reported to have watered down reality considerably, it is strongly suggested that you do not watch this show alone.

Growing out of their concern for the psychological response of the viewers, a group of professionals in’ California have developed the idea of holding forums in the U.S. and Canada to help people air these feelings and deal with them constructively in a nurturing environment. This is to be called The Day Before to remind people that it is still the day before any atomic blast has happened, and that we can work towards creating a world with a different scenario.

The November issue of Scientific American has an excellent brief article about the difficulties of a first strike; “The Uncertainties of a Pre-emptive Nuclear Attack,” by Matthew Bunn and Kosta Tsipis. I recommend this article both in itself and as a companion to Aldridge’s book.

Matthew Clark


Gwynne Dyer, National Film Board.

CBC-TV is currently airing the NFB’s WAR series. seven one-hour films examining the nature, evolution and consequences of modem warfare.

The first episode, The Road to Total War, reviewed the last two hundred years of military developments in the social, economic and technological arenas. War, once an honourable, patriotic activity restricted to musket. bearing soldiers. was slowly replaced with a new phenomenon — one which used tanks, machine guns and bombs, often aimed .at civilian populations. This trend culminated with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Episode two focussed on the training of military recruits, and the third film looked at ‘officer material’ — the requisites for a military commander.

The fourth film examined the conflict in the Middle East, and the fifth focussed on the current European scenario — NATO’s war games. the buildup of conventional, nuclear and chemical weapons, and the coming European conflict.

In November the final two films will be aired — Notes on Nuclear War on November 6th and Goodbye War on November 13th. These episodes promise to be of special interest to the disarmament movement. CBC is showing the series on Sunday nights at 9:00.

Jon Spencer