Whoops! Apocalypse was probably one of the most surreal pieces of TV ever made.
Shown in the early 1980s at the height of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union, it imagined a world where a nuclear holocaust happens by accident.
Missiles are triggered by malfunctioning Space Invaders machines and the next thing you know, the end of the world is nigh.
There is a number of sub-plots, including an intellectually challenged American president whose advisers believe they have a direct line to God… so maybe it wasn’t that far from reality after all.
Whoops! Apocalyse did not end well. But more than three decades and several technological revolutions later, its absurdist nightmare doesn’t look quite so absurd any more.
This week we learned that a Trident missile “misfired” during a test and careered towards the coast of America before being forced to self destruct at sea.
We might never have discovered this scandal but for our free press exposing it.
Theresa May didn’t mention the misfire when she stood up in the House of Commons, just weeks after the near miss. Instead she argued that Trident should be replaced.
It emerged this week that the Americans knew about the duff test. Yet the Prime Minister ducked Andrew Marr’s question four times this week when he asked if she knew about the Trident malfunction at the time she urged its renewal.
Of course she did.
One terrifying detail to emerge from this story is that very few of these Trident “tests” are ever conducted because of expense. It costs £17million to fire just one (without the bomb onboard) which means the number of tests is in single figures, which doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Read the rest of my column here.