I stumbled across The End on BBC3 last Thursday, and a more jolly, optimistic programme you could not imagine to find in the schedules. An hour long show, predicated on Groundhog Day where a scientist trying to get to America to run his potentially world ending Black Hole generator is constantly scuppered by the world ending in other forms. So twice he is prevented from getting on the plane by an earthquake, a tsunami, he is quarantined due to a deadly virus outbreak and diverted because of a meteor strike. And the global threat du jour ? the Jellystone Supravolcano destroys much of North America before he can get there. Luckily for us though in the final scenario he makes it to New York, generates not a black hole but some “strangerons” which proceed to gobble up Planet Earth. Like I say all jolly stuff.

Also rather cheap stuff. The program was on the main a bit of stealth recycling. The hour contained about twenty minutes of original acting, plus constant bogus news reports (the BBC love using bogus news reports to tell us the plot these days). The incidental TV?s (in Curry’s and at the airport) seemed to be stuck on some sort of Horizon Channel, as all of the explanatory science bits were all cobbled together from old editions of BBC2’s flagship science show. Amusingly they were all much the same.
a) Scienitists tell us about the mechanics of disaster
b) Tell us that it is already long overdue
c) Say, in funereal terms “It is not a matter of if it will happen, rather when!!!”
The only exception to this was the Black Hole generator which everyone tended to agree was about as dangerous as winning the lottery three weeks in a row. Which doesn’t sound dangerous to me at all.

It should also be noted that these world ending scenarios tended actually to just destroy the US or Germany. No idea why these two countries were constantly singled out.