Written by Tony Millan and Mike Walling, Not With A Bang is a long forgotten British Science Fiction sitcom that has never been repeated since it debuted on 25th March 1990. Furthermore its seven episodes have never been released in any format – it remains one of those shows you kind of remember that lurks in the back of your mind. The title comes from the last line of T. S. Eliot’s poem The Hollow Men “not with a bang, but a whimper” – a references to how the end of the end of the human race comes about in the realms on the show.
The show begins with us watching the science programme World of Tomorrow (a spoof of Tomorrow’s World – complete with host Judith Hann) where a story is being presented about how scientists have isolated the hormone that causes aging in humans. Hann explains that the chemical is highly concentrated and very volatile so Scientist are currently researching it further. As she places the flask with the chemical in back on the desk she drops it and exclaims “Oh Buggar!” The camera then pans back to show everyone in the studio have been disintegrated into piles of dust. We then see a number of scenes as the chemical spreads and people are disintegrating into piles of dust.
We then skip a year ahead and focus on four people who managed to survive. Firstly we are introduced to Brian (Ronald Pickup) and Colin (Stephen Rea) who survived because he was in a sound proof booth during a pub quiz round. They later meet up with married couple Graham (Mike Grady) and Janet (Josie Lawrence).
The four survivors soon set up a base of operations in a country cottage where they look for other survivors, adjusting to life after the end of the world, and deliberating over the repopulation of the human race.
One of the main themes of the show revolves are Graham and Janet’s sex life and Graham’s apparently low sperm count. They often discuss having children and Janet views herself as vital to repopulating the world whilst Graham does not whilst Colin seems happy to help if needed!