Sunday, 23 November 2014

Z for Zachariah

'Z for Zachariah' is a 1984 episode of the long running  BBC series 'Play for Today' adapted from the novel of the same name written by Robert C. O'Brien a decade earlier.

It tells the story of a young woman named Ann Burden (Pippa Hinchley) who, on her small farm in a remote Welsh valley complete with it's own weather system, has survived a nuclear war, and of her deteriorating relationship with the scientist, John Loomis (Anthony Andrews), who finds his way there.

'Z for Zachariah' is one of a number of shows produced around this time - 'Threads' being the most famous example - reflecting the nation's worries over the escalating nuclear arms race.

It's a gripping and absorbing piece despite it's slightly unlikely premise that, with the exception of a few early scenes featuring Ann's family (of which only the father, played by British TV stalwart David Daker, has any dialogue) is built entirely on the interaction between the two leads.  The tension is palpable throughout and is aided in no small part by the verdant claustrophobia of the farm and valley and by Geoffrey Burgon's score.

I think it's a shame that this has pretty much been forgotten by the world because it's really rather fabulous, in a bleak, uncompromising sort of way.  So, at the risk of depressing you all here it is in all it's radiation soaked glory.

Z for Zachariah - BBC Play for Today (1984) by ceyksparrow04 .......................................................................................... If you enjoy what we do here on Wyrd Britain and would like to help us continue then we would very much welcome a donation towards keeping the blog going -


  1. Sadly it's not all there; the ending is missing.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. It was a replacement vid after the first got deleted. i'll keep an eye out for another.