"Not with a Bang" was a short-lived sitcom from London Weekend Television. The opening scene of the first episode was fiendishly clever. Audiences were lured into believing they were watching an episode of "Tomorrow's World", a popular BBC science programme featuring presenter Judith Hann. Hann was shown in her usual laboratory, mixing some peculiar chemicals. When she spilt some of this concoction on herself, Hann dissolved into a pile of ash... suddenly alerting viewers that something strange was happening. Next thing we know, the weird chemical is spreading, and suddenly people are turning into ashpiles all over London ... and then all over Britain ... and then, finally, throughout the world. The human race are extinct! Hurrah!
After this brilliant opening, the series went downhill. "Not with a Bang" depicts the adventures of four Britons who have somehow escaped the plague that killed everyone else. Brian (Ronald Pickup) is a normal bloke. Colin (the excellent actor Stephen Rea, wasted here) is a nerk who is only interested in rugby-league football ... something which no longer exists, of course. The other two survivors are a married couple: Graham (Mike Grady) and Janet (Josie Lawrence). As the last woman on Earth, Janet considers it her duty to buckle down and start having babies to repopulate the planet ... but, under the circumstances, her husband sees no reason to begin a family.
It's hard to see how this premise could have been sustained for very long, and indeed "Not with a Bang" ran for only seven episodes. "The Bed-Sitting Room", by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus, handled a much similar theme of comic apocalypse with much more hilarious results.
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