The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a British science fiction film made in 1961. These days it has become a somewhat under-rated and forgotten film, but it has its moments. Told from the point of view of the journalists and editor of a Fleet Street newspaper (in fact, the Daily Express), the film depicts the fate of the world after too much nuclear testing tilts the axis of the planet. Severe climate change ensues. In the film, the only possible remedy is thought to be the setting off of even more nuclear explosions, which will in theory cause a return to normality. However, there is an equal risk that the detonations will destroy what is left of the planet.
As the moment of detonation approaches, and the characters face their destiny, the machine room of the newspaper is set to print one of two final editions. The closing image in the film is of the front pages of both editions.
I can’t help remembering this as we prepare to spend the night watching TV, waiting for salvation or doom.