Not With A Bang (ITV, 1990)
Here’s the next in my “were there any decent 90s ITV sitcoms” series. Having recently looked back on here at Sometime, Never, I wanted to discover more, so here’s why I chose to review this one. A while ago, I was going through some old tapes to see if there were any continuity clips on them that were worth putting online, and one of the tapes in the collection was from 1990.
This one was just about the oldest tape that was in the collection, so I very much hoped that there would be some adverts on it and the like. On the tape was a trail for a show on ITV called Not With A Bang. I really had no idea what this show was, I didn’t watch it at the time, and I knew nothing about it at all. I had wanted to track it down for a while. So once again, I thought, “is this on YouTube?”
And well would you believe it, all seven episodes are on there in full, so thanks to the uploader “jaredyjaredy” for letting me finally discover what this show was all about. It turns out that Not With A Bang was another flop ITV sitcom that was shown in the Sunday 10pm slot, and it was set in a post-apocalyptic world. It was written by Tony Millan and Mike Walling, who later went on to write some episodes of BBC1’s The Brittas Empire.
The first episode opens with an edition of the popular BBC1 science series Tomorrow’s World… er, I mean the entirely different LWT production for ITV The World Tomorrow which is hosted by Judith Hann. Whilst demonstrating an experiment on a live edition, Judith drops a beaker of green liquid on the floor and says “oh bugger” (another impressive use of the sitcom device of a celebrity guest unexpectedly swearing there), and she is reduced to a pile of ash.
Then everyone else in the studio turns to ash… and eventually everyone else in the world (cue shrieking LWT studio audience). And that’s it, the end of human civilisation. However… we join the story about a year later seemingly somewhere in the UK, when we meet four people who have somehow survived this, and as the episodes go by we see how they have adjusted to this new world.
They are Brian (Ronald Pickup) who tries to take charge of things, and Colin (Stephen Rea), who still likes to go to the pub, and he is mildly obsessed with rugby league, which is a shame as there is no-one around to play the game any more. They were then joined by the married couple Graham (Mike Grady) and Janet (Josie Lawrence), who have been searching for survivors and realise that they need start repopulating the world, although Graham is finding it hard to admit that he’s having some problems in the bedroom.
Not With A Bang ran for only one series and there has been no DVD release, but it does have a Wikipedia entry. I seem to have a fondness for unusual post-apocalyptic shows, having been a big fan of The Tribe and Dark Angel, and this show falls into that category. For most of the episodes Brian and Colin pondered if there really is still anyone else out there. But it seems that the viewers weren’t and that was it.
You might not like to know that the theme music to Not With A Bang is available to buy now on vinyl.