I’m not sure whether the main point of this is political, nostalgia, or sheer Schadenfreude, but it will be entertaining to find out.
Recently, I re-watched an enthralling Australian teen sci-fi drama series from my youth, ‘Tomorrow’s End’ (The Girl from Tomorrow, Part II).
I never saw the original series until much later, but its darker sequel tied in perfectly with the increasingly menacing fantasy show Knightmare in 1993.
Alana and her mentor Lorien from the year 3000 return home to a barren world, which they discover to be the result of a great disaster in 2500.
Thus, Tomorrow’s End is set largely in 2500, a dystopian wasteland which is controlled by a conglomerate named GlobeCorp.
Alana and her allies strive to prevent a nuclear disaster that is devised by two unlikely and contrasting foes: one, a disgruntled Globecorp manager seeking independence from his directors on the Moonbase; the other, a ruthless suburban gang-leader always looking for an advantage.
This is where the major spoiler alert comes in.
By the end of the penultimate episode, one nuclear warhead has already led to the destruction of the northern hemisphere. Oblivious to the damage he has caused, Globecorp’s Draco ignores the pleas of the desperate onlookers and wastes little time in launching the second ship.
Only then do the consequences begin flooding in. London, they hear, is all but destroyed.
All too late, Draco finally learns that the disaster his young adversaries have warned him about is set to happen. He tries to abort.
- “Stop the second launch.”
- “The ship’s already lifted, sir.”
- “Then blow it up!!”
- “The destruct mechanism was disabled. You ordered it, sir.”
- “In 8 minutes, it’ll blow up the other platform. There’s nothing we can do.”
Talk about a cliff-hanger. And what he does next is just as inexcusable.
Unless I’ve sold this very badly, the parallels here are uncannily close to the current Brexit debacle.
The power-hungry and the cut-throat lead the UK into chaos. The consequences this could reap are devastating. Our nation’s cavalier attitude and arrogance has ensured we will receive little sympathy should the worst occur.
The absence of a disaster so far (more clearly explained by the fact that nothing concrete has happened apart from a stated intention to leave) is fuelling arguments that none will follow – even if no deal is struck.
Yet, we’ve been told to stockpile vital provisions as an austerity government breaks the bank to hire thousands of civil servants – and this is the positive spin. There would appear to be few lengths we won’t explore before abandoning this as a broken idea.
We’ve got the National Farmers’ Union calling for an urgent meeting to address the uncertainties around trade and staff recruitment – despite over half of farmers pledging to leave back in 2016. Cognitive dissonance abounds. Schadenfreude is ripening.
Members of our political class are prepared to drag us into a disaster, despite the protests from onlookers, and will probably attempt to backtrack once the oblivious becomes the obvious.
Do you upset one side to protect it from itself, or risk a societal order collapsing because it’s the only way to prove ideologues wrong?
Tomorrow’s End is a cracking allegory of ruthless overlord versus helpless civilian, with ominous consequences for the real lives at stake. The only thing is, it’ll be a surprise if it takes as long as 2500 before we do something stupid enough to destroy ourselves.