End of the World Night, TV review: More eye-catching hyperbole than serious prophecy

The title refers to a list programme counting down the 10 greatest threats to humanity, with a little help from the experts and Hollywood disaster movies

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The Independent Culture

The bad news is not even love can save us now. It would appear that the title of Channel 4’s End of the World Night on Saturday was more eye-catching hyperbole than serious prophecy. The title actually referred to a list programme counting down the 10 greatest threats to humanity, with a little help from the experts – and a lot of help from Hollywood disaster movies.

Responding to clips from movies, geologists, statisticians and journalists dismissed the risk of alien invasion and super volcanos, while warning against complacency regarding asteroids and global pandemic. “An important maxim is the unfamiliar is not the same as the improbable,” said twinkly-eyed Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, looking for all the world like he might positively enjoy a giant asteroid collision.

It might have been better if there’d been more from the likes of Rees and less from the movies. When it comes to matters of such importance, you ideally want key information sourced from a real scientist, not just Dustin Hoffman playing a “maverick scientist” in the 1995 film Outbreak.

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