The end is nigh. At least, that’s the case according to Years and Years, the new BBC1 drama that terrified viewers with its first episode’s cliffhanger.
Although its first half was packed with comedic moments (highlights including Noel from Hear’Say‘s secret sex robot), the opening instalment of the Russell T Davies drama ended with the world on the brink of nuclear Armageddon.
Portraying world events that might happen over the next 15 years, the show predicted that in 2024, President Donald Trump (yes, he wins a second term) fires a nuclear missile at an artificial Chinese island.
This places the UK and the show’s characters – the Lyons family – on a war footing, with air raid sirens and emergency broadcasts blasting throughout the country.
For many watching at home, the prospect of impending nuclear war was alarmingly real.
Little bit terrified, absolutely loved it. Not sure I can go to sleep quite yet without some horrible dreams about Trump being re-elected and nuclear war #YearsAndYears
— Ali Thomas (@ali_thomas) May 14, 2019
— Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE (@MCaselyHayford) May 14, 2019
Everyone is watching #YearsAndYears aren't they?
— Jen ???????? (@Jennyflower) May 14, 2019
THAT ENDING. #YearsAndYears
— daniel (@hipstershambles) May 14, 2019
The last 10 minutes of that was actually kind of terrifying. I thought for a minute it was going to be a one off thing, but good to know it's a whole series. Russell T Davies is a genius ! #YearsAndYears
— Dewi (@DewiRMedia) May 14, 2019
But it wasn’t only terrifying. The show also was met with critical acclaim online, many praising creator Davies for his “genius” writing.
Oh my goodness gracious me: #YearsAndYears is compelling and terrifying and sensational — had to walk around the house at the end just to calm down. An incredible programme with all departments firing on all cylinders, grounded in blisteringly good writing. Full marks from me.
— Simon Lamb (@approx21words) May 14, 2019
Totally blown away with this! Genius writing and incredible acting. Quality! #YearsAndYears
— Sue Jeffrey (@sueperstarring) May 14, 2019
That was amazing! RTD truly is a genius in writing and storytelling. Started out a comedy and became so scarily real. #yearsandyears
— Camy (@KPop_Fan1993) May 14, 2019
Wow #YearsandYears might be the most compelling drama I've seen this year. Great writing, great pace, great acting (loving @russelltovey in this) I'm even loving the soundtrack. This esp set 5 years in future & the main political players so identifiable. It's very, very scary.
— Dorina (@Dorina335) May 14, 2019
The episode even managed to include a clever reference to contemporary events, with an early scene including a radio report mentioning the death of Doris Day – an story which had only broken the day before.
#YearsAndYears crikey – a very contemporary drama, in its opening episode it references the death yesterday of Doris Day aged 97. How did they manage that?! ????????????
— Melanie Henwood (@MelanieHenwood) May 14, 2019
— Sarah (@Foxy05) May 14, 2019
The best bit, though? More Years and Years is on its way – five more episodes, to be exact.
Although the trailer for episode two indicates Britain wasn’t wiped out by nuclear war, don’t expect it to be easy watching. As Davies previously told RadioTimes.com, there’s a cliffhanger at the end of every episode.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) May 14, 2019
Could something even worse than nuclear war be on the way?
Years and Years is on BBC1 Tuesdays, 9pm