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The Day the Earth Caught Fire restored on Blu-ray and DVD in November

20 October 2014

The classic British science fiction thriller The Day the Earth Caught Fire, newly remastered by the BFI National Archive, is the next release in the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder season, presented with O2. There will be separate DVD and Blu-ray versions, each with a host of extras and with one additional extra on the Blu-ray.

When the USA and Russia simultaneously test nuclear bombs, the earth is knocked off its axis and set on a collision course with the sun. As the planet inexorably heats up and society slowly breaks down, Peter Stenning (Edward Judd), a washed-up Daily Express reporter, breaks the story and sets about investigating the government cover-up.

Made at a time when the nuclear threat of the Cold War loomed large, The Day the Earth Caught Fire is an expertly crafted sci-fi film that boasts a BAFTA-winning screenplay, gritty characters and a vision of end-of-days London that really burns. It also stars Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey), Janet Munro, real-life reporter Bernard Braden and one-time Daily Express editor Arthur Christiansen. Many scenes were filmed on location at the former Daily Express HQ on Fleet Street and in the surrounding area.

The Day the Earth Caught Fire will be released on UK Blu-ray and DVD on 17th November 2014 by the BFI as part of their Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder season at the RRP of £19.99 for the DVD and – hoorah! – the very same price for the Blu-ray edition.

Featuring a brand new 4K transfer by the BFI National Archive, both discs will have the following extra features:

Hot Off the Press: Revisiting the Day the Earth Caught Fire (John Kelly, 2014, 34 mins): a newly-created documentary with contributions from Kim Newman, Marcus Hearne and BFI Archive curators John Oliver and Jo Botting

  • Audio commentary with Val Guest and Ted Newsom

  • An Interview with Leo McKern (Paul Venezis, 2001, 9 mins)

  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire: An Audio Appreciation by Graeme Hobbs (2014, 9 mins)

  • Original trailer, TV spots and radio spots

  • Stills and Collections Gallery

  • Three nuclear films from the BFI National Archive: Operation Hurricane (Ronald Stark, 1952, 33 mins); The H-bomb (David Villiers, 1956, 22 mins); The Hole in the Ground (David Cobham, 1962, 30 mins)

  • Think Bike (1978, 1 min): road safety film with actor Edward Judd

  • Illustrated booklet with extensive credits and newly commissioned essays from John Oliver and Marcus Hearn

The Blu-ray edition will also have this exclusive extra feature:

  • The Guardian Lecture: Val Guest and his wife, actress Yolande Dolan are interviewed by David Meeker, filmed at the National Film Theatre (1998, 63 mins)