Oh blimey. The human race has all fucked off (for some reason) – so let’s have a look at what’d happen to planet Earth if every last one of us vanished. How would the globe sustain itself and what would happen to the structures and routines we’ve set up?
The fact is, you could answer that query in about five minutes while pissed in hypothetical pub babble and probably be pretty accurate, despite being resolutely unentertained. Still, Channel 4 felt it was worth investigating in depth as it’d give them an excuse to go mental with the second rate CGI. And go mental they did – with tree roots knocking down the walls of your house, domestic cats turning feral and lurking all over disintegrating skyscrapers while rhinos bungled along the streets of Washington – with the tenuous assumption that they might have been able to pick the locks at the zoo.
We also saw bridges falling to bits, Central Park turning into a mad forest and a soviet bank exploding as tree roots and expanding water wrecked it. All while a lion inexplicably hurtled down a runway.
It was all terribly exciting for about half an hour, until you realised – oh shit – this is one of those Channel 4 documentaries that should last about 45 minutes but is actually to trundle on, panting and wheezing for about an agonising hour. Then a little bit later, you look at the clock and it’s gone beyond the sixty-minute mark and by now you’ve lost interest in this hypothetical world because:
- nobody would be there to document it so what’s the point?
- it’d never happen – not like that, anyway.
- it’s not an interesting hypothesis unless hoards of zombies are involved and there’re a handful of human survivors.
So, in the event, we learned that nothing man-made lasts forever and plants get overgrown if untended.
Not really the sort of groundbreaking scientific revelation and learning suitable for showing in schools – but the CGI was semi-smashing and it wasted one hour and thirty five minutes of Bank Holiday scheduling – so who cares that nobody’s actually learning anything?