Threads: Man Who Played Traffic Warden Wanted by Filmmakers

image caption, The image of the traffic officer became synonymous with the 1980s film Threads

Documentary makers are trying to track down the man who played a post-apocalyptic traffic cop in the 1980s TV series Threads.

The director appeared as a cameo in the 1984 TV movie for less than 30 seconds – but his striking image was used to publicize its release.

Craig Ian Mann, who is working on the documentary, said he wanted to know how the man felt about the role.

“He became the iconic image of that movie,” he said.

“It was on the cover of the Radio Times, it was on the cover of every video, DVD or Blu-ray of Threads that was made.

“People actually dress up as him on Halloween,” he said.

“I went to Sheffield Horror Con at the weekend and there was someone dressed as him.

“He’s become an iconic character, and if he’s still around, I’d like to ask him if he’s aware of that and how he feels about it.”

The film, written by Kes author Barry Hines, was released at a time when nuclear war seemed a very real possibility and shocked and horrified many who saw it.

The story centered around a young couple living in South Yorkshire when a bomb exploded and showed a society falling apart as nuclear winter sets in.

In the aftermath of the explosion, a scene shows increasingly desperate people trying to find medical help or food, many of whom are sent to some tennis courts.

Mr Mann said: “Patrolling these courts is a traffic officer with a gun in his hand and we would love to be able to find him.

image caption, Karen Meagher and Reece Dinsdale played the young couple at the center of the film’s opening

“I’ve interviewed about 30 people so far and none of them know who played the traffic warden in the movie.

“It’s almost certainly a local person who volunteered to be an extra in the film,” he said.

“He might have been a traffic warden as his shirt and tie were far too clean for someone who had just dressed up for an extra that day.”

At 34, Mr Mann was too young to have seen the film when it first aired, but watched it a few months after moving to Sheffield as a student in 2007.

“A lot of people say it shaped their lives in different ways, affected them quite deeply and stayed with them for a long time,” he said.

“I’ve seen it four or five times since then. I think if you didn’t see it in the mid-’80s, seeing it now will have the same effect on you, I’d say.”

He is co-writing the documentary with Robert Nevitt, 44, who is the director of Sheffield’s horror film festival Celluloid Screams.

Mr Mann said they had been asked to make a film about the film’s locations to accompany its Blu-ray release.

image caption, The drama depicts the grim reality of the impact of a thermonuclear explosion on Sheffield

“We said we can do better than that, we’re here, we have access to people who have been extras, actors or one way or another,” he said.

“I got the green light to make a documentary and I talked to as many people as I could find who were involved.”

Some of those the pair have watched so far include a crew of volunteer firefighters, who made sure none of the fires on set got out of hand, and a woman and her son, who was just two at the time, who it was shown to them. being pulled from his cart as the bomb detonated.

Mr Mann said: “The boy’s mother can be seen picking him up from the pram and running, then you can see his pram overturn in the middle of The Moor.

“They answered an advert in the Sheffield Star, went to auditions and were then given call sheets and told when and where to appear.

“However, some people appeared in two, three or four of the scenes in the film, so they appear more than once in the film.”

Lord David Blunkett was also interviewed as he was leader of Sheffield City Council when the film was first shown.

“Normally when we try to find someone, there’s someone who can say ‘this was my father, brother, grandfather’ – but this time, we’re getting nothing,” he said.