Another classic this evening; Blade Runner, but Ridley Scott’s Final Cut, so without the irritating voiceover of the original version. Sadly, my fellow home audience members did not share my enthusiasm. In part, I suspect it was the violence and, more generally, the dark and smudged view of humanity and morality in a dystopian future. This is unquestionably a very dark film. I read Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? last year and have wanted to revisit the film ever since. Whether Rick Deckard is a replicant or not, both the story and the film cleverly juxtapose human beings with a lack of empathy and replicants that have clearly developed compassion and fellow-feeling. What, then, is it to be human? The blade runners’ empathy test (with its echoes of the Turing test) seems to chart the decline of a decadent human civilisation, steadily losing its essential humanity. Rutger Hauer, playing the replicants’ leader, Roy Batty, is perfectly cast and, in my opinion, puts in the strongest performance in the film. Somewhere, in one of Evelyn Waugh’s writings, he explains a simple novelist’s trick; if you want to create a sad atmosphere, then let it rain. In Ridley Scott’s futuristic Los Angeles it never stops raining. The constant rain, the almost complete lack of daylight and the constant intrusion of searching spotlights do much to create a world in which we surely wouldn’t want to live but which, to our discomfort, we vaguely recognise.