We watched the 2002 film, Twenty-Eight Days Later this evening. The film, reportedly a considerable critical and commercial success, gives a bleak depiction of a post-cataclysmic society. It is, to my mind, chiefly memorable for its scenes of a deserted London and a deserted M1 motorway. Otherwise, I found it thoroughly derivative. In literary terms, the pace was set in the 1950s with three excellent novels; John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (the opening hospital scene of Twenty-Eight Days Later is coolly lifted straight from this), Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, and Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (the ‘infected’ of Twenty-Eight Days are lifted from Matheson’s vampire hordes), and in cinematographic terms, the pace was set by the 1971 Omega Man (re-shot in 2007 as I Am Legend – arguably, this film’s scenes of an empty New York imitated Twenty-Eight Days’ scenes of an empty London). Cast and locations aside, Twenty-Eight Days Later can lay little claim to originality but, I suppose, everybody knew that. ‘Sean of the Dead was better,’ chorused the sprogs and it suddenly became clear that that 2004 film was, at least in part, a spoof of Twenty-Eight Days.