The world spins on its axis.
History repeats itself. Do you know how often people predict the end of the world? It's been happening on an almost fortnightly basis for centuries.
Zoom into the globe, close on Britain.
Text on screen: 1666
The King and his courtiers flee London, Monty Python-esque.
In 1666, there was an exodus as people fled the Great Plague of London.
Behind them are groaning, moaning, zombie-like plague sufferers. They all drop dead. Cheering, the Royal Court return to the city.
Just as the epidemic began to abate, the Great Fire destroyed half the city.
Amid all the cheering, a fire burns through the map. Everyone runs again, screaming.
Panic was fuelled by the numbering of the year. Three sixes have long been regarded as the Biblical number of the Beast.
The Beast collects his post from the mailbox, numbered "666". He waves at a neighbour, who faints.
Isaac Newton studies a prism.
Even Isaac Newton hated the number, which is why we're told there are seven colours in the rainbow when it's pretty clear there are only six.
A beam of light is split by a prism. The colours are numbered in sequence, and labeled as 1. RED, 2. ORANGE, 3. YELLOW, 4. GREEN, 5. BLUE, and 6. PURPLE. The label "7. OTHER PURPLE" is added.
It's called purple, Isaac. Deal with it.
The Earth from space: HALLEY'S COMET flies pas the camera.
Text on screen: 1910
In 1910, Halley's comet passed over.
Astronomers watch the path of the comet through telescopes. They gather round an image of the comet, and circle the dust trail. The words "POISON, INNIT" are written on the image.
Astronomers identified a dangerous chemical in its trail, leading some scaremongers to worry about the threat of being poisoned by the comet.
The French astronomer Camille Flammarion gives an interview. The FLASH of a photograph takes us to his interview on the front page of a newspaper by the headline “POISON, YEAH?”
Others tried – and succeeded – to make money off the public hysteria, selling anti-comet paraphenalia to vulnerable idiots.
Street vendors palming off their fake products onto a panicked public.
Gas masks, getcha gas masks!
I'll take five!
The Earth from space. Cities glow at night.
Audio cue: dial-up modem.
Text on screen: 1999
In 1999, a computing error threatened to cause a catastrophic global failure of technology, known as Y2K.
All the lights go out. Sighing, annoyed voices.
A potential error was identified involving date formatting...
The screen of an old tube monitor computer, counting through the years: 12/29/99, 12/30/99, 12/31/99, 01/01/00... 0?/?0/??...
The phrase “DOES NOT COMPUTE” flashes on the screen.
So systems were reprogrammed. That didn't stop plenty of survivalists preparing for the doom coming at midnight of January 1st, 2000.
A SURVIVALIST stands in front of his bunker, looking smug.
Ya can't be too prepared.
The countdown clock to New Year.
When we finally reached New Year's Eve and welcomed in the millennium, there were thousands of explosions across the world.
Fireworks over Sydney Harbour.
Just not the ones the survivalists were expecting.