ONE of the beauties of Netflix – apart from its huge budget and its liberating lack of hand-wringing, politically correct, burdensome management – is the vast range of programmes it offers and which it keeps adding to each week. Switch it on and it’ll recommend a bunch of Scottish comedies to you (Still Game, Limmy’s Show and Burnistoun are all there) and then, in the next breath, it’ll suggest a documentary about life in Siberian prisons. Limmy and Siberia: where else do you get such scope?

A new documentary was added to Netflix this week and I’m glad my Twitter circle told me, as it could easily have been lost in the glorious mix. (One tip before we proceed: be sure to pay attention to the shows Netflix’s algorithm recommends to you. These are based on your viewing history and it rarely gets it wrong, although it once recommended “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” on the basis that I’d watched a documentary on Auschwitz. Clearly it’s a very literal algorithm.)

So having been lucky enough to hear about this new show, let me now recommend it to you. The Bomb (Netflix) is not a conventional documentary, so don’t expect narrators, pie charts, or expert contributors with letters after their name. The Bomb appeals to the heart, not the head.

It uses horrifying images and eerie music to bring the horror and absurdity of the nuclear bomb right into our living room. Electronic music jitters, whirls and beeps over the opening scenes of armies marching in formation. Thousands upon thousands of pristine, robotic, blank-faced soldiers from across the globe march in perfect time.

The scenes repeat, again and again. Some soldiers are in blinding white. Some are in neat red jackets. Women march with their hands in little white gloves which are pumped up and down in perfect time, up to the heart and back down to the hips, again and again. The scenes start to look like a nightmarish kaleidoscope with one army merging into another, the faces always the same, the marching pattern always the same, their alien movements always the same – only the colours change and swoop and alter.

It’s a powerful and disturbing introduction which leads us to ask that if these obedient, robotic, drilled people are ever given an order to start a war or to launch a nuclear weapon, what hope is there that they’d pause, resist or question it?

There’s a famous case of an American nuclear missile officer who asked a simple question of his superiors. He was a loyal officer and patriot, and would do his duty, but he had one question: if the order to launch came to him one day from the president, how did he know it was coming from a sane president? That was his simple question. What’s to stop an insane Commander in Chief from unleashing a nuclear holocaust? Asking that question proved he was no mindless, marching robot programmed to carry out his duties, and so he was swiftly removed from his post.

The uneasy opening scenes in The Bomb capture this troubling situation. Military forces want obedience over intelligence. They want action over thought. The rank and file must obey, and leave the strategy to the men in charge but, as the brave American officer asked, how do we know we can trust those particular men?

The film then seeps us through a disjointed, unsettling, and often terrifying succession of images and scenes from the history of the nuclear bomb, accompanied by wavering, stuttering, alien music. We see famous films from “Doom Town”, an area in Nevada where the nuke-happy 1950s Americans went a tad overboard with their nuclear testing. Tourists in Las Vegas could even pose for photos by their hotel pool as a hazy mushroom cloud rose in the far distance. Doom Town was a collection of purpose-built houses which were assembled only to be nuked, allowing the authorities to test which materials, and at which distances, could best withstand the blast and heat. In monstrously creepy scenes, we see mannequins sitting in armchairs in these little houses, posed at the window, reading a newspaper. This was Pop. And Mom would be standing at the dining table whilst Junior played on the rug. Then the silent mannequin family would disappear.

Buses, trucks, and trees were all brought into Doom Town only to be blasted, twisted, and smashed, and other horrible tests saw animals tethered to the ground so scientists could see how their flesh and eyeballs withstood the flash burns.

Watching these awful scenes without the intrusion of a narrator was hugely powerful, and the film ends with a sombre, silent warning that there is not enough public debate about nuclear weapons and “our silence is a form of consent”.

How true. I want to grab every millennial who’s obsessed with “micro-aggressions” and their ridiculous little “safe spaces” and howl that they need to be aware of this terrible, unending threat.

As the generation who lived through 1945 and the chilliest parts of the Cold War recede, and blissfully privileged pipsqueaks take their place, I grow more and more afraid.