It is late autumn, 1962, and darkness is falling, but not just over the idyllic fishing port of Bexham. The threat of atomic warfare is so real that people are taking their children to work, or staying home with their families as they face what they think might be the end of the world. For some, the threat is all the more bewildering as they struggle to understand the new generation of the Sixties, a generation for whom they made so many wartime sacrifices, for whom they had such high hopes. No sooner has the threat of nuclear war seemed to have passed than Judy, Mathilda and Rusty are facing a new, personal crisis brought about by their teenage children. Much as Waldo Astley would like to remain on the sidelines, he finds it impossible, and this too brings about bitter opposition from those caught up in the near-tragedy. Still grieving for his lost wife, he tries his best to help his three friends, only to find himself falling in love with one of them.
Meanwhile the younger generation have their own problems, all of which involve their families. That all the generations find themselves once more united in a battle, this time to save the village they love, is both an irony and finally, a saving grace. Once more an enemy has to be defeated, once more they must arm themselves, but this time for a war of a very different kind.