The Final Programme, released in the US as The Last Days of Man on Earth, is a defiantly strange film, a mixture of dystopian sci-fi, comedy, irony, thriller and satire. The plot defies most attempts at a coherent explanation, but a rough attempt at a simple outline is possible. At some time in the near future, a brilliant, Nobel Prize winning scientist, Jerry Cornelius (Jon Finch), his late father's rival (Patrick Magee), a bisexual femme fatale, Miss Brunner (Jenny Runacre), and a trio of long-suffering scientists (Graham Crowden, George Coulouris and Basil Henson) are among those involved in the search for a valuable microfilm and the creation of The Final Programme. The latter is a scientific experiment to create a new superhuman, an androgynous being merged from a male and a female subject. The two participants have already been chosen, with Miss Brunner as the female.
In German East Africa in 1914, Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) is a Canadian steamboat captain, who plies his trade along the river in his boat “The African Queen”, occasionally delivering mail and supplies to the village of Kungdu. There he meets, and occasionally awkwardly lunches with, the Reverend Sayer (Robert Morley) and his unmarried sister, Rose (Katharine Hepburn), who run a Methodist church in the village. When war breaks out, German colonial troops come to the village, burning it to the ground and hauling off the native inhabitants as labour. When Allnut returns to the mission post, he finds it deserted, save for Rose and the body of her brother, who died as a result of the German action.