London, England

Big Ben today

The Elizabeth Tower, more popularly known as Big Ben, the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock, is a clock

tower in London, United Kingdom. The clock is a symbol of the United Kingdom and was the most popular landmark in the United Kingdom according to surveys. Big Ben was featured in the episode Outbreak and had a cameo appearance in the film.

The top of the Elizabeth Tower is notable for leaning 8.6 inches to the north west. This would prove critical for how long the tower would survive in a Life After People.


1 Week After People

Within a week, Big Ben will stop working. The reason why was because the clock had to be wound three times a week, a task that would take two clock mechanics several hours to complete, even with the aid of an electric motor. With no humans around, the clock will stop working in a matter of days, and the chimes will stop chiming.

25 Years After People

Big Ben is shown in the film to be covered in vegetation at the bottom, with chunks of the clock faces chipped away. With no humans to operate the Thames Barrier, the river starts to flood and rot the foundations of the tower.

100 Years After People

After 100 years, the windows of the tower have blown out and more chunks of decorative stonework have chipped away. The 8.6 inch tilt in the tower has gradually increased, causing the tower to become unstable. Finally gravity causes the tower to collapse. It narrowly misses Westminister Station in the process.


  • Since the broadcast of Outbreak, The tilt of the tower has since increased to 9.1 inches.
  • Gordon Masterton stated that Big Ben would stop working for the first time ever, should a Life After People occur. However, the clock has stopped several times, including a major breakdown that occured on 5 August 1976.