A terrible catastrophe has struck the population of Earth. Almost everyone on the planet has been rendered blind by the arrival of a bright comet and its debris lighting up the darkened skies, but the brightness has caused permanent eye damage. Bill Masen, who was unable to watch the spectacular but deadly free firework display, finds himself in a nightmarish world where he believes himself to be the only sighted person left. But soon he finds a soul-mate, Jo Pleyton, who can also see. As the days progress, they find more and more sighted people and together they make plans to build a future. But there is a problem. A walking, carnivorous plant called a "Triffid," which up until now was kept safely in paddocks and zoos, has broken free and has discovered a taste for rotting, human flesh. The remaining blind are helpless and many fall prey to the Triffids' lethal whipping sting, but can the sighted keep this fearful plant at bay? Written by
I remember catching this once on latenight PBS in either 1991 or 1990. I was totally engrossed by the story at the time and ever since I have been trying to find it on video so that I could see it again. Unfortunately, it has proved to be a very difficult video to find, as it doesn't appear to have been released commercially in the US. After many years of looking, though, I managed to find a version of the film that someone had made off of the TV.
When I watched it again, I was joined by two other people who were not familiar with the Triffids story. We all agreed that the story was very compelling, and it reminded us a lot of '28 Days Later,' though much less thrilling.
What remains compelling is the depiction of humans struggling to figure out how best to organize themselves in a post-apocalyptic world. Since the show is 3 hours long, it is also able to fully develop themes that a 2 hour movie is not able to show.
Yet, overall, I was a little disappointed. One of my main complaints is that much of the story is told expository dialogue between characters. Too often, 'conversations' are nothing more than extended debates between characters about how best to cope with living in a post-apocalyptic world. In addition, character development is a little clumsy and sudden for such a long film. Characters seem capable of falling in love too quickly and friends and enemies seem to form much quicker than seems natural. And the overall problem that the Triffids themselves are not very threatening never really gets dealt with. They walk too slowly and can't break glass, so in general are a little too easily dealt with by the protagonists.
Still, this version is FAR better than the Hollywood movie version made in the 60's, and I am very glad I have finally had the chance to watch it again. It is definately worth tracking down if it is something you remember watching in the past.
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