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When I was seven years old, Day of the Triffids scared me so much that my
parents sent me to bed early, and banned me from watching later episodes.
With a lifetime of memories of a few images, I was stunned to find the show
rerun on British satellite telly, and nervous about watching it
As so many have commented here, the joy of DOTD is its concentration on the breakdown of society. With humanity rendered blind, there are some nasty images here: a starving woman struggling to open a box, unable to see that it's washing powder; another woman struggling to get into a tin of coffee; a crowd of blind people surrounding a car, desperate to grab hold of the sighted people inside it. Nasty, unsettling, realistic stuff.
The Triffids are kept to a minimum, and wisely so, as their appearance is a bit early-80s-BBC. They look a bit plastic. Careful camerawork highlighting their roots, shadows, lethal stinging "tongues"; and the eerie Triffid soundeffect, are supremely effective in keeping the horror of death by walking vegetable on the edge of screen throughout. With horrendous disease sweeping the land, a dictatorial self-imposed government planning to seize control, the breakdown of modern society is uncomfortably close. The first meeting of the group Bill meets up with, explaining that "women will be expected to have babies, men will be expected to work", could be real.
A few scary Triffid moments, and a lot of very believable "what if" issues ensure that DOTD is as special now as it was when I was sent to bed early, and woke with nightmares, all those years ago.
This is the best ever version of this famous science fiction novel. Even the choice of John Duttine as Bill Masen is very close to how I imagined him to look like. An average 36 year old man, who is lying in hospital, with his eyes bandaged up. This was the result of a Triffid sting. In the 1962 film, we do not find out why Bill Masen has this treatment! The triffids themselves are spot on! in detail and you see the sting lash out about 10 feet long.That is how John Wyndham describes them. So the BBC and Douglas Livingstone ,got this spot on! and we see Bill Masen as a child experiencing his first Triffid in his back garden. This DVD that I now have, has been eagerly awaited by myself. The opening music, is composed and conducted by Christopher Gunning. and is very stirring. every part of the dialogue was also as spoken in the book, (Yes I have read the book) and I know just how the story should unfold on the screen. It is a pity that widescreen TV's did not exist in 1981! as this would of been a great widescreen production. This series was in 6 parts by the way. You get a collector's booklet and all 6 parts on the DVD! Number BBC DVD 1152!
I'd wanted to see this BBC version of DOTT ever since I read about it
in a sci-fi magazine. I first saw it on TV a few years ago. I recently
bought the DVD and the series remains as great as ever. The three main
performances of John Duttine, Maurice Colbourne and Emma Relph are very
good and they are helped by a great supporting cast. Thwe Triffids
themselves do look a bit plastic but they were realised brilliantly.
The music by Christopher Gunning compliments the story very well.
The Triffids themselves are meant to be a secondary threat as the main problem is the breakdown of society as most of the populace is rendered blind. The hysteria is shown in full detail and the writer adds a nice conspiracy theory in the final episode. I'm glad that the series is now available on DVD for a new audience to see. Having read bits of the book I can tell that the adaptation is very faithful. I strongly recommend DOTT to sci-fi fans everywhere.
I remember watching this on TV when I was little and being terrified of the triffids. I watched a lot of sci-fi but this stood out. I've always liked those survival stories like dawn of the dead or 28 days later. If you like those kind of movies you'll probably enjoy day of the triffids. When I saw it was now available on DVD I ordered it with plenty of enthusiasm and a little trepidation. Often those shows you watch and enjoy as a kid just don't hold up and watching them as an adult kind of takes the shine off those memories. I mean, how good do those special effects in Doctor Who look now. But, in this case I need not have worried. I've just watched all six episodes of Day of the Triffids in a row and I loved it. Yes, the special effects do look a little dated but all things considered, they're not that bad, and they don't interfere with your enjoyment. The story is great, well written and well paced, you never know what's going to happen next. Plus it throws up lots of little ethical questions. Also, the acting by all of the main cast is excellent. Forget about the old movie version, read the book or watch this mini series. 8/10.
I remember watching this when i was a child and still enjoy it as much now as i did then,the breakdown of morals were shown very quickly with the main character trying to save a girl from being raped and it made me think what would happen if there was no more law and order and the sighted could do whatever they wished.OK the triffids are very 1980's (but that is when it was made so what do you expect) But if they made a remake now it would be all CGI and no story (war of the worlds being a major case).All in all i would have to say get it (not the rubbish film but the bbc version) settle down on a Sunday afternoon and go back in time to when a programme had to keep you hooked by the story line and not the special effects and maybe make you worried about your garden at night lol.
A vivid adaptation of John Wyndham's classic novel. Nearly everyone in the world has been blinded, and humanity is at the mercy of the triffids, a genetically engineered breed of carniverous plants. The last time this was shown on television was back in 1987, when I was in Grade 6. I taped each episode and watched the serial so many times I knew the script off by heart. Regrettably, it was taped over a few years ago. I enjoyed the programme so much I read the novel, which I still have (in fact I have two copies), and I've also collected John Wyndham's other books. "The Day of the Triffids" was the first story that got me thinking about the end of civilisation. For once television can't be blamed as a medium that stops people reading.
In 1962 came one of the worst film adaptations of a book in history.
The plot was drastically changed, characters were eliminated, changed
and new ones were added in altogether!
And then, like a holy beacon of light, came the faithful, 1981 TV series by the BBC. Yes, even though they did change a few minor details, the plot was left intact, the story followed the same route as the novel, and the actors really got into their roles.
Bill Masen awakes in hospital, with his eyes bandaged up to find that the majority of the population of the world has been rendered helpless when they blinded overnight by a spectacular comet shower. And, to make matters worse, a fairly new species of dangerous, carnivorous plants that have been kept under lock and key until now, are now free to roam, kill and eat to their own pleasure. You see, these plants aren't like your average, potter plants, that sit in a pot, grow, and die. These plants walk, they grow to great heights, they have ten-foot long poison whips, and feed on decayed human flesh. Surely we've seen the demise of the human population of Earth as the Triffids multiply their numbers with every year that passes...
Imagine my surprise one day in 1990 when I turned on Arts & Entertainment Network expecting to see the 1963 movie "The Day Of The Triffids." Rather surprised it would turn up on A&E, I still was thankful for the bit of luck. Never would I have guessed it wasn't "The Day Of The Triffids" I knew.
While I still like the generic monster movie version, this apparently made for TV adaptation is much more faithful to the novel. The movie is forced to sacrifice a lot of the human commentary in exchange for a resolved ending. This TV version keeps the focus on the character interaction, and, through their reaction, commentary on society. As with so many British TV shows, "Day Of The Triffids'" few faults are monetary.
Near as I can tell, in the United States, there were very few chances to see this production, which is a real shame. As, also, I have yet to hear of it ever being released on home video formats. A&E seemed to be the only outlet. And, I only know of 3 times it aired. Once in 1990, and twice again in 1991, which was when I taped it, and, I'm glad as I did, as I've yet to see it air anymore. However, A&E's broadcast quality was terrible at that time, notoriously dropping out signal. Plus, A&E always ran it over the course of 2 separate days, never advertising when the next part would be broadcast, and, the next part wasn't always in a logical fashion. One time, they showed it over two consecutive weekdays, once over a Saturday and Sunday weekend, and once Part 1 one Saturday and Part 2 the next Saturday. So, some company needs to release this rare gem, hopefully on DVD.
When an asteroid shower passes over the earth, most of the world stops
and watches the "once in a lifetime" spectacle. However the vast
majority of the world find themselves blinded. This leaves the world at
the mercy of the Triffids a strange species of plant that can move
and attack humans, but whose value as an oil resource has seen them
farmed and controlled around the world. In a London hospital, Bill
Masen is confined to his hospital bed with his eyes bandaged up after a
Triffid sting at work. The day after the shower, Bill wakes to find
everything quiet with seemingly nobody around to take the bandages off.
He stumbles out into the day to find the population blind and, with
society quickly crumbling, Triffids seem like just one of the problems
to contend with.
I quite liked the film version for what it was but it was quite different from the book. This BBC mini-series though, is much more faithful to the source material and produces three hours of television that are more about the people than the plants of the title. If you consider the six episodes, the Triffids are not present throughout and sometimes they are no more than yet another thing in the background. The main thrust is actually about the breakdown of society, the choices the seeing survivors have to make at the early stages and the later stages. As such it is a very British piece as of course there is the polite indecisions and stiff upper lips that see survival accompanied by a certain amount of shame and frustration.
Hannam's direction is good as he works well with the sets and effects he has available to him. He has a good script to work with that puts food for thought onto the table consistently, while he also maintains a fairly constant sense of fear in relation to the lack of everything we would expect. In this regard the early episodes were the stronger. Of course the effects are limited but the Triffids themselves are actually pretty good and, if walking, man-eating plants did exist then I imagine they may look like this. The sets are quite cheap and have dated as badly as the clothes etc but this is not really a problem since the material is what is interesting, rather than the effects. The cast mostly work well, with Duttine solid in the lead with Relph doing OK work alongside him and Colbourne a strong presence with a character that asks a lot of moral questions of the viewer.
Overall then, better and more faithful to the book than the film version. It looks dated and of course the effects are not brilliant but it is the complexity of a crumbling society and the choices to be made that keep it interesting more than the action of Triffid attacks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This BBC miniseries has much going for it, so let me get the flaws out of the way first. The acting is good but not great as some have tried to credit it. It is very workmanlike with John Duttine as protagonist Bill Masen, Emma Relph as Josella Playton, and Maurice Colbourne as Jack Coker(he is the best). The supporting players are all very solid as well. The budget is, shall we say, limited. Yes, the plants are done almost realistically, yet other budgetary concerns are obvious particularly in the post-apocalyptic world shown in London. These; however, are minor concerns. For the best reason to see this is to read the novel first as I did and then watch this innovative yet faithful adaptation of the classic novel by a much under-appreciated John Wyndham. The 1962 movie was for me a nostalgic highlight. I then have read the book and realized what a piece of bastardized trash it is. It makes wholesale, unnecessary changes and dilutes the entire meaning and message of the book. What a shame, as the novel certainly has much to say about the world man lives in, has created for his future generations, and why he is ever so likely to destroy all of it over greed, envy, and warfare. This mini-series touches on much of this in a very subtle way. It doesn't stray much from the novel and even incorporates actual dialog throughout. The book and mini-series do indeed follow each other until Episode 4 or 5 when some characters are cut out - there are those budgetary concerns again. All in all for gritty story-telling, a science fiction story with entertainment value AND a real message for our day, The Day of the Triffids should not be missed. The 1962 film is fine for those perhaps who have not read the book. Read the book and any opinion you had of it is sure to change.
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