Masen, a researcher working at a Triffid farm, is temporarily
blinded by a Triffid sting and thus unable to see when a spectacular
meteor storm takes place around the world. Millions who witness
the storm are rendered blind and vulnerable to attacks from
the killer plants, resulting in mass chaos and devastation
around the world...
Rejoice, for the BBC has finally released on DVD their adaptation
of The Day Of The Triffids. After decades of suffering
at the reels of the 1963 B-movie, fans can finally relive
the cold horror of this BBC production.
closest adaptation to date of John Wyndham's classic novel,
The Day Of The Triffids still stands as one the BBC's
best science-fiction productions. The main reason for this
is that the story requires minimal special-effects, relying
more on the unfolding human drama than focusing on the monsters.
However, that's not to say that the production values are
minimal. Indeed, the director and his team create a highly
convincing sense that society has collapsed overnight, particularly
in the early episodes set in London.
before 28 Days Later (which borrows endlessly from
both the novel and this BBC adaptation) and its digital tweakery,
the streets of London stand eerily empty, the silence only
broken by the dismal confusion of the blind or the frantic
movements of those with sight. Shortly after the disaster,
we are shown a number of scenes where crowds of the blind
helplessly bump and stumble either in the streets or confined
spaces. The images are extremely disturbing, and will haunt
long after viewing.
course, no human drama can be successful without good actors,
and here Day Of The Triffids has not skimped. John
Duttine and Emma Relph play the story's heroes as realistically
as you could hope for with an understated and natural delivery.
Mention must also be made of Maurice Colbourne, who is excellent
as Jack Coker.
what of the titular Triffids? Their appearance is very convincing,
although this is unsurprising as the designer, Steve Drewett,
originally worked at the Natural History Museum. The props
do look their best on film and in low light, but manage to
stand up well on video. The most striking characteristic (aside
from the fact that they kill and eat people) of the carnivorous
plants is the unsettling clacking sound they produce. It is
this sound that gives the plants their "voice", making them
more characters than mere monsters - a quality that adds to
their impact no end.
there are no extras on the DVD, which is a pity, but considering
how long it's taken for the BBC to release Day Of The Triffids,
it's clear they don't hold it in too high a regard. I guess
we should be grateful that they've released it at all!
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