The Day of the Triffids Logo

Recovering in hospital, a temporarily blinded Bill Masen wakes up one morning to an uncanny silence. Deciding to investigate, Bill first removes the bandages from around his eyes, and is pleased to find that his vision has now returned. However, while exploring the hospital, Bill is shocked to discover that everyone in the building is now blind; it seems that their retinas were burned away after looking at the spectacular meteor shower that lit up the skies the previous night. Leaving the hospital, Bill finds London in a state of panic and terror, as the blind stumble helplessly about the streets, desperately crying out for help that may never come. Also stalking the streets are triffids – walking, carnivorous, plants that kill their prey using a venomous sting situated at the end of a whip-like tendril. It seems that these deadly monsters have gotten loose from their pens, and are now preying on the sightless civilians…

‘The Day of the Triffids’ was adapted from the original novel by John Wyndham – arguably one of the most well-known and critically-acclaimed science fiction stories of the Twentieth-Century. The screenplay was written by Douglas Livingstone, and produced by David Maloney, former producer of ‘Blake’s 7’ and director of such classic shows such as ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Ivanhoe’, ‘Paul Temple’ and ‘The Last of the Mohicans’. In 1979, Maloney had attempted to get approval to make a television version of the novel, but the production was deemed too costly and too difficult, and so the idea was shelved. However, a co-finance deal between the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the American cable network RCTV Inc., allowed the project to finally be commissioned in 1981. The resulting six-parter is an excellent example of what the BBC does best: a gripping, gritty drama, well cast, well acted and extremely well made. The triffids themselves are of particular merit; created by the BBC’s special effects team, they tower menacingly over the cast, giving off a sinister mixture of brooding intelligence and calculating evil. The serial succeeds in presenting a bleak, post-apocalyptic vision of the future, in a world where man has been toppled from his position as the dominant life-form, usurped by the lethal menace of a life form over which he was once the master…

Wyndham – full name John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris (1903-1969), who also wrote such classics as ‘The Kraken Wakes’ (1953), ‘The Chrysalids’ (1955), ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ (1957) and ‘Chocky’ (1968) - was inspired to write his masterpiece while taking an evening walk down an overgrown Hampshire country lane in 1950. After seeing the thorny branches of a blackberry hedge moving sinisterly back and forth in the wind, he later remarked to his wife, Joan: "By Jove, if those things could walk and think, they’d be dangerous." It wasn’t long before New York’s Colliers magazine published the first instalment of ‘Revolt of the Triffids’, and history was made. The story was published in collected form as ‘The Day of the Triffids’ in 1951, and has proved so popular that it has stayed in print ever since. There was even a sequel written, 'Night of the Triffids', by Simon Clark, which was published in 2001.

‘The Day of the Triffids’ was later adapted for radio and read on ‘Woman’s Hour’. A movie followed in 1962, starring Howard Keel of Hollywood musical fame as hero Bill Masen; unfortunately, the screenplay bears little resemblance to the novel, slipping instead into B-Movie shlock horror, with man-in-suit-monsters and some toe-curlingly bad acting. Still, it can be quite entertaining if watched when your brain is switched off, and you're armed with a few beers and a good pizza!

The Day of the Triffids - Eps 1-6

The Day of the Triffids - Novel
The Night of the Triffids - Novel
The Day of the Triffids - Movie

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Legal Bit: 'The Day of the Triffids' is a registered trademark of BBC Worldwide; the 'The Day of the Triffids' logo and all images from the television series are copyright BBC Worldwide unless otherwise stated; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, not born yet, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

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