Resolutely downbeat in the best BBC scifi tradition The Day of the Triffids, based on John Wyndham’s post apocalyptic novel of the 1950’s, is superb stuff, similar in tone to the legendary Survivors it follows ex-Triffid farmer Bill Masen (John Duttine) who, thanks to being in hospital with bandaged eyes following a Triffid sting (Triffids are a kind of carnivorous plant with a huge tendril that launches out to sting and disable its prey), misses out on an amazing cosmic phenomenon that leaves most of the worlds population blind, in the aftermath of the collapse of normal society that follows the Triffids emerge as the dominant species, quickly wiping out million of now blind people.
One of the few people still able to see Masen finds himself first having to lead a team of blind scavengers and later setting up the process for a confrontation with the Triffids.
Sticking pretty faithfully to Wyndham’s material this is classic BBC scifi adventure at its best, its 6 half hour format allowing plenty of room for cliff-hangers in best Dr Who style.
Straight forward but hugely enjoyable take on Wyndham’s classic, the BBC remade the drama in a big budget production which aired Christmas 2009.
UK / BBC-1 / 6×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 September – 15 October 1981
Writer: Douglas Livingstone / Novel: John Wyndham / Music: Christopher Gunning / Special Effects: Steve Derwent / Producer: David Maloney / Director: Ken Hannam
JOHN DUTTINE as Bill Masen
EMMA RELPH as Jo
MAURICE COLBOURNE as Jack Coker
JONATHAN NEWTH as Dr Soames
STEPHEN YARDLEY as John
DAVID SWIFT as Beadley
GARY OLSEN as Torrence