The Day Of The Triffids

John Wyndham is my favourite author and “The Day Of The Triffids” is probably his best known novel. Triffids are shambling, carnivorous plants taking advantage of a recently blinded human population. Scary stuff and brilliantly realised by the ever-so-English John Wyndham who loves a good post-apocalyptic tale where ordinary people face extraordinary situations.

There was a movie in 1962 which was OK but not too faithful to the book and a 1981 BBC TV adaption which despite not-so-good production standards, did quite well at capturing the essence of the novel.

I must say that I was quite surprised to se a throw-away reference last week to a new BBC production with a top notch cast and production values. I watched the two-part mini series last night with a bit of apprehension and must say that it is rather good. Part one is reasonably faithful to the original novel with a plane crash thrown in for good measure and references to global warming to bring it up to date. Part two deviated a bit but still followed the general plot.

Visually, it resembled a big budget Hollywood epic with some stunning imagery. The Triffids themselves are mainly kept in the shadows but were damned scary. Much more effective than their 1962 and 1981 cousins.

A weakness could be some of the characterisations. Although, Bill (Dougray Scott) and Jo (Joely Richardson) were very good, Jason Priestly as Coker was criminally under-used and Eddie Izzard lacked some depth. Vanessa Redgrave as a sinister nun was a treat though.

I was surprised to find a large number of negative reviews online. Many of them compared it to the new generation Doctor Who as if it was a bad thing so that’s their credibility shot to pieces. 😉

I recommend this version, especially to anyone not familiar with the story. It comes out on DVD in the UK in February and I’m sure other countries will follow.

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