The Day of the Triffids

SF elements: intelligent plants; post-apocalypse

1981 / DVD

6 × 30 min episodes

[two triffids]

After watching a brilliant comet and meteor shower, nearly the whole world wakes up blind. The few who did not have to battle hostile mobile plants: triffids. We follow Bill – a triffid farmer in hospital after a triffid attack, which ironically saves his sight – as he struggles to survive deadly triffids, a deadly plague, and even more deadly humans, in the new era.

Yes, it's 2020 lockdown, the ideal time to watch post-apocalyptic TV dramas. What we learn from this adaptation of John Wyndham's 1951 novel is that after a waking up one morning to a disaster, civilisation has broken down by lunchtime. Also, it takes a surfeit of disasters – mass blindness, devastating plague, killer plants – to take humans down.

I probably saw this when it first came out, as I remember the opening credits and the triffid design, but not much else. The pacing is a bit strange: slow and languorous to start with, then later several years passing in a few minutes. Having viewed many such TV disasters, today's world would probably be faster to load up with food and bunk off to the countryside, but the older technology certainly makes it easier for these people to maintain equipment like cars.

This has stood the test of time reasonably well, and is a decent attempt to bring the book to the small screen.

Rating: 3.5
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 20 June 2020