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18 June 2014
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Our Hero holding his high tech Triffid Gun. It fired video effects.Dan: "Drama-in-a-Turtleneck"

The Day of the Triffids feels like a science fiction hybrid of John Le Carre and the nuclear holocaust movie The Day After. Replete with Cold War themes of human survivability and community breakdown, this is a landmark of that glum drama-in-a-turtleneck that so characterised the early 1980s.

Preachy sequences about the need for social order and respect for knowledge remind us how deeply divided the world was then. But it is a credit to the series creators’ that Triffids retains considerable impact in the single superpower era.

Genetic mutation and the limits of scientific tinkering are very hot topics today, and Triffids develops the theme dramatically. Plant attacks may lack special effects value, but the show succeeds through subtler techniques of lighting, varied camera angle, solid acting and an excellent score.

And the apocalyptic vision of empty motorways looks positively divine!

Kim: "Insidious Clacking Death"

In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king. In the kingdom of enormous carnivorous plants, the botanist gets decidedly nervous...

Every post-apocalyptic drama deals in hubris - the pride of man punished by the destruction of civilisation. But ‘Triffids’ does it very well - with lack of foresight being punished with blindness.

And it is terrifying. The empty world, the insidious clacking death advancing (okay, wobbling) through the landscape. The sudden slash-suck of an unseen sting. I used to get sent to bed because this programme gave me nightmares. It still does. It’s just so dang... creepy.

Stephen: "It's not ‘Coker The Triffid Slayer’"

Triffid Trauma.This is the show that scarred many a young viewer's mind. The ominous clacking of the approaching carnivorous plants. The blinded population roaming Britain. The whip-lash tongue striking from off-screen. Yes, this was the stuff of nightmare, but unfortunately time has not been kind.

Now we are accustomed to the rapid fire editing and irony of modern Cult shows. That ‘Triffids’ explored its premise maturely jars with contemporary conventions. No ‘Coker The Venus Fly Trap Slayer’ shenanigans here, and it must be said I found that extremely refreshing!

Though production values have dated, full marks for an adult and intelligent adaptation of John Wyndham’s classic tale!


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