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120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Awaited Return
This was the mini series that made me discover John Wyndham's work. It's such a pity that Wyndham didn't get to see this adaptation of his most famous book because it captured the feeling of disaster and collapse perfectly.
Having not seen this BBC serial in almost eighteen years, I was resigned to the idea that it would probably never be shown on television again...
Published on 28 Jun. 2005 by Greg Hughes

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching
Very close to the book and well worth watching even if the production standards (and indeed, much of the acting) seems dated.
It's crying out for a 21st century remake, though – the triffids, quite frightening when I first saw them 20 years ago, are considerably less impressive to a post-Aliens generation! In fact, with the right technology, a new version...
Published on 22 Jan. 2006 by PD Mcelroy


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120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Awaited Return, 28 Jun. 2005
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This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
This was the mini series that made me discover John Wyndham's work. It's such a pity that Wyndham didn't get to see this adaptation of his most famous book because it captured the feeling of disaster and collapse perfectly.
Having not seen this BBC serial in almost eighteen years, I was resigned to the idea that it would probably never be shown on television again. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to find that it has now been released on DVD. Watching it again after so many years really took me back.
The DVD just contains the six twenty-five minute episodes. (In Australia we saw it as three one hour episodes.) The booklet that comes with it is very good, I was unaware that there were so many adaptations of "Triffids" on the radio. The booklet did forget to mention there was also a comic strip version in the 1970s but that dosen't really matter. Originally Wyndham imagined the triffids coming from Venus but luckily he changed that idea. Considering what we know about Venus today, this would have dated the story horribly.
The triffids themselves are very well done, resembling giant pitcher plants. Admittedly they don't appear all that threatening, but then plants never do. You'll remember Bill Masen saying it was in fact fashionable to keep a docked triffid as a pet to amuse the children.
Unfortunately John Wyndham only saw the 1963 film; this 1981 version of "The Day of the Triffids" truly retains the spirit of the original book and its sense of irony. Before the comet lights the triffids were fenced in and farmed for their oil. Later in the story it's the human survivors that are fenced in trying to keep the triffids out.
Everyone involved in this production did a good job. This is probably one of the best examples of post apocalypse television. Well worth waiting for.
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Adaptation Of Excellent Book, 5 April 2005
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This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
The BBC took ages to release this, and you have to wonder what took them so long. This is the BBCs TV version from 1981, not to be confused with the far inferior film version. It faithfully (with a few minor modifications) reproduces John Wyndham's cult novel and shouldn't be missed by all fans of intelligent science fiction.
Excellent performances from the lead characters and an effective script propel the six half hour episodes along. Unlike most sci-fi dramas of the 80s, there are almost no special effects required or used, so nothing to make today's viewer cringe with embarrassment. The triffids themselves are also naturally 'wooden' and effectively modelled. There is little at all to date this series and it's as thrilling now as it was when first shown.
The DVD itself is pretty bare-boned. No extras other than optional subtitles. It does, however, come with a pretty comprehensively researched booklet that contains all you need to know about John Wyndham and the different versions of Day Of The Triffids there's been. It also does a good job of detailing background information on the TV series.
All in all a bargain at this price and a perfect example of a TV adaptation that's faithful to the book.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Triffic, 13 April 2005
By 
Sally-Anne "mynameissally" (Leicestershire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
John Wyndham's "Day of the Triffids" is one of my favourite books and I had no idea that the BBC had made this serial back in 1981. How was it possible to miss it entirely? Goodness knows. But now I can say that this DVD is the best thing I've seen this year. The book is followed near enough to the letter, with very few serious alterations and gaps. The BBC has been sitting on a treasure. It's so very much better than the 1960s film version, which was hardly recognisable as Wyndham's tale of humanity struck down by its own scientific and technological ingenuity - 'hoist with its own petard', almost literally.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this exceptional television serialisation to fans of the original story. The book has been treated with enormous respect and it's hard to imagine what they could have done to make it any better. The storyline, the script, the acting, the music (amazingly atmospheric music), the cinematography, the triffids - the whole thing - is practically flawless.
Makes you wonder what other unimagined riches the BBC is hiding away, neglected and forgotten in its archives.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There are none so blind as those that will not see, 13 May 2009
By 
Junglies (Morrisville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
Growing up in the sixties introduced me to many new ideas which included the burgeoning science fiction movement and almost in tandem the development of the fantasy fiction movement.

While some authers probed beyond the stars, others looked at the science fiction of the near future including the recently deceased J.G. Ballard.

John Wyndam was a sort of bridge between the two, to my mind at least, the link between the fiction of H.G. Wells and that of Ballard and his contemporaries. His books are dense with drama and characters set in the class based system which was very much a part of post war Britain while the author looked ahead to a time when that would be changed.

Attempts to translate the books into movies or television have not been terribly successful, mainly, in my most humble opinion, due to their attempts to make them into horror movies rather than suspenseful dramas, losing much of the message of the novels in the process.

As a cinema-goer, one often hears the cry that the film bears little resemblance to the book, usually in the form of a derogatory comment. Whilst I am always prepared to give the filmaker the benefit of the doubt as the film itself must stand alone, there are some occasions when there is a case for the criticism.

My feeling in this case is that this serialisation remains as close to the text as it possibly can do, particularly given the limited capabilities for special effects in the late seventies and early eighties. Having said that, I feel that the programmes do genuinely reflect the intent of the author and despite some deficiencies in some of the effects, they achieve their objective in serialisation for television.

Some will find that the lack of a horror dimension and a laser gun science fiction approach will result in a disappointing production but, for those fans of Wyndham in particular, they will discover a robust defence of his novel and a view of his political vision of the future of Britain which is an accurate one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic BBC TV adaptation, 15 Mar. 2009
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I. R. Kerr (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
The first episode opens with a series of faces looking up into the sky set against the eerie title music then Bill Masen (John Duttine) waking up in a hospital bed, his eyes bandaged, recovering from temporary blindness caused by a Triffid sting. He starts to tell the history of the Triffids and the secret political manoeuvrings behind them into a tape recorder for a friend and slowly becomes aware how quiet it is, until he hears a scream.
This slow start is very effective and it is quite some time before he removes his bandages and discovers he can now see but soon finds that the vast majority of the world was blinded after watching a bright meteorite shower. Walking through London he sees that people have already started to turn violent, he rescues Jo (Emma Relph) from one drunken attacker and just as they are getting used to being together they are forcibly separated. Bill finds himself press-ganged into Jack Coker's (Maurice Colbourne) organisation to search out supplies for them but it soon starts to go wrong.
The Triffids start to appear in greater numbers as they kill the now defenceless blind people in order to feed on their decomposing bodies.
The series though is less about the attacks of the Triffids themselves and more about the breakdown of society during a major crisis. The people that can still see are split between those trying to help the blind and those who want to rebuild a new society but who consider a large portion of humanity as largely disposable.
The Triffids themselves are suitably creepy with their whip-like stingers, their strange communication by thumping the exposed parts of their roots and they walk, well they shuffle. It may look cheesy for those who are used to seeing state of the art CGI effects but for its time this was very effective.
The 12 page "viewing notes" booklet is fairly interesting and goes into the background of the book, radio adaptations and if you want to know anything from where various scenes were shot to what music was used it's all in here. The only real "extra" on the disc is subtitles in English.
The BBC have announced plans for a new movie adaptation in 2009. It will, no doubt, have better effects but will it be as memorable almost 30 years later?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifyingly brilliant, 30 Jun. 2011
By 
Junius (London, Middlesex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
This is the best screen adaptation of John Wyndham's book. I saw this when 11 and saw it again recently. It is frightening and realistic, but also sympathetic with its main characters. I still find the triffids menacing, but the real story is the human drama and the dilemnas the characters face. The sound effects and music are sparing and add to the menace. However, it is low budget - there are far too few people/corpses about, especially in the hospital scenes at the beginning. There are also a few changes to the book, such as Jo not being a novelist and Coker not being a paid agitator, but these are minor and do not detract from this tense thriller which moves along at a cracking pace whilst also having time for reflection, too, in parts 1, 3 and 6 especially. Highly recommended and far better than the recent remake and the earlier film.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheers to the BBC!!!!, 19 Aug. 2006
By 
Gene R. Obrien (Union, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
What an excellent series!!! Obviously being on the other side of the Atlantic, I never saw this. So 25 years later I got to catch up when I ordered this DVD. I'm glad that I did. I had seen the 1962 movie adaption but it wasn't until I heard the 6 part BBC radio series that I had any idea that the movie wasn't even close to the book. Then I saw that the BBC did this series and I took a chance and ordered it. It is EXCELLENT!!!!! I only wish that we here in the States took more chances on shows like this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real day of the triffids, 31 May 2010
This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
As many reviewers have pointed out that this excellent,true to the book version, has take a while to be commited on to DVD.
This was my first taste of Wyndham closely followed by the equally excellent ITV reply of Chocky (1984).
I remember seeing this the first time and the triffids have stayed with me ever since.
the DVD is rather light on features but the enclosed booklet does have very good backround insight in to the making of the mini series.Including the early radio adaptations
Everyone is familar with story by now so I won't go into that to much
The triffids theselves look real and in the very famous scene where Bill goes to Jo's home to find the place overun with Triffids he kills one with a gardening fork and you can see the woody vegetable material that the plant is made from. They look a little clumsy but with a ten foot deadly sting that could knock you unconscience as well as blind,you would be wise to stay clear.
Apart from the triffids it was nice to see the developement of Bill and Jo's relationship from friendship to more.
You can see what Coker is trying to do in impossible circumstances a fight he would not win in the end.
The music is superb as well. The theme as well as the mournfull No more a roming.
If I were to be a critical I would have liked to have seen a little more triffid action especially the where they burned them off on the farm.
Also the comet explanation was never really concluded but that just adds to the cold war soviet themes that are part of this
I hope the BBC will release 30th anniversary edtion as I mentioned in another review.
Esentialy and excellent adaptation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better then the new version and closer to the book., 31 Jan. 2010
By 
M. Hogg "Penderhogg" (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
This was an absolute steal at the price.

I had seen this John Duttine, early 80's version of the Day of the Triffids once before but it was the announcement of the new 2010 version with Dougray Scott that made me think of actually buying it. I'm certainly glad that I did as its a far superior story than the new version and far closer to the John Wyndham novel.

The Triffids themselves are a bit 'clunky', but its a small price to pay. Good acting (whatever happened to John Duttine?)comes through - very enjoyable indeed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great version of a classic, 21 Dec. 2009
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M. Wilson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
The Story, is another apocalyptic style story in a similar style to Survivors, in fact it shares many of the plot elements with Survivors though the latter does not have killer plants. As it progresses, various topics are covered such as the role of morality in a depleted society, though these topics are not covered in the detail we see in Survivors giving the series a lighter feel. The overall story is exciting and despite being nearly three hours for teh series as a whole, it is easy to watch in a single sitting.

The Technical, quality wise, the picture was great on my upscaling player, sure a TV programme shot on video is not going to rival the latest HD shows but that would not be a fair comparisson, comparing it with similar aged shows it stands up very well indeed.

The special effects are looking somewhat dated now but fortunately are used only when needed so this does not distract from the story.

Overall, the package is a great and highly enjoyable show which is well worth the price for what must currently be the definitive version of this story. That said with a new version by the BBC due in one week, it may not be definitive for much longer.
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Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981]
Day of the Triffids [DVD] [1981] by John Duttine (DVD - 2005)
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