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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2008
Back in 1985, the long-running series Dr Who was put on the shelf for a year. So the BBC needed to come up with some new sci-fi series to take its place. The result was the screen adaptation of the trilogy of books called The Tripods, concerning a future Earth which has been invaded by aliens who now watch humanity from their giant three-legged machines. The first segment of the trilogy involved three teenaged boys running away from their home to avoid 'capping' (a form of brainwashing performed on humans to stop any thoughts of rebellion) and finding their way to the mountains where freedom fighters are planning the downfall of the alien masters. If you ever read the excellent Tripods books, you'd think there wasn't enough material for three long TV series. You'd be absolutely right. If the BBC insisted on making an entire series out of the first Tripods book, then maybe it could have been stretched to a 6-part series, but certainly not a 13-parter. Unfortunately no-one at the BBC had the first idea about new ideas for sci-fi. The opening episode of this first series shows promise, and there are some good moments in the last few episodes. But in-between is nothing but plodding filler material - roaming around the countryside, getting into and out of scrapes involving the Black Guards, documentary-like stories about wine-making I kid you not. You can go through an entire episode without even glimpsing a Tripod. The second series was much better, was filled with interesting ideas and sci-fi concepts. But by then it was too late. The viewers had been put off by the tedious first series and so the plug was pulled before the final segment was ever made. Why the second series was never released on video or DVD is a mystery. Why sell TV hell when you can sell TV gold? Oh well. If you're a fan of the books this might be worth a look out of sheer curiosity, and it does have a great soundtrack.
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on 26 July 2013
Now you can purchase both the first and second series. The Tripods is a BBC TV Series that came out in 1984 (Series 1 of 13 episodes) and 1985 (Series 2 of 12 episodes) based on the John Christopher Trilogy and to me it still holds up very well. There is none of the blood & gore like you see today, no sexual innuendo or worse that is so prevalent today, but just good clean fun entertainment for the entire family. For those who do not know the BBC only filmed the first and second book canceling the series before they could film the third and final book. But fear not as there is a booklet included with the DVD giving a synopsis of the third book by John Christopher and also included is the synopsis of the 13 episode scripted but un-filmed series as they had gone so far as to scout locations for Series 3 before the show was officially cancelled but not before they wrote scripts for every episode of the 13 episode Series 3. You get an overview and the BBC was going to be faithful with the book ending which shows that John Christopher who wrote the trilogy (now 4 books as he wrote one 20 years after the first 3 called "When The Tripods Came") knew human nature and I will not spoil this for you but let you discover the ending for yourself.

Now to watch the series you will need a Region Free DVD player as this is region 2 & 4 and will not play on United State Region 1 DVD players (I live in the United States) or your computer despite what some people say. Today's computers and mine will only allow you to switch regions 5 time and once the counter reaches 0 you are stuck on that region even if you wipe your computer and reinstall the operating system. It must be a security feature today as years ago I was able to watch on my computer then with no problem. And I did switch regions on my computer but no luck it still would not play and now the counter on my computer is set at 4 for changes. You will need to purchase a Region Free DVD Player which I did by purchasing a Toshiba and it play wonderfully and the picture is crystal clear.

Final notes on The Tripods DVD:

1) The DVD Transfer is excellent as the scenes are crystal clear & extremely sharp and the night or darkly lit scenes and now visible and you can see what the actors are doing.

2) You also have the Series 1 Recap narrated by the character of Will Parker to introduce viewers as to what happened in Series 1 to lead them to the beginning of Series 2.

3) 30 minute documentary called "The Cult of The Tripods" giving a great overview of the series.

4) Booklet covering "The Unmade Third Series" answering your questions on the third book.

This is an excellent series and product and once you combine it with a Region Free DVD player you will have 10 ½ hours of viewing enjoyment.

If you really want to get to know The Tripods more check out "The League of Freemen" a Tripod based fan site on Yahoo Groups. The cast, crew, and producer get together and meet in England & Germany almost yearly and there is a wealth of information including GPS coordinates so you can see every filming location as if you were actually there. You can find The Tripod meetings on You Tube.

Also on You Tube you will find a channel called FritzEger which is actually Robin Hayter who played Fritz in Series 2 and he has Tripod and meeting videos there too.

Finally do not forgot to check out The Tripods DVD on Amazon here containing bonus material and the entire Series 1 & 2.

If you are a fan of The Tripods this DVD is a must for you and if you like adventure with a little science fiction thrown in then this is for you and I hope you enjoy the information I have included for you to explore this series more.
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on 13 December 2001
I missed this when it was on TV and have only just seen it (aged 39 3/4!). Apart from the fact that I'd embued it with some features belonging to The Changes (when, oh when will someone release that?!), it was much as I'd imagined: an excellent story well told, thought-provoking and a good entry-level to SciFi for the younger viewer. I'm very glad to have seen it finally and reiterate fellow reviewers' pleas for the next series to be released. I want to know what happens next!
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on 17 February 2001
This release will contain all 13 episodes of the first Series of this quality Drama/Sci-Fi. Although (as stated) the acting from the lead is a little weak, the support cast makes up for this and the story invloves you too much to notice such things. If you like stories rather than the obiligatory hight death counts of current sci-fi programs then this is for you. 25 episodes were made in all. With a mind blowing final. Lets hope series 2 (14-25) will be released too.
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on 12 March 2001
I used to always watch this every saturday afternoon. Although it may be a bit old now the story lines are so good that any dodgy effects (which a few and far between) are unnoticable. At last available to own forever. A must for any sci-fi or quality TV fan!!
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on 3 January 2002
Some long winded scenes as the three characters head for the rebels, but overall, the BBC did an excellent job here. The ending is fantastic, and the special effects still look decent.
Shame on the BBC for not filming the final book.
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on 4 January 2014
I always thought this was very well made and it should have finished with a 3rd part to make a complete story as the
book is the TV show only had 2 parts as BBC could not afford to make any more but great to have this DVD
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on 11 May 2016
Absolutely dreadful acting which I found so distracting it stopped me getting into the storyline. Although I really love sci-fi I just kept thinking 'this is really really weird'.
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on 6 March 2015
This worked great on my computer and in one of my DVD players. However, it wouldn't work in the other. It is in great shape and I'm glad I have it. Thank you.
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on 11 March 2010
Bought this because i remembered watching it as a child, but on watching it a second time realised i just liked the plot but it is too long winded for my liking.
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