I watched some of this series on BBC in the 1980s. In the 1990s, I saw some episodes of the series on German, Swiss and Hong Kong television but I have never seen the entire series (one and two that is). I have now watched both series on this DVD-set and I must say what a great story.
Earth is occupied by the Tripods with humanity existing in middle-age-type farming communities. Nobody rebels against this because humanity is mind-controlled via a cap which becomes compulsory from the age of 16. Will and his cousin Henry are not so keen on being capped and run away to the White Mountains to join the free people. On the way, they are joined by a French chap called Beanpole. The first series deals with the three friends making their way to the White Mountains to join the uncapped (and free) people.
In Series Two, Will via a process which is not dissimilar from the Olympic Games is picked to enter the Tripod City. Serving his Tripod master in his free time he discovers a lot about the Tripod's plans for Earth. Will manages to kill his Master - although in a court of law he could probably claim self-defence - and with the help of another infiltrator manages to leave the Tripod City. He then meets Beanpole and they make their way back to the White Mountains, where they find that the Tripods have destroyed the free men's camp. This is where Series Two ends.
As I said earlier, it is a marvellous story and I really enjoyed watching it. What I find annoying is that Series Two ends in the middle of nowhere. In the last sequence, Will says: "has it all been for nothing" and I wondered if that is indeed the case. With the `beancounters' in the BBC refusing to produce the third series the whole project has been decapitated. The Producer quoted in the `The Cult of the Tripods - a BBC Four Documentary' - one of the extras on this DVD - gives you a good idea what he thought about what happened to Series Three. Whether a movie will be made in 2012 as is indicated on IMdB we will have to wait and see.
So here it is. Series One and Two is a solid 5 stars (and the BBC is a solid zero).
I've never read the books that this series is based on, and I came to it with no idea of what to expect. All I can say is I was blown away!!! Dispite it's badly ages special effects, this series is a deep and thought-provking story that makes me wonder why such an incredible example of television was allowed to be cancelled and the third & final installment never made.
VIDEO: The BBC video release team have done there usual excellent job here. Considering the age and the atempts to reduce cost of it's production at the time (use of cheap videotape and such like)the video transfer is very good and definatley stands the test of time. Watching it Up-scaled did make some of badly done effects look pretty bad, but other than that it is a wonderful tranfer of a 26 year old television series.
AUDIO: As one would expect, the audio has been treated just as well as the video and we're left with an excellent stereo mix. No complaints from me as the 80's synth soundtrack booms out of my surround system.
BONUS MATERIAL: As well as the usual retrospectives that the beeb have gotten used to putting on their better DVD releases, we also get treated to a special audio presentation which represents what the soundtrack for the cancelled third series "pool of fire" would have sounded like. it just seems a shame that nothing of the series was made to go with it.
SUMMARY: This series ended the year I was born so I missed out of the first run. This DVD series is an excellent presentation of a sci-fi series that deserves alot more attention than it gets. A must buy for classic sci-fi fans!!!
When I saw this box set on Amazon I jumped at the chance to relive some of my childhood. As a child I loved the BBC series, which I found really scary, right from the opening title sequence to the closing credits.
I was somewhat apprehensive that this might turn out to be one of those things that was best left as a childhood memory, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Yes, the special effects are now badly dated and the acting is a bit wooden, especially in series one. That said I've just finished a weekend marathon of series 1&2 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I particularly enjoyed series 2 which had much less filler, was more menacing and had better acting. I wasn't intending to watch them all in one go, but it drew me in.
As a Welshman I was amused by the 'Alps', or Snowdonia as we Welsh like to call them!
I doubt that a child of today would enjoy the TV series, as modern special effects and production standards are much higher, but I'm sure they would enjoy the books just as much as I did. That's if you can get hold of them.
Tripods is an excellent adaptation of the John Christopher Books - The Tripods. If you are in your late 30's and remember this first time round then going back to it is heart warming indeed. Excellently cast and shot it shows the BBC at their best with great development of characters and storylines. But the reality is that not for the first time the BBC lets itself down again by not taking the story to its logical conclusion by axing the 3rd Series (Book 3 in the Trilogy)before it could be filmed. The BBC has done this recently too with the new version of 'Survivors' which was yet another high quality drama series that was sacrificed on the altar of reality television. It just shows you that this has been going on for years. So allthough SciFi fans will enjoy The Tripods the key decision you have to make when buying this DVD is if you are willing to buy a series that was only 2/3rds finished. I would say the answer is YES. Do what I did and go out and buy the 3rd book in the trilogy to take the story to its natural and logical conclusion.
loved the series. didn't realise that it leaves us hanging on the edge of an unfinished series. never saw this when it came out so thought it had a complete conclusion. excellent original idea. will buy the books so I can read how it was meant to end.
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.
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.