1 9 8 1 (UK)
6 x 60 minute episodes
Evil walking plants take over the Earth in this restrained adaptation of John Wyndham’s classic novel, accurately following its central theme of the dehumanising of man in a holocaust environment.
In 1961, seeds for Triffids, eight-foot-high plants with a lethal sting, were sold to an oil company to be farmed for their oil. When the plants were found to be both killers and carnivores, they were nearly exterminated, until scientists discovered the value of their oil as a gasoline additive and the Triffid farms were preserved.
John Duttine played Bill Masen, the man who battled the Brobdingnagian flora, but the show was weakened by expensive special effects which failed to scare.
The series itself, like the 1963 feature film of the same name, begins with Bill awakening in a London hospital after a successful eye operation to discover that the majority of the population has been blinded by fantastic comets watched all over the world the previous night.
As Bill joins with other survivors of the disaster, he discovers that the flesh-eating Triffids have begun to escape from their pens.
With man’s natural advantage of sight removed, the Triffids can have an independent existence and eventually take over civilization.
Each episode revealed a different attempt at rebuilding society: academics elected themselves to the top of an elitist hierarchy, but soon succumbed to a plague; chain gangs of blind people led by a sighted guide quickly proved impractical; even when Bill and his girlfriend Jo (Emma Relph) set up home in a remote cottage protected by an electric fence, they found that they were still not safe from those who wanted security for themselves.