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The Day of the Triffids


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Duttine, Emma Relph, Maurice Colbourne, Eva Griffiths, David Swift
  • Directors: Ken Hannam
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 157 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TSTEO6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,026 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Day of the Triffids" on IMDb

Special Features

  • DVD9
  • 12-page collector's booklet

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If the notion of being pursued across the countryside by monstrous, ambulatory stalks of rhubarb strikes terror into your soul, then this British TV adaptation of sci-fi novelist John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids will be right up your hedgerow. If not, well, perhaps its more campy elements will carry the day. As adapted (and significantly abridged) by Douglas Livingstone and directed by Ken Hannam, the story is serialized in six parts, each about 25 minutes long. In the first, we meet protagonist Bill Masen (John Duttine), who knows all about the rhubarb… um, the triffids… having spent some time working among the folks who harvest their valuable oil extracts. Seems these strange plant thingies, whose origin is most mysterious, can not only walk (albeit at a pace that makes The Lord of the Rings trilogy's Ents seem like Olympic sprinters) but kill, subduing victims with their whip-like stingers and then consuming the rotting flesh; indeed, one of the triffids almost nailed our hero, which is why he's hospitalized when we first see him. Next thing you know, some kind of toxic celestial event has lit up the skies and blinded everyone who dared look at it, leaving most of the population sightless and stumbling about the streets of London (and everywhere else); only those who missed the calamitous light show, including Bill and soon-to-be love interest Jo (Emma Relph), can still see, while the triffids, who multiply in frightening numbers, proceed to lay waste to everyone else. There are some interesting ideas developed along the way, including the inevitable breakdown of civilization as the survivors struggle to begin anew while dealing with the implacable triffids. But the execution of said ideas is lacking; shot on video, the show has a flat, rather cheesy look, along with low-rent special effects (the triffids are laughable), less than stellar acting, and dialogue straight out of a soap opera. In the end, the fact that this Day of the Triffids is considered better than the 1962 film adaptation with Howard Keel is probably its principal attraction. --Sam Graham

Product Description

All humans eat vegetables. But what if we were the helpless ones, and the plants were eating us? Following the Earth's close encounter with a comet, a meteor shower strikes Britain's population blind. Bill Masen, recovering in a London hospital from a vicious plant attack, is one of only a few people to survive with his eyesight intact. But the world he emerges to has altered terrifyingly into a nightmare where man-eating plants -- the triffids -- are gathering in force!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By T. S. Sofia on September 9, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NOTE: As I own the 2/4 region version of this film, my review deals with the substance of the story (NO spoilers!). I have preordered a copy coming from Amazon and will update my review immediately after receiving that one.

This is a six part mini-series based on the book by John Wyndham, first broadcast in the UK in 1981 and subsequently shown on PBS (where I first saw it). The Day of the Triffids is quite the father to "28 Days Later", in that it is an end-of-the world-as-we-know-it tale, but it has a good deal less gore and offers up a romance between the leads John Duttine (as Bill Masen) and Emma Relph (as Josella Payton).

The plot centers on two main elements: the introduction of a complex, new form of plant life that provides a highly profitable type of oil and the appearance of a massive meteor shower that is eagerly viewed by most of the inhabitants of the world.

As this is a BBC television production, the sense of a play unfolding and the accents of some of the characters may not appeal to some American viewers. Yet, the dialogue is crisp and the emotional interplay very human in a situation where the world seems to have gone mad. The special effects are minimal but fairly convincing (remember this was made over 25 years ago).

This is one of my favourite science-fiction movies of all time. The actors do a very solid job of bringing the characters to life, there is a very real feeling of dread as the veiled nature of the triffids becomes apparent and the responses of various peoples to the crisis rings true throughout.

It should be noted that an earlier effort at adapting the book for film starred Howard Keel (many will have seen this courtesy late night movies).
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on March 9, 2008
Format: DVD
As Wyndham Meant It
I have a soft spot in my heart for the movie starring Howard Keel but it was not very true to the book. This mini-series is much truer. The first obvious difference is that the Triffids are already around and farmed as a cash crop. While true to the book the pacing is changed so that cliffhangers and other tense moments fall right at the end of each episode but none of these changes affect the feel.
Howard Keel starred in a movie where the main point was fighting the Triffids. It was man versus monster. This version is much less about fighting Triffids and much more about humanity learning to deal with having been temporarily knocked down a peg (after all, newborns will not be born blind). It is about planning for a rough couple of decades and not the end of the world. The acting is decent and the few necessary special effects are well handled. When it was all over I really felt like I had just watched Wyndham's classic. Check it out.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Josef H. Buerger III on September 13, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THIS [THE ORIGINAL BBC VERSION] IS FAITHFUL TO JOHN WYNDHAMS BOOK. I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR OVER 20 YEARS TO GET A PROFESSIONAL COPY OF IT. WHEN I FIRST SAW IT IN 1985, I MADE A VHS COPY WHICH I WORE OUT IN 10 YEARS! I WISH THAT THEY HAD REMASTERED THE SOUND [DOLBY DIGITAL] AS WELL AS THE PICTURE. IT'S APPROACH [LIKE MOST MOVIES FROM THE UK] IS RELATIVELY LOW KEY [IT'S NOT A SHOOT EM UP!]. IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS PRESENTATION BEFORE, GET IT FOR YOUR LIBRARY. IT'S HEAD & SHOULDERS ABOVE THE 1962 MOVIE BEARING THE SAME NAME. YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Valinorean on September 17, 2006
Format: DVD
Yes, I know. A version of this movie was done with American actor Howard Keel, and that's the popular version. Yes, sci-fi, horror, flesh eating plants don't sell as well as they used to. But this is really one of the best, and certainly it's the best version of this story and stays closest to the book.
Do we Americans ALWAYS have to buy multiregion players in order to get all the good British programming? (rant off, I apologize.)

As I mentioned above, this is a true-to -the book mini-series . The book was written by the same person who wrote the story that Village of the Damned was taken from. It is scary without being ridiculous, and it has surprisingly good acting by the leads.
Any Americans able to play this format should pick this disc up.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Celaya on December 14, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The reviews so far seem to be of two different camps - fans who fondly remember the BBC series from the 1980's and non-fans who jeer at the dated production values. This version of day of the Triffids holds up well over 25 years after it was first broadcast - especially compared to other TV series of the same era. I am specifically thinking about the Louis Jourdan version of Dracula which I fondly remembered but now seemed hokey with lame psychedelic effects. But Triffids is still very effective and thought provoking, it is well acted (especially John Duttine as Bill Masen) and the Triffid plants seem plausible (though I think they move a little to fast). But this series is not a $100 million blockbuster, so if that what you are expecting, avoid this DVD. This TV version is far superior to the 1962 movie.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Oldest & Wisest on October 3, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was delighted to see that this British mini-series adaptation of John Wyndham's sf novel "Day of the Triffids" will now be available on American DVD. I had a copy on VHS which I had taped when the series had been shown on my local PBS station, but I made the mistake of loaning it to a couple of idiots who somehow managed to break it. (How do you break a videotape, I'd like to know?)

In Wyndham's novel, a strange world-wide disaster leaves mankind vulnerable to the triffids, a species of mobile plants whose origins are unknown. The story follows one man (played by John Duttine, star of another popular British series "To Serve Then All My Days") who by chance was unaffected by the disaster and his travels around England, trying to find others like himself and re-establish civilization. It adheres very closely to the novel and the writing and acting are up to the usual high British standards. Much better than the earlier American version with its ridiculous "Wizard of OZ" ending. (I like Howard Keel, but he should stick to musicals.)

Highly recommended.
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