Published on June 29th, 2006 | by The Beige Baron


The Day of the Triffids

Another one for the Classic Beard File, The Day of the Triffids TV incarnation circa 1981 is rich in unintentional comedy, outrageously sniffy British accents, wild period costumes and woeful special effects.

I haven’t enjoyed a TV series so much in a long time. Despite being dated, the story of civilization destroyed by flesh-eating plants is as thrilling now as it was when it was first written in novel form by John Wyndam in 1951.

And the acting in the subsequent TV series isn’t that bad. It’s just hard to take a man dressed in comfortable slacks and a cream turtle-neck sweater seriously.

I watched the six 45min episodes over two beer-flavoured evenings and found the show to be quite gripping and thought-provoking. A strange meteor shower sends the world’s population blind and suffering a fatal disease. A handful of people who missed out on the light show were spared from these ailments, and the series follows their attempts to survive and help the less fortunate while fending off hoards of flesh-eating plants, which had broken free of the labratory and were now intent on taking over the planet.

The plants were only marginally less frightening than the carpet and egg carton creations of Doctor Who, but despite their comical appearance, it was quite easy to suspend disbelief and really get into the low-speed chase scenes sprinkled throughout the episodes.

I couldn’t help feeling this show was the X-Files of the 80s, only with Camilla Parker-Bowles instead of Gillian Anderson. There were many exciting twists and turns of the plot, a few juicy moral dilemmas, and one spectacular beard.

Highlights for me was the eventual employment of the oft-touted Anti-Triffid gun, which despite its ferocious appearance fired what appeared to be a small rubber band. It’s difficult to pick, though. The whole DVD is a pleasant mix of genuine thrills, and on another level, total hilarity.

Enjoy this movie with a little hash, some beer and some friends. Well worth the rental price.

4/5 from me.

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Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

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