TV miniseries episode review: The Day of the Triffids (2009), episode 1 (of 2), directed by Nick Copus
Happened to come across this new BBC version of the Day of the Triffids, recorded in 2009. I’ve never seen any triffid versions before and all I know about it is that it’s about plants that can move around and eat people.
Triffids are plants grown in big greenhouses so that oil can be harvested from them. Oil that “saved the world from global warming”, we’re told, because it’s very good and all. It begins with the sky looking strange, then there’s a bright light and everyone’s blinded. Chaos breaks out in the aftermath, the triffids are set free to roam the earth and eat people. In the midst of this chaos are a number of people who aren’t blinded.
One of them is Dr Bill Mason (Dougray Scott, kind of reminding me of a more rugged and less posh version of Eddie Izzard), who was on an airplane with a face mask on to be able to sleep. He wakes up, finds himself the only one with sight, ploughs his way through the blinded passengers, picking up all the life jackets he can on the way, locking himself in the airplane’s toilet surrounded by all the inflated life jackets. If anyone’s going to survive, it’s him – screw anyone else. All of them eventually come across Coker ( ), an American who thinks sighted people should help the blinded. Oh yes, and there’s Genevieve O’Reilly as well, a chilly lady with a British accent.), who can see because he was in hospital with his eyes covered when things kicked off – ironically, because he was in for an eye operation. Another is BBC radio star Jo Playton (Joely Richardson) who was in the underground at the time. Yet another is Torrence (
Anyway. It’s two 90-minute episodes, the other one’s on tomorrow night, and I’m looking forward. Eddie Izzard’s character (who took his name from a street sign he found on the ground when he crawled from the plane wreck) is a devious and power-hungry liar. First thing he does when he crawls out of the plane? Breaks into an upmarket clothing store and helps himself to an expensive outfit. Second? Goes to visit 10 Downing Street, but the Prime Minister isn’t home.
The whole evil, carnivorous plants who walk, talk, plot world domination and spit poison … is a little bit on the funny side. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to giggle or not. They look so silly! The other thing is, so all these people are blinded, because it makes sense that when the sky goes really bright, you KEEP LOOKING AT IT UNTIL YOU GO BLIND. Wouldn’t you rather go “oh that’s a bit bright actually” and at least close your eyes? Put your hands over? What about everyone who was in the tube, inside buildings and who might’ve even been asleep and who wouldn’t have been exposed? Bit of a plot hole there, really. Shouldn’t be a handful of people who can see, it should be THOUSANDS. And speaking of sighted and blinded people, isn’t it a bit offensive to blind people? Why? People are sighted, and as soon as they go blind it’s chaos and mayhem – and people go and kill themselves rather than to live as blinded (this is before they find out plants are out to kill them). Good to know you might as well end it if you should ever be in an accident and lose your sight. What kind of a message is that?!
Aside from that, it’s awright. It’ll be interesting to find out how it all ends in the second, final, episode. Tomorrow at 9 on BBC1.