back to article BBC relives The Day of The Triffids

The BBC is poised to start filming on a new adapation of John Wyndham's The Day of The Triffids, due to hit screens in a high-definition two-parter some time next year. Quite how ER screenwriter Patrick Harbinson will inject new life into the classic tale of horticultural apocalypse remains to be seen, since the Beeb has …


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  1. Allan Rutland

    Re: BBC Wales

    BBC Wales, said: "We're hoping to attract a legion of new fans as well as give nightmares to a new generation of viewers."

    Thought the Beeb did that whenever they mentioned the dreaded license fee.

  2. Andrew Halliwell

    What's the point?

    All day of the triffids is...

    Is "Survivors" with walking killer plants thrown in.

    And they've only just remade survivors.

  3. Dave Edmondston
    Thumb Down


    Congratulations to the BBC for dragging up the same ideas for TV. Cutting edge it is not.

  4. David Harper

    Yet another f*****g re-make

    So apparently it's not just Hollywood that doesn't have any original ideas. The BBC, too, has taken the lazy option and decided to re-make yet another 1970s series.

    What next, a re-make of Monty Python with Cleese et al replaced with CGI figures?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Dear Auntie, already having nightmares...

    ... thanks from looking at the license fee for 2009. Can't we have something new instead of a remake. Not exactly lacking in sci fi books/ scripts out there.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    F*ck the triffids...

    ...finish THE TRIPODS first!

  7. Andrew Moore

    I was only saying the other day...

    ...this new series of Survivors is in serious need of some triffids.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Groundhog day.

    What is it with the Beeb constantly revisiting past glories?

    I like Day of the Triffids as much as the next man, but this is ridiculous, it was perfectly well in the eighties.

    Couldn't they do their hatchet work on some more high brow sci-fi anyway? Brave New World would make a good two parter.

    I swear it's just another corporate twatdangle, so they can go on about how wonderful past triffid displays were.

    (BTW, Firefox has "triffid" in its spell checker, but not "Firefox". How odd is that?)

  9. Tom

    When I grow up....

    I want to be a triffid.

  10. Nomen Publicus

    Deja Vu all over again

    Isn't it a pity that only one science fiction book was ever written. Wouldn't it be amazing if there were thousands of SF stories that could be adapted for TV.

    I guess we should be grateful that one SF story exists and we can remake it year after year after year.

  11. Andrew Bush

    The show is yet to be cast, but...

    ... any odds against Freema Agyeman having a bit-part in it?

    Do fish have salty piss?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    How about finally doing some new british sci-fi

    Banks anyone? Ken Mcleod? Or especially Peter F. Hamilton?

    Oops... Sorry...

    They touch on some topics that may insult our Stalinist government so the supposedly independent "Auntie Beeb" should avoid them the way Lucifer avoids holy water. After all it is much easier to film again and again a silly and aged apocalyptic story which has no social message in it. And sprinkle some Daleks on top of that from time to time...

    Dunno about everyone else but the speed at which this country is approaching a likelihood of what is described in Hamilton's Greg Mandel trilogy is scary.

    By the way - to reg staff. We desperately need an icon of Antonio Bliar with horns (no need for the "angel" version). Can you add it please.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    It's a BBC drama... the only criteria for it will be to get someone "cool" to play a main part, and to get the London Eye in as much as possible.

    ...mine's the one without the copy of Dr Who in the pocket.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that many versions; but then again...

    The BBC has only made one TV version, I think, the early 80s one with John Duttine. The BBC press release copied information word for word from the relevant Wikipedia page, so far as I can see, but whoever did this didn't quite understand what the page meant. The BBC has indeed made several radio versions; the Giles Cooper one from the 1960s is still worth listening to.

    More to the point perhaps is that the current remake of "Survivors" is a second try at a show which was very largely stolen from "The Day of the Triffids". It's a bit puzzling, commissioning these in consecutive years.

  15. Steve


    It'll all be based on a new lifeform that evolved from concentrated piss in a falling fridge, and don't even think of asking what it's going to do with that toolkit...

  16. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    And in other news...

    Due to a lack of original thought, the BBC today confirmed that it will indeed be remaking classic 00's sitcom "The Office" as "we're hoping to attract a legion of new fans as well as present situational embarrasment to a new generation of viewers."

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm prepared to cut them some slack on this and go with it, with the instruction:

    "Don't fuck it up"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Do you reckon, like 28 Days Later, the main change will be that the Triffids can now run . . . and a 2-parter?? Like the remake of Survivor, and the way that Dr. Who rarely runs a plot for longer than 2 episodes, everything has to be set up and resolved so quickly these days.

  19. Stuart Crook

    To save money...

    ...they could just CGI some daffodils into Survivors. Job done.

  20. Tim

    New Ideas


    I know BBC, you can't think of anything new programs just remake a load of old ones. Whats next? Quatermass, Doomwatch, Blakes 7, Star Cops or Moonbase 3?

    Give your writers a real chance to make something original up.

  21. Roy Stilling

    If they're going to do any of John Wyndham's "cosy catastrophes"

    I wish it would be /The Kraken Wakes/ - I always preferred that one to the Triffids.

    Why isn't there an anorak icon for this post?

  22. David Evans


    Has no science fiction actually been written since 1951? Seriously BBC execs, get your arses down to Forbidden Planet ffs.

  23. Hedley Phillips

    clack clack click clack

    I for one welcome our new Darlingtonia californica overlords.

  24. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up


    "I want to be a triffid."

    Now there's a wish with a sting in the tail.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    BBC Sci Fi

    The Triffids will be made by evil white male scientists. Probably to combat GW and or provide biofuel to evil British corporations. Science will go horribly wrong as usual and big veg will eat the population and an innocent dog.

    The day will be saved by heroic band of ethnic minorities, a couple of disaffected yoofs, the odd lesbian, Muslim or very camp gay man (who may be white due to his minority sexuality).

    They will battle through hoards of white male militia type gangs to save the world by pollinating organic carrots using wild rabbits and a small orphaned child (who must be an ethnic minority).

    The action will take place in London so that the producers won't have to venture too far into barbarian lands or miss a latté from their favourite coffee shop. Some of the actors may be permitted to have an accent nor from the SE.

    The plot will be quite simple not using any real science if possible so as not to upset the uneducated benefit clients who could not attend school due to no fault of their own.

  26. weirdcult
    Thumb Down

    Uck the Triffids

    I want a remake of the Martian Chronicles.........

  27. Chris Miller


    A remorseless, inhuman killing machine that can only be stopped by ...

    ... a pair of garden shears.

    Works well as a book or on radio - on screen, not so much.

    I vote for "A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!" by Harry Harrison or, failing that "The Technicolor Time Machine" or, failing that, pretty much anything by Harry Harrison :)

  28. Red Bren

    @AC Fast-moving

    I'll give you fast moving...

    Scene 1: BBC News 24 presenter doing fake item on "the most spectacular astronomical event ever due to occur in the skies over Britain tonight as solar winds cause a massive meteor shower*"

    Scene 2: Bob & Mary Cockney standing in a torrential downpour outside their Eastend terrace - "Gor blimey Bob, this is boring, lets go back inside and watch Celebrity Death Rattle**"

    Scene 3: The Triffids begin their assault on humanity, only to be thwarted by the visually unimpaired populace armed with weed killer and led by Bob & Mary Cockney.

    THE END.

    * Yes, we all know it doesn't work like that but the BBC & the Great British public are too scientifically ignorant to know or care.

    ** If anyone wants to make this show, I'm happy to licence the idea for an extortionate fee.

  29. GrahamT

    How long before...

    ...we get pedantic annotators pointing out that plants can't actually pull up their roots and walk; that with modern antihistamines, the stings needn't be fatal; and a good dose of roundup would finish the lot of the buggers off. (probably right after my sarcastic effort)

  30. Rob

    @Stike Vomit

    YAY someone else who remembers the Tripods, all my mates think I'm crazy until I show them the original books published by the BBC.

    I feel a need to start a petition for the Tripods, don't even care if they remake it all to finish the story off.

    Mine's the one with the weird Kaleidoscope alien eye in the pocket and a silver skull cap.

  31. John Langham-Service
    Paris Hilton


    Yay for Blakes 7

    Paris coz no one would want to do her twice

  32. Piers

    @BBC Sci Fi - nail. on. head.

    that. is. all.

  33. BossHog

    David Tennant?

    What are the odds that it'll have David Bl**dy Tennant in it?

  34. Thomas

    @BBC Sci Fi

    You don't work for the BBC do you? Because that sounds frighteningly accurate.

  35. John Ferris
    IT Angle

    You missed one...

    How could you NOT suggest a remake of Space 1999? Call it Space 2099, call in all the actors and writers from Dr Who and Torchwood, all the characters / aliens must exhibit some form of latent homosexuality so to match the PC view of the world and Mia gets to change into a different ethnic minority every episode.

    The moon could be blown from it's orbit following a fire in the toxic waste / recycled paper that was dumped on the moon because Africa/ India was full, the fire being started due to friendly fire from a US anti-insurgent strike on the moon, considering they had ran out of countries on the Earth to invade and turn into hell-holes.

    Hey, this is sounding good, I might write a script. But it mustn't run for more than 20 minutes, must have a Deus Ex Machina ending and recycle loads of old ideas with Daleks and John Barroman if at all possible.

    And triffids.

    IT angle? I@ waiting for Auntie to Announce they are relaunching the BBC Micro...

  36. ClickMonster

    @ BBC Sci Fi

    Actually the Triffids will be made by evil white male scientists, working on GM products for a faceless multinational. No doubt these scientists will also be doing pointless and cruel animal experimentation in the background to cross potatoes with cute, cuddly dogs/monkeys etc.

    Other than that, i think you're outline is probably correct.

  37. Haku

    Re: F*ck the triffids...

    Damn straight! I was extremely pissed when the 3rd year came round and I was eagerly awaiting the 3rd & final installment only to hear that they didn't have enough budget so we were left high'n'dry.


  38. Mike Richards Silver badge

    "fast-paced, futuristic and electrifying take"

    So nothing like the book which imagined the slowest, dullest apocalypse ever to befall mankind.

  39. Steven Jones

    @Andrew Halliwell

    Nope - Survivors is The Day of the Triffids without the perambulating killer plants, not the other way around, John Wyndham got there in 1951, well over 20 years before Terry Nation.

    I sincerely hope that The Day of the Triffids is better than the 1962 film where the vicous vegetables just need a dose of salt water (the book ended with the main protagonists oin the Isle of White with the final result to the war between man and fiendish flora yet to be resolved).

    If the BBC want to film a Wyndham novel then they ought to try The Kraken Wakes (which would make a good no-expense-spared-turn-your-brain-off Hollywood block-buster).

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Tripods

    If the BBC are looking for something useful to do, why don't they finish off what they started with the Tripods. IIRC, they only did the first two books of the trilogy - as a kid I really enjoyed the series...when some nonk came along and canned it.

  41. Chris

    Oh, you poor things.

    At least you don't have to put up with remakes of Knight Rider and The Bionic Woman; not to mention Keanu Reeves in The Day the Earth Stood Still (although that will probably make it across the pond one day.)

    My suggestion - use recycled cancelled TV license fee checks (or cheques) from the 70's to pay for recycled cancelled TV shows from the 70's.

    It might be fun to see a remake of "The Prisoner" though. Perhaps they could come up with a more believable "Rover" than a giant inflated condom now.

  42. Paul

    "fast-paced, futuristic and electrifying take"

    if that simple phrase doesn't fill you with dread I don't know what will

    So after condensing it down to a 2 parter it's mainly going to be filled with different angle shots of people running around cut in a manner designed to confuse and bore the hell out of people

    As for new fans...ummmm it's a 2 parter not a series so that doesn't make sense unless really it's a pilot for a new series based on the day of the triffids.

    Also just wondering why BBC Wales if it's going to be shot somewhere else, surely more efficent to use the local BBC there

  43. graeme leggett

    why wales they ask

    "Also just wondering why BBC Wales if it's going to be shot somewhere else, surely more efficent to use the local BBC there"

    its an accountacy sleight of hand to make it look like the regions are contributing. like waterloo road being a Bbc scotland production.

  44. Lime Smoothie


    Oi! Auntie so-called Beeb! Nooooooooo!

    The British people are clearly yearning for the final Tripods book to be serialised. So sort it out.

    They were much scarier for kids than some overblown tat about killer foliage.

  45. J.Wild

    Bad collective memories

    No one seems to remember that the reason that everyone went blind and then died of the plague was due to orbiting nuclear and bacteriological weapons that were triggered by a meteor shower. Phew!

    The triffids are really incidental to the story, it's about the breakdown of civilization.

    Please keep up!

  46. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    The Neocons of Fantasy

    For the Neocons it's always 1940 and the enemy is Hitler.

    For the Beeb, it's always 1951 and the enemy is veggies.

    Take some Charles Stross instead. Mixing BOFHs, Dilbertisms, Her Majesty's Secret Service, Resurrected Nazis, Lovecraftian Horrors, Hot Chicks and English Weather implies Win.

  47. Alien8n

    No new sci-fi?

    Actually the Beeb can do some really good new stuff. Not long ago they did a pilot drama called Being Human, about a werewolf and a vampire who move into a haunted house. It was actually really really good, which probably explains why they never turned it into a series.

    Re: Tripods, yes, they should remake all 3 books, I remember that series as well and it was some of the best childrens drama ever to be shown on TV. I'd also like to se the BBC do a *proper* war of the worlds. So far there's only been 1 film that's set at the time of the book but I've not watched it as the special effects for it look like they'd been done on an old Amiga 500, the CGI was some of the most appalling I've ever seen, although the designs for the martians did look really cool.

    Martian Chronicles, another classic. Although to be fair the story didn't look into the emotional effects of watching everyone else you know at home going up in nuclear apococalypse anywhere near enough.

    And a remake of Blakes 7 would be great, although not sure it would ever get made, a lot of the original storyline now looks far to close to El Gordo's Britain today, the Beeb might be mistaken for political commentary :p

    And if the Beeb needs to keep the gay quotient up they could also do J G Ballard's stuff, plenty of manlove in his books.

  48. Steve


    The original Tripod books weren't published by the BBC. They were written in the late 60s, the Beeb didn't get round to them until 20 years later. They were aimed at teenagers, I remember my Grandad bought me "The White Mountains", it's probably what hooked me on SF. By the time the Beeb got round to making the series I assumed I'd become too old for them...

    Still, while we're on the subject of kid's SF, anyone else remember the Tomorrow People?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring on the DVD!

    CGI filled action/horror schlock, with plant monsters 'updated' to the 21st century. Two parter banged out once to terrestrial and then slapped out worldwide on the shelves as a DVD to cash in on the Triffid franchise and boost the BBC salaries.

    However, i must admit I've always fancied the idea of a pepped up triffid though so bring it on!

  50. Anonymous Coward


    I re-read The Kraken Wakes recently. I remember it being pretty gripping many years ago, but found it hadn't aged terribly well. The suspense seemed just too predictable by today's standards and the characters rather shallow.

    Hope the Triffids haven't suffered the same fate.

  51. Gilbert Wham

    Re 'Anything By Harry Harrison':

    Can haz Slippery Jim Di Griz? Seriously, a series of Stainless steel Rat movies would be awesome. Really, we'd need to rejuvenate James Coburn for the part, but I'll take other casting suggestions on board.

  52. Anonymous John

    BBC Wales?

    So it's going to be called "The Day Of The Leek", is it?

  53. adifferentbob

    oh no !

    why oh why oh why ? If they have to remake something , how about the Caves Of Steel - they did that in the fifties didn't they?

    Just goes to show the paucity of imagination amongst some programme makers. I'd rather they did something from scratch - like The Demolished Man , or something more modern like Stross's Laundry series to name just two. There is so much decent science fiction old and modern that would make cracking TV and that doesn't need expensive fx. But Day of the Sodding Triffids - no no no!

  54. Angus


    "The corporation promises, though, a "fast-paced, futuristic and electrifying take" on the chilling guide to why you shouldn't look at meteor showers."

    Oh dear..

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Neocons of Fantasy

    Charles Stross has only written one good book, and it's not The Atrocity Archives.

    But I loved the idea of putting Peter F. Hamilton on the small screen. What'd it be, each book in 104 half-hour episodes? Ratings winner!

  56. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Can't wait

    I've watched the brilliant original BBC adaptation about four times now and can't wait to see this new version.

    Two parts will make for a long episode? 1.5 hours each.

  57. Stuart Halliday

    Alternative shows

    Let's have the BBC make "Jizzle" by John Wyndham. Though it might be difficult for it to get past the Beeb censor board for some reason...

    But my real favourite would have to be something which is relevant to recent research development actually going on - "Trouble with Lichen" by John Wyndham. Now wouldn't that make a truly modern horror story? People living for longer.

  58. Kane Silver badge

    Some good suggestions

    @ JonB - Brave New World - Damn good idea Sir! It would make an exceptional mini series I believe, enough Sci to qualify and a lot of social commentary about government control....woops, did I say control? I meant betterment for mankind, of course.

    @ How about finally doing some new british sci-fi - Yep, there is enough of it out there, and a serialisation of Mr Hamilton's Nights Dawn Trilogy would be awesome.

    Mine's the one with the Soma in the back pocket, and the Antimatter fueled Combat Wasps in the front.

  59. John Blagden

    Tomorrow People

    Tomorrow People - yowza! Da Da, Da Da Da

    I'm getting old'n'grey now, but I seem to remember a blonde in that series that made me want to lick the screen.

  60. Smallbrainfield

    Well, it's a slap in the face (ha!) with a triffid sting for

    the 80s version, which still is awesome. Really scary intro.

    Like everyone else, I wish they'd make some other piece of classic Brit SF. Rendezvous with Rama still needs to be filmed.

  61. John Dougald McCallum

    recomended Sci/Fi for the BBC

    Misspent Youth Peter F. Hammilton

    Reality Dysfunction Trilogy Peter F.Hammilton done properly that should give any one nightmares for years.

    any or all the books by Alistair Reynolds.

    or how about that hoary old tale in eleven parts The Wheel of Time.That should be enough to keep Auntie Busy for Years.ET for obvious reasons

  62. Rick Brasche

    OMG Peter Hamilton FTW

    can you imagine a series based off of the Reality Dysfunction? Or the Greg Mandel/Mindstar Rising books?

    Sigh, still no such luck.

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