In 1984 the BBC produced a children’s sci-fi series based on John Christopher’s The Tripods Trilogy: The White Mountains (1967), The City of Gold and Lead (1967), and The Pool of Fire (1968). The show, called simply The Tripods, has a legendary status in the minds and imaginations of many who grew up through the period — and indeed it survives quite well even now, despite relatively cheap production values and pre-CGI effects.
Beings known as the Tripods have conquered Earth and turned the human race into slaves by implanting everyone over the age of 14 with a mind-control device. 13-year-old Will Parker and his friends, however, plot to defeat the Tripods before humans are no more. (IMDB plot description)
The Tripods are giant three-legged machines that have destroyed the world’s cities and reduced humanity to a pre-industrial state, instituting a regime of mind control for purposes that are elaborated as the show progresses. Only two of the intended three seasons were ever made — and the second season at least has been elusive on DVD (though the full thing became available late last year). Attempts at the production of a movie version have cropped up from time to time, but nothing has been forecoming in that area to date.
Now, according the IMDB, a film is set to go into production. Intended to premiere in 2009, it is a US/Australia co-production and will be directed by Gregor Jordan. Let’s hope it happens. I didn’t see the show as a child in 1984, but have watched the first season on DVD as a grumpy old bastard in recent years. Despite superficial similarities to H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, the show’s post-invasion rural background and the social controls put in place by the invaders give it a completely different feel.
I haven’t been able to find any other confirmation, but will certainly update when I do.
For those who don’t know the original series, here is the opening of the first episode: