The Tripods Return!

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:

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2 Responses to The Tripods Return!

  1. Avery says:

    Now this could really be a lot of fun!! I think it’s a brilliant idea to revamp the series for a new generation.They could definitely make it work.I’m anxious to see what they come up with.

  2. Backbrain says:

    Me too. All these remakes get a bit tedious — or at least the “unnecessary” ones do. But a modern film version of “The Tripods”, if done well, could be excellent! The series is good, but limited in its SFX.

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