With the BBC’s new updating of John Wyndham’s classic 1951 scifi novel, The Day of the Triffids — one of my favourites, I might add — about to be aired in the UK on 28 and 29 December, we have some stills and an extended synopsis. Unfortunately the images lack triffids, but there are lots of scenes of the main characters in post-apocalyptic mode.
The Day of the Triffids (UK-2009; dir. Nick Copus)
Scientist Bill Masen (DOUGRAY SCOTT), has dedicated his life’s work to the study of the complex plant species called Triffids, Genetically modified, they are mass-produced for their ‘Triffoil’, a vital source of renewable fuel. Bill has noticed an unnerving change in their behavioural patterns. The Triffids are starting to communicate. Meanwhile, crowds gather across the globe to witness a much-anticipated solar storm. But the spectacle blinds all those who watch it and the world goes into free fall. In London, fear and panic rage as the blind desperately depend for survival on the few remaining sighted. An even greater nightmare awaits. The Triffids are hungry and moving toward the cities for the most abundant source of their prey — mankind.
Having narrowly escaped blindness, Bill forms an instant attraction with a fellow sighted survivor – the outspoken journalist, Jo Playton (JOELY RICHARDSON). They meet Torrence (EDDIE IZZARD), a flagrantly amoral opportunist, who delights in his new appointment: presiding over the weak and the blind – laying down the foundations for his autocratic government. The Triffid invasion is the perfect crisis for Torrence to work to his own spurious agenda. Despite his feelings for Jo, Bill knows he must leave London. Their one chance of survival lies in reaching the only man who knows more about the Triffids than he does – his estranged father, Dennis (BRIAN COX).
On his perilous mission, Bill breaks free of Torrence and his henchmen, is offered as a sacrifice to the Triffids by the maniacal, messianic community leader Durrant (VANESSA REDGRAVE) and rescues two sisters, Imogen and Susan. These children have lost everything and seek his protection in the final leg of an extraordinary journey. Jo finally finds her way to Bill and the children but their happy reunion is short lived. The desperate efforts of Bill and Dennis to stop the Triffids’ pollination are interrupted by Torrence and his army who surround their house. Caught in the crossfire between the bullets of Torrence’s subordinates and a fast approaching horde of Triffids, Bill’s hopes of saving his newfound family seem doomed to fail. With insurmountable odds against them — how will they make it out alive? (24fps)