Wednesday 30 December 2009

Day of the Triffids Redux

Any director who attempts to update a classic text or film is never going to please everyone. The purists will insist that you stick to every word in the book, whereas an audience who has never seen or heard of the work, will compare it to more modern material.

Herein lies the problem of trying to adapt John Wyndhams classic Day of the Triffids.

Originally written in 1951, it has been adapted several times. Anyone 35+ in the UK is most likely to have come across the BBC TV series version, which while it looks dated now, certainly felt very scary back in 1981.

Over the last two nights, the BBC has been showing its updated version of the book. While keeping the central storyline, they have added new characters and updated to include contemporary issues such as global warming.

Personally, I think they have done a pretty good job and keep the central tenant that it mankind messes with mother earth too much, its going to come back and bite (a theme running through several John Wyndham books).

Whats interesting is that while some people like it, others are critical of it for the following reasons

1) Bad special effects - for those people weaned on the Matrix, the effects are not going come on guys and girls, its always going to be tricky to make the triffids really scary

2) Plot holes - While the ending makes no sense at all, the rest of it was all pretty plausible. I'm not sure what people were expecting from a story that deals with society collapse - perhaps they had the same issues with 28 Days Later.

I'd recommend anyone who watched the film to either

Go out and buy the book

or if you don't have time, read the Wikipedia summary and make up your own mind