The Day of the Triffids


Radio adaptations

Character 1957 1968 2001
Bill Mason Patrick Barr Gary Watson Jamie Glover
Josella Playton Monica Grey Barbara Shelley Tracy Ann Oberman
Coker Malcolm Hayes Peter Sallis Lee Ingleby
Col. Jacques Arthur Young Anthony Vicars Geoffrey Whitehead
Michael Beadley John Sharplin Michael McClain
Ms. Durrant Molly Lumley Hilda Krisemon Richenda Carey
Dr. Vorless Duncan McIntyre Victor Lucas
Susan Gabrielle Blunt Jill Carey Lucy Tricket
Denis Brent Richard Martin David Brierly
Mary Brent Shelia Manahan Freda Dowie
Joyce Tailor Margot Macalister Margaret Robinson
Torrence Trevor Martin Hayden Jones

The novel was adapted by Giles Cooper in six 30-minute episodes for the BBC Light Programme, first broadcast between 2 October and 6 November 1957. It was produced by Peter Watt. A second version of Cooper's adaptation, for BBC Radio 2, was first broadcast between 20 June and 25 July 1968. It was produced by John Powell, with music by David Cain of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. An adaptation by Lance Dann in two 45-minute episodes for the BBC World Service was first broadcast on 8 and 22 September 2001. It was directed by Rosalind Ward, with music by Simon Russell. Episode 2 was originally scheduled for 15 September 2001, but was rescheduled due to the September 11 attacks. Each episode was followed by a 15-minute documentary on the book.

The Powell radio version identifies the day after the blinding as being "Wednesday 8th May", which is consistent with the year it was broadcast - 8th May in 1968 was a Wednesday.

A 20-minute extract for schools was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 21 September 1973, adapted and produced by Peter Fozzard. There were readings of the novel in 1953 (BBC Home Service – 15 x 15 minutes, read by Frank Duncan), 1971 (BBC Radio 4 – 10 x 15 minutes, read by Gabriel Woolf), 1980 (BBC Radio 4/Woman's Hour – 14 x 15 minutes, read by David Ashford), and 2004 (BBC7 – 17 x 30 minutes, read by Roger May).


It was adapted in Germany in 1968 by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) Köln (Cologne), translated by Hein Bruehl, and most recently re-broadcast as a four episode series on WDR5 in January 2008.

It was adapted in Norway in 1969 by Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK), translated by Knut Johansen, and most recently re-broadcast as a six episode series on NRK in September and October 2012. The Norwegian version is also available on CD and iTunes.[11]

Other media

London-based film producers Albert R. Broccoli and Irving Allen purchased the film rights and in 1956 hired Jimmy Sangster to write the script.[12] Sangster believed that Wyndham was one of the best science fiction novelists writing at the time and felt both honoured and "a little bit intimidated" that he was about to "start messing" with Wyndham's novel. Sangster claims he was paid for his work but never heard from the producers, and the film was not made. He has since admitted that he doesn't think his script was any good.[13]

A British cinematic version, directed by Steve Sekely and with a screenplay by Bernard Gordon, was filmed on location in Spain and released in July 1962.[14]

In 1975, Marvel Comics adapted the story in the magazine Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction.

A television serial version was produced by the BBC in 1981, and repeated on BBC Four in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2014. It starred John Duttine as Bill Masen.

In December 2009, the BBC broadcast a new version of the story, written by ER and Law & Order writer Patrick Harbinson.[15] It stars Dougray Scott as Bill Masen, Joely Richardson as Jo Playton, Brian Cox as Dennis Masen, Vanessa Redgrave as Durrant, Eddie Izzard as Torrence, and Jason Priestley as Coker.[16][17] An estimated 6.1 million people viewed the first episode.[18] The elements of repopulating the Earth and the plague were overlooked in this adaptation; another difference in the plot was that the Earth was blinded by a solar flare.

In September 2010, Variety announced that a 3D film version was being planned by producers Don Murphy and Michael Preger.[19]

A sequel, The Night of the Triffids, taking place 25 years after Wyndham's book, was written by Simon Clark. It has been adapted as an audio play in 2014 by Big Finish Productions.

Prázdninová škola Lipnice, a non-profit organization that pioneered experiential education summer camps in Czechoslovakia during the 80's, developed an outdoor game based on the story.[20]

The 2015 anime film Crayon Shin-Chan: My Moving Story! Cactus Large Attack! had a similar setting with Triffids replaced by killer cacti.[21]

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