Terrific Triffids

One of the earliest science fiction writers I read was John Wyndham. In  The Midwich Cuckoos  a whole village goes to sleep for a day and when the villagers wake up all of the women are pregnant. The children born to them are all blonde, have golden eyes and can communicate telepathically. From the very beginning – even as infants – they exert some kind of control over the villagers. There are some particularly creepy incidents where they deal harshly with people who hurt them whether the hurt was intended or not. I remember quite clearly the ending of the original film version – The Village of the Damned –  where the hero has to put a wall up in his mind to block his thoughts from the children and they realise too late what his plans for them are. In The Trouble with Lichen two scientists make a fantastic discovery that  will hold back the aging process but, as the title suggests, there are unforeseen problems.

However, the book I most remember (and I admit to having two different versions of the story on DVD) is The Day of the Triffids. That is why I was anxious to see what the newest adaptation would be like and I have to say, I really enjoyed it – especially the second part. The triffids were scary which, when you think about it, is quite an achievement as they are only plants after all – even if they can walk. However, my son, who recently read the book, was quick to point out the differences between it and the tv programme. In the main, he was annoyed by many of the changes that he saw which he felt were unnecessary. This brings me neatly to the book v film debate and which is better. I love books and I enjoy films but what I like most of all is a good story that is told well so, whilst on some occasions I may prefer one version over the other, essentially I like both.

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