The complete first series of the classic BBC sci-fi serial - features all 13 episodes.
The year is 2089. An alien race stalks the land in towering machines known as Tripods. They have taken over the earth and enslaved mankind with a mind-controlling device, ceremoniously implanted at the age of fourteen. Will Parker anxiously awaits this ritual but hears of a place where a group of people is organising a resistance movement. Together with his cousin they leave their village, hoping to join them. They have not left unnoticed however, and the giant alien machines are in pursuit.
-This TV series was based on a set of books for older children. Although the books were written for children, the series was scripted at a more adult level: still suitable for children but the characters' motivations were handled more subtly. In the story, society has returned to a neo-Medieval stage after a war that destroyed civilization. The world is now run by aliens who control all adults by brain implants called caps. They move around in large 3-legged machines. Three youths, about to be be capped, set off to find a fabled colony of uncapped adults in the French alps in order to retain their freedom. The story is about their quest. The script, direction and acting were all marvelous. The third and final season was cancelled by the BBC. This could have been one of the truly great classics in adventure film had it been completed; its cancellation was a literary tragedy
-In the late eighties, I saw The Tripods on WGBH in Boston, the Public TV station there. They broadcast parts one and two. The British production company never made the third and final part, so the story just ends unresolved. Never-the-less, it's a terrific adventure for young people based on a series of books. The production values and slower pacing may date it somewhat compared to later standards. Still, the characters are appealing. The special effects are convincing enough to make the Tripods ominous, and there's a surprisingly well sustained dramatic tension that keeps the episodes going. There's a good mix of studio and location photography.
-I saw this series when it first came out, and I was hooked! I arranged my schedule each week, to make sure I wouldn't miss an episode. It was riveting and menacing and sinister. My only complaint was that the series seemed to peter out at the end. Perhaps PBS in the USA simply stopped running the series. I really wanted some closure, some final battle in which the evil tripods were defeated, once and for all! It's really well done and very well written... worth watching, if you can ever find it (in the US, anyway).
Directors:Christopher Barry, Bob Blagden
Writer:Christopher Penfold (dramatisation) (1985)
John Shackley ... Will Parker (25 episodes, 1984-1985)
Ceri Seel Ceri Seel ... Beanpole (17 episodes, 1984-1985)
Jim Baker Jim Baker ... Henry Parker (15 episodes, 1984-1985)
Country:UK | Australia
Release Date:15 September 1984 (UK)
Also Known As:Die dreibeinigen Herrscher
Based on the White Mountains novels by John Christopher, The Tripods was one of the most expensive productions ever undertaken by the BBC, using a huge cast and many new special effects. Originally aired in the Saturday afternoon slot previously occupied by Doctor Who, The Tripods is another classics sci-fi serial from the BBC.
UK:30 min (13 episodes)
Color: Color 2 DVD set
Overlooked science fiction.