"I'm chucking the job. I'm fed up with Triffids. I want to breed puppies and plant potatoes."
Bill Masen
"Part One"
Series The Day of the Triffids
Season 1, Episode 1
Day of the Triffids - Episode 1 001
Air date September 10th, 1981
Writers John Wyndham
Douglas Livingstone
Director Ken Hannam
Producers David Maloney
Starring John Duttine; Emma Relph; Maurice Colbourne
Episode guide
Part Two

"Part One" is the pilot episode of the 1981 mini-series The Day of the Triffids. It first aired simultaneously on BBC1 and ABC Television on September 10th, 1981. The series was re-aired beginning on March 7th, 1984. The episode has been made available on the The Day of Triffids DVD collection released in 2005 in the UK and in the US through BBC Home Video in 2007.

Synopsis Edit

It is Wednesday, May 12th sometime in the near future. A man named Bill Masen sits in a hospital room with bandages across his eyes. He has been there for ten days and is anxious to be released. His sense of time is completely askew and he is not even certain what time it is, or even what day it is. Bill picks up a pocket recorder from the side table and begins recording a memo to his colleague, Walter.


Masen recalls how even from an early age his life had been dominated by an aggressive species of plant known as a Triffid. As a young boy, his father and he discovered one of the large Triffids growing in their back yard. A short time later, young Bill saw a science film detailing the culture of a Triffid colony found in Ecuador. Frightened by what he had seen, he raced home and began digging his Triffid out from the roots. The plant defended itself by lashing at the boy with its stalking, injecting a poison into his system. Fortunately for Bill, this particular Triffid was too young for its poison to be fully effective and the doctors were able to save his life.
From that point onward, Triffids began to appear across the world in greater number. A carnivorous plant, they stung their prey with their barbs and hovered over them, waiting for the bodies to decompose so they could consume them.
In the industrial world, scientists found a way to make a literal "cash crop" from Triffid seeds, as they were able to use the material to create a highly efficient fuel source.
As an adult, Bill found himself working at a Triffid farm with his mentor, Walter. Walter had his own wild theories about the nature of Triffids and even suspected that they were partially sentient. One of the Triffids attacked Bill, stinging him in the face, blinding him. Walter was able to administer and antidote, which saved his life, but was still temporarily blind.
It was only on the previous evening that a strange meteor shower appeared in the skies above England. Members of the hospital staff flocked to the windows to witness the spectacle. A nurse named Barbara lamented the fact that the blind Bill could not enjoy the view.

Back in the present, Bill concludes his audio memo and impatiently waits to be released. He hears the sound of a woman moaning from somewhere in the hospital, but cannot determine who it is or where the sound is coming from. He gets up to investigate, but finds nothing. As his frustration grows, Bill decides that he can no longer wait for the nursing staff to attend him. He removes his bandages himself and is pleased to find that he can see again.

Bill begins walking down the steps of the hospital when he finds his physician, Doctor Soames, in a panic. Soames is now blind himself. He hauntingly remarks that the Triffids are on the move.

Cast Edit

Actor Role
John Duttine Bill Masen
Cleo Sylvestre Nurse Barbara
Edmund Pegge Walter
Jonathan Newth Doctor Soames
Robert Robinson Palanguez
Ian Halliburton Grant
Morgan Sheppard Bill's father
Steven Jonas Young Bill
Keith Alexander Newsreel voice

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Emma Relph, who plays the role of Jo Payton, is credited in this episode, but doesn't actually make her first appearance until episode 2.

See also Edit

External Links Edit