"It's going to be a pretty strange sort of world left to survive in. I don't think we're going to like it a lot."
Jo Payton
Part Three
Series The Day of the Triffids
Season 1, Episode 3
Day of the Triffids Episode 1.3
Air date September 12th, 1981
Writers John Wyndham
Douglas Livingstone
Director Ken Hannam
Producers David Maloney
Starring John Duttine; Emma Relph; Maurice Colbourne
Episode guide
Part Two
Part Four

Part Three is the third episode of the 1981 mini-series The Day of the Triffids. It first aired simultaneously on BBC1 and ABC Television on September 12th, 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

Bill Masen and Jo Payton pull off to the side of the road. A throng of desperate, blind people descend upon them and begin pounding on the doors and windows of the car. They know that the occupants can see and need someone to serve as their eyes for them. Scared, Bill and Jo exit the vehicle as quickly as possible and run down a back alley. They find Bill's car and drive off until they find an empty set of apartments. Bill chooses a high-rise to take refuge in noting that "Triffids can't climb walls".

While Bill takes stock of his supplies and repairs his Triffid gun, Jo makes a candlelit dinner. Bill opens up a bottle of wine and uses it as a conversation starter. He asks Jo about her life before the night of the comet. Jo says very little about her history other than that she returned to her family's estate a year after her mother passed away. Wishing to change the subject, Jo recommends that they should leave London as soon as possible. She knows a farmhouse in Sussex run by a family of "real do-it-yourself environmental freaks". Bill agrees that it would be a good place to try and get away from both the Triffids and the blind mobs.

As Bill begins making a list of supplies, Jo notices a light from the window. They look outside and see a beacon originating from the University of London. It's too dangerous to go out at night, but they agree to investigate the university in the morning.

Elsewhere in the city, a man named Tom and his wife try foraging for food from their garden. The wife stands at the front door with a length of rope tied around her. The other end is anchored around Tom who uses it as a tether to find his way back. He tries to dig up some cabbage when suddenly a Triffid appears and kills him.

Back at the apartment, Jo goes over all of the recent craziness in her head and begins to grow scared. Tearfully, she climbs into bed with Bill who caresses her.

The following day, a large group of people are assembled outside the University of London. The campus is closed off and several armed soldiers stand guard at the gates. A sighted man named Jack Coker leads the assembly of blind civilians, demanding to be let in to the school. The guards refuse to allow them entrance. Coker tries to reason with them at first, but he is a reactionary and ultimately comes to blows with one of the guards. A soldier fires his weapon into the air and Coker's blind followers scatter in panic.

While all of this is taking place, Bill and Jo arrive and find a way to sneak in to the university via an anterior entrance. They rest in an arboretum and try to decide what they should do next. Jo suddenly feels a moral obligation to stay and help the blind, but Bill wonders if doing so would be little more than an empty gesture. Jo doesn't like hearing this, and the two are deadlocked in so far as whether they should stay or try to leave the city.

They make their way to a university hall where they meet a man named Michael Beadley. Beadley is the self-appointed leader of a group of people working together to flee the city. Accompanying him in this endeavor is a military commander named Major Anderson and two scientists named Doctor Vorless and Miss Durrant. Beadley talks with Bill and Jo and tells them that they plan on putting together a convoy and will move out on the following day. Bill does not come empty-handed and offers Beadley's group the use of his anti-Triffid gear. He notes that many Triffids have escaped, probably from a zoo, and have been sighted in the outlying districts. Beadley is bemused by the gesture, but has more important things on his mind than Triffids. His primary concern is gathering food and supplies and mapping out a strategy. He offers Bill and Jo handguns to protect themselves. Jo refuses to carry it. He then asks them to find two lorries.

They go out and find two large, unused military vehicles. They bring them back to the university and begin stocking them while Beadley takes inventory of their supplies. Bill shows him his supply of Triffid gear. Beadley scoffs, saying that there have been no sightings of any Triffids in London. Bill retorts, noting that the central districts will not have strong Triffid populations. They require soil to take root in, such as one would find in the countryside - which happens to be exactly where everyone intends on going.

A bit later, Beadley hosts a meeting in one of the university's auditoriums. Attending him are a select panel of administrators and military commanders. They have established themselves as a self-elected community of survivors. Addressing a room full of volunteers, Beadley and the others announce that the convoy will be leaving London at twelve-hundred hours. Their trucks are packed with food and medical supplies including vaccines for any contagions that might begin to spread throughout the populace. Doctor Vorless is the next to speak. She lays out the doctrine for what will become their society's new way of life. Every able-bodied sighted individual will assigned specific tasks. The highest priority is given towards reproduction. All men must work, while all women are expected to have babies. They can only afford to support a limited number of women who cannot see, but cannot support men who cannot see. The one-man/one-woman relationship dynamic will soon become an illogical and outdated concept. Men will be expected to mate with multiple wives for the purposes of breeding. Vorless dictates in no uncertain terms that unless the group finds this completely acceptable, then there is no reason for anyone to consider staying with them as they attempt to eke out a new for themselves.

After the meeting, Bill and Jo discuss their options. Bill is tickled by the idea of being able to have multiple wives. Somewhat embarrassed, he asks Jo if she would consider being one of them. Jo smiles and agrees, but only under one condition - that she gets to choose Bill's other wives. Despite the chaos of the last few days, the two have grown close and are beginning to fall in love with one another. They conclude their hectic afternoon with a kiss.

Late in the evening, the sounds of people shouting erupts throughout the university. Smoke fills the corridors and it appears as if there is a fire. Bill races down a staircase, but trips and falls, knocking himself unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in manacles inside of a prison cell.

Cast Edit

Actor Role
John Duttine Bill Masen
Emma Relph Jo Payton
Maurice Colbourne Jack Coker
David Swift Michael Beadley
Claire Ballard Alice
Desmond Cullum-Jones Tom
Beryl Nesbitt Tom's wife
Denis DeMarne Major Anderson
Andrea Miller Doctor Vorless
Perlita Neilson Miss Durrant
Donald Pelmear University gateman
Bernie Searle Car attacker
Elizabeth Chambers Car attacker

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Although Jack Coker only makes a brief appearance in this episode, he becomes a more prominent figure in episodes 4-6.

See also Edit

External Links Edit

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