"What frightens me more is the fact that in all this mess, they are the only things that are going to fatten and thrive."
Bill Masen
Part Five
Series The Day of the Triffids
Season 1, Episode 5
Day of the Triffids Episode 1.5
Air date September 14th, 1981
Writers John Wyndham
Douglas Livingstone
Director Ken Hannam
Producers David Maloney
Starring John Duttine; Emma Relph; Maurice Colbourne
Episode guide
Part Four
Part Six

"Part Five" is the fifth episode of the 1981 mini-series The Day of the Triffids. It first aired simultaneously on BBC1 and ABC Television on September 14th, 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

At a posh, yet empty hotel resort, Bill Masen speaks with a dying blind man. He gives a description of Jo Payton and asks if he knows anything about her. The man knows nothing so Bill returns to the University of London. As he searches through the meeting hall, he hears footsteps coming down the stairs. Jack Coker enters the room brandishing a handgun. Bill snidely asks if he has come looking for more gang leaders, but Jack confesses that he has come to make peace. The two men take note of the words "Tynsham Manor, Tynsham Wilts" written on a blackboard and determine that this is where the University group may have gone. Jack tells Bill that he is taking off first thing in the morning. Bill reluctantly decides to accompany him.

That day, Bill and Jack leave in a lorry. Two Triffids observe the vehicle leaving the school. They arrive at Tynsham Manor and find the spacious estate filled with people. A preacher leads the group in prayer. Bill and Jack wait until the service concludes and find the leader of this particular party, Miss Durrant. Bill remembers Miss Durrant from the University meeting. He asks her about Jo and Durrant tells him that she is no longer at Tynsham. She accompanied Michael Beadley's group along with Major Anderson. She explains that the group split into two smaller sections as there were many who did not hold with the ideals of Mister Beadley and the others. Durrant believes that Beadley's views represent a complete abolition of morality as they have understood it before. As a devout Christian, she could not accept the notion that acceptance of their philosophy was a precondition for joining the community, so as a result, Durrant and those who agreed with her principles split off from the others. Beadley's group volunteered to leave Tynsham and seek out refuge elsewhere. Jack wants to help them, but he reinforces the notion that faith in God will not be enough and that in order to survive, they may have to compromise their values on occasion. Durrant listens to Jack's points, but it is clear that she will not be swayed in the choices she has made in how to live.

Concluding their conversation with Miss Durrant, Bill and Jack decide to leave in order to find Jo's group. They stop at a petrol station to refuel and find the streets littered with more rotting bodies - victims of the Triffids. As they drive further into the countryside, the Triffids begin to appear in greater number. They pass the Whitebread Country Inn and spot a man waving a white handkerchief out the window, signaling the need for aid. They bring the lorries to a stop and go to investigate. As the man stumbles out to greet them, a Triffid attacks, striking him across the face with its venomous stinger. Bill grabs his shotgun and shoots the Triffid, as well as a second approaching Triffid coming from around the corner of the inn.

With the danger out of the way, they go inside the inn and discover that it is empty. Jack voices his disgust over the very existence of Triffids and Bill echoes his sentiments. Jack has had a lot of time to ponder things and tells Bill that he wishes to return to Tynsham Manor. He realizes now that he needs to be part of a community. He reflects upon the idea that for civilization to survive, they must re-learn everything there is to know about construction, engineering, etc. Only in a larger community will people be able to free themselves from productive work to study these things and to teach future generations.

Triffids 003

The trouble with Triffids

Bill is not going to return with Jack however. He still has to find Jo. He recalls how she had once mentioned moving out to some farmland near South Downs and realizes that this would be as good a place as any to look for her. He drives off into the rain, but before long, comes upon a young girl named Susan who has stumbled out into the middle of the road. The girl begs for his help and gestures towards her brother Tommy who is lying on the ground. Bill immediately determines that Tommy has been felled by a Triffid. The creature appears and Bill pulls out his Triffid gun. It launches a bladed projectile that severs the stalk below the Triffid's head. He then helps Susan bury her brother. He agrees to have Susan and her dog Rufus accompany him on his journey.

They drive on late into the evening and eventually arrive in Sussex. As they continue through the rain, Susan spots a blinking light from way off in the distance. Bill drive towards it and finds someone standing in the middle of the road holding a flashlight. It's Jo Payton. Bill races out of the truck and the two embrace. Jo brings them back to the cottage she is staying at with a blind married couple. They dry off and sit by the fire and Susan falls asleep. Bill tells Jo about Jack Coker and tells her that he wants to return to Tynsham Manor. He agrees with Coker's philosophy that the only way to survive is to be part of a larger community.

The following day, Bill takes one of the farmhouse trucks and drives back to Tynsham. When he goes inside however, he finds dead bodies strewn all throughout the house, including Miss Durrant. They are all victims of the disease that has been sweeping through the country. There are six freshly dug graves in the back yard. He finds no sign of Jack Coker however. Bill drives back to Sussex and tells Jo what he had found. They all agree to try and make a go of it at the farmhouse.

Meanwhile, dozens of Triffids begin to surround the house.

Cast Edit

Actor Role
John Duttine Bill Masen
Maurice Colbourne Jack Coker
Emma Relph Jo Payton
Emily Dean Susan
Jenny Lipman Mary Brent
Desmond Adams Dennis Brent
Perlita Neilson Miss Durrant
Christopher Owen Vicar
Pat Gorman Blind man

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Bill's recollection of the Sussex house was mentioned in Part Three.
  • The illness that infects the people in this episode is never adequately explained.

See also Edit

External Links Edit

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