The Tripods part one: A Village in England review

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The Tripods is a 1984 adaption of John Christopher’s series of young adult science fiction novels. It was adapted by Alick Rowe, who was known primarily for radio dramas. The series took place 2089. Everything is in peace after a war. Or is it? Tall, three legged robotic creatures stalk the villages. However, they are not fought. For they are the planet’s saviors. After the war, they helped bring us into an age of prosperity. When teenagers come of age, they are taken to be capped by the Tripods. No of this fools Will. He knows something is up. When all of his friends are taken to be capped, they are stripped of everything that makes them unique. After his friend Jack is capped, he meets up with a vagrant, and hears of the White Mountains. This is were people band together who refuse capping. This sounds pretty good to Will, and so he is off on an epic journey to White Mountains.

The first few minutes of the episode give you a very uneasy feeling. A sort of too good to be true feeling. The first appearance of the Tripod is shot very well. It gives an ominous feeling, and then when everyone acts like Jack getting capped is just normal everyday stuff, just adds to this uneasy feeling. Why are they letting this man be abducted? After the feast, Will (our main character) tries to talk to Jack, but is kidnapped by a vagrant. He learns of the White Mountains from him. This scene serves as exposition and explains what Will will be escaping from. He decides to travel to the White Mountains, and will start the next morning. Well, on his way out he is caught by his cousin, who insists he come along as well. Will reluctantly agrees. The episode ends with the two of them walking into the distance, as they are stalked by a Tripod…

The episode is a good start to the series. It sets up the world of the Tripods. However, if you’ve read the book, much is left out. Now this would be fine, but with the amount of padding added later in, why was there need to cut this much? However, in the end, it by no means ruins the episode, and it’s still great fun. The tripods are not seen as much in this episode(or the whole first series for that matter) but what we do see is really good. Even by today’s standards they look really good( or maybe that’s just me. I have very low standards for special effects) I can only think they would’ve looked fantastic back in the day. Don’t even get me started on the opening. It’s amazing! If not a bit dated. ( a bit would be an understatement.) In the end this is a satisfying first episode. But the best is yet to come…

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