Day 222: Time For Some Toe-Capping

A rare sighting  of a BBC Tripod!

August 10 main

Blimey! A lesser-spotted Tripod sighted in Willsbridge! If you’ve ever seen series one of the BBC’s The Tripods you’ll know what I mean by lesser-spotted; in some episodes of series one you’d be lucky to one of these guys wandering in the distance for half a second, while the thesping-challenged stars all squabbled and had lessons in wine-making . I’m not kidding. The sub plot where they ended up working at a French vineyard and nothing else happened felt like it went on for weeks!

And the image above is quite clearly not authentic, because if it were from the BBC series, it’d look more like this:

August 10 Tripods BBC style

While there was an awful lot of padding in series one of The Tripods, at least there was some great Tripod action when it counted: the first and final episode, which was especially thrilling. Series two was a massive improvement, as the guy playing Will appeared to have had some acting lessons and went undercover into the Tripod city.

tripod cityI watched series two again recently and even though the model work for the city is quite clearly models and some of the electronic effects would have been more at home on Top Of The Pops, the design and ambition of these FX scenes still has to power to impress. There’s something reminiscent of the Krell machinery in Forbidden Planet about the city. I’d love to be about to interview the designer and ask if that was on purpose.

John Christopher's trilogy about the Tripods became a popular TV series in the mid-1980sThe creatures inside the Tripod war machines are revealed in series two as well, and they’re mighty fine alien creatures too. This image doesn’t do them justice; their opalescent skin design in particular was very effective, taking advantage of the harsh lighting the BBC used to used for drama recorded on video in the ’80s. I bet they’d look rubbish in hi-def, though.

It’s a shame the BBC never completed John Christopher’s trilogy as the second series was much, much better than the first. Surely it’s time for a remake? Just minus the winemaking (which I’m pretty sure wasn’t in the book anyway).

Today’s trainers are a very tight pair of Brooks on loan from Simon Withers. Looking at the pastel blue colour scheme I’m pretty sure they’re aimed at women, but hey, I’ve worn Wonder Woman trainers during this challenge, so I’m not choosy. And Simon – though he’s been a great supplier of footwear for this challenge – never actually reads the blog, so he won’t know I’m accusing him of wearing girlie shoes.

See you tomorrow.

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