The 1984/5 BBC series The Tripods was one of the longest adaptations on British television -- as long as War and Peace (1972/3), and with 120 speaking parts. It was the BBC's most ambitious and controversial venture into "telefantasy", with the verdicts of the critics ranging all the way from a minor masterpiece (the view argued here) to a dreadful folly. It overreached itself and the projected third season was cancelled, but the first two books of John Christopher's celebrated trilogy were completely dramatised, and there's much to value: fine scripting, lavish costume and design, ground-breaking model work and video editing, beautifully composed landscape filming, good acting and painstaking care over details. This Web page is an attempt at television criticism, and I hope it may also have something to say to people curious to know how British television drama was made in the mid-1980s.
DVD RELEASE NEWS (REGION 0)... The very welcome DVD release of the complete series 1 as a double-disc set in March 2001, with an accompanying PAL VHS double video, by Second Sight has unfortunately not been followed by a release of series 2. Sales of series 1 were good, and Second Sight were keen to carry on. The project was so advanced by autumn 2001 that cover art reached online retailers (many of which continue to offer the discs for pre-ordering, but they will never be published). Production notes from this website were adapted as DVD extras, along with some behind the scenes photos. Unfortunately an extension to the movie rights was just then being renegotiated in Hollywood, and for opaque reasons connected with this, the BBC stalled and finally withdrew Second Sight's permission to release series 2. Please don't write to Second Sight to complain; they tried their best.