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The Tea Tray of the Triffids

Have you heard of The Day of the Triffids?

Yes, as a movie.
Yes, as a book.
Yes, but couldn't say what it is.
No, I haven't heard of it.

Have you read The Day of the Triffids?


I have no idea when I first heard of The Day of the Triffids. I wouldn't be able to swear it was before I moved back to the UK. More likely, it was when some movie version of it was released. In any event, it wasn't staple reading for me, growing up as a science fiction reader in the U.S. I'm reading it now, with momentum from a local SF book club.

I don't remember why, over dinner last night with BSFA people, I mentioned I was reading it, but it was apropos of Englishness. Someone said it must be full of tea. At that point, characters had only drunk whisky. I promised I'd report back on the tea situation, so here I am: after innumerable alcoholic beverages and some coffee (made with more alcohol and canned milk), two of the characters finally have cups of tea approximately a third of the way into the book.*

A newly-met American last night had never heard the title, somewhat to my delight. C. was shocked to hear that it was possible to have avoided it. He grew up in England, you see, where it is a staple of people who grow up reading SF. I often say I become unread whenever I move countries, but it was nice to have such a specific scrap of evidence to back me up on it.

* For a full Triffids tea report, you'll have to wait until I'm done reading it.


Jan. 27th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
There's always something to miss in a poll. I should have looked it up first. Out of curiosity, which one is which of the tv versions?

Now I wonder if there's a graphic novel version of it out there....
Jan. 27th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
There was a six part series from about 1980 with John Duttine, relatively faithful but low budget. I'm too scared to watch it again because I thought it was so good.

Then there was a version last year which bore no resemblance to the source and had idiot idiot plotting and him off Beverly Hill 90120 and Eddie Izzard chewing the scenery.
Jan. 27th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
I own the first version and it's astonishingly faithful (including Senate House playing itself)
Jan. 27th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
I fondly remember it as being very scary indeed. However, a friend's old brother about three years older was extremely scathing about "wobbly fibreglass daffodils" so I guess rewatching is risky.
Jan. 29th, 2011 12:22 pm (UTC)
I was seven when the BBC series aired in 1981, so I didn't see much of it, but what I did scared the willies out of me. :)
Jan. 27th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, done by Marvel in the 1970s for Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction, but I know no more about it than that.

I think there's a lot more tea in The Kraken Wakes, but am pleased to know that my guess that there must be tea in Triffids somewhere was proved correct.
Jan. 27th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
I believe there's tea in "The Trouble with Lichen" as well.
Jan. 27th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
One presumes the Kraken awakes to have a nice cup of tea, and remains awake due to the caffeine?
Jan. 27th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
I like the way you think.