The Tripods (TV series)

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The Tripods
The Tripods.jpg
The Tripods Titles
Genre Science fiction
Written by John Christopher (novel)
Alick Rowe (series 1)
Christopher Penfold (series 2)
Directed by Graham Theakston (7 eps)
Christopher Barry (11 eps)
Bob Blagden (7 eps)
Starring John Shackley
Ceri Seel
Jim Baker
Composer(s) Ken Freeman
Country of origin United Kingdom
Australia
Original language(s) English, French, Italian, German
No. of episodes 25
Production
Producer(s) Richard Bates
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Picture format PAL (576i)
Audio format Monaural
First shown in United Kingdom BBC
Australia Seven Network
Original run 15 September 1984 – 23 November 1985
External links
Website

The Tripods is a television adaptation of John Christopher's The Tripods series of novels. It was jointly produced by the BBC in the United Kingdom and the Seven Network in Australia. The music soundtrack was written by Ken Freeman.

Series one of The Tripods, broadcast in 1984, which had 13 half-hour episodes written by the well-known author of many radio plays Alick Rowe, covers the first book, The White Mountains; the 12-episode second series (1985) covers The City of Gold and Lead. Although a television script had been written for the third series, it never went into production.

The first series was released on both VHS and DVD. The BBC released Tripods - The Complete Series 1 & 2 on DVD in March 2009.[1]

The series introduced several minor changes from the book, notably the shape of the Masters and Tripods, which have tentacles (although the Tripods do have a mechanical claw-arm that they sometimes use) in the book, gravity inside the Golden City was increased artificially, which is not mentioned in the TV series; the introduction of "cognoscs", spiritual life-forms vastly superior to the Masters themselves; and more other main characters, including love interests for both Will and Beanpole. The original texts have few female characters. John Christopher was asked about this for an interview on Wordcandy,[2] replying that at the time of writing the series, it was generally accepted that girls would read books with boy main characters, but not vice versa. He also stated that he felt the addition of an entire family of girls to the TV series was somewhat "over the top".[2] The series is also notable for featuring non-humanoid aliens, which was uncommon at the time.

The death in a car crash of Charlotte Long, who played Will's love interest Eloise, occurred shortly after the start of transmission of the first series. For the second series, the role was briefly recast, with Cindy Shelley appearing as Eloise during a dream sequence.

Filming Locations[edit]

The following is a list of fictional locations in the show, the series, the episode in which the location appeared, and the actual location:

  • Village of Wherton and mill pond (series 1,episode 1) - Friday Street, UK
  • Parker Family mill (series 1, episode 1) - Headley Mill, Hampshire, UK
  • Vagrant Bridge (series 1, episode 1) - Gutte Pond Bridge, Wotton Estate, Wotton, Surrey, UK
  • Tomb location (series 1, episode 1) - Evelyn Mausoleum, Brickyard Lane, Wotton, Surrey, UK[3]
  • Rhymney (series 1, episodes 1,2) - Charlestown Harbour, Charlestown, Cornwall, UK [4]
  • cave entrance (series 1 episode 3) - Charlestown Harbour, Charlestown, Cornwall, UK [4]
  • Airfield control tower (series 1, episode 4) - Radlett Field, Frogmore, UK [5]
  • Subway station entrance (series 1, episode 4) - Intersection of Cornhill and Threadneedle St., London, England, UK [6]
  • The Chateau Ricordeau (series 1, episodes 5-8) - Saltwood Castle, Hythe, Kent, UK [4]
  • Canal "chemin de fer" (series 1, episodes 8) - Section of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK [4]
  • Tunnel "exterior shots" (series 1, episodes 9) - Windsor Hill Tunnel, New tunnel, North portal, Downside, UK
  • Tunnel "interior shots" (series 1, episode 9) - Highgate Tunnel, Holmesdale, Rd, Highgate, London, UK
  • Vichot's Vineyard (series 1, episodes 9,10) - Wootton Vineyard, North Wotton, UK [4]
  • water fall/creek crossing (series 1, episode 11) - Swallow Falls, Betws-y-Coed, Gwynedd, Wales, UK [4]
  • viaduct (series 1, episodes 11,12) - Pensford viaduct, Pensford, UK [7]
  • French festival location (series 1, episode 11) - Haughmond Abbey ruins, Uffington, Oxfordshire, UK [4]
  • French village archway (series 1, episode 11) - Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales, UK [4]
  • French village court house (series 1, episode 11) - Court room scenes were shot inside Town Hall in the Hercules room, Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales, UK [4]
  • Stone quarry building (series 1, episode 12) - floor six mill, Diffwys slate quarry, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, Wales, UK
  • Stone hut (series 1, episode 12) - Diffwys slate quarry, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, Wales, UK
  • Black pipeline/interrogation building (series 1, episode 13) - Lake llyn Cowlyd, Trefriw, UK
  • Alpine chapel (series 2, episodes 1,12) - St-Jean, Switzerland [4]
  • Boxing ring (series 2, episode 1) - Lake Ffynnon Llugwy, Wales, UK
  • Freemen camp (series 2, episodes 1,12) - Lake Ffynnon Llugwy, Wales, UK
  • Swiss capping site (series 2, episode 1) - Rue du Village, Grimentz, Switzerland [4]
  • Ship graveyard (series 2, episode 2) - Purton Ship Graveyard, Purton, UK [8]
  • [Basel docks] where boys find the barge Erlkonig (series 2, episode 2) - Victoria Basin of the Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, UK [4]
  • [Württemberg docks] where barge Erlkoring is moored at (series 2, episode 2) - Lydney docks and harbour, Lydney, UK
  • The Pit (series 2, episode 2) - Town Hall Square, Unterseen, Switzerland
  • [Bachara docks] Will and Beanpole meet Zerlina and Papagena (series 2, episode 3) - Lake Thun Next to Oberhofen Castle, Oberhofen, Switzerland
  • Church clock tower (series 2, episode 3) - St. Mauricius Church, Thun, Switzerland
  • Will and Beanpole are chased into alley by black guards after Will escapes from the pit (series 2, episode 3) - Alley off of Spielmatte St., Unterseen, Switzerland
  • Will and Beanpole are chased by black guards after Will escapes from the pit (series 2, episode 3) - Oberhofen Castle, Oberhofen, Switzerland
  • Will and Beanpole miss the barge to the games (series 2, episode 3) - Lydney docks and Harbor on the River Severn, Lydney, UK
  • Derelict house where girls scare boys (series 2, episodes 4,11) - Gwylfa Hiraethog, (former hunting lodge), Wales, UK
  • Games stadium (series 2, episode 4) - Former site of White City Stadium at Trafford, in Manchester, UK [4]
  • Gardens in City of Gold (series 2, episodes 6,7) - The Barbican conservatory, Barbican Centre, London, UK
  • City of Gold interior shots (series 2, episodes 7-10) - Dinorwig power station, Wales, UK
  • Beanpole rescues Will from river (series 2, episode 11) - River Wye. The house is known as "The Gatehouse" and was formerly "the Boatman's Rest", Hole-in-the-Wall, UK [4]
  • Market where Beanpole tries to sell chess pieces (series 2, episode 11) - City Hall Plaza, Thun, Switzerland

Video game[edit]

BBC Enterprises licensed a video game adaptation of the TV series in 1985. It was designed by Watermill Productions and published by Red Shift.[9]

Film adaptation[edit]

Disney has owned the film rights to The Tripods since 1997. It was reported in 2005 that a cinematic version is in pre-production with Australian-born director Gregor Jordan signed on to rewrite and direct for Walt Disney's Touchstone Pictures label.[10]

The film version was expected to be released in 2012, although as of 2013 the project is still listed as being in development, and no announcements about the cast or filming dates have been made.[11][clarification needed]

DVD & soundtrack[edit]

A DVD release of the complete series 1 & 2 was released on 23 March 2009 (Region 2). A new soundtrack album, The Tripods: Pool Of Fire Suite by original composer Ken Freeman inspired by the unmade third series of Tripods was released at the same time.

The Tripods: Pool Of Fire Suite
No. Title Length
1. "A Plan Of Action"   3:46
2. "The Green Man"   6:40
3. "A Drink With Ruzi"   7:32
4. "The Pool of Fire"   6:31
5. "Summers of Winds"   4:40
6. "Freedom"   5:31
7. "The Conference of Man"   5:33
Total length:
40:12

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tripods - The Complete Series 1 & 2 DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Wordcandy review of The White Mountains
  3. ^ http://www.mmtrust.org.uk/mausolea/view/167/Evelyn_Mausoleum
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n ""The Tripods" in the making (ii)". Gnelson.demon.co.uk. 1983-09-10. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  5. ^ "Handley Page: Radlett airfield". Controltowers.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  6. ^ "The Tripods [Season 1 - 10/06/84#4]". Nickcooper.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  7. ^ http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/bridges/gallery/pensford.html
  8. ^ http://www.friendsofpurton.org.uk/
  9. ^ The Tripods at World of Spectrum
  10. ^ Dunkley, Cathy (4 January 2005), "Jordan to control 'Tripods Trilogy'", Variety (RBI), retrieved 1 January 2010 
  11. ^ "The Tripods (2012)". Imdb.com. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 

External links[edit]