The Day of the Triffids cover

When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.

Bill Masen’s day only worsens as he tries to survive the apocalyptic onslaught of ambling, venomous plants.

John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids doesn’t feel like an outdated menace even though the book was published in 1951.

It starts as the main character, Bill Masen, awakens in a hospital with his eyes covered in bandages. It’s a great hook that leads to a brief history of the triffids while also establishing an unease from the start. The movie 28 Days Later uses an almost identical method to bring both the character and audience into the action.

I love these sorts of stories. Where Cormac McCarthy’s The Road focuses on the harshness of personal survival and meaning after an apocalypse, Triffids considers how a society might try to emerge from one.

The 1981 BBC series stays very close the book’s plot and pacing. Read the book first, as the time-capsule aspect of the mini-series might distract you – 80s hair styles, clunky control panels, and lens flares.

But if you’re a sci-fi fan who’s been devoted to Doctor Who since the Tom Baker era (or before), you’ll feel right at home in the BBC’s adaptation.