AUDIO REVIEW: THE NIGHT OF THE TRIFFIDS / AUTHOR: SIMON CLARK / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / STARRING: SAM TROUGHTON, NICOLA BRYANT, PAUL CLAYTON, GEFF FRANCIS, JOHN SCHWAB, BECKY WRIGHT, TOBY LONGWORTH, NIGEL CARRINGTON, HELEN GOLDWYN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Simon Clark (interviewed recently by Starburst) has adapted his 2001 novel The Night of the Triffids for audio. John Wyndham's classic The Day of the Triffids sees the end civilisation as we know it in the 1950s (it was published in 1951) and the sequel picks up the story 25 years later, in an alternative mid-1970s, where our hero David Masen (the son of Bill Masen, the central character in the original book) realises that there is something seriously wrong, somewhere…
This adaptation is complete in and of itself; the listener need not even be aware of the details of the John Wyndham story to enjoy this adventure. David Masen (Troughton) is a pilot who goes investigating when the world is plunged into darkness, rendering both the blind and sighted even more vulnerable to the Triffids. His journey takes him from the Isle of Wight, across the Atlantic to New York where he meets (and falls in love with) Kerris Baedekker (Bryant). The setting allows David to reflect on the differences between the naïve rural idyll of his home and the bustling metropolis run by the one-eyed General Fielding (Clayton). Much is wrong in New York and David meets various people keen on changing the status quo. This includes Sam Dynes (Schwab) who challenges everything David thought he knew.
As ever, mention must be made of the sound and music. Martin Montague has produced effects for the Triffids’ whiplash stinger and talking that sound exactly right, and that complement great dramatic music from Howard Carter. Mention should also be made of Sam Troughton’s performance (the story is first person, so he gets to do a lot of narration) as well as that of Nicole Bryant, who somehow manages to play three identical sisters (including scenes in which they talk to each other) without confusing the listener.
On the evidence of this audio, we hope to see Simon Clark popping up again amongst the stable of talented Big Finish writers. Fingers crossed for a new sequel (The Day After the Triffids, anyone?) and perhaps even some John Wyndham.