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The story takes place in an undefined future where society has reverted to a pre-industrial stage. The world is ruled by huge three-legged robots. At a certain age every child gets an implant that removes all its creativity, curiosity and passion, turning them into compliant, mellow sheep.

Before he receives his implant the hero of the story escapes with his friend (a Samweis Gamdschie-like sidekick). On their journey through the in-fact post-apocalyptic world they discover that the world was once way more advanced and that the robots are alien oppressors.

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+1 just because I'd never seen the German transliteration of Samwise Gamgee before. :) –  mskfisher Apr 8 at 12:53
    
@mskfisher: lol, thanks! Didn't even noticed it was a transliteration... –  Einer Apr 8 at 13:04
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up vote 18 down vote accepted

Book: The Tripods by John Christopher.

TV Series: The Tripods

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Yeah, thanks! Great! Love this place :-) –  Einer Apr 8 at 9:02
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Great book series! For the time the TV Series was The Bomb, but in re-watching... well you judge: youtube.com/watch?v=-hYJumW_G8E –  22nd Century Fza Apr 8 at 10:21
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The TV series was incredibly popular here in Germany (in part of course because there where only three TV channels to choose from and SciFi series were pretty rare) - if you ask any german fourty-something with at least a passing interest in SciFi about his fav series from his youth chances are that he'll become all starry-eyed and recount the plot of The Tripods. –  Eike Pierstorff Apr 8 at 10:48
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As a German I can second that. I was way too young when the show was on so I didn't recall it's name. Still the pictures and the story were so unusual too my eyes and ears, they burnt into my memory. –  Einer Apr 8 at 10:56
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Since german is involved here, for completeness the german title is "Die dreibeinigen Herrscher" –  PlasmaHH Apr 8 at 13:49
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