Was there any documented influence of John Wyndham's 'Day of the Triffids' on '28 Days Later'?

If there was, please cite.


2 Answers 2


As per The Day of the Triffids Wikipedia article,

"According to director Danny Boyle, it was the opening hospital sequence of The Day of the Triffids that inspired Alex Garland to write the screenplay for 28 Days Later."

  • @morganpdx - I meant Wikipetia article on the topic. Is the above the wrong terminology to use to express that? I edited anyway to clarify Mar 11, 2011 at 20:55
  • 1
    Ah ok. Yes, that is much clearer. Saying there's a <something> wiki implies an entire wiki site dedicated to that topic!
    – morganpdx
    Mar 11, 2011 at 21:03

Having been reading John Wyndham for 20+ years I would suggest that any self respecting (especially British) Sci Fi venture would be influenced by his work. Whilst not as mainstream as Arthur Clarke, Heinlein or Asimov he pretty much established the modern global catastrophy theme with Triffids, The Kraken Wakes (aliens under the sea), Midwich Cuckoos, Web and others.

His approach was inspired by HG Wells in terms of both adaptation / Darwinian themes (Time Machine - humanity splits into 2 divisions Eloi / Morlocks) and a mass extinction event (War of the Worlds) although he was the first to base his stories in an often romantic reality we can all understand (rather than alien worlds, boys own adventures, ray guns, cowboys in space etc). This cleverly draws you in before the shock occurs - something Stephen King has credited Cuckoos with.

His ideas have been systematically rifled for the last 50 years especially by TV screenwriters. Check out his early short stories from the 1930s - alien abduction, Nazi saucer bases in South America, Tesla's sonic and vibration weapons, time travel, parallel universes... and he was probably the biggest single influence on the most successful Sci-Fi TV show of all time, Dr Who. In one of Wyndham's short storys written a decade before the BBC commissioned the show, a time traveler with a female companion (in an 8 foot tube like vessel) goes into the future and faces a metal robotic adversary. With the help of other friends he meets from different time periods he discovers that within the metal cone the enemy is organic - eventually they work together by repairing another machine and escape back to their own time. Sound familiar?

  • Tesla - 'The Trojan Beam' (1939). A British secret agent sees a 'laser (?) beam' used to alter the balance of power. And 'The Third Vibrator' (1933), the inventor of a super-weapon has a vision of how it previously destroyed Atlantis. HG Wells - Adaptation (1949) dramatises the need for life to adapt to the conditions in which it grows. Random Quest (1961 collection) Traditional storytelling, romance meets Sci-Fiction. 'Wanderers of Time' (1933) Dr Who pre-cursor - In 1941, Roy Sabre travels to the future where mankind has disappeared and the Earth is under the control of machines. Oct 4, 2016 at 10:05

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