TV Recap: IN THE FLESH – EPISODE ONE (Beware, spoilers!)

 

Last night saw the UK premiere of new BBC Three  zombie dramedy “IN THE FLESH”. I’m going to be writing about the series every Monday.

inthefleshI have to admit, that I, like pretty much everyone else on the internet wasn’t really hugely bothered when I saw the first trailer. More zombies? And on BBC 3? Yawn. Most of the reason I gave the series a go at all was that I said I’d review it.

Imagine my surprise then, when it turned out to not be terrible at all. In fact, there’s a chance that it might be… really good.

 

In The Flesh features some of the UK’s finest acting talent and uses the grim northern town backdrop  – echoing  the Kitchen Sink dramas of the 60’s –  to perfection.  The series, written by relative newcomer Dominic Mitchell, focuses around the (after) life of Kieran Walker. A young “Partially Dead Syndrome” sufferer. Who, four years after the “uprising” is now medicated and being sent home to the small town that buried him years before.

Although Kieran’s parents are eager to have him home, the same cannot be said for his sister Jem, who has in his absence become a fully fledged member of the now supposedly disbanded anti”Rotter” , Human Volunteer Force. His home town echoes the sentiments of the HVF, making for a very secretive homecoming.

Kieran must be medicated through a hole in his spine each day, he and the rest of the PDS sufferers are given coloured contacts to disguise their permanently dilated pupils, and a flesh coloured mousse to hide their distinctly grey pallor. Alongside this, he’s having flashbacks of the last person whose brains he feasted upon before he was medicated.

This episode feels at times, like not much is happening. Due probably to all the backstory to set up, but it remains entertaining throughout. There are moments of genuine comedy here too – albeit usually tinged with sadness. Kieran’s mother is so desperate to pretend that everything is normal that she cooks him meals, although he can’t eat and makes him literally pretend to eat with them sitting at the dining table lifting his empty cutlery to his mouth. Yum.

Most of the action takes place in the last 15 minutes of the episode when Jem discovers that the HVF have found out about a PDS sufferer on their Cul De Sac and in a surprise move, runs home to defend her brother. In the closing minutes it’s revealed that in fact, there’s another housebound PDS sufferer living opposite the Walkers and it’s the elderly she who is dragged into the street and shot in the face by the HVF.

Moments of note/Takeaways:

It’s impressive how although the subject matter is actually incredibly dark and menacing the comedy and humanising of the characters keeps it light. Not “WARM BODIES” light, but funny enough to keep you watching.

One episode in and so many twists already! I’m interested to see how the Captain of the HVF deals with the news that his son has been found and is now a PDS sufferer himself.

The scene between Kieran and Jem in his bedroom hints that Keiran killed himself the first time around. Is anyone else itching to find out how the hell this whole zombie thing got started?

Although there wasn’t much gore in this episode, it was good when it happened. It’s good to see zombies actually eating brains on the beeb!

The BBC3 site has a host of additional content, videos and interviews with the stars and creators of the show so head over to check it out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00szzcm

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