Friday, April 25, 2014

In The Flesh - Series 1 Review

With the imminent arrival of the second series on BBC3 of this absorbing zombie series next Sunday, I thought it was high time I actually had a look back at the first series of In The Flesh, the series created by Dominic Mitchell.

Airing back in March 2013, the week after Being Human had finished up for good on BBC3, In The Flesh's three episode series focused on a young man named Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry), a man who also came back to life as a zombie (or partially deceased syndrome/PDS sufferer or "rotters" for the less open minded of people) along with several thousand others after an event called 'The Rising'. The three episodes that formed this first series largely dealt with the aftermath of this as fictional village Roarton was the hot bed of those either welcoming their PDS loved ones back into the fold or struggling to deal with them whilst all fearing for a second Rising.

Episode 1: This episode opened up with an impressive sequence as we saw a rabid Kieren and Amy (Emily Bevan) attack a supermarket in their rabid states. This episode also demonstrated that PDS sufferers can keep their rabid tendencies at bay with some administered medication but the bigger problem was having Kieren return to his parents as well as younger sister, Jem (Harriet Cain) who's a member of a militia working against rotters/PDS sufferers, led by Bill Macey (Steve Evets).

Episode 2: This episode was significant for the introduction of soldier Ricky Macey (David Walmsley), who we learned was now a PDS sufferer (much to Bill's denial) and a former lover of Kieren's as the two of them try to reunite with each other while hunting down some rotters, but instead of killing them, Kieren wanted to hand them in. The episode also highlighted the contrasts between Kieren and Amy as the latter seemed more at peace with her fate. In fact, the scene where she joined Kieren and his family for dinner was probably one of the funniest moments for the whole mini-series.

Episode 3: Something of a gloomy finale with Rick being murdered by his own father, the exploration as to why Kieren originally killed himself and even Amy herself feeling rather defeated and leaving the village in search of The Undead Prophet while one of the villagers got their revenge on Bill Macey as well. In a lot of ways this episode certainly went to town in setting up plenty for a second season and it was a relief that BBC3 learned from their previous hastiness with The Fades and commissioned this series for a second run with six episodes.

Over the course of the three episode first series, In The Flesh proved to be a gripping series and like counterparts such as The Walking Dead and The Returned, it was the very human drama and compelling group of characters that made this show extremely watchable from start to finish. I certainly cannot wait to see where the upcoming second run of episodes will take the series.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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