In The Flesh - Preview

New zombie drama In The Flesh starts on Sunday, filling the old Being Human slot on BBC Three - apt, really, since it stars the one kind of supernatural being that never shared a house with them. (Although, yes, the shambling dead did appear in at least one episode.)

Anyway, if you're heartbroken like me at the loss of Being Human, could In The Flesh be the answer? I previewed the first episode to find out.


Walking Dead In The Black Mirror

The central premise of In The Flesh offers a happier resolution to a zombie apocalypse than the constant misery of The Walking Dead: the undead have been successfully repelled, contained and now the British government, ever the home of bleeding heart liberalism, is trying to rehabilitate them, their flesh-chomping urges suppressed by drugs. Some people, strangely enough, feel this is risky.

So, this is basically the zombie episode of Black Mirror that Charlie Brooker hasn't yet written, spread over three episodes. The only difference here: you wonder if the pitchfork-waving villagers have a point. Isn't it a wee bit unsafe to shove zombies out into the community? Quite possible that the answer will be YES and the third episode of this will be a total massacre.

Three And Out!

I suppose it's the role of good drama to make you think, and In The Flesh is very effective and thoughtful at portraying its dilemma, and the acting from lead Luke Newberry as sympathetic teen zombie Kieren is excellent. There's a particularly good reveal about him which, in my opinion, sets his role for the rest of the series up nicely.

The villagers outside Kieren's family are largely cartoons so far, but it looks like they'll be tested more rigidly in future weeks. Anyway, this is a solid first episode, and I'm also pleased to see they're only doing three episodes of this. The ceaseless determination of British TV to tell every story in six or more weeks was starting to grate. In The Flesh, then - if you can buy into the premise, it could do interesting things. One to watch, I'll be back at the end to assess its efforts.

In The Flesh lands in the BBC Three Sunday 10PM slot recently vacated by Being Human this weekend. More info on the In The Flesh official BBC site. My money is on gigantic tragedy.

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