Broadcast last March (on BBC3) this superbly put together, short (three episodes) television series tweaks the zombie genre by considering what happens after… the zombies are cured. Shot in the north west (Lancashire Pennines by the look of it) In the Flesh considers what happens when the re-humanised zombies return to their communities and, as you might expect, there is a lot of grimness up north. However, equally predictable, there is a lot of compassion.
What’s impressive about In the Flesh isn’t just the highly successful spin on the genre, but the superb execution. It’s slightly invidious highlighting anybody from the cast, who play what could have seemed ridiculous to the hilt, but Emily Bevan (above) shone as the young woman who wasn’t going to wear make up to make her appear human; she was going ‘au naturelle‘. As the series was about grief and prejudice, the emotions were ones that the cast, and audience, could readily engage with. It was the human aspects that, unsurprisingly, were the most gripping. Using the zombie genre successfully allows the human condition to be ‘made strange’, allowing us to think anew about what might, otherwise, become cliche.
There’s a second series in the offing, hopefully it will be as well crafted as the first.