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In the Flesh

Sun Mar 17, 10-11pm, BBC3

Des Willie
Series one, episode one
Dry your eyes, ‘Being Human’ fans. There’s a new undead drama on the block, and this three-parter cooks up the same potent brew of drama, heartbreak and humour that made ‘Being Human’ so special.

Initially, we’re on familiar turf: the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. But this time, the humans have won and are trying to reintegrate the walking dead (aka ‘Partially Deceased Syndrome Sufferers’, or, among the bigoted, ‘rotters’) into society. The focal point is the remote rural community of Roarton, a stronghold of the anti-zombie Human Volunteer Force and home to the Walkers, a family poised to welcome back their PDS son, Kieren (Luke Newberry, outstanding), one of many being released from rehab centres.

Taken as straight human drama, it’s touching and involving, and directed with real flair. But the well-realised world that surrounds it – a world of mealy-mouthed officialdom, thunderous religious sermonising and shadowy scientific motives – ensures that it serves equally effectively as allegory. That it’s the work of a first-time writer in Dominic Mitchell only makes it all the more impressive.

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