In The Flesh S02 E01: Season Premiere

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What is it with our fascination with the shuffling, rotting, dead people? Do zombies help us deal with our own unavoidable appointment with death? Maybe… maybe not, but you have to admit that zombies are never dull and there are books, movies and television series to prove this. Last year, BBC America showcased a three part supernatural drama series called “In the Flesh,” created and written by Dominic Mitchell, it focuses on events after the zombie apocalypse and in particular on the rehabilitated zombies. Can zombies mingle with the living? Find out after the jump.

Partially Dead Syndrome

The government may have given the zombie condition a new name, but that didn’t make the reintroduction of the dead to their homes any easier. Hell no! The family and friends of the re-animated dead are still wary. How do you overlook the dead trying to snack on you? There are limits to what is acceptable in polite societies.

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Last year we followed teenager Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) as he tried to readjust to life back at home with his family. You can medicate, re-educate, wear makeup and contact lens, but you can’t hide the fact that you’re deader than a doorknob.

Kieren committed suicide after his lover, Rick (David Walmsley) died fighting in Afghanistan, and although he’s on meds, he still has flashbacks to his former flesh eating smorgasbords. His parents, Sue (Marie Critchley) and Steve (Steve Cooper) are very British and stiff upper lip and while they are very happy to have their son home his sister Jem (Harriet Cains) has reservations. She belongs to the Human Volunteer Force. They hunt the zombies.

Eighteen months have passed since we last saw Kieren. Have things improved in the little town of Roarton, England? I’m not so sure.

Season Two

Nature abhors waste. When animals or plants die, the earth reclaims and recycles. Humans have lavish funerals and then our dead are buried in the ground with the expectations that our dead stay buried. When the dead don’t follow the rules and not only return, but try to feast on the living then you have a big problem. How do you fall into a sound sleep knowing your re-animated brother, in the bedroom next to yours, might revert to his old ways?

In The Flesh

There is a war on the horizon. On one side you have the people who willingly accept the dead into the fold as gifts from heaven above. Sure they have to wear make-up and contact lenses to keep you from freaking out and yes, those weekly shots at the clinic keep them docile, but not everyone is happy to welcome the re-animated with open arms and the dead are fighting back.

The Undead Liberation Army (ULA), led by a mysterious Undead Prophet and his twelve disciples are attacking the living with terrorist attacks while the Human Volunteer Force take down as many dead as they can. This war leaves our main character, Kieren Walker, between a rock and a hard place. After his neighbor Ken Burton (Ricky Tomlinson) and his grandson are killed by the ULA, Kieren begins to seriously plan on moving to Paris. Why Paris? Could the French be more accepting of the dead? They don’t seem to be that accepting of the living.

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Kieren visits the grave of his lover and is surprised by Amy (Emily Bevan) another re-animated person with a zest for life that has not dimmed with her death. Amy has returned from her visit to the Undead Prophet and she wants Kieren to meet Simon (Emmett Scanlan) her fiancé and one of the disciples. They want Kieren to join the revolution of the redeemed and undead.

Vicar Oddie

The Vicar (Kenneth Cranham) is spewing words of hate to his parishioners when he gets a visit from Vicus Maxine Martin (Wunmi Mosaku). Maxine has an agenda and she’s out to get the re-animated back into the ground. Why such anger? When she unpacks her suitcase at a rooming house, she takes out a toy train. The loss of a child to a zombie always makes for a good reason to seek revenge.

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Vicar Oddie is afraid that he’ll lose his power and maybe his parishioners to Maxine. He might be right. Maxine is only saying what a lot of people are thinking. When Philip (Stephen Thompson) reports back to Vicar Oddie that Maxine wants all the church records, he makes arrangements to meet with her.

Gary Kendal (Kevin Sutton) is the local bounty hunter of the rabid deceased. He and his friends visit the Pub where Kieren works, but after Amy and Simon drop in for a visit; all hell breaks loose.

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Conclusion

Vicar Oddie’s plans for a second rising don’t jive with Maxine’s plans to reclaim Roarton from the dead. While he’s busy having a heart attack, Maxine takes off with the church records. Kieren’s name is in that book.

Thanks to the scuffle in the bar with Gary and Simon, Kieren is out of a job. France is looking pretty good right now. Jem is having flashbacks to her hunting days. Does she sense that things are changing with the re-animated, both physically and emotionally? I think Kieren is changing, but I’m not sure how.

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Humans have a hard time accepting concepts and people who are different than us. Maybe it’s because we’re still evolving and haven’t worked our way to the top of the evolutionary ladder. But, to our credit we try, and that’s a sign of progress. We’re learning to accept different beliefs, cultures and theories, but accepting the dead back into the fold, might be just a tad too hard.

Life is hard enough for the living, but when you’re one of the undead; life can suck big time. Meet you next week in Roarton, but watch out for the ULA. They like their snacks, fresh.

 

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