British fans of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” who have to wait nearly a week to see episodes of the show after they air in the United States, will be able to enjoy some home grown zombie television with the release of “In the Flesh.”
The three-part miniseries written by Dominic Mitchell takes place after the zombie apoclaypse. But it’s not the end-of-the-world scenario we see in Walking Dead. In this view, the zombie threat has been contained and zombies are even being rehabilitated for return to their families.
The action centers around a former zombie, Kieren Walker, a teenager who is said to suffer from Partially Diseased Syndrome. He’s being sent home after a period of recovery and, judging from the narration given in the show’s trailer, it might not be an easy homecoming.
Mitchell said the inspiration for telling the story from the zombie’s point of view came from an evening of watching zombie movies several years ago. He described a growing revulsion as the film moved along.
“My disgust was with the living human characters. The plucky survivors of the zombie apocalypse. The supposed heroes,” he said. “These pillars of virtue in the bad zombie movie I was watching late one night in 2007 were blowing away the ‘evil’ undead with such delightful gusto, such macho glee, that I began to sympathize with the shuffling rotting corpses.”
One zombie kill in particular, that of a young adult, really struck him as brutal.
“I thought; good god, that poor lad was somebody’s son, somebody’s brother, somebody’s friend and neighbor. How inhumane to shoot him in the head just because of what he’s become,” Mitchell said. “He’s fresh from the grave; he’s in a very primitive state and needs brains to survive; it’s not his fault the kinds of brains he needs to live on are organic human ones. Surely he didn’t need to be blown away; surely he could have been subdued and eventually treated with some sort of chemical compound?”
The story grew from there and eventually ended up as a screenplay entered in a BBC writers competition. Despite the odds against it, the script got the green light and was developed into a show that will premiere Sunday, March 17 on BBC Three.
A U.S. release date has not been announced.