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'In The Flesh': George Romero meets Ken Loach in BBC Three zombie drama

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Those of you mourning the loss of Being Human can take a little solace in the fact that the show's Sunday night, 10pm slot on BBC Three will be filled from March 17 by a new paranormal drama - In The Flesh by new writer Dominic Mitchell.

This very different zombie drama will unfold across three episodes and is best described as George Romero meets Ken Loach - thanks to the marvels of medical science, these flesh-eaters can think and feel, but that doesn't make 'life' any easier for PDS - Partially Deceased Syndrome - sufferer Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) as he returns home to face those he wronged in his mindless state...

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'In The Flesh' still


"I was watching a zombie movie about five years ago, late at night," series creator Mitchell explained at a recent screening. "It was a typical zombie film with a bunch of survivors and they were just blasting away the zombies with such glee and macho gusto that I started feeling sorry for the zombies!

"One of the zombies that they blew away was a young man - [I thought] 'He had a mother and a father… maybe a sister' - and then I started to think that was maybe an interesting take on it."

In The Flesh began life as a more grounded drama about a young man who suffers a psychotic episode and, once rehabilitated, must return to his small rural community to face the consequences of his actions, but the project only started to come to life - so to speak - once Mitchell devised the show's undead twist.

"It was a bit too on the nose as originally written," he said. "And then when I watched the zombie movie, I thought… maybe my young lad didn't have a psychotic episode, maybe he's a zombie!

"In zombie movies, you always see the immediate aftermath, like 28 Days Later - but I thought, what happens four years on when the undead and the survivors are both trying to get on with their lives?"

'In The Flesh' still


Protagonist Kieran's 'life' - such as it is - is facilitated by daily doses of an experimental new drug that prevents his return to a rabid state, with both Mitchell and In The Flesh helmer Jonny Campbell suggesting that the notion of zombies that "evolve" will help differentiate their show from similar products on the market.

"I knew about Warm Bodies - the book," Mitchell said of Isaac Marion's novel, which became the recent hit movie starring Teresa Palmer and Nicholas Hoult. "But I didn't want to read it, because I thought it might seep in. I wanted to keep away from anything like that - but I still watch The Walking Dead, because I love that show!"

Director Campbell though claimed that In The Flesh even has the edge on AMC's hugely popular zombie thriller: "I'd watched The Walking Dead, but at a certain point, it becomes like a computer game - it's very samey. When the locations don't evolve, the location changes, but the story doesn't.

"What drew me in about this was, it's not really about zombies - that's a device and it's effectively about family. It's a drama that can ask questions that other dramas can't."

In The Flesh begins on Sunday, March 17 at 10pm on BBC Three

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