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In The Flesh returning to BBC Three: Series 2's secrets revealed

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"It was quite a challenge to go back there but it was great, because I knew we had a much bigger canvas to play with."

Dominic Mitchell, screenwriter and BAFTA Breakthrough Brit, is talking about the second series of his acclaimed drama In The Flesh - coming soon to BBC Three.

An offbeat blend of zombie horror and kitchen-sink drama, In The Flesh debuted in early 2013 to a warm reception from critics and quickly amassed a rapid - no pun intended - fan following thanks to its combination of visceral violence, thoughtful storytelling and powerful performances.

'In The Flesh' - Exclusive series 2 image.

© BBC


This year's run of episodes - extended from three parts to six - will take advantage of a broader canvas to explore more of Roarton, the fictional Lancashire village which, the show's mythology submits, served as the birthing ground for an undead rising.

Tragedy struck Roarton at the end of the first series, as buried prejudices came raging to the surface with disastrous consequences, but as series two opens ninth months later, a "fragile peace" has been established.

"In Roarton, at the beginning of series two, they're sweeping things under the carpet in a very Northern fashion," Mitchell reveals. "But it's all going to bubble up!"

In The Flesh series two will continue the story of Kieren Walker - played by rising star Luke Newberry - a former 'rabid' who has now been reintegrated into society thanks to the latest in medical advances, but faces bigotry and hatred at every turn.

In The Flesh S01E02: Kieren (Luke Newberry) & Amy (Emily Bevan

© BBC


Kieren is looking to leave the small-town thinking of Roarton behind when the second series opens and whether not he not he succeeds is the crux of the new episodes: "He just wants to get out and try to start again," explains actor Newberry. "But other characters come in and start making him think... maybe he's just running away from his situation?"

Two major new additions complicating Kieren's life are Wunmi Mosaku's Maxine Martin - the newly-elected MP for Roarton Valley and a member of 'pro-life' political party Victus - and Simon, a charismatic disciple of the Undead Prophet played by Emmett Scanlan.

"The thing is about Maxine Martin... she's not a villain," Mitchell says. "She is the antagonist of the piece - and Simon is too in a weird way - but no-one's 'the bad guy' - everyone is doing things for their own particular reasons and their own beliefs."

Maxine and Simon are "two sides of the same coin" with both looking to rouse support for their cause. "I always thought there would be a backlash to PDS sufferers and Maxine Martin is the backlash - a force to be reckoned with."

Mitchell continues: "Simon is then the yin to Maxine Martin's yang - he's very pro PDS rights and very proud of who he is. People being scared of 'the other' is a big theme of the show and I always wanted to look at it through a political lens."

Luke Newberry in series two of 'In The Flesh'.

© BBC


Politics, new characters and a broader landscape, but if you're concerned that series two of In The Flesh might lack some of the domestic intimacy that made the first three-parter so wonderful, lay those fears to rest.

"With the first series, we had three hours, so it was good to be self-contained," Mitchell concludes. "I wanted to explore the mythology more in series two - but it's still domestic and everything is still channelled through Kieren's experience."

In The Flesh returns to BBC Three in May.

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