Eighteen years old, Kieren’s always been a bit different. As a teen, he was into everything alternative: music, books, counter culture in general. And he loved hanging out with his best mate, Rick. When Rick joined the army rather than tell his Dad he and Kieren had a connection, Kieren was heartbroken. Then, to make matters worse, Kieren heard that Rick had died from an IED in Afghanistan. It was all too much to bear.
As an untreated zombie, Kieren hunted in and around Roarton with his hunting partner, Amy Dyer. Now treated and ready for rehabilitation, Kieren is filled with guilt for what he did as a rabid zombie and doesn’t want to go home and face his parents and the village where he was always the black sheep, even before he died.
Quote: “Those people… hated me even before I was like this.”
Luke Newberry – this is Luke’s first leading role on TV. He has had previous supporting roles in Sherlock, Mrs Biggs, Quartet, Anna Karenina and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Eighteen. Roarton born and bred, Rick is the only son of Bill, the unofficial leader of the village. As a lad, Rick was always encouraged towards macho pursuits, but no matter what he did, he couldn’t hide his growing bond with Kieren. Rather than be open with his Dad about his close friendship with outsider Kieren, Rick joined up. The army was perfect for Rick; it was an escape from his feelings and his father's judgements, that is, until he was killed by an IED.
Now Rick’s alive again, partially. A treated zombie. But his dad’s feelings towards rotters haven’t changed, so he must try and keep his new condition covered up, and the connection with Kieren, that is as strong as ever, under wraps too.
Quote: “I’m not like you.”
David Walmsley - Rick is David’s first big TV role.
Kooky and irrepressible, Amy grew up with her gran and was a star pupil who went to the local grammar school. With a burning lust for life, hers was cut way too short when she was diagnosed with leukaemia, and soon after lost her fight to the disease.
In her untreated state, Amy paired up with Kieren and they became a formidable hunting partnership during The Rising. Now back in Roarton, Amy’s lonely without her gran, but when she sees Kieren again, she’s delighted. The partially deceased Amy still has a massive lust for life, which has intensified tenfold because she's experienced both death and life, and much prefers the later. She doesn’t stand on ceremony, is proud as punch and always tells it to you straight. She makes Kieren laugh and feel less alone. She's a bright spark in his darkest hours.
Quote: “Deep down fearing the reaper is the reason why everyone’s so messed up in the head… they live their lives with one eye on the clock. We don’t have to do that. We can smash the clock to pieces.”
Emily Bevan - Prior to In The Flesh, Emily has had roles in The Thick Of It, Phone Shop and St Trinian’s.
Eighteen. When Kieren died, Jem was lost. She filled the void Kieren left by joining the Human Volunteer Force shortly after the Rising started, and quickly shot up the ranks. Nicknamed the ‘Rambo of Roarton’ by HVF leader Bill, she was treated like his own daughter and felt at home, even though she carries round the guilt of her HVF partner, Lisa Lancaster’s, death.
Ballsy and opinionated, Jem feels many emotions with Kieren’s return: denial, anger, mistrust, but also joy. She just doesn’t show the joy, she won't allow him to see that emotion, no way.
Quote: “People think I’m this rough tough gun-toting bad ass. But I’m not. I never was.”
Harriet Cains – this is Harriet’s first major TV role.
Fifty-three. Rick’s dad and husband of Janet, Bill comes from a long line of working class labourers and army men. Intimidating, no nonsense , Bill sees the world in black and white, good versus evil. During the Rising he created the Human Volunteer Force in Roarton with Vicar Oddie and proved himself a furious fighter: the ‘shepherd of Roarton’ with numerous zombie kills under his belt. Even though it’s years later, the village still feels in his debt and Bill makes sure they know it, exercising a ruthless power and control over the community.
When Rick returns, Bill is completely in denial about what his son really is, refusing to acknowledge he’s one of Bill’s sworn PDS sufferer enemies, even if Rick has the scars to prove it.
Quote: “Rotter's a Rotter - drugs or no drugs.”
Steve Evets - Steve is a prolific actor, with roles as Colin in Rev, Five Days and the feature film, Looking For Eric, to name but a few.
Sixty. After the disappointment and confusion that the millennium didn’t herald the end times, religious zealot Oddie became bitter and turned to drink. Posted to the quiet backwater of Roarton, Oddie faced further sadness when his wife Helen died.
The rising of the dead made him a man re-born however and along with Bill and his two stooges, Dean and Gary, Oddie formed the HVF and became Roarton’s Rock. Ever since he was a young curate, Oddie’s always had a love of the Book of Revelation – seeing it as eternally hopeful, with good finally triumphing over evil; and it’s through using this book that he passionately believes that when all the imposters of what he calls the First Rising are dealt with, there’ll be a Second Rising for the truly righteous.
Quote: “Do not be fooled. Those things are not what they appear to be. They are not your neighbours, they are not your friends. They are imposters! Changelings of the highest order.”
Kenneth Cranham - Kenneth has starred in feature films such as Layer Cake, Valkyrie and Hellbound: Hellraiser II, as well as a plethora of TV roles.
Twenty-three. A childhood friend of Kieren and Rick, Philip is now working his way up the ranks of Roarton’s powerful Parish Council, where he hopes to become Oddie’s right hand man – a big fish in a small pond. He’s not a fighter, but instead prefers the power won by politics rather than punching. His ambition and underhand tactics help him climb the greasy pole, as does his very public anti-PDS stance. But behind closed doors, Philip may not be quite the saint he seems. Living with his mum, Shirley (the village PDS Liaison Officer), can he keep his secrets hidden forever?
Quote: “Proposal was voted in this morning. All houses with PDS sufferers inside must be identified.”
Stephen Thompson - this is Stephen’s first TV role.
Ken lives on the same street as the Walkers and is a pillar of the Roarton community, an outspoken anti-PDS campaigner and old friend of Bill. The PDS Protection Act will prove to have far reaching consequences for Ken.
Quote: “Why put the people who tried to destroy our community back amongst us? It’s reckless, and dangerous, and if yer ask me, downright foolish.”
Ricky Tomlinson - Ricky is perhaps best known for his role as Jim Royle in The Royle Family, as well as feature film Mike Bassett: England Manager, Playing The Field and Brookside.