In The Flesh
Dominic Mitchell's new zombie drama for BBC Three
Interview with writer Dominic Mitchell
When I first came up with the idea, I was always ‘what would really happen in a zombie apocalypse?’ Not the movie version, but the real version. And in the real version, in my head, the scientists would always be trying to find a cure, or find some way to manage the undead.
I want it to be for a really wide audience and to talk about real issues, real family issues, real domestic issues, and we play with the zombie methodology. We do have a few scenes of real great zombie genre stuff, but then you have a scene where it’s really domestic and they’re sitting around the table just trying to be a family again, and that’s what I really wanted it to do. So, your Grandma can watch it, hopefully, and really enjoy it, and it can speak to her as well as speak to the teenage zombie horror fan.
Kieren isn’t comfortable in his ‘undead’ state, he didn't want to come back, he wanted to be dead. That’s a journey for Kieren - here’s someone who didn't want to be alive and now he’s alive again, and he’s discovering that life is worth living, weirdly, but now he’s partially deceased. Amy’s on the different side because she died because of an illness, and she says in the show, ‘I felt like I’d been benched even before I got to play the game’ and now, she sees it as a massive blessing that she’s back, that she can actually play the game, and she can play the game forever.
What’s great about using the zombie genre was I could talk about all those issues, talk about feeling ‘other’ and feeling different and feeling like you can’t come out to your parents and sexuality, but under the guise of ‘I’m a zombie and my Dad doesn’t recognise me as a zombie’, or ‘My parents don’t recognise me as a zombie’.
It’s about redemption, forgiveness and battling against prejudices, and that prejudices can cause chaos if there is no forgiveness - that causes chaos to you and the community.
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