In The Flesh

Dominic Mitchell’s highly acclaimed zombie drama returns to BBC Three

Interview with Luke Newberry

It really challenged people’s idea about all the different elements and I think it carves out a whole new genre.Luke Newberry
Date: 07.04.2014     Last updated: 24.10.2014 at 10.26
Category: BBC Three; Drama

So what’s it like to be back in Roarton?

Brilliant to be back, and to continue Kieren’s story is really exciting. This series is the same Roarton, just expanded and there are so many new elements and layers and avenues that the show explores and so many new emotions and feelings and obstacles that Kieren has to get over and deal with this time.

We’re nine months on and I think Roarton has sort of adapted in that time but it’s still a very narrow-minded and small place and Kieren in a way feels bigger than Roarton now, like he needs to make a new start, he needs to go abroad and explore new things and he wants to go to Paris, determined to get out of Roarton.

How does Simon impact on Kieren’s life?

Well Simon coming along is a bit of a gear changer for Kieren, because he turns up with a very extreme opinion of and belief of what it is to be a PDS sufferer and it’s the polar opposite of Kieren’s. Kieren is very much about putting my mousse on, putting my lens in and I just put my head down and get on with it and try and fit in with everyone else and be normal and adhere to the rules. Simon comes in and just completely turns that on its head, I don’t wear mousse, I don’t wear the lenses, why should I, this is me, this is who I am, and for Kieren that’s quite scary but also quite intriguing. Kieren realizes that yes he’s moved on, yes he’s developed but he’s still got quite a way to go and is that the way that he wants to go? What’s right or wrong?

We’ve had three new directors this year and they’ve all brought something different to the show which Jonny Campbell directed last year and brilliantly, and left it in a brilliant place so it was more about them taking what was there and building upon that, without trying to make it something it’s not.

What was the response to series one like?

People found it very moving and I’ve had letters and drawings and lovely things like that from people. It really challenged people’s idea about all the different elements and I think it carves out a whole new genre. It’s so original and you don’t feel like you’ve seen it before, it’s not a version of or anything like that, it’s completely new, you can’t predict what’s coming next and one minute you’re laughing, one minute you’re crying, so yeah the response was a bit overwhelming really. It’s got such a wide audience and people have responded around the world. It worked really well having the family at the core, it means that everyone can relate because everyone can relate to family issues.

Also teenagers relating to Kieren and his character are quite important for people growing up, he’s not your typical hero, he’s not superman but he’s strong and he’s courageous, but he’s also sensitive and emotional and that’s something very different I think for a young guy growing up to see that kind of character and I think it’s important.

Interview by Ben Murray. Produced by Dualtagh Herr.