Zombies are so popular now that it almost seems cliché to recommend yet another film or television series revolving around them. Yes, AMC’s The Walking Dead is outstanding, but this often overlooked show – In the Flesh – is even better. Originally, the show was comprised of a three episode long miniseries for BBC Three but, thanks to its enormous popularity, it was granted a second season (or “series” as the British refer to it) consisting of six more episodes and continuing the enthralling story created by Dominic Mitchell.
In the Flesh follows main character Kieren Walker (played by Luke Newberry), a zombie. How many examples can you name in film and television in which a zombie is the main character? Probably very few. This factor is what makes this show so interesting and such a fresh take on what can seem to some of even the most devout horror fans as a tired subgenre. Anyway, the show’s mythology is highly complex and, in a very British televisual style, it focuses on serious societal issues, unafraid to examine politically potent plotlines.
In the Flesh tells us what happens after the zombie apocalypse—after what the characters refer to as “The Rising,” an otherwise ordinary day in the United Kingdom. Those who died already, during a certain time frame, spontaneously come back to life, dig themselves out of their own graves, and find that they crave human flesh. Their bites do not infect you – you cannot become one of them – but they still can kill you. The UK government has developed a cure for this “rotter” problem (their term for the zombies) by injecting them with a serum in the back of the neck every day. After some good ole rehabilitation in a creepy mental institution/rehab-like facility, these “rotters” can be reintegrated into society, becoming normal, compliant citizens. Of course, not everyone is okay with that plan and chaos soon ensues.