In the Flesh (TV series)

In the Flesh
Created by Dominic Mitchell
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 9
Executive producer(s) Hilary Martin
Producer(s) Ann Harrison-Baxter
Original network
Picture format
Audio format Stereo
Original release 17 March 2013 (2013-03-17) – 8 June 2014 (2014-06-08)
External links

In the Flesh is a BAFTA award-winning BBC Three supernatural drama series starring Luke Newberry. Written and created by Dominic Mitchell,[1] the show began airing on BBC Three on 17 March 2013 with the first series consisting of three one-hour-long episodes. Set after "The Rising", which is the show's take on a zombie apocalypse, the drama focuses throughout on reanimated teenager Kieren Walker and his return to his local community.

An extended second series of the show, consisting of six one-hour-long episodes, began airing in the United Kingdom on BBC Three on 4 May 2014[2] and in the United States on 10 May 2014 on BBC America.[3][4][5]

In January 2015, BBC Three announced that In The Flesh would not be renewed for a third series due to cuts to its budget for its final year as a televised channel.[6]


The show, set in the fictional village of Roarton, Lancashire, though filmed in Marsden, West Yorkshire,[7] depicts life after "The Rising". During The Rising, deceased teenager Kieren Walker and thousands of other people who died in 2009 were re-animated as rabid zombies. The re-animated people were hunted down during "The Pale Wars" by armed militias. A medication was found to bring consciousness back to the undead, returning their minds to who they were before dying. The undead that were not killed by the militias were then rounded up and were given medication and rehabilitation by the government in a plan to reintroduce them to society. They are given contact lenses, cosmetics, and daily injections of medication to help them conceal their deceased status. They are officially referred to as sufferers of Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS), and pejoratively known as "rotters". Many are haunted by returning memories of the atrocities they committed while rabid. In the village of Roarton, PDS sufferers face prejudice from the villagers upon their return.



Series 1

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1"Episode 1"Jonny CampbellDominic Mitchell17 March 2013 (2013-03-17)668,000[10]
Kieren Walker, one of thousands of individuals affected by Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS), returns home to Roarton. He has been subjected to months of rehabilitation and medication at a special, defended unit, specifically designed to keep the PDS sufferers in. The government has set an agenda of acceptance and tolerance. However, a cauldron of brutal anti-rotter sentiment exists and is gathering support, especially within the church.
2"Episode 2"Jonny CampbellDominic Mitchell24 March 2013 (2013-03-24)392,000[11]
Kieren feels trapped at home and escapes to his grave, where he is reunited with his old hunting partner Amy Dyer—who persuades him to take a dangerous day trip. He discovers that Rick, his best friend who he had a romantic interest in and thought was killed by an IED in Afghanistan, is back in town, so he flies to him at his militia-based local pub. After an awkward reunion, he finds himself on a hunting mission in the woods, where the night patrol has reported live rabid rotters roaming free. Kieren persuades them to hand the "rotters" in for a reward rather than kill them.
3"Episode 3"Jonny CampbellDominic Mitchell31 March 2013 (2013-03-31)525,000[12]
Kieren visits the supermarket where he used to hunt, which brings back memories of when Jem spared his life. The siblings then confront their past issues and drop in to see the Lancasters, parents of a girl he killed. Kieren begins to feel better, but must say goodbye to Amy, who is leaving Roarton in search of The Undead Prophet. At the end of the episode, tragedy strikes Kieren after Bill kills Rick, claiming he is not the real Rick, leaving the body leaning against Kieren's garage. Kieren storms in to confront Bill, but ultimately leaves. Bill is then shot by Ken Burton, whose PDS-afflicted wife was murdered by Bill at the end of the first episode.

Series 2

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
4"Episode 1"Jim O'HanlonDominic Mitchell4 May 2014 (2014-05-04)364,000[13]
Kieren Walker, in the now seemingly PDS-friendly world of Roarton, is keeping his head down, working soul destroying shifts in the Legion pub and squirrelling money into his 'escape fund'. The only problem is that he can't escape himself. In the wider world, tensions are re-igniting. The radical pro-living party, Victus, is whipping up hatred and the Undead Liberation Army is retaliating violently. When Victus MP Maxine Martin enters Roarton, Kieren is dismayed, sensing that danger is encroaching. And when Vicar Oddie violently clashes with her, it seems Kieren's instincts are right. Kieren is also overjoyed by the return of his BDFF (best dead friend forever), Amy Dyer, though his delight is cut short by a tense encounter with Amy's opinionated beau, ULA member Simon. When Amy and Simon reveal the prejudice still bubbling under the surface in Roarton, Kieren knows he needs to leave the village immediately.
5"Episode 2"Jim O'HanlonDominic Mitchell11 May 2014 (2014-05-11)297,000[14]
Kieren's dreams of escape are left in tatters when Maxine imposes an Undead travel ban on Roarton, also introducing stringent measures for PDS Sufferers to pay back their debt to society. However, being thrust together with Simon on Maxine's 'Give Back' scheme has its benefits. The two have a connection, and Kieren agrees to go to Simon's Undead party that night, where Simon makes a surprising declaration. Jem is troubled at school. A 19-year-old amongst 16-year-olds, she feels completely alienated, until she's revealed to be an ex-HVF war hero. Jem's reputation soars and she is befriended by the popular girls. However, when a PDS prank goes wrong, resulting in a terrifying rabid in the corridors, Jem is humiliated in front of her classmates. She gravitates to Gary, finding solace in a world she understands - hunting rabids in the woods. But it's here that disaster strikes.
6"Episode 3"Damon ThomasFintan Ryan & John Jackson18 May 2014 (2014-05-18)367,000[15]
Fate throws Kieren and Simon together on the ‘Give Back’ scheme, this time at the doctor’s surgery. Simon reassures Kieren that he’s not leading Amy on, but the pair come to blows when Kieren thwarts his plan to free two caged rabids. We also get to know PDS sufferer Freddie Preston. Freddie returned from the grave to find his childhood sweetheart Haley shacked up in their marital home with her new boyfriend Amir. Haley and Amir are allowing Freddie to stay in the spare room until he’s back on his feet. This is not ideal, as Freddie struggles with the notion of ‘till death do us part’ and is determined to win back the woman he loves. When Kieren is thrust into the aftermath of Freddie’s plan, he sees Simon’s views in a different light. Even though he hates the thought of hurting Amy, he can’t help but follow his heart.
7"Episode 4"Damon ThomasFintan Ryan25 May 2014 (2014-05-25)112,000
Kieren is conflicted about seeing Simon behind Amy’s back and frustrated by his cult leader persona around the adoring Undead of Roarton. However, Simon proves how much he cares by stepping into Kieren’s world and having Sunday lunch at the Walkers’. Unfortunately, Amy witnesses the loved-up pair en route to Kieren’s house and is crushed by their betrayal. After a positive start, the Sunday lunch descends into chaos. A tipsy and trouble-making Jem and Gary descend on the meal, provoking Kieren into a confession which sends shockwaves around the family - and astounds Simon. Philip can’t reconcile himself with Maxine’s questionable politics and the two go head to head. Seeing Philip as a thorn in her side, Maxine orchestrates his downfall and is delighted when his Undead perversion is publicly revealed. Philip’s political aspirations come tumbling down around him, but a silver lining is provided by an unexpected romantic encounter.
8"Episode 5"Alice TroughtonDominic Mitchell1 June 2014 (2014-06-01)260,000[16]
Kieren is wrongly accused of freeing rabids held at the hospital and is placed under house arrest with a view to returning him to the Treatment Centre in Norfolk unless he confesses. With no support from the family he seeks out Simon, but Amy tells him that Simon has gone to the city. Amy continues to date Philip, secretly fearing she may becoming resistant to the drugs that keep her from descending into her rabid state; however, when she begins to feel the rain on her skin, she realises that she is actually coming back to life instead. In the city Simon has received orders from the Undead Prophet to slay Kieren, in the belief that his demise will trigger the second rising. Struggling to reconcile this with his feelings for Keiren, Simon remembers his time at Norfolk, where he was the first of the Risen to respond to medical treatment and stop being rabid. However, he learned he had killed his mother while rabid, and his father's rejection of him drove him to join the ULA.
9"Episode 6"Alice TroughtonDominic Mitchell8 June 2014 (2014-06-08)299,000[17]
Kieren awaits transfer to Norfolk but, with Simon returning to lead his followers in a Second Rising, Gary tries to force Kieren to help find him. At the village fete Amy is transforming into a human, and militant PDS sufferers have a stand-off in the graveyard against Jem and her rabid hunters. Gary forcibly drugs Kieren, turning him rabid and setting him loose, hoping to have Jem shoot him. Kieren fights the drugs to resist hurting anyone, and Simon ultimately rejects his ULA orders and saves Kieren from being shot. However, Maxine, who had believed Amy to be the real First Risen, murders her shortly after Amy becomes fully human again; Maxine desperately hopes that a Second Rising will revive her late brother. When this fails to trigger another Rising, Maxine has a public breakdown, discrediting herself. Amy is reburied, but that night her body is dug up.


In the Flesh received generally positive reviews, with praise being given to the series' premise. The Daily Telegraph's Simon Horsford praised Mitchell and called the premise "a clever idea", despite having initial misgivings over the continued use of zombies.[18] Morgan Jeffery, writing for Digital Spy, called the idea a "risk".[19] Comparisons were made between the show and previous shows aired on BBC Three: The Fades and Being Human.

The series launched with 668,000 viewers, the highest of all the episodes.[10] The first episode was rated 3 out of 5 stars by Jeffery. Jeffery praised the performance of the actors and the cinematography, particularly highlighting the scene where Ken's wife is shot. However, he noted that there were times when "the two facets of In The Flesh fail to gel effectively". Overall, he believed it may not have "hit its stride" in the first week, but would continue to watch the show for the next two weeks.[19] Den of Geek's Louisa Mellor also highlighted the scene with Ken's wife, and praised the episode. She said the story had a "reflective" feel, which distinguished it from other zombies stories.[20][21]

The second episode received 392,000 viewers, a significant decrease from the first episode.[11] However, critical response to the episode improved, and Jeffery rated the second episode 4 out of 5. He praised the banter between Kieren and Amy, as well as the appearance of rabid zombies toward the end.[22] Mellor called Amy a "jolt of electricity on screen", and wanted to learn more about the thoughts of Bill Macy.[23] Dave Golder, for SFX, also gave the episode 4 out of 5, and praised the episode's conclusion and rabid PDS sufferers. Golder felt Amy was occasionally "a little bit too broad", but praised her acting when Kieren reveals he killed himself.[24]

525,000 viewers watched the finale, an increase from the previous episode but still not as high as the first one.[12] Jeffery rated the episode 3.5 out of 5; he praised Cains and her interaction with Newberry, and the death of Rick, but noted that many plots were left unresolved.[25]


The series won the BAFTA for a Mini-Series in May 2014.[26] Series creator Dominic Mitchell was awarded a BAFTA for 'Best Writer - Drama' at the British Academy Television Craft Awards ceremony on 27 April 2014.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Sim, Krystal (17 March 2013). "In The Flesh creator Dominic Mitchell on episode 1 secrets | SciFiNow - The World's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Magazine". SciFiNow. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  2. "In The Flesh". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  3. "BBC America Announces Acclaimed Zombie Mini-Series 'In The Flesh' Returns May 10". 26 March 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  4. Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three (22 May 2013). "BBC Three announces new series commission of zombie drama In The Flesh". Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  5. "In The Flesh Recommissioned For Extended Series". News In Time And Space. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  6. BBC Newsbeat
  7. "Film and TV". Kirklees Council. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  8. "New BBC Three talent are joined by Kenneth Cranham and Ricky Tomlinson as filming begins on zombie drama, In The Flesh". BBC Website. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  9. "BBC In the Flesh Character Page for Simon Monroe". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  10. 1 2 Fletcher, Alex (18 March 2013). "'Got To Dance' ends with over 1 million viewers on Sky1 - TV News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  11. 1 2 Fletcher, Alex (26 March 2013). "'Our Girl' watched by 5.3 million on Sunday night". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  12. 1 2 Fletcher, Alex (2 April 2013). "'The Village' opens with big ratings on BBC One". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  13. White, Peter (6 May 2014). "Crimson Field falls to series low | News | Broadcast". Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  14. "The Crimson Field gains back 700k for finale on BBC One - TV News". Digital Spy. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  15. "BAFTA TV Awards attract 5.1m, down 900k from last year - TV News". Digital Spy. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  16. "Countryfile tops quiet Sunday with 5.5 million on BBC One - TV News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  18. Horsford, Simon (18 March 2013). "In The Flesh, BBC Three, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  19. 1 2 Jeffery, Morgan (17 March 2013). "In The Flesh episode 1 review: Zombie horror meets kitchen sink drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  20. Mellor, Louisa (17 March 2013). "In The Flesh episode 1 review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  21. Mellor, Louisa (28 February 2013). "Spoiler-free In The Flesh episode 1 review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  22. Jeffery, Morgan (24 March 2013). "'In The Flesh' review: Superb zombie drama evolves in week two". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  23. Mellor, Louisa (24 March 2013). "In The Flesh episode 2 review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  24. Golder, David (24 March 2013). "In The Flesh 1.02 REVIEW". SFX. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  25. Jeffery, Morgan (31 March 2013). "'In The Flesh' episode three review: A powerful but incomplete finale". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  26. Lawrence, Ben (18 May 2014). "TV Baftas 2014: the winners in full". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
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