In The Flesh
is a BBC
mini-series, consisting of three episodes
, about the Zombie Apocalypse
, with a difference!
Three years after the dead rose from the grave; Kieren, a Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS)
patient, is ready to return home. However his unlife is far from easy; suffering from flashbacks before his "treatment" and hounded by the Human Volunteer Force (HVF) he's stuck at home wallowing in the past. His parents are in denial while his sister, a member of the HVF, is more than slightly hostile towards him.
Series two has been commissioned for 2014 with an extended run.
In The Flesh provides examples of the following tropes:
- Armored Closet Gay: Rick. In his case it's also fully stocked on weapons.
- As the Good Book Says: Vicar Oddie and the Undead Prophet are both fond of quoting Bible verses to justify their fundamentalist views.
- Badass Gay: Rick, who is "one of the lads" and went off to Afghanistan and earned himself a medal.
- Badass Pacifist: As a counterpoint to Rick; Kieren.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Jem, whose first appearance is listening to loud music and swearing at her parents while they're trying to sell the house.
- Bury Your Gays: Literally with Kieren rising from the grave and all that and Rick being killed twice while Kieren committed suicide after the first death.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Amy.
- Driven to Suicide: Kieren after finding out about Rick.
- Fantastic Drug: There's a new one that's popular with the zombies but it does have some nasty side-affects, hopefully that will lead to something in the second series.
- Fantastic Racism: Zombies are not well liked for some obvious reasons.
- Flashback Stares Kieren instigates a flashback, of him clawing out of his grave, by staring at his headstone several years later.
- Gayngst: Poor Kieren.
- Good Samaritan: Played almost biblically straight by Dean and Ken. Dean is put into a zombie pen because he was bitten, even though by then he and his friends in the HVF knew bites weren't contagious. Being a diabetic, he needed something to eat to keep his blood sugar up. He asks a boy and an old woman for help; the boy tells him off and the old woman spits in his face. When Ken walks by, he's the only one to actually help him, much to Dean's shame after he aided Bill when he killed Ken's wife.
- Heroic BSOD: Steve before the events of the series when Kieren takes his life and again at the end of the series when it looks like he's about to do it again.
- Hope Spot: In the first episode, when it looks like Bill is about to spare Ken's wife, and then shoots her in the head. Also in the third episode, when he seems like he might accept Rick after his "coming out" moment. The next time we see Rick, he has a knife sticking from his skull.
- Karma Houdini: The Vicar who put Bill up to two murders and is free to continue preaching hate.
- To a lesser extent, Deans friend in the HVF who abuses Amy in her own home.
- Kick the Dog: Bill's favorite pastime. Eventually, The Dog Bites Back.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Amy to Kieren, in a non-romantic way.
- Manly Gay: Rick.
- Meaningful Echo: "I know you!"
- My God, What Have I Done?: Bill, after killing Rick. He even has blood on his hands for added effect (Not Rick's, though).
- No Communities Were Harmed: Obviously no town would like to displayed like the fictional Roarton.
- Nobody Poops: averted, in an unpleasant overlap with No Dead Body Poops. Amy cheerfully talks about what happened when she tried to eat, much to the discomfort of Kieran's family. New clothing was required, apparently.
- It's also a sign of Rick's denial. He drinks lager and pukes it up as a horrid black bile later. When Amy notes to him later that drinks are toxic to them, he feigns ignorance as part of his being a closeted zombie.
- Not Using the Zed Word: While "zombie" is said the government prefers Partially Deceased Syndrome while the HVF uses the derogatory "Rotters".
- No Zombie Cannibals: Zombies actually hunt in "packs" according to ex-feral zombies.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Phillip.
- Oop North: Roarton, Lancashire. Grimness abounds.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies post treatment behave almost completely like humans, other than the fact they can't eat.
- Pac-Man Fever: In episode 2, Dean is seen playing Resident Evil: Deadly Silence on a Nintendo DS... with Atari 2600-like sounds.
- Perpetual-Motion Monster: Zombies had to eat the living in this universe but once on the drugs it becomes impossible (or highly unadvisable at any rate) to eat or take liquids.
- Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Like most zombies it's the only way to put them down.
- Sinister Minister: Vicar Oddie who is constantly preaching against zombies and who orders the parish council to do less than ethical actions.
- Stock Monster Symbolism: Expanded: zombiism is used as a metaphore for homosexuality and prejuidice.
- Stages of Monster Grief: This is a big part of the show as zombies have to reintegrate into normal society; not just for the zombies themselves but the families and those affected and the community at large. Kieren and his family are deep, deep into denial however that's nothing when compared to Rick. Meanwhile the Undead Prophet and Kieren's friend at the center have jumped to treachery. Amy is actually the healthiest at the start, she's at acceptance with a few supremacist tendencies.
- Straight Gay: Kieren and Rick.
- Sweetie Graffiti: "Rick + Kieren 4ever".
- Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Kieren and his flashbacks to Lisa's death.
- The Fundamentalist: Both Vicar Oddie and the Undead Prophet.
- Transhuman Treachery: The Undead Prophet and Kieren's friend believe zombies are a form of superior species, and that they were perfectly justified in killing humans after rising.
- Undeathly Pallor: All the zombies look pale, they wear makeup to try make them look like the living but tend to end up in the Uncanny Valley.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Though the HVF was legitimately fighting off a potential apocalypse, by the time the series kicks off it's been so well contained that the government is actively paying for the non-lethal capture of PDS sufferers to rehabilitate them. However many in the HVF don't seem to want to believe that feral zombies can be helped nor that treated ones aren't dangerous.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: PDS sufferers can't eat or drink. Rick tries anyway; the result is a mess of black goo.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Rick plays along with being both straight and human to please his father Bill.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Zombie bites don't turn you, only those who died three years prior rose, however it doesn't stop numerous people believing that it does.
- You Are What You Hate: Rick is actually double dipping: he's both Gat and a zombie. Of course, his hatred is very superficial as part of his self-denial fueled from the need for his father's approval.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Unusually the series is set after one, one that was apparently subdued rather quickly to boot.