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Series / Glitch

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Glitch is an Australian TV series produced by Screen Australia and The ABC.

In the country town of Yoorana, Victoria, police sergeant James Hayes investigates a disturbance in the town cemetery and finds several people naked and covered in dirt. Soon, James along with Dr. MacKeller realise that they have mysteriously come Back from the Dead and can't remember their lives. Meanwhile, a teenager named Beau meets up with Paddy, another of the resurrected who didn't go with James.

The resurrected people date from various decades, from James's late wife Kate who has been dead for a mere two years, to Paddy who was the first Mayor of Yoorana and died over 150 years ago. And there's the mysterious and violent John Doe who isn't inclined to say much...

Over the course of the series the resurrected regain their memories while James and Dr MacKeller try to keep the resurrected under wraps, which isn't so easy once James' colleague Sergeant Vic Eastly starts poking around.

The ABC had the entire 6-episode first series available on its iView service from day 1, though it expired on the 27th of August 2015. It became available on Netflix in October 2016, and a second season began filming late that year as well, with global release scheduled for 2017. Netflix globally released series 3 on September 25, 2019.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Back from the Dead: Kate, Maria, Kirstie, John, Charlie, Paddy, Carlo and Vic.
    • Also Sarah and Phil.
    • And, in Season 3, Chi, Belle, and James.
  • Came Back Wrong: Averted with the Risen; they come back to life in perfect health and with their personalities intact (though with some amnesia to start). Played straight with the people who come back to hunt the Risen. They are ruthless and laser-focused on their "purpose."
  • Dead All Along: Of a sort. It's revealed at the end of Season 1 that Dr MacKellar had actually died four years ago, and she has secretly been one of the risen the whole time.
  • Driven to Suicide: Charlie Thompson came back to Yoorana with advanced tuberculosis and shot himself rather than suffer through the last stages of the disease.
  • Expy: The town of Yoorana is one for the real-world town of Castlemaine (where the series was filmed). Yoorana is a former gold rush town in central Victoria and a map shows it being about 120 km northwest of Melbourne, just like the real Castlemaine.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Not counting flashbacks or the epilogue, the entirety of the show's three seasons (though only eighteen episodes) takes place over the course of less than a month.
  • First-Episode Resurrection: The point which starts the whole series.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Downplayed. Charlie, Paddy and John are puzzled or fascinated by aspects of the modern world but they quickly figure them out and such incidents only last a few seconds on-screen. Even Kirstie, who died in 1989, has a little trouble operating a smart phone at first.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Kirstie name drops this trope after stealing clothes and a pregnancy test in Melbourne.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact that MacKeller is herself involved in the reanimations is foreshadowed in the first few seconds of the first episode, when one realises that the car Beau sees speeding away from the graveyard is her Volvo.
  • Gayngst: Charlie, due to the homophobic time he grew up in.
  • Inheritance Murder: It's revealed that Patrick Fitzgerald was murdered by his son so that he would secure the inheritance, and not Patrick's Aboriginal mistress.
  • Last Dance: Charlie Thompson came back to Yoorana with advanced tuberculosis and he spent his remaining time to honour his friends who died in World War I. Once he accomplished task, he shot himself.
  • Lost Will and Testament: Paddy searches for the will he wrote before his murder naming Kalinda and her descendants as his beneficiaries. After finding it, Paddy's lawyer informs him that his handwritten and unnotarized will that predates Australian federation won't hold up in court.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Paddy turns out to be Beau's ancestor.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The tattered dress that Paddy kept in a lockbox hidden away in his mansion on Corona Hill.
  • Morality Pet: Beau is this to Paddy, who softens as the series progresses.
  • N-Word Privileges: Paddy doesn't see anything wrong with casually using the term "Abo" in reference to Indigenous Australians. Beau firmly informs him not the use that word, particularly towards him.
  • Neck Snap: Vic kills Maria by snapping her neck after he realizes she's not taking him to the rest of the risen.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Zig-zagged. When Carlo dies after crossing the boundary surrounding Yoorana, he reverts to a decayed corpse which collapses into dust. On the other hand, when Vic kills Maria, her body remains intact.
  • Noble Bigot: Paddy expresses disbelief that an "Abo" would ever go to college; at the same time he's not completely dismissive of Beau, and later on we learn his true love was an Aboriginal woman.
    • Paddy questions the competency of his lawyer solely on the fact that the man is Greek.
    • Chi comments that Phil speaks English surprisingly well for a Native. A bemused Phil replies that he speaks English better than Chi (a Chinese immigrant).
  • My Grandson, Myself:
    • While visiting his old haunts at the Royal Hotel, Charlie pretends to be his own great-great-grandnephew.
    • Paddy pretends to be one of his own descendants to justify his knowledge of family secrets and his possession of the will. He never specifies the exact relation.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Vic stuffs Maria's body in the trunk of his police car after snapping her neck.
  • Resurrection Sickness: The resurrected characters all have some degree of amnesia which takes them a while to get over.
  • Sanity Slippage: Eastly begins behaving increasingly erratic following his car crash, starting with ignoring his open head wound, then refusing to sleep, until he ultimately turns homicidal. Only at the end is it revealed that he actually didn't survive the crash and Came Back Wrong.
    • Likewise, Sarah and Phil also begin acting strangly. Sarah didn't survive childbirth, and Phil didn't survive the oil rig explosion.
  • Sole Survivor:
    • Charlie was the only one of the Yoorana volunteers to return alive from World War I.
    • The owner of the Royal Hotel is a gay man who lost all his friends in the AIDS epidemic.
  • Time Lapse: Several sequences of wilting flowers played backwards are used in the opening title sequence.
  • The Wall Around the World: If a resurrected person goes too far from Yoorana, they begin to get sick and start to bleed from their eyes. If they don't get back to town soon, they die (in a rather permanent manner).
  • The Unfettered: Both Vic and Phil, and seemingly Sarah as well, all have a driving motivation to kill the other risen and return them to death. Vic even makes a rambling speech about clarity of purpose as he chases one of the characters.