Author Topic: The Living And The Dead  (Read 271 times)

Norton Canes

  • Watching the Wednesday wheel
The Living And The Dead
« on: June 21, 2016, 12:32:46 PM »
New BBC supernatural drama created by Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham, who did Life on Mars, starring Colin 'Merlin' Morgan as "a pioneering Victorian psychologist who moves to his family's estate and encounters disturbing events".

I think episode one is on BBC1 tonight, but all six episodes are already on the iPlayer, Netflix-style.

Anyone seen them yet? Any good?

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: The Living And The Dead
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 01:00:29 PM »
I've seen the first two episodes, and while I'd certainly recommend it - albeit cautiously - to folk-horror fans, it hasn't fully gripped me so far.

As is usually the case with This Sort of Thing, especially these days, it wears its influences on its sleeve. There's nothing wrong with that as such, but one day I'd dearly love to see a horror story set in the 19th century bereft of creepy Victorian dolls and so on. Plus there are inevitable nods to The Wicker Man and Blood on Satan's Claw, but I suppose that's inevitable when you're playing around with the folk-horror idiom.

That said, it's very well directed by Alice Troughton. It boasts a pleasingly eerie rural atmosphere, and I'm certainly quite intrigued by the various elements it's introduced so far: demonic possession, early forays into psychology, the notion of a community being haunted and punished for sins of the past, and even a dash of time travel. These aren't original elements in and of themselves, but they're meshing quite promisingly so far. 

It strikes me as a serious and sincere attempt to present an ambitious ghost story to a mainstream audience, so I can't fault its intentions. I also can't fault the cast - yer man from Merlin/Humans underplays effectively -  and so far the script has avoided clunky supernatural cliches for the most part.

Incidentally, episode one goes out on BBC One next Tuesday. But as you say, Norton, all six episodes are currently available on iPlayer. Releasing an entire series online before it airs on terrestrial TV might seem like an odd thing for the BBC to do - won't someone please think of the ratings?! - but it didn't harm the success of Car Share, so I guess it might work if this show proves suitably addictive.