How Stephen King + Romero inspired BBC's unique new zombie series

Contributed by
Mar 18, 2013, 3:34 PM EDT (Updated)

The BBC is getting in on the zombie action this summer with a unique new series. But don't worry, they're still drawing some major inspiration from the horror classics.

Though the series focuses on human and family stories about zombies being reintroduced into society, In the Flesh writer Dominic Mitchell opened up to SFX about how they’re still paying homage to vintage zombie lore.

Mitchell said the series was born from a BBC pilot writing competition, and he drew upon some of his favorite tales of the undead for ideas. From Stephen King to George A. Romero, all your favorites are represented here.

Just don’t expect any fast-moving, new age zombies:

“The first book I got into was Pet Sematary by Stephen King – I loved it. When I was 12 years old that was my favourite book – it’s still one of my favourite books – and that just got me into reading, really.Pet Sematary is sort of zombies, isn’t it? You know, the cat dies and then the cat comes back. I’m also a massive fan of Night Of The Living Dead and things like that. That’s always been the touchstone for In The Flesh; we wanted it to be more like that and not 28 Days Later… which is fantastic, but we wanted to harken back to those original George Romero kind of zombies where they’re shuffling about and coming out of the grave. And it’s not a virus, it’s more a syndrome.

It’s like in the Vietnam War, when they sprayed parts of Vietnam with Agent Orange. But then you had all these docile zombies shuffling about, and it was like, ‘Well, what do you do with them? You can’t kill them’. That’s when I thought people’s families would get involved and go, “Well that’s my son, that’s my mum, that’s my aunt’. So they put them in this holding centre in Norfolk. Then as they were treating them with this neurotryptaline they found out that people were coming back to themselves, and it became a treatment centre.”

It’s definitely a new twist on the genre, and it’ll be interesting to see if viewers will come out for a series about zombies, not just about killing them.

The show debuted this weekend in the U.K., though a U.S. release has yet to be announced.

(Via SFX)

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