BBC3’s beloved zombie drama In The Flesh has been cancelled, it has been confirmed by the BBC.
Ever since the death knell was sounded for the channel last year, fans of the show have been waiting to see whether Dominic Mitchell’s In The Flesh will rise again for a third series – either in the form of a BBC2 slot, or on BBC3’s new online platform.
“BBC3 is very proud of the two award-winning series of In The Flesh. However, given there is only budget one original drama series a year on the channel it won’t be returning,” said the statement. “We loved the show but have to make hard choices to bring new shows through and create room for emerging talent. Huge thanks to the BAFTA award-winning writer Dominic Mitchell and the superb cast.”
The confirmation will come as a blow to fans of the show, who have fervently campaigned for its return and last year crowned it best show of the year in RadioTimes.com’s 2014 TV Show Championship.
Set in the fictional village of Roarton in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, In The Flesh follows the story of medically reformed “rotter”, Kieren Walker – played by Luke Newberry – and his reintegration not only into a family that lost him to suicide, but a xenophobic local community. The drama unfolds in the style of a Ken Loach kitchen-sink drama, yet its fantastical element allows Mitchell to explore themes of prejudice, sexual identity and the devastating aftermath of suicide.
Speaking about the fate of the show last year, Dominic Mitchell told RadioTimes.com: “Some days I’m very hopeful for a series three, and some days I’m not. But with every new poll we do well in, and every award we win, my hope brightens we’ll see more of Roarton again. This victory, coupled with all the awards won and a fierce – and now an organised fan base – means that it’s not going to disappear. In The Flesh isn’t fading away; it’s growing every day.”
The news comes in the wake of BBC3 recently outlining their online plans, which entails splitting its programming into the maxims of “Make me laugh” and “Make me think” by focusing on comedy and serious factual programmes when it ceases as a broadcast channel later this year. The channel has since confirmed that its budget will shrink from the current figure of £55m spent on programming to £30m when it goes online, subject to approval by the BBC Trust, next autumn.