Could upcoming BBC3 drama Tatau be the new In the Flesh?

Executive producer Rob Pursey says that the exotic supernatural drama set in the Cook Islands will appeal to fans of In the Flesh and Being Human

Has BBC3 found a replacement for cult dramas In The Flesh and Being Human?


The Corporation is certainly hoping that its eight-part supernatural thriller Tatau, which begins airing on April 12th, will fill the void for fans of those dramas.

In Tatau, Joe Layton and Theo Barklem-Biggs play 20-something backpackers who end up in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific where they become entangled in supernatural goings-on. It all begins with a recurring nightmare Kyle has about a mysterious woman in a red dress called Aumea (see below).

Kyle then has a vision in which he finds her drowned body, opening up a world of Maori myths, symbols and hallucinations. The tattoo on his arm – the title is the Maori word for tattoo – seems to provide the key to the spooky happenings.

Executive producer Rob Pursey says that he hopes that fans of In The Flesh and Being Human – which he also produced – will tune into the new drama, which was created and written by Richard Zajdlic.

“I hope fans of those dramas will develop the same feelings for Tatau,” he told, citing the fact that all three dramas have supernatural elements and young protagonists.

However while In The Flesh and Being Human “reanimated mythology that wasn’t new” – namely werewolves and zombies – he hopes BBC3 viewers will also be excited by “a mythic territory that no-one in this country is very familiar with”.

“It also has a very strong story with comedy in places where perhaps you are not expecting,” he said.

Pursey added that he wants to make a second series of Tatau, by which time BBC3 might be an online-only service if the BBC Trust approves the Corporation’s plans to do so.

“Our understanding is series two if it is commissioned will go out on the new BBC3, assuming the Trust gives them the go ahead.”

Asked whether he thought moving BBC3 online was a good idea, he said: “The world is ready for it inasmuch as we watch things on Amazon, on Netflix where shows are digested. Part of Tatau’s design is that it will work in that environment. This is one story told in eight parts, so for people who want to watch in one big gulp, it will work well for that online audience.”

It was announced in January that In The Flesh will not be returning for a third series. Fans have since been lobbying online streaming services to give the show a new home – an idea that Amazon has not ruled out


Tatau begins on Sunday April 12th on BBC3