In The Flesh could rise again – as a film.
The BBC3 zombie drama was axed last year but creator Dominic Mitchell was overwhelmed by the reaction from fans after he suggested resurrecting it as a movie. He is now taking the idea of crowdfunding a film seriously, and is hoping to start a campaign that will raise the £1 million needed to bring the village of Roarton back to life.
“If theres enough of a ground swell perhaps outside investors would take notice,” he tells RadioTimes.com. “I wouldn’t rule out a Kickstarter campaign though.
“I’m a big fan of the TV series Veronica Mars, and the creator / writer Rob Thomas did something similar when the show was untimely cancelled and I thought the film worked really well in a number of ways. It stood by itself, meaning if you hadn’t watched the show you could still enjoy the movie as a first time viewer and if you had watched the series it was a joy to meet the characters and re-enter that world again.
“That’s what I would like to try and accomplish if In The Flesh became a feature film, make it accessible to new audiences while also satisfying the loyal fan base.”
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 elements allowed Mitchell to explore themes of prejudice, sexual identity and the devastating aftermath of suicide. It was cancelled after its second series, which expanded into an analysis of civil rights.
While there has been “some interest” from online streaming services about continuing the story, Mitchell feels that a film would give the show a new sense of scope.
“This idea [for an In The Flesh movie] is in its infancy at the moment. I don’t have words on paper yet, or investors lined up. However, the idea for a film version has been niggling in the back of my brain for about a year now and after the cancellation it was suggested to me by a lot of folks, from the public to people working in the TV and film industry.
“I believe a movie would perhaps work even better than a third series or webisodes. You could really explore the parallel universe of In The Flesh. See how they handle PDS sufferers in the capital, in Scotland, in Wales, in the whole of Great Britain. That excites me a lot.”
Even so, series two ended with various plot strands unresolved – not least the fate of the murdered zombie Amy, who was last seen being dug up at the end of the finale. Which storylines would he like to resolve?
“So many! What’s happened to Amy? What are Halperin & Weston really up to? Who is the Undead Prophet? Now Simon has betrayed the Undead Liberation Army, has he got a bounty on his head? Are the other eleven disciples going to come after Kieren (they still believe he’s the First Risen after all)? What’s happened to Jem after accidentally killing a PDS sufferer? Are the residents of Roarton finally coming to terms with their PDS neighbours or are they still fearful and suspicious as ever?
“On a more national front, are the ULA still carrying out terrorist attacks, and if so, has Victus, the anti PDS political group, gained more power in the country? Hell, is there going to really be a second rising? What would that look like and who would come back? That is a lot of plot strands to tie up! Perhaps I should aim for a trilogy. I’m kidding. Sort of.”
As far as the cast goes, Luke Newberry has said he’d be interested in doing more and Emmett J Scanlan, who played Simon, is certainly on board for a film.
But what about the others?
“I haven’t contacted any of the producers or the cast or crew. But In The Flesh was such a special experience for everyone involved that I hope they’d be on board, if a script was written and the financing was in place. Like I say, it’s bright twinkle in my eye at the minute. But from the fans’ response this week, I’m all fired up. At the end of the day I want to know what’s happened to the characters of In The Flesh. How are they doing? What’s going on with them? Are they okay? I miss them all dearly.”
At this early stage, Dominic Mitchell advises that you “hashtag the hell” out of #InTheFleshMovie