Dead Set: 1 (Spoilers)

This is British TV at its finest. What if the Big Brother house were the only refuge left in a Britain suddenly overrun by zombies? Pure zombie heaven.

TV critic and writer Charlie Brooker outdoes himself in this extended horror film/black comedy, featuring the end of the world, using the Big Brother house as a prism. As a Big Brother eviction nears, civil society starts breaking down in Britain – and quickly. From isolated riots, phone networks crash and transport networks suddenly fail. A 28 Days Later style zombie infection is racing through the land, and distracted by the forced dramatics in the house, the production crew hasn’t noticed. At least until the zombies attack when Davina interviews the evictee.

Wisely the action starts very quickly, but Brooker manages, with a superlative cast, to develop an interesting ensemble even quicker. Not only do we have an effective group of housemates, but the everymen and women behind the scenes are equally enjoyable – average but very well acted. Jaime Winstone takes the role of show runner who manages to survive the initial onslaught and escape to the housemates. That they believe she’s just a publicity stunt adds to the horror when the zombies find their way in…

The production values are superb, at least the equal of 28 Days Later, and it helps that the storyline is grounded in television, making the approach even more accessible. What will happen tomorrow in the Big Brother house when Big Brother isn’t watching? I’m also looking forward to the introduction of Winstone’s boyfriend (Riz Ahmed), as well as to finding out where such an overly violent show, where most of the initial cast has already died, can possibly lead; only the appalling housemates and even more appalling show producer appear to be left. Most intriguing.

To Be Continued tomorrow…if Davina doesn’t get to you first…

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6 responses to “Dead Set: 1 (Spoilers)

  1. That isn’t Davina. You are quite mistaken! That is actually Representative Michele Bachmann (R) of Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District.

  2. It’s bloody (pun intended) brilliant so far!

  3. I’m really enjoying it. It’s very easy to think of it as an aside to 28 Days Later, sort of telling the story of what happened whilst Cillian Murphy was lying in a coma.

  4. wonders if he should allow himself to be beguiled into watching a british horror series….

  5. Oh you should, Tim. And Firefawkes is right, but episode 2 is so much more than that, and my review will be up in a minute…

  6. Pingback: Zombies. « Ramblings of a chaotic Kitten

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