If the success of 'The Walking Dead' has taught us anything, it's that America loves it some flesh-eating undead ghouls. It was only a matter of time before another channel tried to capitalize on this fact by airing its own zombie program, but Sundance Channel has chosen to do it in quite an odd way. Instead of creating or acquiring a drama about the George Romero-style zombies that 'The Walking Dead' sports, the eclectic cable network has instead opted to bring a French series across the pond.
'The Returned' (original French title: 'Les Revenants,' which actually sounds cooler) follows a seemingly random group of people that all suddenly find themselves disorientedly walking back to the peaceful mountain town they call home. When they get there, their loved ones greet them not with hugs but with shock and horror. Unbeknownst to this confused troop of returnees, they've all been dead for years. As you might imagine, nobody in town had been expecting them back.
So what do these resurrected folk do when they arrive? Eat flesh? Hunger for brains? Actually, they just try to resume their normal lives as best they can, all while facing the prejudice that comes with being undead. Of course, the fact that one of their number is a serial killer doesn't help. There is a lot more to the plot, but I don't want to spoil anything for those who might tune in to the American airing.
Sundance acquired the rights to 'The Returned' from Music Box Films, almost immediately after the latter company purchased the stateside distribution rights to the series. 'The Returned' (fittingly) premieres on Halloween Night, October 31, and will continue showing new episodes every Thursday thereafter at 9/8c. As is usual for European series, there are only eight episodes in the first season. A second season has been ordered though, which I assume would eventually come to the U.S. as well, at least if these first eight installments do well enough. An English-language adaptation of the series is also being planned.
Are you ready for American TV's first subtitled zombie drama?