Glitch. TV Series. 2015. Australia.
What if the dead came back and they weren’t zombies?
In 2004, The Revenants mystically brought thousands of people back to life in small town France. They tried to integrate with their families, but seemed to find more in common with each other. It was a strange, but compelling film that failed to connect with a large audience. The 2012 tv series remake fared much better. Only a handful of people came back and they weren’t quite human. Both works were deeply interested in the trauma that might be created in our lives if something as final as death suddenly became capricious. The common wisdom is that we deal with death by “moving on”. The return of the dead challenges that and makes us reconsider what we think about life.
In 2013, In The Flesh, told the story of a few former zombies–the survivors of a very limited, still unexplained rising–who responded well to a cure that restored their cognitive and emotional capacity while leaving them in their “dead” bodies. The story was about the bigotry and trauma they, and their families, experienced as they were sent back to their small Lancashire community to “get on with their lives” among the very people who had mobilized and fought against the zombie carnage. It worked fantastically as a study of forced conformity and as a metaphor for several flags that trigger hostile prejudice: drug addiction, homosexuality, racism…really any minority condition.
In Glitch, a few people crawl naked from their graves in smalltown Australia. The cop called to the scene is shocked to discover his dead wife among them. These dead have no immediate memory of who they are, seem to have died between 2-150 years ago, and appear to be completely healthy. While the show is interested in exploring the emotional and moral complexity of the cop’s relationships (he moved on), and Patrick Brammall gives a fabulous performance when he recognizes his wife, the show quickly turns it attention to conspiracies. First, the cop and doctor who arrived at the scene decide to keep the resurrection secret so the risen won’t be rounded up and studied, and so begin to wall themselves off from their connections. Second, there’s an early suggestion of a human cause to the event which left to lurk as the memories of the risen return and their stories play out. Third, if they stray too far from town…something really bad happens.
With all the little turns, discoveries and strangeness it kind of has a Lost meets X-Files feel.