BBC Dead Set (2008) Review

originally released as a six-part mini-series (it originally aired over five nites, and we ended up watching it in three 45-minute blocks) by the BBC in 2008, Dead Set tells the story of a zombie outbreak in England, while reality show Big Brother is taking place. it should be noted, I said “is this supposed to be something like Big Brother” and then the show cuts to a woman in the production studio going “this is Big Brother.” they shot an eviction scene on the real set of Big Brother, and the show’s real-life host, Davina McCall, has a secondary role in Dead Set.

the government has unleashed a virus upon it’s citizens, causing widespread protests and civil unrest. those who are infected, spread the virus, by feasting on their human counterparts. the zombie outbreak quickly reaches epidemic proportions, leaving the Big Brother house, as the only safe haven. the houseguests have zero idea of what’s going on in the outside world, until they are joined by one of the show’s producers, who is bloody and carrying a weapon she’s used to stave off a zombie attack.

the direction and writing of the show was outstanding. during the chase scenes, the camera had an extremely jerky movement to it, which added to the intensity, while creating a somewhat disorienting image for the viewer. I was surprised by the amount of gore, but it never felt excessive.

the dialogue was incredibly well-written, and straddled the fine line between the dramatic and dark humour. at times, able to make light of what was an incredibly dire situation. the male producer, and the female contestant, he spent a good portion of the movie trapped with, had some of the best scenes.

the zombies were of the fast-moving, slow-witted variety. they had an insatiable hunger for human flesh, often ganging up on victims en masse. however, they still suffered from the common zombie ailments, like their inability to climb over things, break windows, open doors, or swim.

I was of the opinion that the group should make a break from the house, while my friends said the house was the group’s best chance at survival. there was no indication that any outside help was ever going to arrive.

did this show have a deeper meaning? perhaps a social commentary on the state of our society. where the most vapid, clueless dregs, will be the last ones left, simply b/c they are completely oblivious to the world around them. the show closes with a shot of a zombie staring blankly into a tv monitor.

fans of the zombie horror genre will enjoy this series. following in the same vein, I would recommend watching Burial Ground, by noted Italian horror director, Andrea Bianchi. extremely gory with similar end results. it reminds me of a precursor to the Resident Evil video games.

on the netflix rating scale, I give Dead Set 4/5
on the imdb rating scale, I give Dead Set 9/10

we watched some shows afterwards:
Ugly Americans – made it thru 75%. the episode reminded me of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode where they buy a haunted house
Delocated – made it thru 100%. Jon meets his son’s new gal pal, hilarity ensues!
Boondocks – fell asleep during the opening credits
Warren The Ape – made it thru 50% but I don’t remember what it was about

Dead Set


One Response to “BBC Dead Set (2008) Review”

  1. VIDEO: SHOWS: REVIEW: Dead Set (2010) (BBC) « Clint's blog Says:

    […] STUFF: John The Canadien’s review does a good job summarizing things. So I don’t really see a point in duplicating his […]

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