French zom­bies feast on awards

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

FRENCH se­ries Les Revenants (The Re­turned) won best in­ter­na­tional drama se­ries at the In­ter­na­tional Emmy Awards in New York. Rights for the fan­tasy-zom­bie show, which was cre­ated by Fabrice Gobert, have al­ready been bought in some 40 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US, Canada, Aus­tralia, Ger­many, and through­out Latin Amer­ica.

Ac­cept­ing the golden tro­phy at the New York Hil­ton, pro­ducer Caro­line Benjo thanked Gobert and Canal + for be­ing ‘‘so dar­ing in their choices’’ as well as Sun­dance Chan­nel, which has just be­gun air­ing the show in the United States.

She joked that all the ‘‘French zom­bies that didn’t know they were liked, and are go­ing to go out. Be­ware.’’ The se­ries, mark­ing a kind of re­nais­sance in French tele­vi­sion, was also re­mark­ably suc­cess­ful in Bri­tain ear­lier this year when a sub­ti­tled ver­sion aired on Chan­nel 4.

It notched some 1.8 mil­lion view­ers, the best au­di­ence for a sub­ti­tled show in Bri­tain since 2006.

It has been air­ing with sub­ti­tles on Sun­dance since Oc­to­ber 31 on Sun­dance in the United States – a high achieve­ment for a French show.

Some 36 nom­i­nees from 19 coun­tries were com­pet­ing in nine cat­e­gories at the 41st In­ter­na­tional Emmy award cer­e­mony, which hon­ors the best tele­vi­sion made out­side the United States.

The Re­turned, which airs in Aus­tralia on pay TV, opens in a small moun­tain com­mu­nity which is rocked to its core when sev­eral lo­cal peo­ple who are pre­sumed dead sud­denly re-ap­pear at their homes.

De­spite hav­ing passed away some years ear­lier, th­ese ghostly char­ac­ters ap­pear in hu­man form, they have not aged, and they are com­pletely un­aware of their own fa­tal­ity. De­ter­mined to re­claim their lives and start over, they slowly come to re­alise they are not the only ones to have been brought back from the dead.

Their re­turn means tor­ment for their com­mu­nity when a se­ries of grue­some mur­ders bear a chill­ing re­sem­blance to the work of a se­rial killer from the past.

The Re­turned: Wed­nes­days, Thurs­days, Sun­days, Mon­days, var­i­ous times, STVDIO

Clotilde Hesme

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