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Wanted Undead or Alive: A Look at the Aussie/Netflix Paranormal Drama “Glitch”

“Glitch” Season 1 Cast – Patrick “Paddy” Fitzgerald (Ned Dennehy), Kristen “Kirstie” Darrow (Hannah Monson), James Hayes (Patrick Brammall), Kate Willis (Emma Booth), Charlie Thompson (Sean Keenan), and John Doe (Rodger Corser)

Spooky Sunday… I’ve lost count…

I somehow always manage to gravitate towards the oddball picks on Netflix – a sixth sense I’m almost proud of. Just because they have an algorithm that suggests things I may like, doesn’t mean they usually hit the mark. In fact, I’m frequently surprised and disappointed at what they throw at me. Netflix, I thought you knew me.

Just when I’m about to give up, a proper gem is offered up in apology (because I need to believe that). One such find is the Aussie paranormal drama series Glitch, which first aired in 2015 and got picked up as a Netflix original (in cooperation with ABC — Australian Broadcasting Corporation) for a second season (which dropped on Netflix internationally this past November).

Glitch was created by Tony Ayres and Louise Fox (and directed by Emma Freeman – Seasons 1 and 2 and Tony Krawitz – Season 2) and centers on the sudden appearance of seven strangers who seem to have miraculously risen from the grave, and no, they’re not zombies. In fact, they’re in perfect health, with no sign of the physical trauma they suffered that took them from this mortal coil in the first place.

The Risen Season 1 – Paddy (Ned Dennehy), Kirstie (Hannah Monson), Maria (Daniela Farinacci), Kate (Emma Booth), Charlie (Sean Keenan), and John (Rodger Corser)

“I thought you were a zombie! But you talk!” – Beau (Glitch)
“What?! Of course, I bloody talk!” – Paddy (Glitch)

 

The Walking Living Dead…
Local police officer Sergeant James Hayes (Patrick Brammall) is called in to investigate the disturbance at the cemetery, only to find these strangers, naked, dirty and disoriented, with little-to-no recollection of who they are or where they are, let alone how they died.

The where is the town of Yoorana, Victoria, a sleepy little community where nothing exciting ever seems to happen, that is until The Risen (as some call them) arrive, each one a mystery in need of solving.

Dr. Elishia McKellar (Genevieve O’Reilly) in “Glitch”.

Glitch’s Risen includes, Yoorana’s first mayor from the 1800’s Patrick “Paddy” Fitzgerald (Ned Dennehy – Peaky Blinders, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), 1980’s teen Kirsten “Kirstie” Darrow (Hannah Monson), Charlie Thompson (Sean Keenan) a young WWI vet, Maria Massola (Daniela Farinacci) a religious housewife from the 1960’s, Carlo Nico (James Monarski) an Italian man from the 1940’s, and John Doe (Rodger Corser), whose violent outbursts push everyone away except for Dr. Elishia McKellar (Genevieve O’Reilly – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: Rebels, Young Victoria), who seems to take a special interest in him. 

James sets out to learn more about The Risen, why they’re back, and what connects them, as Elisha attempts to uncover the science of their return. Providing it is science and not the supernatural at work, as Maria believes. Though repeated references to the mysterious Noregard Pharmaceuticals plant points to the “big bad” lying within its walls, somewhere in town, that question remains up in the air for all of Season 1.

A heartbroken Kate (Emma Booth) in “Glitch”.

If You Love Something, Set it Free. If it Comes Back, It May Be Your Un-Dead Wife…

Things take a turn for “the domestic” when James discovers his first wife Kate (Emma Booth – Once Upon a Time), who lost a battle with breast cancer just two short years before, among The Risen. James is stunned, elated and also torn, caught between a rock and a hard place when Kate discovers he is now married to her best friend Sarah (Emily Barclay) and Sarah is 8 months pregnant, while Kate had never been able to conceive children of her own. Double ouch!

There’s only one witness to The Risen crawling out of their graves, Beau Cooper (Aaron McGrath), a local teenager who, of course, manages to record this miracle on his smartphone, only to have it stolen by a group of rich bullies, who just happen to be descended from none other than Paddy Fitzerald. Paddy and Beau form an unlikely friendship, as the 19th-century man needs some help navigating the 21st.

Paddy (Ned Dennehy) helps himself to a pint, as Beau (Aaron McGrath) looks on awestruck.

The Risen soon learn they’re running out of time, as outside threats loom ever closer and they’re trapped by an invisible boundary surrounding Yoorana that will kill them if they cross it, essentially turning them to dust (not unlike vampires when exposed to the sun). Elishia and James hide the group from the authorities, including from his friend, fellow police officer Vic Eastley (Andrew McFarlane), who after learning about the living dead, gets into a car accident and, immediately thereafter, starts to hunt them. This danger links them all together, forging a powerful, protective bond among the reborn, but will that bond be enough to save them from death a second time?

Andy Says…
While it calls to mind The Returned, there’s something unique and charming about this Aussie entry into the dark dimension. With its understated style, rural settings, and at times, heartbreaking outlook, Glitch has an emotional hook that draws you in with a compelling story and characters brought to life by strong performances from actors who are relative unknowns stateside, but I suspect we’ll be seeing more from.

By the end of the first season, the audience (a mature audience, as there is strong language, violence, and nudity) is left with more questions than answers. Some mysteries are solved, while others take their place, with an unexpected twist and Season 1 cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more.

With only 6 episodes per season (too few, in my book), Glitch is the perfect Spooky Sunday binge watch. Both seasons are currently streaming on Netflix, with a third, hopefully, on the way.

Horror with a Heart: The Dark Fantasy World of BBC Three’s “The Fades”

Paul Roberts (Iain De Caestecker) in The BBC Three series The Fades (2011-2012)


“This is a bad idea.” – Paul Roberts (The Fades)

“Correction. This is a good idea with bad possibilities.” – Mac Armstrong (The Fades)

 
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Dancing with the Dead: Revisiting ITV’s Supernatural Drama Afterlife

Lesley Sharp (Alison Mundy) and Andrew Lincoln (Dr. Robert Bridge) in the ITV series Afterlife.

 

“You don’t choose the spirits. They choose you.”- Alison Mundy (Afterlife)

 
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Spirited Away: A Look Back at the Spooky BBC Series Apparitions

Martin Shaw as Father Jacob in Apparitions


“God will speak! You will listen!”- Father Jacob / Apparitions

 
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New Rules for the Old Team in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10” From Dark Horse Comics

Buffy, The Vampire Slayer: Season 10 # 1 - Steve Morris Cover Art

Buffy, The Vampire Slayer: Season 10 # 1 – Steve Morris Cover Art

Buffy the Vampire Slayer… 

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been living under a rock. Lately, large chunks of time seem to disappear without my knowledge or consent, and before I know it, decades have passed. I don’t like it one bit.

It didn’t seem all that long ago, when in fact over 16 years have passed since the diminutive Sarah Michelle Gellar first burst onto our TV screens, kicking demon ass as the feisty, wise-cracking Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And yes, it has been more than 10 years since the television series ended. I didn’t want to do the math either.

 

What it Was…

Needless to say, the hit cult TV series from Executive Producer Joss Whedon (not to be confused with its predecessor and 1992 theatrical release), about a seemingly ordinary 16-year-old girl, gifted with super powers, destined to rid the world of vampires, demons and other creatures of the night, surprised and delighted us. Armed with a pointy wooden stake and an equally sharp tongue, this pint-sized hero has become a symbol of girl power for young women everywhere. And like myself, fans never stopped hoping for Buffy’s return. At the very least we expected a spinoff featuring one of our beloved Scoobies. So we waited… and waited… and waited…

 

Never Say Goodbye…

When we last saw our beloved Scooby Gang (on our screens almost 11 years ago), they had defeated the The First Evil (aka the Big Bad), and along with a team of Slayer Potentials, whose powers had been activated by the Super-Witch, Willow (played by Alyson Hannigan – American Pie, How I Met Your Mother), had saved the world yet again. Just as it seemed there were many more stories to tell, after seven seasons (and two networks), it was time to say goodbye to our heroes.

After the series finale, rumors continued to circulate about a TV spinoff for fellow Slayer (and Buffy rival) Faith (played by Eliza Dushku – Tru Calling, Dollhouse) and for Bad-Vamp-Turned-Good, Spike (James Marsters – Torchwood, Supernatural). And what ever happened to the Ripper spinoff featuring Rupert Giles (played by Anthony Stewart Head – Doctor Who) we heard so much about? Over time, we started to lose hope we’d ever see our friends again. While Team Buffy had certainly earned the vacation, we weren’t ready to lose them forever.

 

Buffy Season 10 #1 - Ultra Variant Cover Art by Rebekah Isaacs (Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics)

Buffy Season 10 #1 – Ultra Variant Cover Art by Rebekah Isaacs (Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics)

A Slayer’s Job is Never Done…

The fact is you can’t keep a good Slayer down, and four years after the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired, series creator Joss Whedon resurrected our old friends in the form of continuing adventures from Dark Horse Comics.

For Season 10, Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs have crossed over from the Angel and Faith series (also from Dark Horse), bringing with them their take on the Buffyverse for Joss Whedon and Dark Horse’s flagship book. Written by Gage, and beautifully illustrated by Isaacs, the Scooby Gang are a welcome sight for these tired, sore old eyes.

In this latest installment, Buffy and company (formerly from Sunnydale), now in Santa Rosita, have returned magic to the land (after losing it for much of Season 9), but not without encountering some fallout in the form of “zompires” (zombie vampires) – mindless, bloodthirsty creatures, bent on destruction. Uneasy alliances are formed to deal with these abominations to both human and vampire kind, but that’s just the beginning of their troubles.

 

Dark Horse's Exclusive Emerald City  Comic Con Variant Cover by Rebekah Isaacs

Dark Horse’s Exclusive Emerald City Comic Con Variant Cover by Rebekah Isaacs


Andy Says…

I must admit, I find it rather comforting to have Buffy, Spike, Willow and Xander (along with some other familiar faces) back up to their old tricks. Though I don’t know how I completely managed to overlook Seasons 8 and 9 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I plan to remedy that oversight immediately and catch up with previous issues.

Season 10 of Buffy feels like a fun reunion with old friends, complete with the trademark banter fans have come to know and love. Issue 1 is also jam packed with action and last minute twists that are so satisfying for the Buffy fan, you can only imagine how hard it is not to give away spoilers, sweetie, but I will resist the temptation and let you all enjoy for yourselves.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10: Issue 1: New Rules is out now! Get it at a comic book store near you.