Glitch is an Australian series recently streaming on Netflix US. It’s a highly original take on the “living dead” genre with a compelling story, strong performances, interesting characters and a darkly mysterious plot.
This review is for series 1 only, a 6 part tale with new revelations in every episode. The season ends with a surprising cliffhanger. I’ll not include spoilers in this review, because that would ruin the mystery.
The genre-busting story deals with people who have risen from the dead. But they are not zombies. They are not out to harm anyone. They are themselves, alive again, human. They seem to have some unfinished business to take care of, something to set right, but that isn’t always true. None of them at first remember their deaths, and that is part of what is revealed slowly for each character.
Let’s start with the characters. Senior Constable James Hayes (Patrick Brammall), a police officer in the small town of Yoorana is called to the cemetery in the middle of the night because strange (and filthy dirty) naked people are crawling out of the graves.
The grave risers are found by a teenager named Beau (Aaron L. McGrath) who immediately takes up with one of the people. He follows Patrick Fitzgerald (Ned Dennehy) around and helps him find 1) beer, and 2) clothing. These two become mates for the rest of the series. There are reasons for this, which I won’t reveal. Fitzgerald has been dead for 150 years. He was once the mayor of the town and a very rich fellow indeed.
Kate (Emma Booth) comes back. She died only about 2 years ago of breast cancer. She was married to Constable James Hayes at the time of her death, and still considers herself to be his wife. Except there’s a teeny complication. Her best friend Sarah (Emily Barclay) is now married to James and is 8 1/2 months pregnant. Awkward.
Finding Kate among the undead in the cemetery makes James decide to protect them. He takes them all to the clinic run by Dr. Elishia McKellar (Genevieve O’Reilly). She wants to protect them all, too. James and Elishia do several legally questionable things in their quest to protect the inexplicably risen people in their care.
The other newly reborn characters: Charlie (Sean Keenan), who died in WWI. Maria (Daniela Farinacci) an Italian woman who died after WWII. Kirstie (Hannah Monson) is a young woman with modern cynicism and what looks like a bite on her leg. John Doe (Rodger Corser) came out of an unmarked grave with a violent attitude and an eye for Dr. McKellar. Carlo (James Monarski) is an Italian soldier who was in an internment camp during the war.
The group quickly and horrifyingly discovers that if any of the formerly dead folks attempt to leave Yoorana they will disintegrate like one of the vampires on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. So, no leaving town, not even to go as far as the hospital.
A cop from a nearby district named Vic (Andrew McFarlane) discovers the dead crew, in spite of the best efforts of James and Elishia to hide them. Vic wants to get them all out of town. Lots of conflict there.
Much of the interest I felt in Glitch came from the interesting interpersonal relationships between the living and the newly alive. Each had strong stories. There was plenty of mystery. No one understood what was happening. Yoorana was home to a pharmaceutical company that had some bearing on what was happening. The characters Vic and Elishia were both a bit wonky – just off somehow. It it late in the series when we finally find out why. I especially like the dilemma besetting James, Kate, and Sarah because they all loved each other at one time and now the two women had territorial issues.
Glitch was created by Tony Ayres and Louise Fox. Emma Freeman directed every episode. Emma Freeman also directed Secret City, which is another excellent Australian series. I think Emma Freeman is a very talented director.
I recommend Glitch. It is well written, well acted, and well directed. Season 1 ends with a couple of brilliant cliffhangers and I’m looking forward to the second season.