Crossing frontiers with loss, grief and healing

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TO resurrection_CITY_E1-a ABC RESURRECTION - ABC's "Resurrection" stars Landon Gimenez as Jacob Langston, Omar Epps as J. Martin Bellamy and Devin Kelley as Maggie Langston. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

WHEN it comes to zombies on TV, The Walking Dead has the genre covered. When it comes to bizarre and inexplicable incidents affecting a small town, Under the Dome and The Leftovers pretty much take care of business.

But what about loved ones returning from the dead, looking not a day older than when they were buried? Well, that’s where things start getting interesting in the new fantasy sci-fi Resurrection, which started on M-Net recently. This new series, which is co-produced by ABC Studios and Plan B Entertainment, features Hollywood heavyweight Brad Pitt among its executive producer names.

But that isn’t the only eye-popping revelation. Omar Epps marks his next TV outing after House too.

The series, which has been given the nod for a second instalment, is based on Jason Mott’s The Returned.

Arcadia, Missouri, is the backdrop for the melting pot of drama, mystery and mayhem as residents find their lives unhinged by the reappearance of their dearly departed loved ones. The twist – they are not zombies and they have no recollection of going six feet under, either.

Jacob Langston (Landon Gimenez), is the first to return, but in rural China, and 32 years after his death. While Marty works tirelessly to have him returned to US soil, Jacob’s mother, Lucille, is far more excited than his father.

The question weighing heavily on everyone’s mind is: Is this a miracle or something more sinister at work?

In a chat with Assignment X, creator and executive producer Aaron Zelman (Law & Order, Criminal Minds, Damages and The Killing) says Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas were brought in to help with the project.

“When I was working for the six or seven months of production, it was more than a full-time job, even for the three of us. Now, of course, I may be doing other projects between this season and, hopefully, the next. But this is absolutely our passion and where we put all our time into.”

Expanding on the strangely engrossing premise, he notes, “I think this is part of what is interesting about the show, that we can include all these points of view. People can think it’s this and that. Characters in the show can think its different things. But in the end, these are theories. What it’s really about is how people deal with what’s happened in an emotional way.

“Something that I think runs through the fabric of the show is, it’s about healing. And that’s a very constant theme.

“I went through a terrible divorce when I developed this show, so you talk about loss, you talk about grief and I think that’s interesting because you can understand loss and grief. (It doesn’t) necessarily have to be about death.

“It’s one of the things that makes this a pretty universal theme, that everyone experiences some kind of loss, even if it’s a break-up or a divorce. This was very much about ‘How do I heal from that experience?’ It’s the same thing for these characters. Some have healed, some have not. Others go into a darker direction.”

Judging from Zelman’s not giving away too much of the story, they are clearly planning to milk the suspense as the plot seems to be alive with possibilities. Hopefully, it won’t be as frustratingly drawn out as Under the Dome.

• Resurrection airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 8.30pm.


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