News and reviews of Australian and New Zealand TV
In Australia: Thursdays, 8.30pm, ABC
In the UK: Netflix. Available from November 28
The best of the “dead are coming back to life shows”, Glitch gave us a relatively unique slice of ‘Australian gothic’, where the returned came back to tell us something about Australian history, as well as people and possibly about the importance of death itself to the universe, with a bad guy who might have a point. With some genuinely spooky moments, its second season is going to be much anticipated.
The show got an almost instant renewal, but it’s only now that we’re getting a second season. Trouble was, the Australian acting industry is quite small and actors move around a lot, not just between networks but also between countries, looking to find fame and fortune in the US. Series lead Patrick Brammall not only had existing commitments with No Activity, Offspring and Upper Middle Bogan, he also went to the US for a while for an attempted remake of Upper Middle Bogan. Meanwhile, the ubiquitous Rodger Corser got his own show, Doctor Doctor, which is already on its second season and doing well internationally, while local doctor Genevieve O’Reilly has been off in Canada on Tin Star.
Still, there’s nothing like a bit of Netflix cash to make things happen, and with the show doing well globally, here we are at last with the second season. When we left our dead friends in 2015, we were on the verge of discovering what a mysterious pharmaceuticals company might have to do with their return; although the deceased’s memories were taking a long time in coming back, with Corser unable to even remember his own name, former town mayor Ned Dennehy was remembering that he had some aboriginal descendants, while Hannah Monson was remembering that she’d not had a good time of things. On top of that, Brammall was torn between his returned wife (Emma Booth) and his new wife (Emily Barclay).
On top of that, they’d had their own ‘grim reaper’ chasing after them – the recently deceased Andrew McFarlane, seemingly returned by death itself to restore the natural order of things by killing off the returned. They stopped McFarlane but would Barclay, who nearly died giving birth, take his place?
Season two does a surprisingly good job of answering almost all those questions and tying up all the hanging plot threads, as well as introducing some new characters. But there’s a fair old bit of retconning going on to take account of the cast’s new pecking order and schedules, and that Netflix money has somewhat changed the tone of the show. More on that, including a few spoilers, after the jump…