The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

ZRC Review – Dead Set Episode 1


Reality Television. Anti-Zombie media. Two of the biggest and most widely criticized pop-culture phenomena of the last few decades (although, in the Zombie case, we feel rarely for the proper reasons).

What would happen if you were to.. combine.. the two?

‘Dead Set’ is a British horror tv series documenting the events in and around a production of actual reality tv show ‘Big Brother’ during a, you guessed it, Zombie Apocalypse. Its cast of characters includes both backstage personnel and the would-be celebrity stars of the show itself, and to say it portrays most of them unkindly would be a significant understatement.


Interestingly, ‘Dead Set’ is produced by an arm of the same media consortium that makes ‘Big Brother’, but also the recent critical hit/dystopian science-fiction anthology ‘Black Mirror’. Which helps to explain both the tone and the free use of Big Brother intellectual property.

I guess this is *one* way to promote your brand.

As the first episode begins, a media circus has descended upon the studio where ‘Big Brother’ is produced. It’s the day a, ahem, contestant? Cast member? … is voted off the show, and so fans and media figures have descended to hear the results and to show support for their factions.

It’s a bit like watching a lottery where everyone in the audience is guaranteed not to win.

Our viewpoint protagonist here is Kelly, a production assistant/gopher/runner for the show, who is juggling a very busy night with personal and relationship crises.

Her story gives the viewer some interesting insights into the quite creepy infrastructure of producing a reality show. It’s a bit like Jeremy Bentham meets that Twilight Zone episode where the guy finds out he’s in an alien zoo at the end.


Of course, as is the norm with stories like these, the oblivious characters ignore all the warning signs of rapidly onrushing doom.


By the end of this first episode the apocalypse is very nigh indeed, and conflict breaks out between Zombie attendees and the Living fans and staff at the compound. We’re not pointing fingers here at the ZRC, exactly, but why are the Undead so unwelcome at this event? For that matter, the lack of Undead representation in the fictional Big Brother cast is a bit of a red flag.

At the end of episode 1, Kelly is driven, after some unfortunate Anti-Zombie violence on her part which hardly helped to defuse the situation, to take refuge in the Big Brother set itself, the one place in the area she knows to be relatively secure and possessed of food, water, and other niceties.


Of course, the cameras are still running…

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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