TLATD … A Must See !!!

The Living and The Dead: ( October 27 for USA… BBC AMERICA HALLOWEEN BINGE-A-THON) . Do not miss it !!!

A beautifully crafted, exceptional series, to be admired for many reasons.  (It must be seen more than once if you are interested in trying to unravel the story lines.)

The Cinematography is worthy of a Masters Painting.  Enjoy!


The Music and The Voice


The Music …. (The Insects)  Evocative and perfectly matched to this endeavor.  The Living and The Dead benefits greatly from the creative accomplishments of this group.

The Voice … Colin’s mastery of his expressive range, his vocal instrument, is not to be underrated.  This aspect of his talent is used in such a natural way, it is oftentimes overlooked.  However, the tones left haunting the space in which they were spoken do not leave the memory easily.    island.6

We have mentioned many times our admiration for Colin’s vocal ability.  Tone, timbre, phrasing all contribute to a spoken audio experience bordering on music.  It began for us with Island and the recitation of island folklore.  The Fall definitely contributes to our opinion, especially the second season interrogations of both Katie and Paul.


The Living and the Dead reveals again his use of tone and inflection to impart intent and emotion more than the words alone convey.

Pitch, intensity, vibration, resonance, color, tone, range … all called upon effortlessly, all part of the collection of character studies that remain in our memories.


Perspective … A Point of View

vapor-trail-1 nathan-vapor-2-copy

Several wonderful reviews of tlatd. A few more that leave us wondering.

Like Nathan, these folks are looking for an explanation based in what they believe is Reality … and this is a “Ghost Story”. So, it puzzles this author.  Do they really prefer what is currently recognized as Reality over pure Imagination. ??  Do they really prefer logic and linear time lines in a world of fancy and thinking outside the box?  T’is a puzzlement.

Speaking of current Reality … In 1870, why would Jules Verne expect us to believe that a ship could travel underwater?  Certainly, that could not have been possible.

There are some theories about the possible bending of Time and Space. This author’s conjecture is that, in this story, the Land and the House hold memories or echoes of memories of all the events attached to Shepzoy over the years, but the Land additionally contains the physical changes that have continued to occur over time.  The car is actually present in the bog from the time of the accident going forward.

Given the clue of the vapor trail in the first episode, we must know that we are looking back from a point in the far future where everything has already happened.  The vapor trail, along with the altitude of the aircraft being such that is is not visible from the ground, as well as the hand-held i-pad, tell us we are far into Nathan’s/Shepzoy’s future.  The car could have been rusting away in the bog for quite a long time before the lingering energies stumbled upon it.  We think Lara is in our present day, but is she?  Perhaps we have entered this story at an even later time when we are viewing some other future entity’s past event(s)?

In contrast to the stability of the land, the ‘echoes’ of people and events are not rooted anywhere and are surfacing anywhere, anytime with no constraints of time or continuity.

As for the boys being found so easily after they had been buried in a landslide …. At the time we see it, over three generations have passed. The earth continues to shift and settle. As we encounter 1894, the earth is being torn at, unsettling what lies beneath. However, this author would caution you to enjoy the creativity of the story and cease trying to turn it into a pleasing scientific or logical study. There are documentaries for that. Let’s set aside skepticism and exchange it for mystery.

“We are thinking of it as an alternate universe where all the happenings in that location are bound to the farm, Shepzoy, and over generations have been held in a kind of limbo-like, energy field, where they pass over and through each other, sometimes encountering each other in the same space and time, and sometimes not. These entities (ghosts) are from Nathan’s perspective, and can be either in his distant past or in his descendants’ pasts, looking back from a point in the far future. And that perspective follows his blood-line, his own genetic history.

There seems to be evidence of some psychic ability in Nathan’s progeny.  Perhaps an event happened to him, himself, in his youth, and he determined to avoid it, to prove it impossible.  There are hints that Gabriel had visions of future events.  There are hints that Nathan’s mother had some kind of foresight, as well.  We are told that Lara and her mother were also visited with this ability.  Perhaps Ashley had it in mind to give us a deeper look into Nathan’s struggle.  Perhaps we will have the opportunity one day to learn more.  Perhaps …..


(Screen captures from BBC video The Living and The Dead, all credit to their creative team with thanks)



Early signs of Tenderness and Anger

Nathan is a man filled with both Tenderness and Anger.

Colin is an actor willing to immerse himself in emotions deep and powerful.


We see Tenderness very early in Colin’s career. As Merlin, his relationship with his mother, Hunith, is set tenderly before us. Every scene between them affirms her son’s precious high regard. His behavior toward Gaius clearly reveals the love in his heart for this man. His reaction to Freya as the Bastet is particularly poignant, in no way recognizing any difference between herself and the beast she was cursed to become. In Island, even though some found it disturbing, Calum’s initial approach to Nikki was very tender, slowly hesitant, unsure, but with a gentle touch as his thumb gently caressed her lower lip. So, Nathan arrives in Colin’s repertoire with the fullness of emotion he has been developing, building on past encounters … working with his co-star to create this warm, generous, spirited relationship with Charlotte.

So it was that Anger surfaced in Island. There may have been hints of it in Merlin, but Island showed us full-on fury as Calum bursts through the door to strike his mother. Leo’s anger with Maxie pierced our hearts, and we felt heartbroken to see Maxie’s bewildered face as his well-loved companion abandoned him so harshly. But, we must say, nothing to date has been so devastating as Nathan’s cruelty to Charlotte, an unrelenting invective that left her feeling shattered and bereaved. The strength and intensity of Nathan’s voice, coming from somewhere deep inside and spilling forth like a poison, spoke not only to venom but also to the depths of his grief and his inability to forgive himself.

As viewers we remain in that suspended space of wonder in which raw emotion has been placed before us and asks our understanding.


TLATD … A Plea


It is rare we see such an intelligent and beautifully crafted series. It is impossible to state how the waste-land that is most of tv has been enhanced and uplifted by such artistry. Please give Ashley Pharoah the opportunity to continue his story, for all of us.


(1st photo/art: bbcsouthafrica)  (2nd photo: (C) BBC and Robert Viglasky)

No Season 2 for TLATD :-(

TLATD Favorite Couple

In spite of our many questions and interest in pursuing Nathan’s story, we will not be treated to a Season Two.  Sadly, our wishes cannot all be met.

 From Digital Spy:  News and Current projects:
• August 12th 2016 – The Living and the Dead will not be returning for a second series …

The BBC has opted not to bring back Ashley Pharoah’s spooky drama, which launched on iPlayer on June 17 and later aired on BBC One. “We are very proud of The Living and the Dead and would like to thank Ashley Pharoah and the fantastic cast and crew,” “However, in order to create room for new series and to keep increasing the range of drama on BBC One it won’t be returning.”

We must ask what effect this early announcement might have on viewers in countries still waiting for this series.  Australia coming up soon.  The U.S. in October.  Will they still be drawn to watch it with the same enthusiasm?
We think it was too early to jump in, yes, even BBC, with opinions or announcements that serve to color or influence future interest.  This also happens in the first episode of any series … with viewers who are not content to watch the story play out … who are not patient enough to give the groundwork time to establish the story line.

We think BBC should have waited to see the reaction in Australia and the U.S., among others, before making their final decision.

photo (C) BBC and Robert Viglasky)


“I can’t .. recall …”

If anyone wonders why we call Colin Morgan brilliant and truly gifted, they need to look no further than E06 of The Living and The Dead.

This scene is chilling, devastating and desperately sad for us, for him, and especially for Charlotte, who loves him so absolutely.

(screen cap: bbcdiscovery (c) BBC)