Brooker C. and the zombies

Thursday, October 9, 2008 by

Jaime Winstone crashes Big Brother

Jaime Winstone crashes Big Brother

Charlie Brooker’s new comedy-drama, Dead Set, was launched to the press tonight. A zombie drama set in the Big Brother house, it stars Jaime Winstone, Riz Ahmed, Andy Nyman, Davina McCall (who’s very good indeed) and, er, Bubble from BB series two.

The screening was introduced by Andrew Newman, C4′s Head of Entertainment and Comedy, and a fittingly Nathan Barley-esque (now that’s a phrase that’s gone out of heavy rotation) figure. “It’s gripping, dark, excting, gruesome and really original,” he said, before going on to rubbish rival networks.

“E4 stands out as a digital channel that really commissions quality stuff. With so much clutter and millions of programmes coming out in multi-channel TV, E4 only really does good ones. There are other channels, which I won’t name, that launch millions and millions of sketchshows and sitcoms and things. They get the odd good one, but most of them are rubbish. And there are other channels that commission loads and loads of good things that sound very grabby, but when you watch them, you think, ‘God, of course this was going to be rubbish’. E4 doesn’t do that much, but really does programmes that punch their weight in the proper telly space.”

So there.

Brooker himself also had a few words, describing how the idea of Dead Set came to him.

“It sort of started a few years ago. I was watching 24 – and I’m a big fan of 24. Jack Bauer was sort of slicing a terrorist’s knee-cap off and feeding it to him, and I thought, ‘This is great, I love it. But the terrorists aren’t very realistic, they might as well be monsters or zombies’ – because I love zombies. And I thought this was an obvious idea, someone was bound to do it. And, nobody did. A few months later, I was watching Big Brother, and I thought, ‘That’s a good place to hole up during a zombie apocalypse,’ because I’m a big fan of the original Dawn of the Dead and in that they holed up in a shopping mall because that was seen as a symbol of the times. And I thought, ‘Yeah, I bet somebody does that’. And nobody did. So I ended up having to write it, which, frankly took ages. And my arm hurts.”

The five-part series airs later this month on E4.


5 Responses to “Brooker C. and the zombies”

  1. Rob Williams on October 9th, 2008 11:40 am

    I think Mr Newman is calling the kettle black… Yes E4 has Fonejacker but like the rest of Channel Four’s channels they are suffering from a post teenage crisis. Give it another five years and by that time hopefully Greg Dyke will become the top man. Then Four can try to get back to how it was ten years ago.

  2. Simon Tyers on October 9th, 2008 5:35 pm

    Surely the big question about a Brooker/BB crossover: how much Aislyene?

  3. Graham Kibble-White on October 9th, 2008 6:02 pm

    And the answer is: not all that much. Unless you mean flesh-on-display.

  4. Andy Elms on October 28th, 2008 4:13 pm

    Just watched ep 1 on 4OD – very enjoyable, even for one who actively attempts to avoid BB. And Davina McCall is indeed very good indeed!

    Will be interesting to see how things pan out.

    And seeing a simple URL for the credits is a neat idea.

  5. Rob Williams on October 28th, 2008 5:42 pm

    Really interesting, it shouldn’t play well but Charlie Brooker proves himself as writer again.