Television Review: The Living and the Dead


Nathan Appleby inherits his family farm when his mother passes away and is determined to have a fresh start with his adored wife, Charlotte. But mysterious events start occurring as soon as the young couple move in and Nathan starts seeing things he can’t explain. He starts seeing the dead, ghosts of the past.

He is not the only one. People in the village are affected and start to fear the area, believing it to be cursed. When Nathan realises the ghost of his young son is lingering, the situation becomes far more dangerous as he refuses to let go.


Programme: The Living and the Dead

Company: BBC 

Date: 2016

Rating:  3.75/5

Wooooow, this was intense! I admit to first being drawn to The Living and the Dead just because Colin Morgan was in it. I’m not going to lie, I’m a fan. But the show quickly spoke for itself and I became engaged for other reasons.

I originally planned to watch it over two days, watching three episodes a night. After seeing the first, that plan went out of the window. This show is intense, heavy going and watching two episodes back to back was too much, let alone three. That intensity detracted from the show. I like to binge watch and it just wasn’t possible with this one, which was a shame. One night where I wasn’t in the mood and other nights, it felt like too much effort. I enjoyed it but wasn’t hooked on it.

That being said, it was a case of don’t blink when watching. The Living and the Dead quite literally had me on the edge of my seat. I’m not normally good with horror type things, but I have to admit I loved the thrill I got from this one. While not gripped, I was emotionally invested as it nearly made me cry more than once!

The acting was great! It can’t be easy acting as a terrified villager, afraid of ghosts. Maybe that is why they are actors/actresses and I am not. I’ve always known that C
olin Morgan can do haunted and tormented extremely well and I cannot picture anyone else playing the part of Nathan Appleby. Charlotte Spencer was an excellent Charlotte Appleby, contrasting the innocence of young love with the frightened woman wishing to stay by her husband’s side.

The plot threw me off in a few places. For example, in an early episode, lights rush towards Nathan. The Living and the Dead is set in the 1800’s: the lights were clearly from a car. This confusion was present through to the penultimate episode. Thankfully, the final episode was definitely one of the strongest and answered any questions that I had and brought it to a satisfactory close. So saying, it was left on a cliff-hanger and now it appears there won’t be a series two.

If you like having a chill run down your spine, this is the ideal show. Enjoyable but intense throughout the entire series.

Amazon | HMV


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