The Returned

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This article is about the French television series. For other uses, see The Returned (disambiguation).
The Returned
LesRevenantsTitleCard.jpg
Also known as Les Revenants
Genre Supernatural drama
Horror
Mystery
Created by Fabrice Gobert
Based on They Came Back
Starring
Opening theme "Hungry Face" by Mogwai
Composer(s) Mogwai
Country of origin France
Original language(s) French
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)
  • Caroline Benjo
  • Jimmy Desmarais
  • Barbara Letellier
Cinematography Patrick Blossier
Production company(s) Haut et Court
Broadcast
Original channel Canal+ (France)
SundanceTV (United States)
Original run 26 November 2012 (2012-11-26)  – present
External links
Official website

The Returned (French: Les Revenants) is a French supernatural drama television series created by Fabrice Gobert, based on the 2004 French film They Came Back (in French titled Les Revenants) directed by Robin Campillo. The series debuted on 26 November 2012 on Canal+ and completed its first season consisting of eight episodes on 17 December. A second season is in production.[1] In 2013, it won an International Emmy for Best Drama Series.[2]

Premise[edit]

In a small French mountain town, many dead people reappear, apparently alive and normal: teenaged road crash victim Camille, suicidal bridegroom Simon, a small boy named "Victor" who was murdered by burglars, and Serge, a serial killer. They try to resume their lives as strange phenomena occur; amongst recurring power outages, the water level of the reservoir mysteriously lowers, revealing the presence of dead animals and a church steeple, and strange marks appear on the bodies of the living and the dead.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Yara Pilartz as Camille, a fifteen-year-old girl who died in a bus crash four years ago, before reappearing in the present.
  • Anne Consigny as Claire, mother to Camille and Léna, who separated from her husband Jérôme shortly after Camille's death, and later began seeing Pierre.
  • Jenna Thiam as Léna, Camille's twin sister, now four years older than her sister.
  • Frédéric Pierrot as Jérôme, the twins' father. Pierrot previously appeared in They Came Back as an unrelated character, Gardet.
  • Jean-François Sivadier as Pierre, Claire's partner, a religious man who runs the local Helping Hand shelter. He has begun to stockpile food and firearms in the belief that the Revenants are a sign of the end of days.
  • Clotilde Hesme as Adèle, a young mother who was due to marry Simon before his death ten years ago, and who subsequently gave birth to their daughter Chloé. She began a relationship with Thomas, and is soon due to marry him.
  • Pierre Perrier as Simon, a young man who was to marry Adèle before his death ten years ago. Though he was told he committed suicide, he has his doubts, as he has been unable to remember his mental state leading up to his death.
  • Céline Sallette as Julie, a nurse who was attacked by serial killer Serge seven years ago, but who managed to survive. She was once Laure's life partner, but the attack drove them apart and they have remained distant ever since. She becomes protective over the boy that follows her home and places his trust in her, and names him Victor.
  • Alix Poisson as Laure, Gendarmerie lieutenant, Thomas's second-in-command, and Julie's former life partner.
  • Swann Nambotin as "Victor", a boy who reappears and follows Julie, believing her to be the "fairy" his mother spoke of that would look out for him if she were gone. His real name is Louis, and he was killed 35 years ago by one of two intruders who also killed the rest of his family; he later discovered the other intruder was Pierre. On the day of Camille's bus accident, the driver swerved to avoid Victor, who was standing in the road. Victor has the ability to make others see visions, including the manner of someone else's death.
  • Guillaume Gouix as Serge, a serial killer responsible for the murder of several women, whose modus operandi included eating the internal organs of those victims he stabbed. He was killed seven years ago when his brother Toni decided to put an end to any more killing by knocking his brother out and burying him alive.
  • Grégory Gadebois as Toni, Serge's brother and manager of The Lake Pub. After killing his brother, his mother also died, though how she did so is unclear.
  • Ana Girardot as Lucy Clarsen, a waitress at The Lake Pub. She arrived in town a year before the start of the series, and claims the unusual ability to see the deceased friends or relatives of people while having sex with them. At the start of the series she is stabbed by a revived Serge and dies, but becomes a Revenant herself when she begins to heal miraculously. She gradually begins to understand the true nature of the Revenants, eventually becoming their leader.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Brune Martin as Chloé, daughter of Adèle and Simon.
  • Laetitia de Fombelle as Viviane Costa, who died thirty years ago, though she refuses to say how. Her reappearance causes her husband to commit suicide.
  • Matila Malliarakis as Frédéric, former boyfriend of both Camille and Léna.
  • Constance Dollé as Sandrine, mother of another of the children killed in the bus crash, who views Camille as a monster.
  • Jérôme Kircher as Father Jean-François, the parish priest.
  • Guillaume Marquet as Alcide, a young gendarme attracted to Lucy.
  • Carole Franck as Mademoiselle Payet, Julie's nosy neighbour.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2012)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK air date UK viewers
(in millions)
1 "Camille" Fabrice Gobert Fabrice Gobert & Emmanuel Carrère 26 November 2012 (2012-11-26) 9 June 2013 (2013-06-09) 1.91[3]
A family is shocked when their daughter Camille, killed in a bus accident four years prior, returns home unharmed, believing it to be the same day as the accident. Simon attempts to find his fiancé, Adèle, unaware of his own demise ten years ago. Madame Costa finds herself in her husband's apartment, thirty years after her death; her husband hides her from local nurse Julie, who administers his medication. She is followed home by a small boy who refuses to speak, and names him Victor when her neighbour and busybody Mademoiselle Payet questions her. Lucy, a local waitress, is stabbed – seemingly fatally – on her way home. Monsieur Costa, unable to cope with his wife's reappearance, burns his home to the ground, apparently with her inside, before jumping from the local dam to his death. In a flashback to the day of the crash, Léna fakes illness to avoid the coach trip and have sex with her boyfriend, and Camille becomes distressed when she "senses" her twin's first sexual encounter. As she tries to get the bus to stop, the distracted driver notices Victor standing in the road and swerves, plummeting the bus over the cliff edge.
2 "Simon" Fabrice Gobert Fabrice Gobert & Emmanuel Carrère 26 November 2012 (2012-11-26) 16 June 2013 (2013-06-16) 1.60[3]
Camille's family, including her twin sister Léna – now four years older than her twin – attempt to deal with her reintegration into the family. Adèle, who has begun arrangements for her marriage with new partner Thomas, makes peace with what she believes to be visions of Simon, who has finally located her; he is arrested shortly afterwards for assaulting a café owner. The stabbing of Lucy raises eyebrows with the Gendarmerie when they realise it matches the modus operandi of a serial killer from seven years ago who was believed dead; bar owner Toni is considered a suspect, but he is shocked when he finds his brother Serge – the actual attacker – has reappeared. Meanwhile, dam engineers have noticed the water level in the reservoir has begun to drop unexpectedly.
3 "Julie" Fabrice Gobert Fabrice Gobert & Emmanuel Carrère 3 December 2012 (2012-12-03) 23 June 2013 (2013-06-23) 1.53[3]
Camille and her family debate moving to a new town to start afresh, while Camille attempts to live a normal life, pretending to be Léna's cousin, "Alice". Simon, released by the Gendarmerie, gets back in contact with Adèle, who shows him their child, conceived shortly before his death; when she hears other people have talked to a man named Simon, she begins to realise he may not be a vision after all. Julie is threatened by Mademoiselle Payet, who believes she has illegally adopted Victor; when Julie leaves for work, Victor pays Mademoiselle Payet a visit, and she is later discovered dead from "self-inflicted" stab wounds.
4 "Victor" Fabrice Gobert Fabrice Gobert & Emmanuel Carrère 3 December 2012 (2012-12-03) 30 June 2013 (2013-06-30) 1.57[3]
Julie is devastated when her ex-partner Laure takes Victor away from her to a local shelter run by Pierre. While there, Victor realises that Pierre is one of the two men that burgled his house when he was shot, thirty five years ago. Thomas uses his home surveillance equipment to watch Adèle, who has reignited her relationship with Simon, and who introduces him to his daughter, pretending he is an "angel". Léna is rushed to hospital with a wound on her back that appears to have suddenly expanded from a scar left when her father Jérôme supposedly hit her a year before. Léna soon leaves the hospital, and still faint from her wound, is found by Serge. The water level at the reservoir continues to drop, but engineers can find no faults in the dam.
5 "Serge & Toni" Frédéric Mermoud Fabrice Gobert, Emmanuel Carrère & Fabien Adda 10 December 2012 (2012-12-10) 7 July 2013 (2013-07-07) 1.50[3]
Victor leaves the shelter with Madame Costa, and discuss their experiences as Revenants with each other. Serge holds back his killing instincts to nurse Léna back to health. Adèle wavers when she discovers Simon killed himself, and he is devastated when she and their daughter decide not to leave town with him; Thomas, returning home, shoots Simon dead. Victor returns to confront Pierre, who begs the boy's forgiveness. Victor makes Pierre's partner in crime from when Victor was killed suddenly appear, and they end up fighting each other until the police arrives, and only find Victor and a terrified Pierre. Divers at the reservoir looking for faults find 36 dead floating animals at the bottom of the lake, while post-mortems reveal they were running away from something and drowned when they tried to escape by swimming into the water.
6 "Lucy" Frédéric Mermoud Fabrice Gobert, Fabien Adda, Camille Fontaine & Nathalie Saugeon 10 December 2012 (2012-12-10) 14 July 2013 (2013-07-14) 1.48[3]
Lucy wakes up from a coma in hospital, having miraculously healed all injuries. After realizing that "Alice" could in fact really be Camille, Frédéric and his friend open her coffin to find there is no body, but that it is full of water. Pierre organises a meeting with the parents of other children killed in Camille's school bus accident to reveal Camille's return. Simon wakes up in the hospital morgue, his bullet wound completely healed, and meets with Lucy before leaving together. Victor returns to Julie's care, and finds his arm has begun to show marks similar to those of Léna. Camille finds purpose when she decides to follow Pierre's advice about giving others hope, inventing images of an afterlife to comfort the parents of one of the children killed in the bus accident, but they commit suicide in the hopes of meeting their son sooner. Léna grows closer to Serge, but flees after Toni shoots a gendarme to protect his brother and what he assume is his mother; hiding in the forest, she discovers a large group of people standing round a fire.
7 "Adèle" Frédéric Mermoud Fabrice Gobert & Fabien Adda 17 December 2012 (2012-12-17) 21 July 2013 (2013-07-21) 1.51[3]
Pierre shows Claire his shelter stocked with food and firearms, believing that the appearance of the Revenants marks the end of days. Lucy appears to have gained understanding regarding the purpose of the Revenants, and persuades Simon that he no longer needs Adèle. Father Jean-François' later betrays him to the Gendarmerie. Serge and Toni attempt to go into hiding after the shooting incident with the police, and Toni glimpses his deceased mother in the forest. While trying to cross the lake by swimming, Serge is dragged under the water by something not revealed. Léna finds her way to the shelter, and helps Camille cover up marks that have appeared on her face. Simon also finds marks and decaying flesh on his stomach. Laure and Julie reignite their relationship, and attempt to leave with Victor, but are bewildered to find they cannot leave the town, despite driving in the same direction; their journey has taken them over the dam at least three times, trapping them in town. Lucy finds a large group of as-yet unseen Revenants in the bar, and welcomes them with a smile.
8 "The Horde" Frédéric Mermoud & Fabrice Gobert Fabrice Gobert & Fabien Adda 17 December 2012 (2012-12-17) 28 July 2013 (2013-07-28) 1.38[3]
A flashback to the date of Camille's reappearance at the dam shows many Revenants also appearing at the same time. Waking in their car, Victor tells Julie and Laure that a group of Revenants tried to take him from the car in the middle of the night. After rescuing Toni from attempting suicide by jumping from the dam, the Revenants appear once more, and the group make their escape. On their way to the shelter, Victor discovers that Toni killed his brother, in turn causing his mother's death, and uses his ability to create visions to make Toni shoot himself in the stomach; he dies shortly after arrival. Simon breaks free from his jail cell and visits Adèle again to tell her that she is now pregnant with another child of his, and he kidnaps his daughter Chloé. Thomas arrives at the shelter, and the group realise that there are other Revenants, and that they are coming for them. They arrive at night, led by Lucy, and demand Camille, Victor, and Madame Costa and promise to return Chloé. Madame Costa reluctantly leaves; Julie will not give up Victor, and decides to go with him; and Claire chooses to go with Camille. Chloé is returned, but Lucy then also demands Adèle, promising to go after the living if they do not hand her over. Thomas refuses, and the gendarmes lock the building down before engaging in a shootout. Inside, Chloé tells Adèle that the dead want her because she is pregnant with Simon's baby. In the morning, the Revenants have disappeared, along with the bodies of any gendarmes, and the people in the shelter step out to discover the entire town flooded down in the valley below.

Season 2 (2015)[edit]

A second season of eight episodes is in production. The story will continue six months after the flooding, with the town being restored under the control of the authorities. Although rumors of the dead returning have spread, the authorities do not believe them, and most survivors who took shelter in the Helping Hand keep the existence of the Revenants to themselves. Some, such as Lena and her father Jerome, have not given up on finding Camille and Claire. Meanwhile, an unknown man called Berg arrives in town who appears to know more about the situation, and soon after a new wave of Revenants appear.[1]

Production[edit]

The series was shot in Haute-Savoie, mainly in the city of Annecy, and also in Seynod, Menthon-Saint-Bernard, Poisy, Cran-Gevrier, Sévrier, Annecy-le-Vieux, Veyrier-du-Lac and Semnoz. The dam which plays an important part is the Barrage de Tignes.[4] The first season of the series was filmed in April and May 2012.

The second season of the series was originally to be filmed in February and March 2014, for screening from November 2014.[5] However, delays in the writing process meant that filming was delayed until the second half of 2014, and broadcast would begin in 2015.[6][7] The synopsis for the second season was released in August 2014, which also confirmed there would be a total of eight episodes.[8] Mogwai will return to compose the soundtrack for the second season.[9]

International broadcasts[edit]

In December 2012, season 1 debuted on Swedish public broadcaster SVT's on-demand service SVT Play. The show is known as Gengångare (Ghosts) in Sweden. The series also aired on French-Belgian broadcaster BeTV. Season 1 was broadcast in the United Kingdom from 9 June 2013 on Channel 4.[10] It is the first "fully subtitled drama" on the channel for more than 20 years and was screened in the native language with English subtitles.[11] First announced under the English name Rebound, the title was amended to The Returned prior to broadcast.[12] The channel made a feature of the subtitles by broadcasting a specially commissioned advertisement break in French with English subtitles.[13] In the United States, SundanceTV began broadcasting the series' first season on 31 October 2013,[14] before picking up the second season on 11 January 2014.[15] In Taiwan, it was aired on the Public Television Service (PTS) beginning on 30 December 2013.[16] In Brazil, the series was aired by HBO Max. The series began airing in Australia on SBS Two on 11 February 2014.[17] In Iceland, the series was first broadcast on RÚV on 16 February 2014 under the title Afturgöngurnar.[18] In Norway, the series was first broadcast on NRK on 20 March 2014 under the title Gjengangerne.[19] In Canada, the series debuted on 26 April 2014 on Space.[20]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack to the series was written by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. The band's guitarist John Cummings said in an interview with The Quietus, "They wanted us to start writing it before they started filming it. They described it as inspiring them, they wanted some kind of musical mood in place before they started, so we were working a bit dry at first ... we'd (only) seen the first couple of scripts in English".[21] The band released a four-track sampler of the music (Les Revenants EP) on 17 December 2012, the day of the showing of the final episode. A full-length soundtrack album, Les Revenants, was released on 25 February 2013.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The series received positive critical acclaim. Le Monde said that the series marked a resurgence in the fantasy genre[22] with the dead appearing out of nowhere, trying to regain their life where they left off. Libération said that the series recalled the atmosphere of Twin Peaks by David Lynch.[23] In France, viewing figures averaged 1.4 million over the eight episodes, on Canal+.[24] For its American showing, the series received a 92 out of 100 rating from Metacritic, which averages critics' reviews.[25] During a visit to Paris, Stephen King remarked on being a big fan of the show, and later tweeted about it.[26]

Accolades[edit]

In 2013, for the 41st International Emmy Award, it won for Best Drama Series.[2] For the 18th Satellite Awards, it received a nomination for Best Television Series or Miniseries, Genre.[27] In 2014, it was awarded with a Peabody Award.[28] It received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials for the 2014 TCA Awards.[29]

Home media release[edit]

The first season was released on DVD in France on 20 December 2012,[30] and in the UK on 9 September 2013.[31] In the United States, it was released on both DVD and Blu-ray on 11 February 2014.[32]

Adaptations[edit]

In May 2013, it was revealed that an English-language adaptation was in development by Paul Abbott and FremantleMedia, with the working title They Came Back.[24] In September 2013, it was revealed that Abbott was no longer involved with the project and that A&E would develop the project.[33] In April 2014, A&E ordered 10 episodes with Carlton Cuse to write the pilot episode and executive produce the series alongside Raelle Tucker. This version will use the original's title.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Les Revenants saison 2 entre en tournage". Canal+. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Roxborough, Scott (25 November 2013). "International Emmy Awards: French Zombie Series 'The Returned' Wins Best Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Les revenants, les secrets du tournage en Savoie !" [Les Revenants: Secrets of filming in Savoie] (in French). cpasducinema.com. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Plunkett, John; Chrisafis, Angelique (26 July 2013). "Fans of The Returned will have to wait until second series for resolutions". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Le tournage de la saison 2 des Revenants (Canal+) reporté à septembre prochain, pas de diffusion avant 2015". Newstele. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Therrien, Richard (5 March 2014). "Les revenants se font désirer". LaPresse.ca. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Les Revenants : le mystère se lève (un peu) sur la saison 2". Allocine. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mogwai confirm plans to soundtrack series 2 of 'The Returned' and reissue second album". NME. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Rigby, Sam (31 May 2013). "Channel 4 to broadcast first ever ad break in French". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (19 March 2013). "Channel 4 to air French horror drama Rebound". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (24 May 2013). "Channel 4 debuts zombie drama 'The Returned' trailer". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Channel 4 broadcast first ever ad break in French". Channel 4. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sundance Channel Acquires Zombie Sensation The Returned". SundanceTV. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (11 January 2014). "TCA: Sundance Channel Picks Up Season 2 Of French Drama ‘The Returned’, Renews ‘Writers’ Room’". Deadline.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Rebound on the Public Television Service" (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Knox, David (10 February 2014). "The Returned Daily Pick". TV Tonight. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Les Revenants schedule". RÚV. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Gjengangerne NRK". NRK. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Zombie drama The Returned premieres April 26". Space. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Turner, Luke (26 November 2012). "Mogwai on new Soundtrack". The Quietus. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  22. ^ Psenny, Daniel (26 November 2012). "Les Revenants, à la vie, à la mort" [Les Revenants: Of life and death]. Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  23. ^ Garrihos, Raphaël; Roberts, Isabelle (25 November 2012). "Les Revenants, les feux de la mort" [Les Revenants: The fires of death]. Libération (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "AbbottVision to produce They Came Back". AbbottVision. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Returned : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Stephen King joins Twitter, praises ‘The Returned’". Boston.com. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  27. ^ Pond, Steve (2 December 2013). "'12 Years a Slave’ Tops Satellite Award Nominations". TheWrap. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "The Returned (Les Revenants) (Sundance TV)". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  29. ^ Hibberd, James (27 May 2014). "TCA nominations: 'True Detective' starts awards season fight". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  30. ^ "Les Revenants". Amazon.fr. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  31. ^ "The Returned - Series 1 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  32. ^ Lambert, David (10 January 2014). "Les Revenants (AKA The Returned) - Release Date Change for 'The Complete 1st Season' on DVD, Blu". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  33. ^ Noble, Michael (29 September 2013). "UPDATED: US remake of The Returned in development". Den of Geek. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  34. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (29 April 2014). "A&E, Lost Boss to Adapt The Returned". TVLine. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 

External links[edit]