The Living and the Dead (TV series)

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The Living and the Dead
Occult detective fiction
Created byAshley Pharoah
Directed byAlice Troughton
Sam Donovan
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Executive producers
ProducerEliza Mellor
Production locationsGloucestershire, England
CinematographyMatt Gray BSC Eps 1-3
Suzie Lavelle
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkBBC One
BBC America
Release28 June (2016-06-28) –
2 August 2016 (2016-08-02)

The Living and the Dead is a British six-episode supernatural horror television series created by Ashley Pharoah. The plot revolves around Nathan Appleby (played by Colin Morgan) and his wife, Charlotte Appleby (played by Charlotte Spencer), whose farm is believed to be at the centre of numerous supernatural occurrences.[1]


Main cast[edit]

Supporting cast[edit]



The series was created by Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes co-creator Ashley Pharoah. Pharoah's creative partner Matthew Graham was initially attached to the series, but withdrew prior to its production to work on Childhood's End for SyFy.[14] The series is directed by Alice Troughton and Sam Donovan.[2]


On 5 June 2015, Colin Morgan and Charlotte Spencer were announced to join the cast.[2][15]


The Living and the Dead production was based in the Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, England.[16] The primary filming location was Horton Court in Gloucestershire.[17]

The six-part BBC One TV Series began rehearsals on 29 July 2015,[18][better source needed] and shooting commenced in the West Country on 3 August 2015,[19][better source needed] with an official announcement about the series on 7 August 2015.[15] Filming concluded on 18 December 2015.[20]

On 12 August 2016, BBC had officially stated that the series would not be renewed for a second series.


Bristol-based duo The Insects were commissioned to write the score for the series.[21] The first episode features the traditional song "She Moved Through the Fair" sung by Elizabeth Fraser, plus the Anglican hymn "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" at the ploughman's funeral.[22] Another recurring song is "The Reaper's Ghost",[23] composed by Richard Dyer-Bennet in 1935.[24]


EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
1Episode 1Alice TroughtonAshley Pharoah28 June 2016 (2016-06-28)3.99
In 1894, Nathan Appleby and his wife Charlotte return to the family farm after his mother's death. A teenage girl is possessed by the ghost of an evil local man who died without being baptised.
2Episode 2Alice TroughtonAshley Pharoah5 July 2016 (2016-07-05)N/A
A young boy is haunted by the ghosts of five workhouse orphans who suffocated years earlier in an accident in the tin mine owned by Appleby's grandfather.
3Episode 3Alice TroughtonAshley Pharoah & Simon Tyrrell12 July 2016 (2016-07-12)N/A
An outbreak of black beetles and a storm threaten the wheat harvest. A schizophrenic young man receives instructions to kill his mother from the ghost of a wise woman drowned as a witch in 1861.
4Episode 4Sam DonovanAshley Pharoah & Robert Murphy19 July 2016 (2016-07-19)N/A
Appleby's farm machinery is sabotaged by a fugitive Luddite. a former employee with a grudge. The restless spirit of a murdered girl returns to expose her killer, the village schoolmistress.
5Episode 5Sam DonovanPeter McKenna26 July 2016 (2016-07-26)N/A
The villagers celebrate Halloween. The ghosts of Roundhead troops appear on the anniversary of a bloody English Civil War battle.
6Episode 6Sam DonovanSimon Tyrrell2 August 2016 (2016-08-02)N/A
The ghostly apparitions in the village and Appleby's growing insanity are revealed to be the result of meddling by his great great granddaughter, a 21st century paranormal investigator haunted by the restless spirit of Appleby's drowned son.


Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave Series 1 an approval rating of 83%, with an average rating of 6.33 out of 10 based on 12 critics. The site's critical consensus is, "This throwback to classic gothic tales of yore is ideal viewing for audiences seeking a spooky sit without intense jolts and shocks."[25]


  1. ^ "BBC One announces new supernatural drama series, The Living And The Dead". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Colin Morgan and Charlotte Spencer set to thrill in new supernatural BBC One drama The Living And The Dead". Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Isaac Andrews - Hamilton Hodell - CV". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Sarah Counsell: CV". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Robert Emms CV". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Joel Gillman: CV". Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Spotlight: Liam McMahon". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Spotlight: David Oakes". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Phoebe Fox leads in Life In Squares for BBC Two". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Spotlight: Harry Peacock". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Pooky Quesnell: CV". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Malcolm Storry: CV". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Steve Oram: IMDB". IMDb. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  14. ^ Usman Mullan (29 June 2016). "The Living and the Dead: Ashley Pharoah on the Writing Process". Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  15. ^ a b "BBC Press Official Twitter". Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  16. ^ "The Location Guide". Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  17. ^ Armstrong, Neil (28 June 2016). "The Telegraph". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Alice Troughton Official Twitter". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  19. ^ "BBC The Living and the Dead Twitter Fan account". Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Casting Weekly". Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  21. ^ Tim Bennett (15 June 2016). "The Living and the Dead". The Insects. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  22. ^ "The Living and The Dead". Tumblr. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Music from The Living and the Dead". What Lies Beneath, Should Be Left Beneath. Tumblr. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  24. ^ Paul O. Jenkins (2010). Richard Dyer-Bennet: The Last Minstrel. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-6047-3360-0.
  25. ^ "The Living and the Dead: Miniseries". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 July 2019.

External links[edit]