The Living and the Dead
Directed by Alice Troughton and Samuel Donovan
After watching the first episode of this series, I was skeptical. My initial thoughts were that the show was well made with interesting characters, but the story is... out there. I was completely thrown off by the random chick with the iPad in a show set in the 1800s. But as the episodes progressed, I was completely captivated by the characters, in particular, Nathan Appleby. (What can I say. I'm a complete sucker for tragic characters.)
Nathan's character had fantastic depths. It has been a while since I've watched something where I have become so attached to the characters. This story's protagonist was flawed, tortured, and haunted. He was the backbone of the story. The only reason I continued to watch this show after the first episode was because of Nathan character and his backstory. I was completely engrossed in his arch and where his character would go throughout the series (and he definitely went).
Colin Morgan was spectacular in this role. He plays Nathan's mental torture and declines perfectly. I was so captivated and moved by his performance. He truly captured Nathan's soul in his performance. Episode 6 showed Morgan's wide range and preciseness. His performance was heartbreaking. Morgan absolutely nailed this character. Aside from odd-and-end guest roles, I first saw Morgan's work in Humans last summer. I was completely struck by his performance, and he has proved yet again his rising power. He has a show and is definitely an actor to watch.
Troughton and Donovan created an eerie and uneasy atmosphere for this series. But beside the character's arch, there wasn't too much that impressed me this series. As I said, it was well made and it was a good show, but it wasn't spectacular. The story followed a very linear Victorian ghost drama, but I just wasn't sold on the whole time traveling, iPad girl... Thing. (I don't even know what to call it. Time traveling? Spirit searching?) The end of this series set up for a second series, which I will probably watch, but only for Morgan and his character.
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