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Thursday 19 October 2023

First Look: Ben Wheatley’s Generation Z

Channel 4 has unveiled an exciting glimpse into the forthcoming darkly comic series "Generation Z," helmed by the acclaimed director Ben Wheatley. Currently in production and set against the backdrop of Wales, this six-part series, produced by The Forge, known for hits like "Help," "National Treasure," and "Kiri," offers a coming-of-age parable in these peculiar times, spiced up with a generous serving of outlandish gore.

The Apocalypse Unveiled in the Most Unexpected Place

The story unfolds in the fictional town of Dambury, a place characterized by stark opportunities and not much to do. It's a town that's grey, unassuming, and often forgotten. The last place anyone would expect the apocalypse to kick off. But when an army convoy overturns near a care home, a chemical leak starts to wreak havoc on the elderly residents. Led by Cecily and Frank, portrayed by Sue Johnston (known for "The Royle Family") and Paul Bentall (from "The World's End"), these seniors manage to escape the clutches of the army, who are desperate to contain their insatiable hunger for raw flesh.

Teenagers Thrust into the Heart of the Virus

On the night of the outbreak, four teenagers - Charlie, Kelly, Steff, and Finn, played by Jay Lycurgo, Buket Komur, Lewis Gribben, and Viola Prettejohn, respectively - are leading ordinary teenage lives filled with parties, complicated relationships, and neglecting their A-Level preparations. But their lives take a sudden turn when Kelly's grandmother Janine, portrayed by Anita Dobson (of "EastEnders" fame), becomes infected and attacks her.

The end of the world doesn't mean that home life and relationship problems come to a halt. As the gang confronts the zombie horde, they also grapple with their parents, betrayals among friends, and old family secrets resurfacing. The zombies themselves face their own challenges, driven by single-minded desires, adding a new layer to their rampage. Meanwhile, Finn becomes concerned about Morgan, played by Robert Lindsay (from "My Family"), as she begins to suspect that the chemical spill may hide a deeper secret.

A Satirical Take on a World Stranger Than Fiction

"Generation Z" explores intergenerational justice and community breakdown while boldly satirizing a world where truth is stranger than fiction. It delves into not only the political fault lines in our society but also the very real issues teenagers grapple with today.

A Stellar Cast and a Visionary Director

Joining the core cast of this six-episode, one-hour series are newcomers like Ava Hinds-Jones and seasoned talents like Johnny Vegas, Robert James-Collier, Suzanne Ahmet, T'Nia Miller, Sophie Stone, Chris Reilly, D'Angelou Osei Kissiedu, Ellie-Mae Siame, Robin Hill, Gareth Tunley, John Hollingworth, Maanuv Thiara, Rebecca Humphries, Ellora Torchia, Andrew Kazamia, Garrick Hagon, and Mark Monero.

Ben Wheatley, the director, expresses his enthusiasm, saying, "It's been amazing working on Generation Z with The Forge and Channel 4. It's my first original series and a project very close to my heart. I hope everyone loves it as much as we do."

Rebecca Holdsworth, Commissioning Editor at Channel 4, adds, "Generation Z promises to have all of the unique visual flair and mischievous spirit that characterizes Ben's film work; it is in turn wickedly funny, deftly political, and delivers on the kind of eye-popping shocks and thrills that mean this is shaping up to be a zombie drama like no other."

Production Details

"Generation Z" is produced by The Forge for Channel 4, in association with ZDF and All3media International. The series was commissioned by Channel 4's Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick, and Commissioning Editor, Rebecca Holdsworth. Ben Wheatley serves as both writer and director, with Alex Kazamia as producer and Ben Wheatley, Mark Pybus, George Faber, and Beth Willis as executive producers.

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