Glitch opens in the local cemetery of a small Australian town, Yoorana, as a young bike rider Beau Cooper (Aaron L. McGrath, The Code) spots naked, mud-covered men and women rising from their graves. Senior constable James Hayes (Patrick Brammall, The Moodys) gets the first responder call and six people are taken to Dr. Elishia McKellar’s (Genevieve O’Reilly, MI-5) clinic. James gets spooked when he recognizes one of the patients as his late wife, Kate Willis (Emma Booth, Gothica). Maria Massola (Daniela Farinacci, East West 101) starts recovering pieces of her tragic past. Kirstie (Hannah Monson) has an infected leg wound and is working backward to remember the events of her murder. Charlie Thompson (Sean Keenan, Lockie Leonard) who has been dead for a century has no recollection of his past life as a war hero. Paddy Fitzgerald (Ned Dennehy, Peaky Blinders), another escapee from the grave, finds out that he was the first mayor of Yoorana who died 150 years ago and his former house holds a major secret to his past.
Gradually, more details emerge about the “Risen” who have miraculously returned. Carlo (James Monarski) feels guilty for letting his brother Alessandro die and, on the way to reconnect with a 90-year old man who might be his brother, he crosses the bridge out of town and simply disintegrates. Senior sergeant Vic Eastley (Andrew McFarlane) witnesses this event and holds some dark secrets that could be revealed when those returned recover their lost memories. Shortly after, sergeant Eastley has a serious car crash and apparently extracts himself with limited injuries but his subsequent behavior becomes very erratic.
Dr. McKellar hides the survivors in her out-of-the-way farm-house, including a new arrival who is a seriously violent returnee from the grave, known only as John Doe (Rodger Corser, The Doctor Blake Mysteries). Romantic complications arise as corporal Hayes, now married to Sarah (Emily Barclay, The Light Between Oceans) and expecting their first child, finds that he still has feelings for Kate.
Every attempt to get the returnees out of Yoorana is thwarted by their repetitive near-death collapses on the exit bridge. As some of the Risen continue to recover their memories, disturbing facts are revealed about how they died while the reason for their being recalled from the great beyond remains a mystery. Even more unanswered questions crop up in the final episode as Glitch races to its stunning conclusion.
The dynamics between the living and the dead recall such series as The Returned but with an Aussie twist that steers clear of The Walking Dead zombie genre and makes us privy to the protagonists’ voyages of self-discovery as real people and not mindless flesh-eaters. Glitch features a terrific cast throughout and the very effective “less is more” approach of Emma Freeman’s (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) direction. Simon Chapman’s (Woodley) cinematography leverages Australia’s gorgeous outdoor vistas complemented by Cornel Wilczek’s (Nowhere Boys) atmospheric score. This mini-series was very well received by the Australian film community, winning several awards in 2016. The best news is that there is a Season 2 in the works that will presumably begin to address much of Season 1’s unfinished business. Glitch is available for streaming now on Netflix.
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