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Glitch: Series Review

James: “Rocky. You're born, then you nibble on a leg of lamb and then you die. And they chuck you in a hole in the ground and the worms eat you. It's f*cked, basically. But, mate... you were loved.”

Series description: "Six people return from the dead with no memory and attempt to unveil what brought them to the grave in the first place."

The blurb, however, is misleading. It’s not really six, and over the three seasons, with a total of 18 episodes, the number goes up and down.

I've noticed a similar set-up in many of the series I’ve been watching recently, in which people who were missing come back and attempt to resume their lives. The set-up is similar, but it can go many, many different ways. They may be manipulated by the future (4400, or Travelers) or something that may be God (Manifest). Now we have Glitch, set in the sleepy town of Yoorana, Australia.

Glitch starts with a whole set of people clawing their way out of their graves, just before midnight, naked and covered in dirt (hides most of the nakedness). At first they have had no memories; they seem like zombies (but they’re not eating brains). Gradually, however, their memories return. They get called the Risen. Now, what brought them back? God? Someone from the future? Science?

It turns out to be a combination of things. I won’t go into everything, but one reason this disparate gang of corpses was revived – from deaths 150 years ago to just 2 years ago – is because someone was thinking about them at the relevant moment. See if you can figure out exactly who it is for each former corpse!

Of course, the Risen in Glitch, as in the other series in the revenant genre, are bothered by other interested parties. There are the regular living folk that they need to connect with, misunderstandings to be cleared up, murders to be solved. There are several scientists who are extremely interested, saying these people just like Jesus, while others are just hoping for a cure for cancer. There are those, too, completely opposed to the Risen, either for religious reasons or because the Risen have broken the rules.

Glitch has some nudity and violence, but although it may seem gratuitous, it’s not. People are crawling out of graves, naked. They’re mostly smeared with dirt so we don’t get much. The violence – and I don’t really like violence in my TV – is also integral to the plot.

Often when I get to the end of a series, I go back and start rewatching. Now that I know how it ends, I want to see what clues I originally missed. And, as I write myself, I always wonder if the creators had everything planned or not. Sometimes you can tell they don’t, such as when storylines get scrunched or expanded, as sometimes happens when series are first canceled and then renewed. Anyway, Glitch opens with a mad dog being shot down by James, a local policeman. I first thought this was just a gratuitous, shocking moment to catch our attention, and to show us the business of a policeman in a small town in Australia. However, it ties completely to the end, which means the creators did know where they were going from the first moment.

The other point, with respect to the rewatch, is that everything felt so much richer. Now, during the first watch, I was nervous because I didn’t know what was going to happen. The second time round I didn’t have as much anxiety. Also, scenes that seemed slow were actually full of actors doing what they needed to do to round out the characters. A lot of subtext that I had missed, because I didn’t understand the characters until the end.

Title musings. Glitch is the title of the series, and it’s not bad, but I don’t want to say why, because that could be a spoiler. The individual episodes also have titles. My favorite title is “Mum” as it refers to both mothers and to keeping quiet. People may not be familiar with “Little Gidding,” the title of the last episode. It’s the name of a poem by T.S. Eliot and is about purgation by fire.

Bits and pieces:

In case you’re wondering, Yoorana, Victoria, is a fictional town.

I think the opening credits, with all the flowers, is stunning.

Even though I understand it mentally – and I have spent time in many places where they drive on the left – I get a little shock every time I see a driver on the right side of a vehicle.

For Americans, let me point out that in most places you cannot drive until you are 18. This is why Beau, who is 16, is on a bike, as you have to be 18 to drive by yourself in Victoria, Australia.

Chi says he’s looking for an ancestor. Of course, he’s really looking for a descendant. But English is not his first language.


Paddy: Redress and restitution.

Kate: But now I’m back – and so are my breasts! And my cancer, what about that?

James: It’s not your fault. But it’s your responsibility.

Maria: How can you not believe in God when the miracle happened to you?

Chris: What the hell’s going on in Yoorana?

Kirstie: Charlie Thompson, you're my f*cking hero.
Charlie: I f*cking love you, Kirstie Darrow.

Overall rating

In my initial watch I found the action rather slow, and I even stopped watching for months. If I were just rating on an initial watch, I would probably give it only two and a half out of four dug up graves. But after making a partial second pass, I’m giving it three out of four bouquets of flowers.

Victoria Grossack loves math, birds, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

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