The Returned

IFC is going to air this English-subtitled French horror series starting on Halloween. The plot, according to the synopsis, is essentially this: in a French mountain town, a bunch of dead people suddenly returned to life and basically attempt to re-integrate themselves back into their former lives. Meanwhile, a serial killer has seemingly returned as well.

Have heard generally good things about this 8-episode series, though apparently the ending was less than satisfying.

— Alan

I think I saw this when it was a movie. But I dont think that one had a killer.

Yeah this does sound really familiar. Wasn’t there something about a young fellow who comes back to his family, he had been on the outs with them because he was gay and ended up killing himself? What was that?

There was a British series, ‘In the Flesh’ that plays on that. It focused not just on the dead (well three of them) integrating back into society, but also the ex-militia that had been in charge of taking them out and their feelings once the dead were back among the townsfolk. It was quite outstanding and will be getting a second series. This though is more drama and less horror -

Yes! That’s what I was thinking of. Good show.

There’s also that Sci-Fi show… the 5000? Something like that. Kinda/sorta similar, accept they got abducted by aliens and returned, if I recall correctly.

— Alan

The 4400, I think.

Ah yeah. Well I was 600 off :)

— Alan

So this just showed up on Netflix, and I just watched the first episode. I’m not sure I can remember the last time an hourlong first episode of a show got its hooks in me this deeply. I’m hoping the rest of the season holds up.

I’m trying to piece together all the Returneds here.

There’s this show, from French TV. It is (apparently very loosely) based upon this movie.

There’s the unrelated movie with the same title that Tom reviewed on the front page and did a movie podcast with the director.

Season 2 of this tv series is supposed to begin airing on French TV later this year.

Also…I guess NBC has optioned this and is developing an American version for TV.

I saw the first episode on Tuesday and loved it as well. Especially the reveals at the end of the episode.

The key to enjoying this – and a lot of TV, unfortunately – is to understand that nothing will be resolved by the time you get to the end of the first season. :( I hope that’s not a spoiler, but I was really irked to get to the end of the first season and discover that it was one of those ongoing shows that didn’t feel the need to solve any of its own mysteries.

Also, ABC has a show called Resurrection starting this week, which sounds like a direct riff on the TV show The Returned. I’m not sure if there’s something separate in the works at NBC like you mentioned, Chris, but it wouldn’t surprise me.


Yeah, when I checked to see if it was a self-contained season, I realized we wouldn’t resolve everything by episode 8. I’m generally fine with that…although that is one of the reasons why you should really see True Detective, Tom.

So doing some checking on the ol’ internets…

In 2004 there was a French movie with this premise called “Les Revenants”. It was released in the UK with subtitles as “They Came Back”. Middling to unfavorable reviews.

In 2012, French TV and a guy with amazing taste in music named Fabrice Gobert adapts the movie for a television series, which so far through 3 episodes is outstanding.

In 2013, an American dude named Jason Mott (not the Cardinals relief pitcher Jason Motte) publish a novel called “The Returned”. Same premise as the TV show in France, only worldwide. How Mr. Mott and his publisher were not sued to the high heavens and back is astonishing to me.

In 2014, ABC is launching a show called Resurrection, claiming that it is adapted from Mott’s book.

In 2013, A&E (not NBC, my bad) announced that they have the North American rights to the French TV show developed by Fabrice Gobert and will be doing an English language version of the French TV show that Mott totally ripped off for his book. ABC currently owns most of A&E, so ABC is apparently going all in on The Returneds.


I was intrigued by Fabrice Gobert’s interesting, muted style in this show, and apparently he has a 2010 film out called “Lights Out” (that’s the English title, anyway.) Any good?

I liked the French tv show…up until the last few episodes.

The casting of Camille and Lena might be one of the best jobs of casting an impossible-to-cast set of roles I’ve seen lately. I think it’s their chins/mouths and eyes that help them sell the twin angle. You don’t see a lot of the twins standing next to one another though, since the actress who plays Lena is about half a foot taller than the girl who plays Camille.

Also: never engage a dead girl in a drinking game.

Man, I wish someone had told me that back in college.

There’s a reason for that, isn’t there? I haven’t seen it in a while, but I think that’s accounted for with something I don’t want to spoil.

Also, both of those girls are breathtakingly beautiful. I don’t mean that in a pervy way, but they are both absolutely stunning, partly because they’re so expressive. Really good actors and among my favorite in the cast.


I don’t think there’s any other way to put it. Both girls are absolutely striking.

I think the most beautiful and sexy woman–or sequence, I guess–on the show was in episode 2, between young Adele and Simon. When she’s with him at the pub, she just looks so young and beautiful and happy and vibrant. Up until that point, I was having difficulty squaring how a pretty boy like Simon ends up with a gaunt, haunted, aged-looking girl like Adele…but when you see her in the pub 10 years earlier, watching Simon play and then lounging around in bed with him, it makes total sense. She might not be beautiful or even pretty in a conventional sense, but she’s incredibly sexy.

So I took my time with this and just finished it. Really liked this show. I want every show to have a soundtrack by Mogwai.

I’m kinda baffled by the last scene though. Anyone want to weigh in?

Out of curiosity, where did you watch it? My DVR screwed up and taped every episode but the finale which cut off half way so I missed the final 30 minutes :(