It might even, if the pun can be excused, be one more nail in an already tired genre’s coffin.
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‘It’s inspired by shows like 24, so hopefully people will be too involved to sit there and stroke their chins.’It’s in the horror-thriller department that Brooker has moved furthest away from his regular style.
Perhaps surprisingly for a show on the small screen and from a UK channel, Dead Set is genuinely both convincing and frightening, the zombies belonging to the racing, flesh-ripping, adrenaline-crazed type as originated in 28 Days Later, rather than the grey skinned mob so affectionately sent up in Shaun of the Dead.
’Brooker has the advantage that his production company, Zeppotron, is actually owned by Big Brother’s makers Endemol.
He’s quick to point out that he still had absolute creative autonomy in making Dead Set, which surprised him, and also that everyone at the show was only too willing to help. ‘You couldn’t have something set at a Big Brother eviction night without Davina,’ he says.
Break taboos The Sex Pistols may have used the word ‘fuck’ for only the third, fourth and fifth times on British TV.
But far more impressive was Professor Gunther von Hagens’ Channel 4 televised autopsy in 2002 – the first public autopsy in 170 years – which received record complaints and very nearly saw him arrested.As in the vast majority of zombie films, their origins are, at least initially, not even hinted at – all we need to know is that they’re hungry.Clearly Brooker has done his research into the genre. ‘In the original Romero movies, zombies were this big dumb mass of stupidity.While he’s never actually worked in the format, Brooker has analysed, deconstructed and slagged it off many times in his Guardian column and on BBC Four’s Screenwipe, even – bizarrely enough – ending up at Glastonbury festival with former evictee Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace for a Guardian piece in 2007.A bunch of former housemates actually appear, which is surely designed as a crowd-pleasing scenario, given the garishly Mika-themed zombie holocaust which is to follow.‘They were all exceptionally pleasant,’ reflects Brooker.And wouldn’t you know, I’ve been rude about Davina before – that’s a classic example of someone turning up who’s so incredibly pleasant that you just feel, “Who’s the arsehole in this scenario? ”’Strong performances abound throughout – particularly from Jaime Winstone as Kelly, a put-upon young production runner – alongside moments of the blackest humour, and probably the most stomach-churning representation of the old anti-zombie ‘go for the head’ maxim ever.