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Channel 4 has revealed a selection of first-look images alongside the cast joining Ben Wheatley’s high octane and darkly comic series, Generation Z.

Currently in production and filming in Wales, the 6-part series produced by The Forge (Help, National Treasure, Kiri) is a coming-of-age parable for our very strange times – cut with a heavy dose of outlandish gore.

Set in the fictional town of Dambury, the kind of place with stark opportunities and not much to do. Grey, unassuming, forgotten. It’s the last place you’d expect the apocalypse to begin…

But when an army convoy overturns outside a care home, a chemical leak starts to have an adverse effect on the residents there. The OAPs, led by Cecily and Frank, played by Sue Johnston (The Royle Family) and Paul Benthall (The World’s End), escape the grasp of the army looking to contain their angry, violent, insatiable hunger for raw flesh.

On the night of the outbreak, teenagers – Charlie, Kelly, Steff and Finn, played respectively by Jay Lycurgo (The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself), Buket Komur (Our House), Lewis Gribben (Somewhere Boy), and Viola Prettejohn (The Nevers) – are living normal teenage lives: tinnies, messy feelings, complex relationships and ignoring their A-Level prep.

But the gang abruptly find themselves at the centre of the virus when Kelly’s nan Janine, played by Anita Dobson (EastEnders) becomes infected and attacks her.

Just because it’s the end of the world, it doesn’t mean your home life and relationship problems comes to a halt, as the gang come up against the zombie horde, battling with their parents, friendship betrayals and old family secrets rearing their ugly heads.

And life is just as complicated for the zombies, with the virus fuelling single-minded desires, bringing a whole new dimension to their zombie rampage. Meanwhile, Finn worries for grandad-figure Morgan, played by Robert Lindsay (My Family), when she comes to the realisation that there might be more behind the chemical spill. Just what exactly was being transported?

Generation Z is about intergeneration justice and community breakdown that boldly satirizes a world where truth is stranger than fiction, exploring not just the political fault lines in our society but also the very real issues facing teenagers today.

Joining the core cast of the 6x60’ series will be Ava Hinds-Jones in her first TV role, along with comedian Johnny Vegas (Benidorm), Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey), Suzanne Ahmet (Inside Man), T’Nia Miller (Years and Years), Sophie Stone (The Chelsea Detective), Chris Reilly (The Last Post), D’Angelou Osei Kissiedu (Rocks), Ellie-Mae Siame (His Dark Materials).

Plus Robin Hill (Kill List), Gareth Tunley (Kill List), John Hollingworth (The Queen's Gambit), Maanuv Thiara (DI Ray), Rebecca Humphries (The Crown), Ellora Torchia (The Gold), Andrew Kazamia (London’s Burning), Garrick Hagon (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), and Mark Monero (EastEnders).

Ben Wheatley says: “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, says: “We are so excited that Ben Wheatley has chosen C4 as the place to make his first original TV drama. Generation Z promises to have all of the unique visual flair and mischievous spirit that characterises 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.”

Generation Z is produced by The Forge for Channel 4, in association with ZDF and All3media International.


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