TV preview: The Living and the Dead

ANOTHER COUNTRY: Nathan Appleby (Colin Morgan) and wife Charlotte (Charlotte Spencer) leave London for the West Country in The Living and the Dead.
ANOTHER COUNTRY: Nathan Appleby (Colin Morgan) and wife Charlotte (Charlotte Spencer) leave London for the West Country in The Living and the Dead.
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This new drama by Ashley Pharoah, who brought us Life on Mars, takes us back to Somerset and the late 19th century.

When a pioneering Victorian psychologist and his vivacious young wife are brought back to the family estate after the death of his mother, he is soon faced with one disturbing case after another.

What he has to discover is whether these strange events are linked merely by coincidence or whether there is something more sinister going on.

“Nathan is a brilliant psychologist, a pioneer in that new science,” says Pharoah. “Many of his troubled patients come to him as a result of that Victorian obsession with death and the afterlife, damaged by mesmerism, mediums, Ouija boards. Nathan is a man of science and believes that everything has a rational explanation.

“However, as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months, Nathan’s belief in science is undermined and finally shattered: one of the children on the farm is haunted by the ghosts of mining boys; a haunted mill; a murder victim; a demonic visitation from Civil War ghosts. As summer moves through harvest to autumn and then winter, the stories get darker and nastier, until the entire community is involved and threatened.”

The Living and the Dead, BBC1, Tuesday, 9pm

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