THE creator of the award-winning BBC3 zombie drama In The Flesh has told how the University of Bolton has helped him to get to where he is in his television writing career.
The drama has returned for its second season for which Dominic Mitchell — a University of Bolton Writers’ Lab graduate — won a BAFTA Craft Award as best writer for the series.
In 2010, Mr Mitchell, who hails from Yealand Redmayne, near Lancaster, but now lives in London, was part of the University’s award-winning Writers’ Lab project.
The 34-year-old said: “Before In The Flesh was commissioned and before I won a BAFTA for writing the show, I was lucky enough to be accepted on to the University of Bolton Writers’ Lab programme.
"It was for emerging writers who were on the cusp of working in the television industry.
“It was a fantastic training ground for what was to come, and the scheme equipped me with many priceless skills that I use today to navigate the world of television writing and production.”
The drama gives a modern-day twist to the zombie-horror genre.
Rather than zombies rampaging around a post-apocalyptic world, the show is set in a Lancashire village after a zombie uprising.
In the show the undead are being rehabilitated back into society — but not everyone is happy to have them back.
When In The Flesh was complete and a BBC pilot made, it caught the eye of the BAFTA-winning director Jonny Campbell, whose television career includes directing Shameless, Spooks and Doctor Who.
Since the successful pilot and subsequent debut series, which aired in 2013, In The Flesh has received critical acclaim and garnered a cult following.
The BAFTA Craft Awards celebrate the best in behind-the-scenes television talent such as costume design, editing, digital creativity, directing and writing.
The win follows Mr Mitchell’s 2013 success when he was named one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits.
Anna Zaluczkowska, senior lecturer on the media writing and production course, worked with Mr Mitchell on the Writers’ Lab project.
She said: “It was clear from the start of the programme that Dominic was a very talented writer who was able to bring huge emotional impact to his work. I’m not surprised he is a winner.”
Since completing the Writers’ Lab programme Mr Mitchell has been back to the university to share his experiences of writing for television with current students.
Ms Zaluczkowska added: “Since he graduated he has been very generous with the university and its students with his time and advice.”
Jane Stuart-Puttnam was Writers’ Lab project manager while Mr Mitchell was attending.
She said: “Dominic was an excellent writer and had bags of potential talent at the time.
“It is no surprise he is having the success he is now and his BAFTA award is fully deserved.”