Admittedly when we first heard the premise of BBC America’s upcoming supernatural drama, Bedlam, we were skeptical. It’s not that we don’t believe in ghosts (which we actually don’t), but the idea of a haunted apartment building because the structure is actually a converted psychiatric hospital? What kind of awful contractor would do that!? And furthermore, Jed (Theo James), the man at the center, tasked (and burdened, in many ways) to vanquish these spirits was in and out of mental institutions himself, so how do we know it’s not all just in his head?
Well, BBC America came to Los Angeles earlier today to answer these questions and more. During their summer press tour session, series creator David Allison and James teased enough about the series that though we aren’t full converts to believing in “the other side,” we are fully converted to wanting to tune in! Check out these details about the series and let us know what you think in the comments below!
- Influences for Bedlam include one of our all-time favorite supernatural stories, Stephen King’s “The Shining,” but also Japanese horror because Allison’s biggest compliment to date is when his friends tell him he doesn’t want to watch the show alone. He is out to properly scare people to the point where they may jump off their couch. Fifth act twists are to be expected, as well, especially mid-season. Allison teased that episode five has one that will change the game immensely.
- Unlike so many other genre shows out there today, Bedlam isn’t centering on a guy with special skills in fighting the paranormal. He is a regular guy who began to see ghosts at a very young age, as a child, and because of it he was told he was clinically insane. He has tried to ignore his gift (or curse) and has tried to deny these things he sees really do exist at all more often than not. Therefore week to week we will see him struggling with how to confront the current ghost of the week, and he won’t always be successful.
- There is no team of specialists. Jed is at the center, and as episodes go on, others will come in, affected by personal experiences and ultimately being forced to step up.
- Jed will be tested as a man not only because he has to finally not only accept but embrace these visions, but he will also because he is “a solitary man,” according to James but ultimately gets entangled with all of these people he steps in to help. In that regard, though this show is being promoted as a “case of the week” type procedural, there is rich character work to evolve as episodes unfold. The external conflict (and danger) will be great but Jed will be in his own head a lot, and that is a breeding ground for richer, multi-layered drama as well.
Bedlam will premiere on BBC America on October 1st 2011.
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