I is for I Zombie

Reviewed by Kerry E.B. Black


“…life takes some surprising turns,” exclaimed an unnamed woman in a Seattle bar in episode two.


Ironically-named Olivia “Liv” Moore’s mapped-out life changed when she accepted an unprecedented party invitation on a boat with fellow medical residents. Wild turned wilder, and Liv (Rose McIver) woke in a body bag. Paler, confused, and with a taste for brains, Liv reassessed her existence and took a job as a medical examiner with the police.

Like Boris Karloff’s mummy leg, the pilot dragged a bit as it set up the mythology, but in episode two, the viewer meets the nemesis, David Anders as Blaine DeBeers, the purveyor of Utopium, a designer drug with a surprising side-effect.

The PTSD-type change in Liv (Rose McIver) after the boat party startled her family and friends, including her fiancé, Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley). She finds a supporter in her enthusiastic boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli). Dr. Ravi searches for a way to reverse the effects of zombification. His wit and self-effacing charm prove delightful.

Liv finds purpose by helping Homicide Detective Clive Babinaux (Malcolm Goodwin), who believes that Liv is a police-advising psychic. (Eating grey matter has surprising side-effect for the brilliant surgeon-turned-medical examiner. She lives through some of the memories of the deceased.)

Liv discovers the schemes of a corrupt business, Max Rager, responsible for the transformative drug. Other zombies turn to “purveyors” of brains, and DeBeers provides the finest cerebral meals, offering such delicacies as astronaut minds. However his operation first harvested the grey matter from run-aways and troubled youth.

Liv’s ex-fiance, Major, worked with the young people of the city. When several he carried about disappeared, he investigated and discovered the disturbing secret. Zombies unable to control their impulses walked the streets and preyed on the unwary. Coming to terms with such a bizarre truth drove him to a stay in an insane asylum for a time. He became a vigilante and eventually a zombie himself.

This American television series is loosely based on the DC/ Vertigo comic books by the same name. Diane Ruggerio-Wright and Rob Thomas adapted it, nodding to the art with the show’s filming. Quick banter and engaging lead actors give this supernatural comedic crime drama potential.