Stars: Theo James, Charlotte Salt, Hugo Speer, Will Young, Ashley Madekwe
Writer: Neil Jones, David Allison, Chris Parker 
Director:  John Strickland
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: October 1, 2011

BBCA has added the supernatural thriller BEDLAM to its Saturday night line-up now. The edgy 20-something drama is infused with ghosts, sex, and lots and lots of layered story.

“Cohabitants” starts the series off with Jed (Theo James) hitchhiking a ride. In the course of a few minutes you discover that the driver of the car is actually a ghost that has not moved on. This sets the stage for what the whole episode has to offer. I like the fact that’s it’s a twist on the hitchhiking ghost stories, where the hitchhiker is the ghost, but in this version the driver is.

Jed gets a series of mysterious texts to save Kate (Charlotte Salt), so he has to travel to a new set of luxury apartments that Kate and her father Warren (Hugo Speer) are opening in a converted insane asylum called Bedlam Heights. Kate rooms with Ryan (Will Young) and Molly (Ashley Madekwe) and they are all entangled in a weird sort of sexually charged living situation.

This first episode sees more than one ghost, a girl goes missing, there’s some hot and heavy foreplay, and all kinds of mysteries for the season are set up.

Theo James must have the same kind of contract that the boys over on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES have, he HAS to be half naked throughout good portions of the episode! Of course, no one minds (myself included) and who hasn’t wanted to see more of Mr. Pamuk (his briefly featured character in the first season of DOWNTON ABBEY).

All of the people on this show are attractive, and that seems to be a part of the formula that makes this show work. You can’t just have ghost drama because that would get old pretty fast, so there has to be human drama as well to keep the blood pumping.

It’s nice to see Ashley Madekwe again. She is one of my favorites from SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL, and she’s such a sweet and real actress, that no matter what I see her in, I completely believe her. I like her character in this, Molly, because she seems to be one of the only truly nice people in Bedlam Heights, without some kind of ulterior motive behind her niceness.

Ryan (Will Young) is an “is he or isn’t he?” character, and we’ll have to keep watching to find out which side his bread is buttered on. Plus, I have a feeling this is not the only time we will be visiting the tragedy of his brother’s murder.

I like the ghosts in the show. They are practical actors with some CGI effects blended in, but I’m a big fan of having real actors on set for the other actors to play off of. I think using real people instead of CGI effects help to keep the tone more realistic and give you more of a feeling of danger since the person is clearly really there.

All in all this is a nice start to what I hope will be a sold series. I like the characters, concept, and best of all the dead folks. Perfect series to start in the month of October.


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Article: TV Review: Bedlam – Series 1 Premiere – “Cohabitants”

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