The zombie would seem to be taking over from the vampire as the undead genre of choice at the moment. Not quite sure what produced this shift, but I guess your typical zombie is much less demanding on the script-writing front, so it may be a budget-led decision.
I tend not to be much of a fan of the zombie – my respect for the second law of thermodynamics leaves me with a visceral distrust of them. Having said that, the BBC has produced (and in one case, rather foolishly cancelled) two decent zombie-style series in the last couple of years: The Fades and In the Flesh. I also really enjoyed Warm Bodies – both the movie and the original book – so perhaps my hard-line positioning is weakening(though all my examples to include rather atypical zombies).
In the news yesterday, G4S were referred to the Serious Fraud Office for allegedly defrauding the UK taxpayer of millions of pounds. I seem to recall that it was this self-same G4S who so singularly failed to recruit sufficient security staff for last year’s London Olympics. At that time, they were the second largest employer of their kind in the world – presumably they would have been the largest if they’d been a tad more competent with the hiring. Casting my mind back a little further, I seem to remember this same company was also justly famed for losing prisoners or delivering them to the wrong places. It would seem that repeated incompetence and failure is no barrier to success if your client is the government – indeed, it seems to be a prerequisite (though perhaps only if you are a private company willing to bankroll the gravy train that seems to have largely replaced UK politics).
Anyway, one of the frauds of which G4S stands accused is charging the taxpayer to monitor the whereabouts of the dead – via electronic tags, I believe. Given their rather difficult relationship with competence, perhaps this is as far as one might expect their capabilities to run – in general, the quick are far more tricksy to keep tabs on than the dead. But, I prefer to be more charitable – let’s face it, we all need to be a lot more charitable given the rather rapid destruction of support for the arts and society’s weakest members. I am aware that several councils have had FoI requests to discover what disaster planning they have in place to cope with a zombie apocalypse. My response would be a reminder of the aforementioned second law of thermodynamics – but perhaps I’m just being wilfully blind to the approaching threat. Perhaps we will all be glad that G4S has apparently been putting in so much effort to tracking the dead when they start rising from their graves and shambling after us seeking our brains for nourishment. Then again, the more I see of the news the more I fear that the undead will find rather thin pickings in the grey matter department when they look to humanity to provide neuronal nibbles.
Perhaps their earlier failings were an attempt to boost falling incomes in the police and military and a brave, early attempt to tackle prison over-crowding. Or perhaps I am allowing my charitable nature to overcome my common sense..