If Crouching Tiger, Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead had a baby it would be Kingdom. Billed as a South Korean horror series, this Netflix Original is more drama and intrigue than pure horror. And it is compulsive viewing.
Set in 15th Century Korea, the country is in free fall. Having survived two wars that decimated the country, it now faces a new challenge. The King has been bed-ridden with illness for a month and the only person allowed to see him is the Queen. Heavily pregnant, she needs him to survive until she gives birth. That is to ensure her offspring can take the throne ahead of the current Crown Prince.
It's fairly obvious quickly on that something is very, very wrong in the palace. When a young boy, accompanying the doctor who is treating the King, gets mauled, he returns back to his town. The people are starving and no help is on the way. A resident decides to take matters into his own hands and try to solve the hunger problem. As a result, he inadvertently starts a plague worse than anyone can imagine. People drop like flies and are presumed dead until the sun sets. Once darkness creeps in the dead come back to life as zombies, mauling everyone in their path.
In the mean time, the Crown Prince, realising that one way or another the Queen will have him killed, decides to ride out to find the doctor with his Royal guard in tow. Discovering the corpses, they are then moved to the Magistrates courts where our heroine physician, Seo-Bi tries to alert the authorities. Writing her off as a lunatic, the noblemen of the area are soon running for their lives. As is the Crown Prince, played by Ju Ji-hoon, who has been caught up in the zombie apocalypse.
All the while the King is being ‘sustained' on a diet of locals to keep him alive, the Ministers are trying to take the throne and the plague is spreading across the land. Kingdom is an epic period drama and one that will have you glued to the tv. It reportedly cost $1.78m per episode to make and while that is excessive, the setting, costumes and cinematography are simply stunning. Visually the whole show is breath taking. And the subtitles mean that you have to stay engaged to follow the story.
You don't actually have to be a fan of zombies to enjoy it. This is just one facet of a far more complex story about power and what people will do to get it and keep it. It is about the haves and the have-nots and how in the face of true adversity some will step up and help their fellow man while others just save themselves.
With six episodes it is the perfect show to binge.