The Dead Lands, Shudder

Shudder has announced the premiere of their upcoming supernatural drama, The Dead Lands, starring Te Kohe Tuhaka and Darneen Christian. AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror has teamed up in a co-production with New Zealand’s TVNZ to air an epic eight-episode original series.

After being murdered, Māori warrior, Waka Nuku Rau (Te Kohe Tuhaka), is sent back to the world of the living to redeem his sins. But the world Waka returns to is ravaged by a breach between Life and the Afterlife as the spirits of the newly dead now stalk the land and hunt the living. Waka encounters a determined young woman, Mehe (Darneen Christian), who becomes both his protégé and moral compass. Together, they navigate tribal politics, the unsettled ghosts of Ancestors and other forces both natural and supernatural, on a quest to discover who “broke the world” and how to repair it—if it’s not too late. 

Here are 5 reasons we’re excited for The Dead Lands:

5) Action & Fanasty!

Set in a mythical Aoteoroa (the Māori name for New Zealand), the series features screen combat performed in the Māori martial art of Mau Rākau. Versions of Māori rituals have been reimagined on the show. In order to honor the Māori people and their culture, the creation of the series required authoritative Māori control and advice to be present in front of and behind the camera. 

4) The Past & Future!

Producer Tainui Stephens mentions, “The modern Māori world thrives because our story traditions insist we respect the past before we explore the potential of the future. With The Dead Lands, we’re proud to bring our people and those traditions to global audiences.”

3) It’s Bold & Exciting!

Craig Engler, Shudder’s General Manager, adds, “The Dead Lands is a bold, exciting series unlike anything else on TV—an epic adventure in a breathtaking setting, based on Māori culture. It’s got action, scares and humor in equal measures, and we can’t wait to share it with Shudder members around the world.”  

2) Epic Drama!

TVNZ Director of Content, Cate Slater, states, “The Dead Lands is a Māori story on a global scale. It’s important content filled with wairua. Our viewers are going to love this epic drama and we’re excited to be part of the international conversation surrounding the programme, as we stream at the same time as our friends at Shudder.”

1) 8 Episodes!

The Dead Lands

The eight-episode drama hails from production company GFC Films. The show is executive produced by Standring, Fraser Brown and Matthew Metcalfe, produced by Tainui Stephens and Liz Adams, and directed by Peter Meteherangi Tikao Burger and Michael Hurst. 

The Dead Lands will premiere with two episodes on Thursday, January 23rd, 2019 on Shudder. The show will also air on TVNZ OnDemand in New Zealand immediately after its international debut. 

By Jorge Solis