Interview: Charlotte Spencer chats about BBC One’s ‘The Living And The Dead’

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Glue actress Charlotte Spencer stars in BBC One’s new supernatural drama, The Living and the Dead.

From the creators of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, the six-part series is directed by Alice Troughton (Merlin, In the Flesh) and co-stars Colin Morgan (Merlin).

Somerset 1894. When a pioneering Victorian psychologist and his vivacious young wife are brought back to the family estate after the death of his mother, he is soon faced with one disturbing case after another. Are all these strange events linked merely by coincidence, or is there something more sinister – more supernatural – going on at Shepzoy?

The Living and the Dead begins at 9pm on Tuesday 28 June on BBC One and is available as a box set on BBC iPlayer from Friday 17 June.

The Living and the Dead

Here Charlotte Spencer chats about what to expect from the show and her character..


What attracted you to the role of Charlotte Appleby? 

“I was first attracted to The Living And The Dead because of Ashley Pharoah’s writing. The way he’s written Charlotte Appleby is just incredible, because you don’t usually get that from a period drama. Women back then had to conform, whereas Charlotte Appleby doesn’t so much, she’s a modern woman.

“There’s a part of me that can relate to what she’s going through when I’m playing her and she’s just such a great character.”


What’s she like as a person? 

“Whatever situation she’s put in, she tries to see the best in it. When they decide to move to Shepzoy House she thinks, ‘Okay, well this will be a good place to bring up children, we can be farmers, it’ll be fine.’ She just adapts and that’s why she is so amazing.”

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Tell us about Charlotte and Nathan’s relationship…

“When you first see Charlotte and Nathan, the one thing you see is their love for each other. You immediately see that they are a team and are together in everything, including in all the decisions they make.

“They are fun and they love each other and it doesn’t matter where they are, whether they are in London or in Shepzoy – wherever they are, they are going to be fine because they are such a tight couple.”


Tell us about Charlotte’s attempts to bring in modern technology to their way of life? 

“She thinks, ‘Right, well the best thing to do is to buy this machine, it’s 10 times quicker so let’s do that,’ and that upsets some of the more traditional people in the village.

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“This sleepy English countryside is now being blown up and ripped apart by these two modern thinkers. That’s what also makes it relevant to modern day – the feeling of ‘what are they doing? What are they unearthing here?'”


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