Wreck, a new horror series that premiered on BBC Three, is paving the way for new LGBTQ+ representation on screen.
Traditionally, when it comes to the horror genre in film and TV, queer characters end up either being the villain or getting killed off halfway through the story. Wreck is here to change this stereotype.
Ryan J. Brown, the show’s writer and director, is set to altar the narrative by having the main character and his side-kick (both of whom are queer) as central figures throughout the whole story and mystery. As the BBC describes it, “their identities are the only thing they are sure about in the show’s uncertain world.”
I finished Wreck last night and I thought it was brilliantly bonkers. I'd go as far as to say it might be the best BBC Three show since In The Flesh.
(Also, top marks to the picture publicity – all the press shots I've seen are very arresting) pic.twitter.com/XxDz4uovwy
— Nick Walker (@nickw84) October 16, 2022
The story centres around Jamie Walsh who signs up to work on a cruise ship where his sister went missing three months prior. While trying to unravel the mystery behind her disappearance, he meets a variety of characters that deepen the horrifying mystery, including his coworker, Vivian Lim, who becomes his sidekick.
Brown proudly puts his characters’ sexualities at the forefront of the show. In Jamie’s first line of dialogue, he reflects on his experience in Sheffield’s gay scene, while for Vivian, she retorts to a male character that she is “into girls”.
Commenting on the structure of her character, actor Thaddea Graham, who plays Vivian in the series, shared the most appealing thing for her about the script. “It felt really special to see representation of all kinds of sexualities joined together… It’s at the forefront and it’s not performative.”
The LGBTQ+ writer behind Wreck looks back on horror classics stating, “As a gay man and horror fan, I think horror has always been queer, but it’s always coded, and subtext. I thought, ‘let’s do away with the subtext.’ Let’s have explicit representation.” He believes that horror has been queer “since the very beginning, since Mary Shelley.” There are authors that believe Shelley’s Frankenstein reflects on her own personal lesbian relationships, so it is no surprise to hear such a statement from Brown.
Brown has also emphasised that “Having two gay leads in the show that isn’t about them being gay, or about their sexual identity in any way, we don’t see that. Growing up gay has equipped them to be the perfect heroes. But the story doesn’t need to be about their trauma.”
You can catch future episodes of Wreck on BBC Three, or you can watch the previous episodes on BBC iPlayer. If you’re searching for more LGBTQ+ horror, take a look at 11 spooky shows with queer representation to binge-watch this Halloween.
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