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Archive: ‘Babylon Fields’—CBS’ Buried Zombie Necrophilia Pilot Unearthed

Jul 10, 2009  •  Post A Comment

(Editor’s Note: This is NOT a new story. This is part of our special retrospective 2009 Summer Series: The Best of TVWeek. This was originally published October 15, 2007.)

Zombie sex on CBS.

That is what we missed this fall.

During the development season, CBS’ “Babylon Fields” was considered an early front-runner for greenlight. Granted, “apocalyptic zombie drama” may have sounded like a strange premise for a TV series, but no more so than the rest of CBS’ slate of vampire detectives, kids in ghost towns, musical gamblers and swinger couples.

id-zombie.jpg

“Babylon” starred Ray Stevenson, Kathy Baker and Amber Tamblyn. Stevenson was one of a trio of actors from HBO’s stellar “Rome” to land plum roles in fall pilots (the others were Kevin McKidd, the star of NBC’s “Journeyman,” and Polly Walker, who has a supporting role in CBS’ “Cane”).

Even after announcing its “Babylon”-less fall lineup at upfronts, CBS executives held out the possibility of a midseason order. Sadly, “Babylon” missed the final cut. Had the show received a pickup, “Babylon” would have taken CBS’ fall 2007 experimentation phase to a whole new level. “Babylon” just might be the weirdest pilot you have never seen.

The show explores the emotional and societal ramification of loved ones coming back from the dead. You know, like in “Pet Sematary.” But by the end of the episode, the zombie thriller is crossed with a crime procedural. So small-town police detective Stevenson is given a murder to solve while zombies wander the streets. It’s “ZSI.”

The “Babylon” brand of zombies are not all moany-stumbly like in most films about the living dead. But they remain, quite clearly, deceased—autopsy scars, open wounds, bad skin, worms, etc. The zombies walk back to their former homes. They talk to their former loved ones. And have sex with them.

We proudly present an all-too-brief look at “Babylon Fields.”

84 Comments

  1. Zombies are the new vampires — CBS should rethink this one. I get the creeps just from that disgusting sound in the opening!
    Got any more unaired pilots? This one is great.

  2. i HAVE BROADBAND CABLE, BUT THE PILOT IS still NOT WORKING.
    hELP!

  3. Repeating a story that was bogus in the first place two years ago? Pathetic.

  4. I see why it didn’t air. Although the idea is intriguing, the pilot really provide anything for the viewer to invest in. So the dead have risen in Babylon…So what? I thought it was going to pick up in the bar with the way the dead cop stared at the blood but then there wasn’t enough anticipation of that “what is he going to do?” feeling. So I’m guessing we could blame this one on whoever shot and spliced this one together. After all, it’s more effective to project a sense of fear when the character’s are being chased than when the zombie’s are acting like ordinary people. Otherwise it’s like everyday is just a day in costume.

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