'The Dead Lands': Release date, plot, cast, trailers and all you need to know about the Māori fantasy series
Actor Te Kohe Tuhaka believes that the new series will lend insight into Māori culture in a way the world has never seen before
Set in the mythical land of Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand), a new supernatural series 'The Dead Lands' is all set to land on the Shudder streaming service. The eerie world is inspired by Māori traditions and histories and leading man Te Kohe Tuhaka believes that the new series will lend an insight into the Māori culture in a way the world has never seen before.
"There are plenty of shows that have a similar feel and theme and are set in a similar genre, But it's the fact that it comes from this part of the world," Te Kohe Tuhaka said. "The performance style is very us as well, it's very Aotearoa. It's got lots of moments of dry New Zealand humor within some pretty high-stakes scenes."
The series features screen combat performed in the Māori martial art of Mau Rākau, while elements of action and fantasy throughout the story have been given shape by versions of Māori rituals reimagined for the show.
The eight-episode series is all set to premiere on Shudder this January. The Dead Lands premieres on TVNZ OnDemand and Shudder streaming service on January 23 at 7 pm, with new episodes airing weekly.
The series features a murdered Māori warrior, Waka Nuku Rau (Te Kohe Tuhaka), who’s 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 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.
Te Kohe Tuhaka
Te Kohe Tuhaka stars as Waka Nuku Rau in the series. The actor is known for his roles in 'Go Girls' (2009), '6 Days' (2017) and 'Shortland Street' (1992).
Darneen Christian will be seen in her first television role as Mehe Te Wehiwehi, Kirk Torrance will play Kā and Vicky Haughton will star as Turika.
The dark thriller series has been written by Glenn Standring, who also wrote the 2014 'The Dead Lands' movie, which is set in the same mythical world as the series but is not related to its characters or story. Co-produced by AMC Network’s Shudder TVNZ and GFC Films, it has been directed by Peter Meteherangi, Tikao Burger and Michael Hurst. Standring, Fraser Brown and Matthew Metcalf are the executive producers and Tainui Stephens and Liz Adams are the producers on the series.
A 1.51-minute trailer captures the dark world. The caption reads, "Waka, a murdered Māori warrior returned from the Afterlife, and Mehe, a determined young woman, embarks on a quest to find who "broke the world" and how to close the breach between the living and the dead."
Where to watch
You can stream all episodes of 'The Dead Lands' on Shudder streaming service once it releases on January 23, 2020. It will also air on TVNZ OnDemand in New Zealand immediately after its international debut.
If you like this, you'll love these
'Game of Thrones'
'The Walking Dead'
'Quest for Fire'