When sexy French drama, The Returned landed in the UK, TV-loving Sunday-nighters bought straight into the European style of small screen production. Finally, a zombie drama for the 40+ generation.

Frederic Pierrot
Frederic Pierrot plays the twins' disgraced father

The critics lavished praise upon the show, despite voices from some corners suggesting the pace was off and the style was pretentious.

Now that the moody drama has crossed both the English Channel and The Atlantic Ocean, American audiences are getting a chance to see a more refined take on zombies – more refined than The Walking Dead’s clunky denouements, anyway.

“By the end, it's unclear which of these people are alive or dead, literally or spiritually. But The Returned still qualifies as a new zombie classic-- a haunting tribute to the lost loves who feed on your brain forever,” wrote Entertainment Weekly’s Melissa Maerz.

Tom Goodman, of the Hollywood Reporter, was equally impressed. “Defying expectations while rewiring what a “zombie” series can be, The Returned is one of the most intriguing, utterly original offerings of the year,” he wrote in his review.

Vulture, part of New York Magazine, compared it to some of the horror genre’s seminal moments in their review from Matt Zoller Seitz.

“Some of the encounters evoke the returned abductees in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, while others have the nasty, bone-deep chill you associate with John Carpenter’s stalk-and-kill classics,” he wrote. “Beneath it all is an air of existential dread. The universe is out of order. Life itself has gone haywire.”

Clotilde Hesme
Clotilde Hesme plays Adele - married to the town's police chief, in love with here (dead) ex-fiance

Without a single ‘mixed’ or ‘negative’ review so far, The Returned has notched up a favourable score of 90 on Metacritic, from 19 reviews. The show - based on the 2004 feature film They Came Back and is set in a small Alpine village – has been picked up for a second season in the U.K by Channel 4.

The first episode of season one will air, rather appropriately, tonight, Oct 31st on Sundance.