The Zone. A New DetectiveSeries from Spain

8/2 · Por HBO · Reading 3 min.

Venture into The Zone alongside Inspector Héctor Uría and discover the mysteries hidden there. Enjoy this Spanish series on HBO.

The Zone, the suspenseful Spanish series you’ll want to devour

HBO continues to bring us great high-quality Spanish productions filled with suspense. This time it’s a police series that will have us glued to our TV screens: The Zone (2017) is a fantastic eight-episode show that follows an investigation into several murders in the region of Asturias. However, this is no common everyday setting, but a post-apocalyptic environment hit by a nuclear accident of devastating proportions.

It is not out of the question that this should take place in Spain, as the country currently operates seven reactors located on five sites. In fact, most of the country's electricity comes from nuclear power, followed by wind. Hydroelectric accounts for 9%, while nuclear is over 20%.

However, there is no plant in Asturias, although a decade ago, there was talk of putting one in the region. Thus, the series is based on a hypothetical occurrence which nonetheless has its roots in Spain’s reality, while also reminding us of other major historical events, such as the Chernobyl tragedy.

However, the plot does not revolve around the moment when the nuclear event occurred, but rather takes place several years later, with the appearance of a murdered man just as another anniversary of the Asturian tragedy rolls around. And so, the story follows police inspector Héctor Uría, who returns to the job three years after surviving the radioactive explosion that struck Northern Spain.

An exclusion zone was established in the area, where nature and wild animals again reign, where there is also a city that has been erected by survivors. And nothing is as it once was: societal norms and the “law” have taken on a different meaning, along with the social and political order. Add to this something new lurking there, perhaps a new life form.

But that murder is only the beginning, for there will come others which, in turn, draw us gradually into the darkness hidden in the depths of the area, which emerges as not just a landscape, but a character that is both all-powerful and deadly.


Production and a first-class cast

The Zone was created and produced by brothers Alberto and Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo. Alberto is known as a producer and screenwriter of successful Spanish series, and Jorge, a screenwriter and producer like his brother, has also made a name for himself as a director of both series and several film productions. One thing to note: two of these works, La gotera (The Leak, his first short, 1997) and La noche de los girasoles (The Night of the Sunflowers, his first feature, 2006), in fact start off with an encounter between the protagonist and someone who has been murdered.

The role of Héctor Uría is played by Eduard Fernández (Biutiful and Todos ya lo saben (Everybody Knows)), who is accompanied by Alba Galocha, Alexandra Jiménez, Emma Suárez, Juan Echanove and Carlos Bardem, among others.

Three of these cast members, to name just a few, are particularly noteworthy: Juan Echanove, Alexandra Jiménez and Carlos Bardem. Juan Echanove is a veteran actor who has received considerable recognition at festivals such as San Sebastián and the Goya Awards. His career spans numerous films, including Divinas palabras (Divine Words, 1988), Madregilda (1993) and Alatriste (Captain Alatriste: The Spanish Musketeer, 2006), among others. Alexandra Jiménez was nominated for several Spanish awards thanks to The Zone, including Best Actress in a Series at the Feroz Awards. Jiménez also received great praise the following year for the film Les distàncies (The Distances, 2018), directed by Elena Trapé. Carlos Bardem, older brother of the famous Javier, is noted for such titles as Celda 211 (Cell 211, 2009), Alacrán enamorado (Scorpion in Love, 2013), González: falsos profetas (González: False Prophets, 2014) and Alegría, tristeza (Joy, Sadness, 2018).

The Zone, an exploration of the human soul and major themes in modern society from a political and post-apocalyptic perspective. Don't miss all eight episodes, coming in February to HBO and HBO GO.

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