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Bates Motel – how to bring a new twist to an old classic.

How do you approach the task of producing an updated TV drama based on Psycho, widely considered a classic of psychological horror? Answer: you pull it in to the 21st century and add layers of mystery.

Bates Motel has done just that and manages to pull it off handsomely.

In a clever twist, the creators (who also wrote Lost) have produced a prequel to the original Hitchcock classic whilst at the same time setting it in modern times within a town dripping in its own mysteries and horrific sub-plots.

As the original tale of Norman Bates and his dominating mother in Psycho left much of the backstory out, Bates Motel seizes the opportunity to fill in the blanks. Further, and in a similar way to Dexter, the viewer is lulled in to sympathising with the leading characters whilst all the time knowing what horrific monsters the key protagonists are destined to become.

At the time of writing Bates Motel is only available in the US, but a second season has already been snapped up after the success of the first few episodes and so hopefully a UK airing is inevitable. Watch this space for news for if and when this happens.

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