The DVD is yet to be released so my comments are, as with all the other reviews so far, based on having watched all 8 episodes of the TV series shown this summer on Channel 4.
The story is, for once, relatively fresh and different. It must be hard to come up with new concepts for TV drama but The Returned qualifies. Yes, it's about dead people coming back to life but it's not a conventional zombie/ghost story, and it plays heavily on the personal grief that different families suffered years before the present-day events - when the dead started to return.
There's so much to see on the screen that it is a little frustrating to have to read the sub-titles. I'm reminded of other excellent foreign dramas such as The Killing or Wallender; they were so good that big-budget English-speaking versions were made later but the atmosphere of the originals was lost. I think the best solution is old-fashioned dubbing, not least because the actors and actresses in The Returned - particularly the actresses in my opinion - would be very hard to match.
Maybe the DVD will have some entertaining extras, I don't know yet, but the main story - spread across 3 DVD discs that I would estimate to be about 320 minutes in total length - is definitely worth investing your time and money in. If you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat, and if you have, it's still worth seeing again.
There is also a film version called The Returned [DVD
] but it is totally different and although I have not seen it, most people seem to think it is not as good as the Channel 4 TV series.