Thursday, September 22, 2011

BBC The Fades Episode 01

The Fades is a new fantasy horror series from the BBC, set in a nondescript urban area in England. Following Paul, a young boy haunted by terrifying dreams of creatures moving in the darkness and future covered in apocalyptic ash, and what's worse is that those dreams has started coming true.

Before we continue there are some spoilers below.

The creatures that Paul is seeing are the Fades, the spirits of the dead that can't move on. The Fades and non corporeal and cannot interact with our world, the just are, doomed to this torturous existence they no doubt go slowly mad. But one Fade has other ideas, he has found a way to comeback, to become flesh again. He seems to do this by stealing the life force from anything he can, There are a lot of bird corpses around the place. If he manages to break through, others will follow. The world will be over run, and we are all doomed. Few know about the Fades and even fewer can see them, even fewer still have abilities like Paul being able to have visions of what's to come. 

"The Unlikely Hero"

As fate would have it best friends Paul and Mac are poking around the derelict buildings of an old shopping centre, looking for props for Mac to use in his home-made horror movies. Mac is a movie buff, constantly spouting trivia and references to whatever movie he thinks fits the situation. Given what kinda show this is we got a lot of the Sixth Sense and Nightmare on Elm Street References in the first episode. The friends get separated and Paul stumbles upon Neil who is fighting the creature he has seen in his dreams. This only serves to traumatise Paul even more, who is already in therapy for his crippling nightmares.

Though all is not so bad for Paul he has his best friend Mac, and a potential love interest, Jay, the best friend of his belligerent twin sister. Trying to impress her one day by smoking ( oh the things we do for love ) manages to spark up a conversation. There is some flirting! and Jay confides in him and she thinks he is special, and wishes she could be different herself, instead of being a "hairbrush princess" who just going drinking in the woods.

"The Warrior and Mentor"

Then there is the group of people who seem to know what's going on. Sarah, the seer who was attacked by the Fade. Neil the warrior of the cause and Helen, a vicar who is has the power to heal others with a touch. After the events of the first night, Neil tracks down Paul, in an effort to recruit him. In doing so he explains what the Fades are. The exposition wasn't as ham fisted as it could have been all things considered.

Later on, Paul and Mac decide to follow Jay and her pack of "cool" friends up into the woods. Where Paul encounters Neil again, and we see the spirits of the recently dead. This time they are glowing with an internal light. They are drawn to the woods because it is one of the few passing points left, a place where the spirits ascend to somewhere else. But since "man invented concrete" places like this are getting less and less, which is why the Fades are increasing in number. It's not about Heaven or Hell, nothing as grand as that "It's just death" as Neil says. Either they pass on, or they don't are are doomed to be a Fade forever.

"The Love Interest"

What are the visions Paul has?  is the world covering in ash a literal representation of what will happen, or just at portent symbolising the evil that threatens us? Who knows . . . tune in next week to find out.

That was the first episode for me, I really enjoyed it, and will be watching more. A great start to the series. An interesting premise, likeable characters, creepy setting and an awesome looking monster. What more could you want? I highly recommend and urge you to check this out on BBC Three Wednesdays at 9.00pm or on the BBC iPlayer, and support it however you can.

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