Truth Seekers (2020)
Directed by: Jim Field Smith
Written by: James Serafinowicz, Nat Saunders, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
Starring: Emma D'Arcy, Julian Barratt, Kelly Macdonald, Malcolm McDowell, Nick Frost, Samson Kayo, Simon Pegg, Susan Wokoma, Taj Atwal
TRUTH SEEKERS (2020)
An Amazon Original available on Amazon Prime
Gus Roberts, a technical broadband engineer for internet and connectivity provider Smyle, is assigned responsibility of new recruit Elton John who’s to accompany him on the job as he learns the tricks of Gus’ trade. Elton quickly learns about Gus’ side hobby of ghosthunting and interest in the supernatural, which is just as well as their first job leads to something out of the ordinary…and as it turns out, things are only going to get weirder!
Television series’ have been knocking it out of the park in recent years as Netflix and Amazon have become major players in the scene. It’s Amazon who, through their Amazon Originals productions, have brought a brand new series to our screens, reuniting the double act of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in light-hearted, supernatural comedy caper, TRUTH SEEKERS. This time around, it’s Nick Frost in the driving seat as protagonist Gus whilst Simon Pegg takes a bit of a backseat as Dave, Gus’ toupee-sporting boss at Smyle. Injecting a bit of youthful energy into the proceedings is Samson Kayo who completes the adorable tag team as Elton John, a young man who’s had more than his fair share of jobs and appears to be quite the bright spark even if he’s too humble to admit it. He also seems to have something a bit special about him that plays into the hands of Gus as they encounter more strange occurrences whilst on the job; something which Gus is eager to take advantage of for his developing YouTube channel, Truth Seekers.
Before long, Gus and Elton begin to make a name for themselves online as part-time ghosthunters with the duo growing to a five-piece consisting of Astrid (Emma D’Arcy), a young woman who seeks Gus and Elton’s help; Elton’s agoraphobic, cosplaying sister, Helen (Susan Wokoma), and Gus’ grumpy father-in-law, Richard. Together they make an unlikely bunch but are simply as sweet as you can get, especially the evolving friendship between Helen and Richard; two people generations apart who connect over common experiences and a love of Youtube videos. There’s also another reason to love this series and that’s the inclusion of the legend that is Malcolm McDowell who play’s Gus’ y-front wearing father-in-law Richard with such relish. Slowly creeping up and down the stairs on his stairlift and struggling to understand the modern age of mobile phones and Snapchat-style filters, Richard is the one who brings us back to reality. He doesn’t buy into any of the supernatural phenomena unlike Gus and his merry band of youngsters. Swearing and generally making a nuisance of himself, Richard is the likeable, trouble-making pensioner who you just know is inadvertently going to find himself in the thick of it.
The eight part series consisting of 30 minute episodes is chock full of bite-size fun that is easy to watch yet enthralling and captivating at every turn. The series manages to carry the overarching story whilst developing the characters without resorting to tiresome filler. It’s snappy and tongue-in-cheek at times, like its 6G references, and has some pretty intimidating scenes even if, for the most part, it’s a pretty tame affair. Being a comedy, it’s not going to terrify audiences but it still has some pretty creepy ideas and CGI VFX that will put you on the edge enough to invest in the story that it builds up throughout the series, with revelations providing more material to work with in future seasons.
Sometimes it’s nice to cleanse the palate after hardcore horror and bloodthirsty slashers with something refreshing and, for me, TRUTH SEEKERS is it. It’s vibrant and fun yet has that air of supernatural mystery and menace that you can’t help but be drawn into, especially if you’re a horror fan. It certainly hits the right notes and emanates a charming British wit that’s quite comforting in these strange times. Without a doubt, I’m looking forward to seeing what adventures the Truth Seeker crew get up to next.