Posts Tagged ‘undead’

Wednesday nights (BBC3 9pm) have seen a new horror series quietly sneak onto our screens.  It’s not been widely advertised and so you may have missed it.  But in case you have seen it here is my review. Please don’t read if you have seen the episodes yet, spoiler alert…

The series centers around a school aged teenager named Paul (who has apocalyptic dreams and starts to experience strange powers), his best friend Mac and twin sister Anna (who hates Paul and Mac). In the first episode Paul is inadvertently drawn into a fight between some people (called Angelics) who are hunting/are hunted by a zombie like creature (called a fade).  The Fades are people who have died who have managed to find a way into the real world as they have been unable to ascend into….. well heaven/hell we presume.  The Ascension mechanism somehow got broken, we are not told how.

And that’s it, a simple story of the battle against the undead (who are trapped in the real world).

The story for the most part centres round three parts.  One which follows Paul’s realization that he isn’t crazy and how he discovers his powers, discovering love (with the arrival of Jay his girlfriend) and sex.  We see relationship between Paul and Mac and how they have been friends for a long time.  Mac is centre point to the series as he narrates (It really helps that he explains what the hell is going at the beginning of each episode) and helps the highly reluctant Paul try to decide how he is going to deal with having powers and what it will mean with his life.

Secondly there are the angelics, led by the fanatical Neil, who have been battling against the fades a long time.

Then there is a third thread, featuring the head fade called John, who has been dead 70 yrs and become a fade by eating blood.  John’s rebirth was almost entirely accidental.  But once he does he then tracks down other fades to join him and helps them become reborn by eating blood.

In between there is Mark the teacher who finds out his ex wife was an angelic but has turn in to a fade, Mac’s Father who is in charge of the investigation into disappearances (caused by the fades) and there is also the love hate relationship between Mac and Anna.  At the start Anna was a right mega bitch but by the end of the series she had mellowed slightly and was almost likeable.

The series had plenty of horror, twists and turns. The body count is pretty high. The finale episode was predictable but still held plenty of surprises and shocks, including the execution of Paul’s girlfriend.  But it’s not the fact that she died that shocked us but the manner in which she was summarily executed by Neil the fanatic Angelic. Neil’s cold-blooded actions proved just how far into cuckoo land he has gone, placing him on a par with the Fades themselves  But why oh why didn’t Paul dispense with that irritating Neil then?

Then there is the predictable confrontation between John and Paul.

And we are left with a good ending to ensure there is an option for a return of the series. As expected Paul succeeds in opening ascension and so the fades can move on. But at what cost? What has Paul unleashed by opening ascension and dabbling with fate.  And there is the fanatical, unfeeling, irritating Neil, who somehow, hasn’t died. He is left in a bloody awful mess groaning “I warned him you shouldnt mess with ascension”.

With only 6 episodes this has been a brilliant fast paced series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was dark, gory, funny and no punches were held back.  In fact its pretty grim at times and it’s refreshing to have characters who behave how real people do in such circumstances. Paul’s journey from bed-wetting nerd to winged saviour has been a great story from start to finish. And with his friend/sidekick Mac helping keeping us informed with his witty narrative and constant references to “Mork & Mindy” was particularly pleasing. Does anybody else there remember that classic series?  The script has been well written, and the performances have been excellent and believable, particularly from Paul (Iain De Caestecker), John (Joe Dempsie), Neil ( Johnny Harris) and Mac (Daniel Kaluuya). In my opinion, BBC3 have again come up with a quality series, please let us have more of Paul and Mac next year.

And also I have to say that it was a lot better than the dreadful Torchwood which was on BBC1 earlier this year. Torchwood writers (STARZ and Russel T Davies) please take note, there is no need to drag a series out into 13 painfully slow episodes when 6 episodes will suffice.

What do you think?

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