It’d be straightforward to look at “Truth Seekers” and mistake it for a satirical farce. The brand new Amazon sequence comes from Nat Saunders, James Serafinowicz and the vaunted duo of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, who’ve collaborated on style comedies like “Shaun of the Lifeless” and “The World’s Finish.” Starring Frost as a wi-fi service repairman slash beginner paranormal investigator, “Truth Seekers” has loads of small-town British attraction to spare as he travels from one haunted home to a different. However the sequence additionally shortly reveals itself to be a genuinely creepy little bit of horror, with ghost tales which can be tragic and poignant, startling and violent. It channels every thing from “The Exorcist” to “Physician Who” to create set-pieces that persist with you after the credit have rolled, holding the present from getting caught in a single comedic gear.
It helps, too, that “Truth Seekers” takes care to create a memorable ensemble of characters who be sure the tales keep comparatively grounded. Gus (Frost) has been doing his greatest to fly solo after the premature dying of his spouse, Emily (Rosalie Craig), some 10 years in the past, although his cranky father-in-law, Richard (Malcolm McDowell), retains interrupting his makes an attempt at being a real hermit. Gus spends his off-hours poking across the British countryside for indicators of the paranormal, which Emily studied (and obsessed over) all her life. Not till he will get a brand new assistant in Elton (Samson Kayo), although, does Gus see a single ghost — at which level, he’s all of a sudden seeing them in every single place he seems to be.
With Pegg roughly siloed off right into a minor storyline in his position as Gus’ boss, Frost will get to play the sort of half assigned to Pegg of their movies: the conspiratorial fanboy turned righteous crusader, with a coronary heart of gold that retains him from tilting into the misogynistic caricature the character might in any other case develop into. Kayo, then, takes on the standard Frost position of the sidekick who has extra to supply than anybody — a lot much less he himself — fairly realizes. The actors ease right into a pleasant chemistry inside minutes of Elton’s introduction, which turns out to be useful, since Gus and Elton additionally encounter their first apparitions very quickly in any respect. Their banter comes so naturally by the top of the primary episode that when it turns into clear that there’s extra to Elton than meets the attention, it’s a little bit of a shock to keep in mind that he and Gus haven’t recognized one another that lengthy in any respect.
Rounding out the forged are Emma D’Arcy as Astrid, a woman on the run from terrifying spirits, and Susan Wokoma as Helen, Elton’s chronically nervous sister. Wokoma, a enjoyment of Michaela Coel’s “Chewing Gum” and a current spotlight in Netflix’s “Enola Holmes,” is a very good addition who brings vulnerability and heat to her each scene. Whether or not she’s doing particular results make-up tutorials for her rising YouTube channel, bonding with a equally lonely Richard or steeling herself to enterprise outdoors the secure confines of her house, Wokoma makes Helen so instantly participating that one can readily think about a model of “Truth Seekers” wherein she’s the star.
The primary half of the eight-episode season errs towards the procedural-monster-case-of-the-week model that one thing like “Physician Who” has lengthy leaned upon, and it really works. These episodes open with a flashback to some disturbance previous earlier than returning to the current, when Gus and Elton detect the phantoms which were restlessly lurking ever since. The second half, nonetheless, opens the story up into one thing extra advanced and conspiratorial, particularly because it reveals an enormous dangerous villain in Dr. Peter Toynbee (Julian Barratt), a self-made celeb professional on all issues supernatural. This narrative flip solely typically works; the lack of the self-contained episode frameworks noticeably slackens the present’s grip by itself particular universe. And but, the season strikes briskly sufficient that it’s exhausting to fault its detours an excessive amount of. Eight episodes are simply sufficient to spend a while in its world, and the non secular one lurking past.
“Truth Seekers” premieres Friday, October 30 on Amazon Prime.