Review by James Lindorf
Beloved British duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have reunited for the supernatural comedy ““Truth Seekers”,” debuting Friday, October 30th, on Amazon Prime Video. This is their first major collaboration since 2013’s “The World’s End,” and the first time they have worked in television since “Spaced” aired twenty years ago. Their new series stars Frost as Gus, a broadband installation expert, and amateur paranormal investigator. He is paired with new recruit Elton (Samson Kayo) by his boss Dave (Pegg). Gus takes Elton along on jobs, which are often thinly veiled excuses for exploring something supernatural. Elton is led on searches of haunted churches, underground bunkers and explore abandoned hospitals with their array of homemade ghost-detecting equipment. Their ghostly experiences grow more frequent, more terrifying, and more deadly over the eight-part series.
The series starts off a little slow with the early episodes best described as a paranormal procedural where Gus and Elton take on a different ghost each time. Each episode opens with a flashback to how a soul was trapped on this plane of existence. Then much like Mystery Inc., the guys stumble upon the phantom of the week and reach one of a variety of resolutions. The story of a World War 2 soldier who died nearly 80 years ago and has been stuck ever since is the most moving moment of this first season. Around the midpoint, the larger story begins to bleed in, connecting some of the earlier elements and providing new details. The introduction of the big villain over the monster of the week is a lateral move. While a longer story with the depth that allows is almost always better, it also takes away some of the focus from the main characters you love.
This kind of 50-50 format and each episode being about 26 minutes long left me wanting more. Eight 1-hour long episodes to explore the mystery and grow with these characters would have been perfect because the cast is excellent. Not only is there Frost and Pegg, but they are joined by Kayo, Emma D’Arcy, a woman being pursued by ghosts, Susan Wokoma as Elton’s anxiety-riddled sister Helen, and Malcolm McDowell as Gus’ dad. Everyone gets to have their moments and adds something important to the series.
Viewers in search of something truly terrifying or gut bustlingly funny will be slightly disappointed. While the horror level is enough to intimidate the most extreme of scaredy cats, horror veterans may find the series lacking. There are also plenty of jokes and humorous moments, but they are subdued and more likely to leave you smirking than laughing out loud. “Truth Seekers” isn’t all I hoped for as an avid fan of Pegg and Frost. I was hoping for more Pegg than a brief drop in to send the guys on to their next job. I also hoped the show would be as funny as any of the movies in the Cornetto trilogy, but it falls short of that albeit lofty mark. “Truth Seekers” is one-part horror, one-part comedy, and all heart. I can’t wait for season two to see how the characters continue to develop and their new spooky adventures.
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