Truth Seekers is a supernatural comedy drama series about a team of part-time paranormal investigators who team up to uncover and film ghost sightings across the UK, sharing their adventures on an online channel for all to see. However, as they stake out haunted churches, underground bunkers and abandoned hospitals with their array of homemade ghost-detecting gizmos, their supernatural experiences grow more frequent, more terrifying and even deadly, as they begin to uncover a conspiracy that could bring about Armageddon for the entire human race.
Mixing together horror and comedy is by no means a new idea. We’ve seen plenty of zombie-comedies on the big screen. You only need to look to Supernatural – currently airing it’s fifteenth and final season – to see that striking a balance between comedy and horror can lead to huge success.
With Simon Pegg and Nick Frost behind the camera, Truth Seekers was almost guaranteed to land its comedy elements. But going in to the eight-episode first season I was unsure how the series would be able to bring the scares.
I needn’t have been concerned. With all episodes written by Frost and Pegg alongside Nat Saunders and James Serafinowicz the series strikes a breathtaking balance between its core elements. It feels uniquely British in its humour as well as in its locations. But at the same time Truth Seekers feels entirely accessible to all audiences thanks to its brilliantly written characters.
The series is anchored by Nick Frost as Gus. A surprisingly three-dimensional character who stands as far more than a comedic lead. His backstory is tragic and easily puts the audience at ease with his present-day actions. Frost shoulders each episode with gusto and gives the nuanced performance of his career.
Frost is backed up by Samson Kayo as Elton John (yes really) and Emma D’Arcy as Astrid. Both characters have seemingly mysterious histories which tie them to the supernatural elements of the show. Likewise, both are incredibly likeable characters. Elton adds an innocent humour, acting as the audience conduit into Gus’s world. Whilst Astrid opens up Truth Seekers overarching mystery plot line.
Lurking in the background of this already successful ensemble is Malcolm McDowell as Richard, Simon Pegg as Dave and Susan Wokoma as Elton’s sister, Helen. All three round out the cast with some excellent humour. McDowell is the perfect grumpy father-in-law; Dave is just atypical Pegg and Helen brings a truly loveable innocence to proceedings.
Despite each of the eight episodes running for only the standard 25-27 minute length, the level of character development is impressive. I had anticipated an episodic storyline taking the gang to new locations and meeting new ghosts each week. Whilst there are individual stories, it all adds up to a mystery which spans the full length of the season.
After introducing its cast, Truth Seekers wastes little time in getting down to business. With the season clocking in at four hours there is a lot of story which is told deftly despite its fast pacing. Plotting is kept tight and there is rarely a plot thread left hanging when all is said and done in the finale.
What is also instantly noticeable about the show is its production values. Visual effects are incredibly important in making a supernatural show a success. Truth Seekers lands all of its visual effects at every turn. Ghosts and supernatural occurrences are well visualised. There’s a level of visual flair which also sets the show apart from others of its ilk.
As expected, there are times Truth Seekers leans in heavily towards its humour. It might put some horror fans off. But really it’s what will ultimately raise Truth Seekers above the pack of supernatural explorative series.
Led by a cast of likeable characters and a strong sense of story, Truth Seekers first season is the perfect mix of horror and comedy.
Truth Seekers stars Nick Frost, Malcolm McDowell, Samson Kayo, Susan Wokoma, Emma D’Arcy and Simon Pegg. The series streams its first season from October 30, 2020.