Watch out for THE FADES!

The things that scare us are the things that keep us human.

Meet Paul (Iain de Caestecker), a 17-year-old geek with bad, really bad (wet-the-bed bad) dreams about a post-apocalyptic future of a world covered in ash. No one understands the meaning of these dreams, least of all himself, so it’s no surprise that he’s begun to think he’s gone mental. In addition to this he’s also begun to see dead people.

Paul shares his worries with fast-talking Mac (Daniel Kaluuya), his excessively chatty best friend, a guy whose conversation is saturated with TV, movie and pop culture references. Mac is both frightened and delighted by Paul’s curious new psychic abilities, especially if it can somehow help him get girls.

Enter Neil (Johnny Harris), who explains that Paul is an “Angelic,” a human who can see and hear the “Fades,” the spirits of the dead who are unable to ascend after death and are therefore trapped in this world. They can’t taste, touch or smell any longer, and since regular people can’t see or hear them, it’s a pretty stinky existence for these lost souls all around.

Most of the recently deceased are looking for “holes in the world”, or ascension points where they can easily pass through to the other side. Unfortunately for them, our modern world is now blanketed with asphalt and concrete, essentially blocking most of these supernatural gateways, and many spirits are trapped here on earth in a discouraging limbo existence. Those that got left behind are getting really pissy, too.

Some Fades are so angered by their situation that they are fighting to become human again. And it’s up to Paul and other Angelics to stop these increasingly violent spirits from becoming flesh, breaking back into our world, and creating a hell on earth for the living. “So as death becomes life, life becomes death. So everything ends.” The Angelics fear that if one Fade manages to break through others will follow and destroy the world. Of course, this means war.

Full of fresh ideas, and terrific writing and acting, THE FADES is one great show that most Americans seem to know nothing about. This six-episode series first ran on BBC Three in the fall of 2011, but is now available to us Yanks Saturday nights on BBCAmerica. Unfortunately, most scifi/supernatural fans are probably not watching this fascinating UK import because, A) they’ve never heard of it, and B) it’s a quirky British scifi show that’s doesn’t involve someone named Doctor Who. That’s too bad, because it’s good, really good.

Episode one mostly sets up the show’s premise and introduces the characters, which include Paul’s bitchy twin sister (Lily Loveless) and her best friend (Sophie Wu) among others. Further episodes are more involved, dipping into the realm of creepiness with plenty of dark surprises. Go look for THE FADES. I think you’ll be intrigued, impressed, and yes, even satisfyingly scared by it.

BBC Publicity still of the cast of THE FADES

Cross-posted to


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