The prospect of a new TV series co-created and staring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg is something to get me as excited as Spaced’s Mike Watt at an Army Surplus store. Throw in the fact that its a horror comedy and I am almost set to explode but the big question is, is Truth Seekers Frost and Pegg at their Shaun of the Dead best or paltry Paul worst?
Luckily Amazon Prime Video’s new series is a sure fire hit, hilarious and horrifying in equal measure. Created and written by Pegg and Frost alongside James Serafinowicz and Nat Saunders, all 8 of the excellent episodes are directed by Jim Field Smith the man behind Criminal: UK and The Wrong Mans.
In front of the camera in the main cast we not only get the stars of The World’s End and Hot Fuzz but the brilliant Samson Kayo from Timewasters, Susan Wokoma from Crazy Head and Enola Holmes, Hanna’s Emma D’Arcy and acting legend Malcolm McDowell. Added to this is a whole host of cameos from comedy and acting talents like Julian Barratt, Kelly Macdonald, Taj Atwal and Kate Nash to name but a few.
The premise is perfect following Frost as Gus the premier installer form SMYLE the UK’s largest mobile network operator and internet service provider who is reluctantly teamed up with a new recruit Elton John (Samson Kayo). The pair journey to an old ladies eerie home and are instantly aware that something supernatural seems to be in there with them.
While Elton is terrified Gus is overjoyed seeing as he is a part time paranormal investigator with his own YouTube channel and this is the first real life haunting he has ever experienced. Joining together to rid the poor woman of her spectre and get her TV up and running again Gus and Elton slowly become firm friends as each new job set for them by their SMYLE boss Dave, played by Pegg, takes them from one spooky encounter to the next with increasing intensity.
Throwing in real life British legends such as The Beast of Bodmin, unexplained conspiracies such as Number Stations, experiments on soul transference, wronged witches, psychic mediums, vengeful spirits and more Truth Seekers is like a riotous guffaw filled ghost train ride keeping the audience giggling and gasping throughout.
Each episode has its own mysteries taking the duo to haunted churches, underground bunkers and abandoned hospitals, long forgotten service stations and the Coventry Collectibles and Cosplay Convention where they use Gus’s homemade ghost-detecting gizmos to bust whatever they find.
As Truth Seekers progresses we learn not only about Gus and Elton but also their families which include Elton’s sister Helen (Susan Wokoma) a talented make up artist who is crippled by her fear of the outside world and Richard (Malcolm McDowell) Gus’s grumpy father who he has a love/hate relationship with. Added to this is Astrid (Emma D’Arcy) a strange girl who shows up in the SMYLE engineers life by accident but ends up playing an important part in their lives.
The chemistry between the leads is great as they bounce off each other perfectly with their polar opposite attitudes to all things creepy making for much of the jokes and more of the backstory than first appears. As mentioned alongside the standalone hauntings is a overarching story that holds far larger consequences for everyone involved and becomes more and more at the forefront of the action as the episodes reach their epic conclusion.
With shocks, surprises, heart felt drama and some genuinely spine tingling scenes Amazon have a real hit on their hands and viewers will be hard pressed not to binge watch all 8 episodes on Halloween night.
Well written, instantly engaging and very original it seems Pegg and Frost have done it again as Truth Seekers is a TV show that makes you laugh and scream out loud and for a horror and comedy fan, what more can you ask?
Truth Seekers is available on Prime Video now.