Just when you thought October couldn’t get any better for television thanks to Netflix’s release of The Haunting of Bly Manor, Amazon Studios swoops in with a new horror-comedy series that shows us just how wrong we are. Created by Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Nat Saunders, and James Serafinowicz, Truth Seekers follows the misadventures of Gus (Frost) and Elton (Samson Kayo) as they travel to new places, fix broadband connections, and accidentally stumble upon ghosts. Although Gus can’t wait to learn more about the paranormal and post his discoveries on his mostly-ignored YouTube channel, Elton—a supernatural magnet—is eager to be left alone.
Not Your Standard Frost/Pegg Team Up
Before you get excited about seeing another Frost-Pegg team up or a ghostly reimagining of 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, it should be noted that while Frost plays the central character in the series, Pegg’s appearances are few and far between. Although he makes an appearance in each episode, it’s only in the minor role of Dave, Gus’ boss. While this might seem a bit disheartening, it instead allows Frost to show some of his versatility when working with other actors, while giving the rest of the incredibly talented cast plenty of room to shine.
Truth Seekers also boasts some interesting characters and character relationships outside of the show’s main one. One especially touching dynamic is that between Elton’s agoraphobic sister, Helen (Susan Wokoma), and Gus’ elderly father, Richard (Malcolm McDowell). Helen spends her time posting makeup tutorials on YouTube for her thousands of followers to watch as a means of connecting with a larger community and as a creative outlet. By contrast, Richard’s age and reduced mobility keep him home alone, and he finds himself a fast fan of her videos after stumbling across one accidentally and relating to her sense of isolation.
The Characters Make the Show
Loneliness is a theme that’s often explored in the show, both through the characters and the plotlines. Elton is introduced as a man who changes jobs quickly and has few connections to the world outside of his sister. Gus, whose wife passed away, lives with a father that doesn’t understand him. Astrid (Emma D’Arcy) is coming to terms with the sudden death of her mom, while simultaneously being haunted by her. In more than one episode, we see ghosts having existed in total isolation who crave nothing more than to have a place in the world.
One thing that’s interesting about Truth Seekers is that while the comedy feels very British, it won’t isolate American viewers who might not normally jive with U.K. humour. Although the characters are often very dry in their delivery, the show is peppered with plenty of visual gags and jokes that brilliantly come full-circle. And while you’re guaranteed to laugh, that doesn’t make the show any less creepy. While we hesitate to call it outright horrific, there are a few jumpscares and unsettling moments caught on camera, as well as plenty of disturbing ideas behind each episode. One of the main ideas seen through the show is the idea of technology capturing death, and while we won’t spoil how this is seen throughout the series, we picked up on the Doctor Who Cybermen vibes they were laying down.
It’s Made for Watching, Not Binging
Another fun feature of Truth Seekers is the episodic nature of it. While there’s still a throughline that connects the series, each episode is given its own self-contained narrative. Although that might not sound like a big deal, this method of storytelling is becoming rare to see. Thanks to the rise in television produced by streaming services, episodes increasingly feel like edited sections from eight-hour feature films that were designed for people to binge-watch. Truth Seekers, on the other hand, is good enough that you want to watch it in one shot, but with each episode uniquely different from the last it makes you want to pace yourself.
Truth Seekers is a must-see series that’s guaranteed to make you laugh, make you think, and make you wish it was longer than just eight episodes. If you’re looking for something to watch this fall that’s fun and spooky but isn’t over-the-top horror, then be sure to catch Truth Seekers on Amazon Prime, available to stream as of October 30th.