Sort of a British “Supernatural,” the Fades follows awkward teen Paul Roberts (Ian deCaestecker), who discovers he can see spirits trapped on earth. Known as “The Fades,” these ghostly beings plan an apocalypse that only Paul and his best friend Mac (Daniel Kaluuya) can prevent.
Paul and Mac are nerds in the classic sense, referencing Neil Gaiman and George Lucas. So perhaps it’s appropriate that they’re drawn into a supernatural world that’s part “Harry Potter” and part “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
As it turns out, Paul’s a bit of a chosen one — he has the power of the Angelics, people who can see and combat the growing evil of the zombie-like ghosts. Like Voldemort, the Fades draw energy from the living to get their apocalypse started. Like zombies in “The Walking Dead,” the way they get that energy is the ingestion of blood and flesh. As you can tell, “The Fades” is aware it’s drawing from all over pop culture, but it’s fairly entertaining in doing so.
Since Paul can see dead people — and yes, that reference is made, too — he’s pulled reluctantly into the underground resistance of the Angelics.
“The Fades” takes a little while to get going, and it’s only six episodes long, though a lot of the setup does end up paying off.
Though it shows its influences heavily, the six-episode run does delve into interesting moral grey areas as Paul discovers his destiny. Bloody and gory, but also comic-book influenced and fun, “The Fades” is worth a look for fans of the genre.
Extras include six mini-featurettes: “Apocalypse,” “Polus Revealed,” “The Chosen One,” “The Fades are Here,” “The Real Neil” and “Writing the Fades.” There are also interviews with actors who play two of the Angelics, extra and deleted scenes, and “Mac Explains,” which touches on the series’ mythology.
- Matt Price
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