It seems to me that as of late, BBC America is becoming the network that SyFy used to be. The home of shows like Doctor Who and Top Gear, BBC America has created an impressive stable of top notch sci-fi and fantasy shows. They’ve secured the rights to air the U.S. television hit Battlestar Galactica; and have already seen their fantasy series Being Human remade into an “American” version. (Which, quite frankly, makes no sense to me. I mean, it’s not like they’re speaking a foreign language, right?)
BBC America now adds The Fades to the roster of shows that American sci-fi/fantasy geeks are sure to enjoy. Named for the undead beings that roam the streets of London – and the world over – The Fades tells the story of Paul (Iain De Caestecker), a nerdy British teen who is dealing with the challenges of being the school outcast, having a very cruel sister, and dreaming of the apocalypse. After having a vision of very bad things to come, Paul and his buddy Mac (Daniel Kaluuya) find themselves crossing paths with a group called the Angelics, a secret cadre of agents whose mission is to dispatch the undead from our world to the next. We soon discover that Paul is meant to join their ranks, a destiny he’s not all that willing to accept. As the series progresses, we find that for Paul it’s hard to distinguish which of the two worlds he lives in – the world of the high school dork or of one who has been chosen to help stave off the apocalypse – is more difficult.
The writing on the show is pretty snappy, with the storytelling non-linear, so you have to really pay attention to keep up with what’s going on. No spoon feeding plot points here. And it came as a bit of a surprise to me, anglophone that I am, that Paul and Mac were so steeped in American pop-culture as they were. They reminded me a bit of Shawn and Gus from the show Psych, and the number of references to Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Spider-man and even Mork and Mindy made me chuckle. Also, I really want to believe that the reason Paul wears purple pants throughout the show is that it’s an homage to Marvel Comics. But that’s just me.
I give The Fades a Geek Factor Rating of 4 out of 5 Zombie-Killer Bullet Casings.
On February 21st, The Fades was released on DVD and Blu-Ray – with all 6 episodes of the premiere season being collected. The set contains Special Features like Extra Scenes, Deleted Scenes, Behind The Scenes featurettes, Outtakes and a series of shorts called “Mac Explains”, where Paul’s buddy explains the mythos of the series. I found those bits in particular to be very helpful myself.
You can own it on DVD or Blu-Ray by ordering it from the BBC Store or you can WIN a copy of The Fades on DVD by entering my contest!
What is the contest, you ask? Well, it’s easy: to enter to win a copy of The Fades on DVD courtesy of BBC Home Entertainment, all you have to do is comment below and tell me what superpower you would want to fight the undead
Everyone who comments will be entered into a random drawing for a copy of The Fades on DVD. Deadline for entry is 5:00 PM CST on Friday, March 9th, 2012. (Winner to be notified via e-mail. DVD to be shipped directly to the winner by BBC Home Entertainment. One entry per person please.)