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The Fades: I Can See Dead People, and Boy Are They Pissed


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#1

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Posted Sep 23, 2011 @ 7:54 AM

The Fades is about a suburban schoolboy called Paul (Iain De Caestecker) who cannot help noticing that the dead are far from dead and hang around his local streets and shopping centres. Paul's world soon becomes beset by the frenetic attentions of Neil (Johnny Harris) an avenging warrior against those rather cross undead who want to kill people. Neil looks as if he's walked in off the set of Mad Max and his sidekick is an arse-kicking woman vicar played by Daniela Nardini. Did I say it was a bit out there?

Thorne's drama seems unafraid of tackling big ideas. With its godless dystopia where death and the afterlife are arbitrarily handed out to hapless humanity, the show doesn't dodge big questions about life.


http://www.guardian....a?newsfeed=true

Lots of potential in this one.

The main character is fine as the tortured teen, who's sent to therapy because of his dreams that are causing him to wet his bed. His Sister is so far one note in her disdain for him. His geeky film buff friend is bit to cute to be an outcast at school, and has to many wisecracks

'nah that wasn't a gun, that was never a gun. This is England'


The story starts with them deciding to explore an abandoned shopping mall, looking for props for their own homemade horror movie, and well things, take a turn for the worst.

Ugh those ghost things were seriously creepy, with their writhing body movements and that scene where they have that ghosthunter trapped and they lick his eye with their sinuous tongue and burn it white. blarrgh.

Good setup, lets hope it leads somewhere.

#2

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Posted Sep 23, 2011 @ 3:16 PM

Agreed, lots of potential. Hopefully the second episode improves in terms of pacing. I felt the pilot had a lot of exposition, some of which wasn't needed. The whole light/beacon thing didn't need to be explained. Visually you could sort of guess/tell what was going on with that. And some of the other explanations in regards to the fades could have been saved up for the 2nd episode as well. Still it has a strong cast and good dialogue.

Mac, the best friend, did seem a bit to readily accepting of the crazyness. But then his freak out moments and disbelief were more subtle than -- the gunshot scene etc. But the promo for episode two did hint at more disbelief from Mac, so perhaps they're waiting to explore his doubt. At the moment he does seem to cool about it all.

Good production value to for what is obviously a low budget show -- the ash filled visions and the fleshy fade monster were very effective.

#3

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 10:27 AM

It seemed really long. Maybe I'm just used to watching American shows, but it probably could have benefited from being shorter. It was dragging at the start. It picked up though, and I liked the visions. Although after about the fifth ash vision it felt like they were just padding out the episode.

The characters all seem fairly interesting. All a little bit quirky in their own ways. I can't believe Bedwetter, his sister and their mates are only 16 though. C'mon!

Literally couldn't watch the scraping eye scene. Eww!

I'm a bit annoyed this got picked up over the other pilots (Dappers, Stanley Park and that haunted hospital one) when it didn't even get aired in the BBCThree Pilot season, but I have to concede it was a stronger episode than either of those three. Roll on episode two.

#4

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Posted Sep 25, 2011 @ 12:24 PM

So much going on, so hard to follow. I liked the grit and the darkness.

#5

Calchal

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 5:52 PM

I think The Fades has been in development for a few years and didn't fit into BBC3's traditional pilot season output.

Stanley Park didn't fly cos a lot of the cast moved onto different projects and so many of the roles would need recasting. And Pulse (haunted hospital) had worse pacing issues than The Fades.

I felt it improved this week. More character humour helped.

#6

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 5:56 PM

I kind of like this show. The best friend is my favorite character. Any sidekick character that jokingly compares the lead to Heather Langenkamp and makes jokes at Tolkien's expense is automatically awesome.

#7

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Posted Sep 29, 2011 @ 6:50 PM

Sheesh the ghouls are getting really grizzly. The scene were they were eating those kids and the lip smacking crunching and tearing was effective. Next week, finally some naked arse!

#8

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 8:10 AM

The more I think about it, the more the portrayal of teenage girls on this show annoys me. I feel like the writer just does not get teenage girls at all. Why would Lily Loveless (can't remember her character's name) absolutely eviscerate Mac like that? I just do not get her motivation at all. Teenage girls can be cruel, definitely, but they do it infront of an audience. A gaggle of wannabes to "show off" and prove how hard and bitchy you can be. That's why they do it. But to corner him alone and let rip? What's the point? It crosses the line from "bitchy teenage girl" to "sociopath" IMO. This character is crying out for some development. And that Chinese girl (can't remember her name either) all "I just want to be popular so I let her crap all over me." Those kind of lines just don't work in the UK school system. Because there is no real 'popular'. And if Lily was it, she'd have more than one friend. It's so freakin' cliched as well.

But on a more positive note, I love all the pop culture references even if I don't get all of them (no idea who Alan Moore is either). But the "good point, well made" Royle Family reference makes me smile because I use that phrase all the time too.

Stanley Park didn't fly cos a lot of the cast moved onto different projects and so many of the roles would need recasting. And Pulse (haunted hospital) had worse pacing issues than The Fades.

Well the so-called pilot season is completely pointless then instead of merely mostly pointless. The first pilot season they picked up Phoo Action (before it aired and they had a chance to gauge a reaction) and only much later picked up Being Human because of the massive audience internet response. And the latest pilot season they didn't pick up any of the shows. Fail.

#9

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 5:16 PM

I agree with the point of Anna the sister having more friends if she were popular, and I think they tried to address that with the dance organisation group, although we hadn't seem them before and they didn't do much. I'm guessing we'll see the annoying Liverpool accented lad more in future eps. However in my school, we did have the whole 'popular' crowd. So I feel that part of the show does work. Perhaps it's not true for every UK school, but it was for mine and the sixth form (although less defined).

And yes, the pilot season is pointless. UK shows, unlike US shows, don't keep the actors under contract so there's no obligation for the actors to return. And they're not made to sign multi-year contracts either, so expect some actors to disappear between this and a second season if it gets one.

For example Natalie Dormer who plays Sarah in the show is now a regular on Game of Thrones, so I doubt she'll be back for S2, although her storyline maybe resolved by the end of this series.

#10

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 5:42 PM

However in my school, we did have the whole 'popular' crowd. So I feel that part of the show does work. Perhaps it's not true for every UK school, but it was for mine and the sixth form (although less defined).


In my secondary school we kinda had the 'slutty' girls and the 'sporty' girls who could call themselves 'popular' I suppose (as opposed to the 'geeky' girls and the 'outcasts', guys were either sporty or not). But, they didn't. Mostly because all the groups in my school ignored each and were all basically the same size so popularity was subjective. Sixth form was more of a free-for-all. Stoners, designer clothes crowd and everyone else. For me (obviously not for you), bandying around 'popular' feels inauthentic because where I went to school there was no clearly defined hierarchy like there is in the States (or in every American teen show I've watched), cheerleaders>choir, football player>chess club etc etc.

I think it just annoys me in particular because the popular girl who likes a geekier guy and hides it from her overbearing best friend is one of the most unoriginal characterisations going. There's gotta be a trope for that.

#11

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 5:45 PM

Double post.

Edited by AStarling, Sep 30, 2011 @ 5:48 PM.


#12

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Posted Oct 1, 2011 @ 8:00 PM

Well I'm old enough to remember when nerds were called swots. Posh Kids or kids who studied were the subject of derision. Sporty people were popular but there was no Jock culture. British schools don't celebrate sport they way American schools seem to. Certainly competitions between schools were rare.

It was more likely anyone who was good at sport may be recruited by county sports teams, or in case of football the local teams youth team. The local community would not come to watch a school team. No bleachers at British schools.

There was no hierarchy at school, just bullies and psychos and the rest. Your form room was the most important determinate who your friends were. Until you were 14 you mostly shared the same classes. Once you had to make your options, then you made new friends.

We did not have a sixth form at our school, so we went to the local college instead. What joy to leave the psychos behind. But other than the goths and metal heads there was no real groups or cliques, people you liked or didn't.

But we did start doing a High school prom, which was quite new at the time. Like the growth of Halloween American culture has changed ours.

#13

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Posted Oct 2, 2011 @ 9:35 AM

I think it just annoys me in particular because the popular girl who likes a geekier guy and hides it from her overbearing best friend is one of the most unoriginal characterisations going. There's gotta be a trope for that.


I agree, but I think there's the slight twist that Jay hides her attraction for Paul not because he's considered a geek/outcast/freak but like Paul says, she's just afraid of how Anna would react to her liking her brother.

When it comes to this show, I don't think they have the US system of popularity -- more Us Vs. Them. With 'them' being everyone else with Anna the figurehead, and 'us' being Paul and Mac.

#14

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Posted Oct 7, 2011 @ 12:44 PM

Really enjoyed the last episode. Liking the new angelics.

The only thing that seemed a touch off was Anna and the mum's reaction to Paul's powers.

Jay's reaction was quite muted but we didn't see the immediate aftermath, and she went the Lois Lane route of being wowed with Paul's demonstration with the tree, so I was fine with that.

But surely Anna would be more angry/scared? Same with the boyfriend? And the mum didn't seem to react to the talk of Paul melting his sister's mouth. Surely she'd ask about that instead of being bemused by it?

Plus Mac feeling Paul was being to 'me me me' seemed like an odd step. C'mon buddy, yes, you're going through a tough time, but Paul in the grand scheme of things, is having a worse time. Surely Mac with all his geek reference knowledge would get that?

#15

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Posted Oct 8, 2011 @ 12:08 AM

I don't think Paul's mother actually believes what the sister is saying. She probably thinks it's some kind of trash talk about Paul she's used to by now. Seriously, why would she believe what the daughter is saying? From what she knows, she lives in the real world and melting anyone's mouth is impossible.

#16

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Posted Oct 9, 2011 @ 4:43 PM

I agree with that. But she didn't make any reference to it. No "stop talking nonsense" or "quit telling lies" or "don't be silly". Just stood there while it kept getting mentioned.

#17

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Posted Oct 10, 2011 @ 1:33 AM

Best episode so far. I'm getting used to the Angelic-storylines. Still love the bromance between Paul and Mac the most though. Still don't care for Paul's annoying sister and I pity the poor teacher.

#18

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Posted Oct 10, 2011 @ 1:01 PM

Yeah, I think the mum heard "Paul zipped up my mouth" and just assumed it was some teen slang she didn't understand. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

I quite like the casting of the main characters in this. Paul's average looking - he even looks a bit simple at times - but I can buy he'd pull his sister's best friend. I think it's great that a British black teen can be a total geek. I can't think of any others at the moment apart from Libby in Eastenders. The best friend (I swear I'll remember her name at least once) is pretty but (realistically!) doesn't have the toned-to-perfection bangin' bod you usually see on young females on TV. The only niggle is Neil(?). How the teacher can think Natalie Dormer could cheat on him with that schlub. Ha!

Good episode although I could've done without the masturbation scene TBH. Or maybe just cut. A lot.

ETA:

I agree, but I think there's the slight twist that Jay hides her attraction for Paul not because he's considered a geek/outcast/freak but like Paul says, she's just afraid of how Anna would react to her liking her brother.

My crystal ball says that if Paul survives, once they've crossed the Anna minefield, we'll get the "parents (esp. father) will look down on Paul because their daughter is a special little snowflake with good prospects." They've dropped enough hints that her family are well off/well-to-do so they'll probably be mining that trope next.

Edited by AStarling, Oct 10, 2011 @ 1:08 PM.


#19

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Posted Oct 11, 2011 @ 3:19 PM

I'm pretty sure that Paul survives. Well, as a character. If not necessarily a living character.

After all the story is all about death.

#20

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Posted Oct 12, 2011 @ 4:17 AM

Still don't care for Paul's annoying sister and I pity the poor teacher.


Same here - Mac's dad is no.1 on the list of Worst Fictional Fathers for me. And even if they decide to charge the teacher with the kids' murders, how is that supposed to hold up in court, without any physical evidence, no witnesses, and that woman he slept with on the night he was supposed to have been dismembering and partly eating two teenage boys?

Also, the teeth marks won't match, and why am I so pissed off about this? Worst Fictional Cop, EVER. Though the way his colleague said "find a suspect and make a case" chilled me to the bone, because I suspect that's how real police sometimes work.

I also rolled my eyes when Paul said he'd be like Peter Parker or Clark Kent. Dude, that only worked because their enemies didn't know their secret identities. Pretty sure that talking to/running after every *ghost you see tells them that you can see them.

*I refuse to use the word 'Fade'. REFUSE. There's nothing I hate more than shows/books which make up words for things which already have perfectly serviceable names already. This is the 'we're too cool to be fighting ghosts and zombies' trope, an earthbound version of Call a Rabbit a Smeerp. Just call them Hungry Ghosts and have done with it, or else I might start wondering how exactly these things are eating anything, let alone 'flesh', if they can't touch anything.

I am enjoying the series, though, in spite of various niggles, and am curious to see how it'll go on - while killing off Paul would be wonderfully ironic and post-modernly nihilistic bla bla bla, I hope they don't. I'm starting to like him.

#21

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Posted Oct 14, 2011 @ 12:53 AM

I refuse to use the word 'Fade'. REFUSE. There's nothing I hate more than shows/books which make up words for things which already have perfectly serviceable names already.


I would agree with that, but after the latest episode I am starting to wonder if "Fades" is a word the Angelics made up for the sole reason to not have to deal with the fact that those are actually ghosts of people they have refused to help. What I mean is: That a ghost was actually a person is imbedded in our culture. You couldn't ignore that, and everybody would probably bound to help that person if it asks for help. But call that ghost a "fade" instead, a word that is made up and basically depersonalizes them, then it's a lot easier to fight and destroy them, instead of trying to help them move on.

Edited by sorority, Oct 14, 2011 @ 12:54 AM.


#22

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Posted Oct 15, 2011 @ 1:36 PM

But call that ghost a "fade" instead, a word that is made up and basically depersonalizes them, then it's a lot easier to fight and destroy them, instead of trying to help them move on.


I'll accept that - still don't like it, though! And I loved it when Mac called Paul a ghost and called the other angelics 'wizards' - he's not buying their poncy nomenclature yet!

So, the latest episode - that was intense. Paul's back, but will Neil forgive what he did? And Neil was particularly obtuse: why did Paul do it? Well, because you turned your back on him, wanker.

When the only person who can see you is acting like an asshole, and you're dead but not quite, of course you're gonna fall for the first guy to spin you a heart-rending story. Though if Paul had remembered seeing zombie-guy in a clearing with Nathalie and parts of his 12-year-old schoolmates hanging from trees and being ingested, maybe he would have acted differently.

I think rather than being just an angelic, Paul is an actual angel - the wings were a heavy hint, lol. Maybe all he needed was a spur (the angelics messing about with his twin sister's soul and trying to shove bits of it up his ass) to get him to heal himself. Maybe he's the Ascension solution the ghosts couldn't find, and the Angelics couldn't help them with. Though if zombie-guy causes the apocalypse before Paul gets his finger out and actually does something, the point will be moot.

Edited by Arjumand, Oct 15, 2011 @ 1:38 PM.


#23

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Posted Oct 15, 2011 @ 1:52 PM

In the beginning I was sceptic, but the show has really gotten better with every single episode. I really enjoyed last week's episode, there was some really good stuff in it. Mac's reaction to Paul's death really broke my heart. I love their bromance just so much. Of course he wouldn't give up on his best friend! Jo Dempsie did a good job as well. Personally, I even fell for his lie for a second. He did really make it sound like the Angelics were the evil ones. But then again it was still obvious that he was the villain.

Anyone know how this is doing ratingswise? I assume the first series will have six episodes, but are the ratings for it decent enough to return for a second series or was it always planned as a 6-episode-mini-series? Just curious whether I can expect some resolution at the end of this.

#24

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Posted Oct 15, 2011 @ 2:06 PM

Nosleepforme

Anyone know how this is doing ratingswise? I assume the first series will have six episodes, but are the ratings for it decent enough to return for a second series or was it always planned as a 6-episode-mini-series? Just curious whether I can expect some resolution at the end of this.


I don't have any numbers unfortunately but im worried. Next weeks episode is scheduled to air 2 hours later at sometime after 11pm (at least on BBC HD) not sure if its cos of bad ratings (the awful sci fi show Outcasts got put to a later time, and worse day, to burn of its eps earlier this year). Hope its just that what ever they replaced it with this week is of mega importance instead but have not got tv guide to hand right now.

Hope its doing well though, show is generally well done, fairly creepy at times and doesn't suffer from the main problem that often happens for youth and genre shows in UK: trying too hard and being self aware that about doing so. Usually manifests in characters reacting to wacky things in unreal ways or swearing at levels that don't feel right (Paul's sister approaches that trope with her dialogue sometimes)

#25

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Posted Oct 16, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

I would agree with that, but after the latest episode I am starting to wonder if "Fades" is a word the Angelics made up for the sole reason to not have to deal with the fact that those are actually ghosts of people they have refused to help.


I know that the word "shade" is used quite frequently in older books I've read for ghosts. But all my googling has failed to find any precedent for "fade" -- so it's probably smeerpitudinal.

I think rather than being just an angelic, Paul is an actual angel - the wings were a heavy hint, lol. Maybe all he needed was a spur (the angelics messing about with his twin sister's soul and trying to shove bits of it up his ass) to get him to heal himself.


I like this idea but it's clear that the angelics have a host of skills and techniques that Paul has yet to learn, such as the soul colostomy. I suspect that they *all* are "angels", in as much as ancient religion's depiction of angels are based on Angelics in this world that is very much without any divine interference.

The overall theme is that things happen without being good or bad, and that some remain and some ascend after the ladder broke and that breakage was due to human abuse (the overwhelming number of deaths at once in WWII, although you'd think WWI would have been a trigger first.)

Jo Dempsie did a good job as well. Personally, I even fell for his lie for a second. He did really make it sound like the Angelics were the evil ones. But then again it was still obvious that he was the villain.


Eating the farmer was the first hint.

Usually manifests in characters reacting to wacky things in unreal ways or swearing at levels that don't feel right (Paul's sister approaches that trope with her dialogue sometimes)


Anna's mostly there to antagonize. She may get a character arc if there's a second series but right now, there's no room for her to grow.

#26

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Posted Oct 18, 2011 @ 6:34 AM

Ratings news. E1 got 867K viewers. E2 I'm not sure about but it was below 600K viewers. E3 got 582K viewers. If it keeps sliding, it doesn't look good. It needs to be in the 600-700K bracket.

#27

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Posted Oct 22, 2011 @ 1:14 AM

Latest episode was kind of a mixed pleasure for me - I liked the kicking of ass and the taking of names, the increasingly apocalyptic atmosphere, the cop dad finally getting a clue and telling everyone to get the fuck out of there while there's still time.

OTOH, I didn't like Paul's anti-killing stance. I get that he's supposed to be better than the others etc etc, but while he is stumbling about with his thumb up his ass, people are being killed and turned or eaten. WTF? Nathalie and the other zombie people were already dead, and they were locking people in a fricking gym, and dragging them down to the boiler room to be killed and eaten! Nathalie herself ate two teenage boys! She actually got a more merciful death than they did!

And I hate that the show is intent on making Paul right, what with Neil kidnapping Mac at gunpoint to make Paul start killing the zombies. I suppose all this is to make Paul a sort of Messianic figure (thank god he has superpowers, or we'd be confronting a similar philosophical issue to "what if Gandhi had been faced Nazis instead of the British Empire"), but while he can protect himself and the people closest to him (closest to his penis, it seems - does Jay not have a family? Does she only exist to provide him with an orgasm-friend and to be rescued? Even his incredibly annoying sister was more useful), others are getting killed because he's all peace-loving.

Next episode is the finale - I hope they resolve some issues, at least, because with those numbers it doesn't look like it's getting a second series.

Edited by Arjumand, Oct 22, 2011 @ 1:15 AM.


#28

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Posted Oct 22, 2011 @ 12:41 PM

I actually understand Paul's opinion on the killing.

Most of the Fades currently killing were people who certainly did not want to be first murdered and then turned into Zombies. Most probably they were murdered, got stuck in the boiler room and then made drink blood to bring them back to life. I agree with Paul that they have a right to be set free.

Also, the Angelic's way of dealing with the Fades is very obviously not working and in a way responsible for what is happening now.

#29

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Posted Oct 23, 2011 @ 6:08 AM

Really enjoyed the last two episodes. God knows how this apocalypse will be explained away to the outside world if the show gets a 2nd series.

And agreed that Paul's anti-killing view is annoying, I want him to be kicking ass. Yes, these 'fades' didn't ask to be brought back, but they're back and they're eating folk without remorse, so they should be dealt with accordingly.

#30

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Posted Oct 24, 2011 @ 4:57 AM

I love Paul's anti-killing stance. Revenge fantasies are so common and too easy, its really nice to see something different for a change.
I hope they stick with it.

I wonder what the fades will do once they've eaten all the people though and a lot if them have come back as fades, I think there will be a fade overpopulation problem, even if they started breeding humans just for food I still think demand would be much bigger than supply.

Edited by NirgDrah, Oct 24, 2011 @ 5:00 AM.