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Following on from the launch of Being Human a couple of years back, BBC
3 have struck gold again with The Fades. Teenager Paul (Iain De
Caestecker) disturbed by apocalyptic dreams for years stumbles across
their possible cause whilst trespassing with his best friend and film
referencing geek Mac (Daniel Kaluuya).
Paul like so many characters from great TV shows is not your average teenager, he is special and can see the Fades - the ghosts of people who didn't move on. Now he must help to stop the future he sees in his dreams from coming true.
The show packs a lot of lore and mythology into its first episode and it will be interesting to see how it all comes together.
Surreal (yet almost believable) - get the kids off to bed because they'll be freaked in no uncertain measure! Your six year old will be certain there's a monster in the dark places. I'm not the kind for listing actors names or plot synopsis - my reviews are just an emotional impression based on whether I'm hooked or not (which makes the 'ten line mandatory rule'of IMDb a bit frustrating at times)- I'll leave the name dropping to the geeks that love that kind of thing. What I can say is the story is absorbing, cashing in on the apocalyptic view of the world that we all seem to have at the moment, yet not cashing in as it's intelligent, witty and philosophical in its approach; (morons won't get the 'message's', but will enjoy the action, freak factor and the odd naked teenager.....well almost naked). There isn't one dud or wooden performance in here, a solid script backed up by solid acting that makes you beg for more of the story; a real 'I can't wait!' kind of effect (on me anyway), clever underplayed directing (the best kind in my view as it's more 'real', yet it's not Dogme). Do I have my mandatory ten lines yet, let's see? YUP
If I'd reviewed Fades after episode 1, I'd have given it a very
impressed 7. After episode 3, I'd definitely have upgraded that to an
8. Now, however, I'm reviewing this refreshing, brilliantly suspenseful
BBC Three thriller after episode 4 and I'm caught between a 9 and a 10.
This series has captivated me since the first trailer ran on BBC One a couple of months ago. It's dark, deep, clever and truly captivating and is a perfect example of the quality we should be expecting from the BBC. This series is just brilliant.
The plot is complex, twisting and turning with surprises galore, and the acting is superb with a few faces you've seen before, and some younger actors who have bright futures ahead of them.
I wonder how this series will rank once we get further into the series. With the way it's improving, I think we may need to ask IMDb to add a couple of numbers to their ranking system! The only annoyance? Having to wait a week to see what happens in episode 5!
First episodes were a little plot-thick and a little hard to convince that there is a solid scenario behind the series. But thank god i decided to continue watching this! After episode 3 and especially 4 the series went into another level! Plot gaps were filled, effects are pretty decent, actors are really really good and if it continues like this we will be talking about the horror highlight of the year. So I'm giving it a 10 because it manages to avoid so many clichés of the genre, remain fresh and very very promising. I'm really excited about how the story unfolds and i hope this isn't a some kind of 6-episode season;p
What can I say about this show other than its great.
Interesting, well developed characters you really care about. An original story with compelling subplots. The mostly young, mostly unknown actors all play their parts with heart and soul. All in all a well acted, well thought out new show.
Recently I began to watch two new shows, this one and Terra Nova. Whilst I was fully aware of Terra Nova (and it was hard not to be with all the money Fox threw at advertising it) I found The Fades entirely by accident (and was already 4 episodes in). After watching the first episode of The Fades I was hooked and immediately dived into the other three. After watching the first three episodes of Terra Nova I decided not to watch anymore. These two shows highlight the current gulf in quality between American and British sci-fi/ fantasy with America starting to really fall behind (with honourable exceptions to Supernatural and The Walking Dead). Whilst Terra Nova boasts a massive budget and tons of CGI, its characters are weak, its plots are derivative and clichéd and all around is frankly uninteresting. The Fades has a tenth of its budget but manages to stand head and shoulders above it in terms of quality. American shows clearly have no respect for the intelligence of their audience and believe people are simpletons who will clap happily at expensive special effects and big explosions. Therefore, for the moment at least, I think I'm sticking with British shows like The Fades who do not feel they need to hold the hand of the viewer and prefer to rely on well crafted stories than meaningless CGI (then again American shows stopped being about storytelling long ago and these days are simply a vehicle to sell advertising).
The Fades has the potential to run for many years and puts me in mind of another BBC success that came from humble beginnings, Being Human. I can't recommend this show highly enough and if you yearn for fantasy with substance then this show is for you.
As a footnote I'd just like to make a prediction. The date today is Oct 21st 2011. I guarantee at some point in the future an American network will take note of The Fades and, as they always do, rather than simply re-showing the British version will remake it for American audiences. It'll boast a bigger budget but will end up, as every other one has, a pale imitation of a better quality original. It's about time the main American networks (and those who enjoy their p*ss poor programming) had a bit of humility and realised that their way is not automatically the best way.
Well I have to say I loved it...and for the exact reason that there is more of a story to be told instead of holes in a story being filled up and/or hidden behind millions of dollars of CGI and other SPECIAL effects. While yes I will agree that perhaps the first episode was a bit slow at first but then I have found that to be true with some really good books as well as movies. For me..there were just enough effects to make this series special and I hope they keep it going by doing a second season. I'm an American living in the Netherlands and I watch a lot of British T.V. as well as Dutch and in the last few years having the opportunity to watch more movies and shows made in the U.K. I think many of what comes out of the U.K. is fresh and down to earth...no matter what the genre. The American market proves it yearly with all the programs that they copy for British television and import it to America and make it nothing like the original.
I really have my expectations lowered these days , most series seem to
follow a formula , and while most aren't bad , they aren't good either
. Well thats how I feel , and maybe the problem is me watching too many
of them .
But every now and then a diamond comes along , a surprise , a series that achieves excellence in so many departments that perfection is within reach . And I don't write these words lightly .
This is one of those diamonds . What a wonderful surprise . This geeky couple of friends will win you over from the first scene . They pulse with life , so fully fleshed a character set I have not seen for a long time . And a great story . So unexpected , so full of twists and turns .
But you get even more . A villain that you can understand . A tortured soul that only wants to live . A group of heroes that has no clear cut mission , having to withstand so much ..
Add excellent acting , atmosphere , a plot that just makes you want more , and here it is lady's and gents , The Fades . I love it , and I bet you will too .
Now I will agree with those other reviewers it did take a few episodes
to lay in the groundwork of the show, but believe you me, it is all
well worth the wait. Though its not to say that there aren't great
points in the eps 1-3, but when episode 4 hits the ground running its
when all the juicy bits of preamble come together to form a smorgasborg
of tasty horrific goodness or evilness or... well you get the point.
Everything from here on out has this stark savage urgency, it twists and turns on the head of a nail. I cannot deny this his quickly become one of my favourite new shows, its so unpredictable and I had goosebumps thru all of ep. 4, which is not a feat easily achieved with me.
If you like a good mix of horror with a smattering of apocalyptic wonderland this is clearly the show for you.
Although I was not sure how the show would turn out when started
watching Episode 1, I realized what a great show it is. I think casting
is great and it is an excellent horror show. You never know what will
happen next. I hope to see this show lasting several seasons.
I highly recommend this show who is into horror and want to have a good time.
Ms.Wu is doing a great job in acting as well. 8 out of 10.
It can be put in the same category as Walking Dead (Season 2 just started by the way)
I am looking forward to watching new episodes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The British keep coming up with really interesting ideas for shows. In The Fades , Paul sees dead things but there is. a twist. The dead he sees are the souls of people who were not able to pass on and are not happy about it; and it appears some of those left behind are morphing into something quite different. There is a group - the Angelicans- dedicated to stopping these new creatures and Paul may be instrumental in stopping them or might just be something else. In the meantime Paul has to figure out what his visions are really about; deal with an over protective mother; and a sister who is a real piece of work. Worth watching and let's hope there isn't an America version in the works. All a transfer would do is add good looking kids and a PG script. Watch this in the original.
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