View Full Version : The Fades

2011-10-10, 09:14 AM
After several recommendations, I watched the first episode of The Fades this weekend, a new BBC Horror/Fantasy Drama. Basically the show revolves around people who can see the dead (wandering spirits who haven't passed on) and the dead somehow becoming real/corporeal.

So far it's really well written and acting's been great. It's three episodes in (yet to see the others) and those of you in the UK can catch up on iPlayer. Something about reminds me of a Vertigo comic, though I can't place my finger on it. I think it's mainly about the mature fantasy-in-real-life style, along with the way everything was set up and introduced.

Also, it has Johnny Harris (Lol's dad in This is England '86) who is awesome and Lily Loveless (Naomi, Skins 2nd gen).

tl;dr: new show, tons of promise, watch here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0151prg/The_Fades_Episode_1/)

2011-10-10, 10:05 AM
I found the first episode to be one of the worst things the BBC have ever produced. The writing felt schizophrenic, constantly flipping back and forth between a horror story about a group of monster hunters geting picked-off before the audiance had enough time to get to know them and a third-rate Skins knock-off that failed to present to anything beyond the superficial: 'look! these teenages smoke and want to have sex! Aren't we edgy!'.

A further problem with the writing was that a lot of scenes (even those still following the same character character) lacked any transition. The 'best' example being the scene where the protagonist first encounters the ghost-hunters where one of them breaks into his room (despite the series never establishing how said hunter knew who the protagonist was or where he lived) then smash-cut to the two of them on a rooftop expostiting on the fades themselves only to end with another smash cut to the protagonist waking up in bed the next morning. This happened all the time throughout the episode (including using the 'smash-cut to protagnist waking up next morning' again). This is something anyone with a knowledge of basic screen-writing should know to avoid.

The attempts at horror weren't particularly effective either, relying on weak jump scares and fairly stock cliches (dead birds falling from the sky, monster actually behind someone instead of in front of them etc.). This was not helped by the soundtrack, which essentially consisted of frantic flailing on strings, with the end result that it was more irritating than unnerving. The purpose of a score is to provide emotional pull to scenes and heighten immersion; this score managed the reverse, making it even harder to connect with events that the show already gave us precious little to care about.

So yeah, I wouldn't recommend it. Maybe the later episodes pick-up a bit, but when the openning is that much of a waste of an hour I can't bring myself to stick further to it.

2011-10-10, 10:38 AM
I have eben watching the series and I like it a lot. I don't know, it's kinda cool in my opinion. Really I shall wait to see how the series ends before fully deciding if it's awesome or not. Short series of 6 episodes means it has to get a lot of stuff in within a short time. The end has to be good enough to make me want to watch another series too...

Sometimes the UK short series of these sorts of shows can be detrimental to the pacing I think. But so far I have liked this show myself. It seems to be referencing a lot of previous works like many new BBC shows like this seemt o like doing.