The Fades

There’s a new show on BBC3 and it’s not 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.  It’s called The Fades.

It’s a sort of fantasy-horror-religious … thing.

It’s pretty good. Certainly the look and feel of the series is excellent and it reminds me, very much, of early Being Human.  Except that it’s about young teenage boys.  Our hero Paul is a bit “sensitive” and he wets the bed.  His best friend is a horror obsessed idiot.  His mother can’t cope.  His [twin?] is a bitch and he fancies her best friend.  He’s also struggling to cope with the apocalyptic dreams  he’s been having.   One day he stumbles across a grisly murder and all hell breaks loose (almost literally).  Life isn’t exactly sunshine and roses, but at least he’s not very emo.

I’ve got some issues with it: some of the characterisations are a little ropey and it’s not clear where the mythology is going – but other than that it’s entertaining. The beeb has shied away from genre telly a lot and seems content to churn out derivative cop shows and ratings-safe period dross.  it’s good to see the commissioning editors have followed the original remit of BBC3 and greenlit something a bit different.  It certainly has a very interesting look. And the “dream” sequences are surprisingly creepy.

On the basis of the first episode I am intrigued and will definitely be watching more.

The other reason I’m interested is that series creator-writer Jack Thorne wrote an article about it.  He describes the process he went through getting the show off the ground.  It doesn’t sound like much fun, yet at the same time it’s a fascinating look into how the BBC goes about creating shows like this.  It explains a lot; why the beeb are great when they get it right and terrible when they get it wrong.

His article is part of the Writer’s Room blog.  I think it’s probably worth having a poke around in there, there’s some gems in there.

PS. Something I nearly forgot to mention in my first post was that I thought it was suitable to show to kids. In fact I think the show (maybe with some minor tweaks) could well have been shown at the old 6pm family slot. Clearly I am not a TV exec!

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