Truth Seekers: Everything we know about Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s 'very scary' new supernatural comedy horror series
Malcolm McDowell, Samson Kayo, Emma D’Arcy, Kate Nash and Julian Barratt also star in the exclusive Amazon Prime Video series about a team of part-time paranormal investigators.
From the minds of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Sick Note comes the "very funny and very scary" TV series, Truth Seekers.
Co-written and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the brand new supernatural comedy horror series will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in over 200 countries and territories.
Also starring Malcolm McDowell, Julian Barratt and Kate Nash, Truth Seekers follows a team of part-time paranormal investigators
Here's everything we know about Amazon series Truth Seekers so far.
What is Truth Seekers about?
Truth Seekers is a horror comedy series about a team of part-time paranormal investigators who team up to uncover and film ghost sightings across the UK, sharing their adventures on an online channel.
However, as they stake out haunted churches, underground bunkers and abandoned hospitals with their array of homemade ghost-detecting gizmos, their supernatural experiences grow more frequent, more terrifying and even deadly, as they begin to uncover a conspiracy that could bring about Armageddon for the entire human race.
Set in a mysterious world filled with dread and just-out-of-sight monsters, Truth Seekers mixes the very funny with the very scary!
When is Truth Seekers on Prime Video?
It's been confirmed that all eight episodes will launch on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, October 30.
Is there a trailer?
Yes! The official trailer for the series was released in September 2020:
The first teaser trailer for Truth Seekers was released at Amazon's Comic-Con@Home panel in July 2020:
Who's in the Truth Seekers cast?
Nick Frost - Gus Roberts
Speaking about his character, Nick Frost (Paul, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) explained: "Gus is a broadband engineer [who works] for a company called Smyle. He’s also a very keen amateur ghost hunter and paranormal investigator. He sadly lost his wife Emily who was his drive in life, and thinks he can secretly get her back or find out something about what happened when she disappeared."
Simon Pegg - Dave
And of Dave, who's Gus's jobworth boss at Smyle, Simon Pegg (Star Trek, the Mission: Impossible films, The World's End) said: "Dave is a very fastidious, very by-the-book kind of guy. He is very proud of Gus, who is his favourite worker as he works the hardest. Dave also has significance beyond that of his position of Gus’s boss, he’s slightly more involved in what’s happening than it may first appear. I’ll leave it there for now."
Malcolm McDowell - Richard
Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Bombshell, Star Trek: Generations) plays Richard, who's the father of Nick Frost's character, Gus. Malcolm explained: "Richard is a miserable bugger, who is set in his ways, like most older people. But he’s an interesting character, he’s multifaced, like them all. At first glance, he seems to be just a grumpy old man, but he’s more than that.
"It’s interesting to see their unlikely relationship develop, and the way they exist in their own little worlds and how they come together, there is a genuine feeling of family and love. And, of course, the old man’s lonely and he’s always saying, “You’re going out again? What if you leave me and I just die here”, he’s a bit like that. So, poor pitiful me. But there’s a lot of comedy to be had in that kind of relationship."
Samson Kayo - Elton
Samson Kayo (Timewasters, Sliced, Famalam) recently opened up about the character of Elton, who works with Gus at Smyle.
More Truth Seekers: Malcolm McDowell interview
Veteran screen icon Malcolm McDowell has described the closure of West End theatres due to the coronarius (Covid-19) pandemic as "almost Orwellian".
The former theatre actor added that the West End was "too heavily loaded" with musicals before the pandemic.
"Elton’s a peculiar character because he’s quite… I wouldn’t say introverted, but he wants to live a certain life different from the one that he’s grown up in," he said.
"So, he’s really excited about new things on the horizon and new challenges.
"But the things that keep coming his way are the elements that he’s been trying to run away from. So, over the course of the series, you see how he navigates and tries to adapt to a life that he doesn’t want for himself because of Gus. But overall, he’s quite a chilled, easy-going, open person, with quite a dark childhood."
Emma D’Arcy - Astrid
Emma D'Arcy (Hanna, Wanderlust, Misbehaviour) called the character of Astrid "quite mysterious".
"When we first meet her, she is on the run, she’s having a really bad day. A TV series she’s watching gets interrupted by a house fire, she ends up in a hospital, where there are no doctors but there are absolutely loads of malevolent spirits," she explains.
"I think the big challenge for Astrid throughout the series is learning to stop running because the demons and ghouls that haunt her are all bound up in big questions about who she is and where she came from."
Susan Wokoma - Helen
Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes, Year of the Rabbit, Dark Money) plays Helen, the sister of Samson Kayo's character Elton. She said of her character: "We first find Helen in episode one, in the kitchen dressed as a Dalek, which I think tells you everything you need to know. She’s at home because that’s where she stays, she doesn’t really leave the house.
"She lives with Elton, her brother, played by Samson, and she’s a bit of a nervous ball over a lot of other people and the outside world. She does sort of take it to the extreme and relies quite heavily on Elton as there’s no one else in her life."
Additional cast for the series includes Julian Barratt (Killing Eve) as Dr Peter Toynbee, Morgana Robinson (The Windsors) as Janey, Kate Nash (GLOW) as Mary and Kevin Eldon (Hot Fuzz) as Jack.
Where was Truth Seekers filmed?
Truth Seekers was filmed in numerous locations in the south of England and on sound stages at Ealing Studios in summer/autumn 2019.
As it's an interior setting, the scenes where Gus, Richard and Helen were at home were shot at Ealing Studios.
But some of the more stranger filming locations that the cast got to visit include an old Shredded Wheat factory, a disused hospital and an abandonded school for deaf children.
Speaking about the disused Shredded Wheat factory, Malcolm McDowell (Richard) tells BT.com: "A lot of the stuff [I filmed] at the end of the series was shot in an empty, disused Shredded Wheat factory in Welwyn Garden City. That was pretty weird.
"That alone was ghostly. It was this huge empty place. To see this great space, the size of four football fields, where thousands of people must have worked, it was sort of sad. How much Shredded Wheat could one possibly consume?"
Julian Barratt (Dr Peter Toynbee) says filming in an abandonded hospital is always the scariest setting. He says: "I remember once we were filming in an old, abandoned hospital and there were lots of rooms with strange equipment and weird mechanical arms, and sort of old rotting bath tubs. Obviously you’re sort of thinking ‘what on earth went on here? What is this place?’.
"In the auditorium, all the paint’s peeling off or crumbling, and we ended up in here and there was this room upstairs which we snuck into, where we shouldn’t have been. We were obviously told by production ‘don’t go upstairs, it’s full of asbestos’ and we just did. Those locations are really scary, especially if it’s miles away from anywhere."
And Nick Frost recalls filming in the abandonded school for deaf children: "There was this maze of cellars and rooms under it, which were really creepy. There was a sign on the wall as you descended into this dark abyss that said ‘all children must be accompanied by an adult’. It was kinda creepy.
"Hospitals too were kind of creepy. I wasn’t afraid of ghosts, I was afraid of radiation! Were there rays hanging around? Thousands of people must have died in that hospital."
Nick Frost shared some creepy photos from the set in September 2019:
Truth Seekers: The first reviews are in!
The first reviews of Truth Seekers are in, and reviewers found the Prime Video series funny, scary and touching in equal measure.
Caroline Framke from Variety called the series "a genuinely creepy bit of horror, with ghost stories that are tragic and poignant, startling and violent." She also praised the on-screen dynamic of Nick Frost (Gus) and Samson Kayo (Elton), writing that "the actors ease into a friendly chemistry within minutes of Elton’s introduction".
Empire's Ian Freer agrees that Frost and Kayo make for a "winning pairing", while highlighting the performances of the supporting cast including Emma D’Arcy (as Astrid), Malcolm McDowell (as Richard), and Susan Wokoma (as Helen). She also compliments director Jim Field Smith for finding a tone that "doesn’t dilute the frights or the funny".
Martin Carr from Flickering Myth commented on some of the deeper themes of the show, including "the delicate discussions it has about aging, friendships and unfulfilled potential" as well as Nick Frost's character Gus, who's dealing with grief. He also highlights Susan Wokoma's "touching" scenes with Malcolm McDowell, which "tackles issues of anxiety, agoraphobia and family conflict".
Radio Times' Thomas Ling admits Truth Seekers is far from Nick Frost and Simon Pegg's previous work including Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, writing that it "places much more emphasis on horror than any comedy". But, he adds, it's "worth a watch... if you’re looking for a solid piece of horror this Halloween".
Truth Seekers season 2: Is it happening?
Nick Frost, who was on the writing team for Truth Seekers season 1, confirmed he's had conversations with Amazon about a potential second season - but it sounds as though Amazon are waiting to see if the first season is a success before they recommission.
"In the development of it, Amazon want to know if there’s a chance for a second and a third [series], that’s just a question they ask and they want to see that as a document, to see if it’s sustainable," he told BT.com.
"I would love to get a chance to be Gus again, because it’s just fun. It’s not serious. It’s not the American election or Covid, it’s just us looking for ghosts and having a laugh doing it! I’m aware of the economical realisations and if people don't watch it, they won’t recommission it. That’s just how the business is."
Truth Seekers premieres Friday, October 30 on Amazon Prime Video.