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Lockwood and Co review: Sherlock meets Stranger Things in Netflix's new ghost-hunting series
Joe Cornish brings this ghost-hunting story to Netflix and it’s funny, thrilling and not for wimps.
At a very basic level, Lockwood and Co is just a story of three very awkward teenagers and their friendship. However, it also throws in a load of ghosts, horrible adults, conspiracies, romance and the whole things is set in an alternate universe where the digital revolution never happened. This is far from an ordinary TV show.
It’s one part a British Stranger Things, a little bit teen Sherlock and has a dollop of young Ghostbusters running around London. Lockwood & Co has some of the very finest TV shows and movies running through its DNA, but it never falls into the trap of imitation or repetition.
The series is set in a Britain where ‘The Problem’ has placed teenagers in charge of saving the world. What was The Problem? It was an paranormal event that swept the country as ghosts and ghouls started attacking at night – and a single touch from a spectre is enough to kill.
The Problem sparked a stock market crash and halted technology. The only people able to track down and control the ghosts are gifted teenagers, who have different skills (Sight, Listening) allowing them to connect with the visitors from the afterlife.
Director, writer and producer Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) cleverly stacks the episodes, mixing together monster-of-the-week style adventures with over-arching mysteries carefully sprinkled across the eight episodes.
It smartly ratchets up the thrills over the series, raising the stakes as each clue and mystery that’s solved, adds another layer of intrigue on top.
Ruby Stokes, Cameron Chapman and Ali Hadji-Heshmati look destined for stardom as the dysfunctional and troubled teens.
Stokes plays Lucy, who heads to London on a mission to escape her torrid mother and a tragic event. The only agency interested in taking her on is Lockwood and Co, a new ghostbusting business that has only two employees.
The dashing, but haunted Anthony Lockwood is in charge. He’s a master blagger and highly-skilled with a sword, but the mystery of what happened to his parents and what he keeps behind a locked door in his house hangs over the series.
Joining Lucy and Lockwood is George, a loyal, highly intelligent but socially-awkward expert on all-things paranormal. He loves biscuits, libraries and thinks trousers are for wimps.
All three characters are given time to breathe over the eight episodes. They all have secrets, faults and fragilities.
We haven’t even mentioned the sword-fighting, the great '80s needle drops and some brilliant cameos (Nigel Planer, Morven Christie), but the richness of Lockwood and Co is what elevates the show above Netflix’s many other coming-of-age dramas.
As the series reaches a pulsating crescendo for its final episodes, the show really hits its stride and it confidently lays down a marker for more stories to come. The humongous and cunning cliffhanger will have you counting down the days to season 2.
Watch Lockwood and Co season 1 now on Netflix
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BT.com review rating