The first full-length trailer for Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek) and Nick Frost’s (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) supernatural project, Truth Seekers, was released Wednesday alongside the news that the show will air on Amazon October 30, just in time for Halloween. According to Collider, the comedy-drama series will star its executive producers and writers Pegg and Frost alongside Samson Kayo (Timewasters, Youngers), Emma D’Arcy (Wanderlust, Hanna), Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes, Crazyhead) and Malcolm MacDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Halloween).
The series centers on Frost’s character, Gus Roberts, a part-time paranormal investigator who stumbles across a larger conspiracy with the assistance of Kayo’s Elton and D’Arcy’s Astrid. Pegg and MacDowell will star as Gus’ boss and father, respectively. MacDowell describes his character, Richard, as a “grumpy bastard and loveable roommate” on Twitter, indicating his character and Frost’s live with one another.
— Malcolm McDowell (@McDowellMalc) September 23, 2020
An initial teaser trailer for the series came from Amazon in July, which provided fans with a comedic insight into the father-son roommate dynamic between Frost and MacDowell. The brief glimpse into the series touched on some of the show’s larger themes, such as the exploration of parallel dimensions. Pegg indicated on Twitter Tuesday, that fans could finally expect more news about the series and his character, Paul, shortly before the full-length trailer dropped.
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) September 23, 2020
The British comedy duo, and real-life best friends, of Pegg and Frost have been providing fans with affable on-screen banter since the 90s when the two first appeared together in the sitcom Spaced. Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) served as director on Spaced and continued to cast Pegg and Frost side-by-side in his films, including his thematical connected parodies known as the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, which consisted of the films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.
In both Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End, Pegg and Frost faced down otherworldly threats, making the genre parody Truth Seekers familiar territory for them. In fact, the pair’s love for the paranormal began even before their acting careers took off. According to Entertainment Weekly, the duo’s “shared love for supernatural TV shows dates back to London in the mid-’90s when the two then-roommates developed a mutual obsession with The X-Files.”
Truth Seekers‘ X-Files’ inspiration is evidenced in both trailers, with the teaser stating “the truth is way way out there”, tacking on an additional “way” to The X-Files classic tagline. When discussing the recent full-length trailer, Collider described Frost’s character as “the Mulder of the show.” Fox, the network which carried The X-Files, tried their hand at a comedic reinterpretation of their 90’s classic in 2017 with paranormal procedural comedy Ghosted. However, the network’s “comedic X-Files” did not see much success and was cancelled after only one season, via Deadline.
While Truth Seekers and Ghosted share similar inspiration, a notable difference comes with Truth Seekers‘ commitment to bring real scares and drama alongside including the comedic elements. Truth Seekers official synopsis promises “just out-of-sight monsters”, which implies the paranormal occurrences will have a degree of theater-of-the-mind for the audiences, via Collider. This removes the pressure for the various supernatural antagonists to serve as a constant source of visual gags, a trope typical of the horror comedy drama. The synopsis, provided via Collider, also claims the series will combine “the very funny with the very scary in an exciting take on genre storytelling,” implying an emphasis on real scares as well as jokes.
Horror comedies meet varying success on television, as evidenced by Ghosted’s cancellation at Fox and, conversely, What We Do In the Shadow’s break-out success at sister network FX. If Pegg and Frost’s Shaun of the Dead track record is any indicator, Truth Seekers audiences can expect the team to deliver on their promised scares and laughs when the genre satire premieres on October 30.