If “The Fades,” a new supernatural series on BBC America, seems a little familiar, it’s no wonder. After all, it’s about a teenage outcast who discovers the ability to detect and battle supernatural creatures. The teen is aided by dorky friends and mentored by an adult monster-hunter.
Sound like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer?” Well, yes and no.
Paul, the British teen at the center of the series, is no Buffy Summers. He’s not especially heroic. He wets the bed.
But “The Fades” very well might take the “Buffy” premise and turn it into its own brand of good, creepy fun.
The show, which has been airing in the UK for a while but just debuted on BBC America (the first episode is still available for free On Demand; the second episode airs this Saturday), does employ the same kind of pop culture references that Buffy enjoyed. At some point, after Paul explains to dorky friend Mac that he’s able to see Fades — once-human walking corpses — Mac says he’s heard it before, in “The Sixth Sense.”
Mac becomes a believer, however. And Paul already has support from Neil, a disheveled middle-aged “Angelic” — living people like Paul who can see Fades — in his efforts to figure out what’s going on.
Among the mysteries: What is the violent, ultra-creepy Fade that’s attacking Angelics? And why does Paul have visions of an ash-filled global apocalypse?
The first episode of “The Fades” had a lot of intriguing ideas (although I confess I might have missed a few in the rapid-fire, Brit-accented dialogue) and some genuinely spooky scenes, especially those in a vast abandoned building.
I’m looking forward to seeing where “The Fades” goes next.