Award-winning writer, Jack Thorne (Skins, Cast Offs, This Is England 86) explains the genesis of his new fantasy horror series for BBC Three and who or what are The Fades.
“The Fades is a fantasy horror series about 17-year-old Paul (Iain De Caestecker) who becomes embroiled in a battle between the living and the dead. But fundamentally I think The Fades is a love story between Mac (Daniel Kaluuya) and Paul.
“As a kid I didn’t have a best friend that I could share everything with and could be a team with, and this show is about a kid that’s got one – it’s a love story about two best friends.
“The Fades are dead people, spirits that are trapped here in our world. There is no reason why fades are chosen. Death is random and the Fades are those that are left behind…
“They are angry, truly angry about the randomness and the pain and suffering. They are rotting, they can’t be touched, they’re prisoners on Earth and the series is about the Fades trying to break through back into the world of the living.
“Our lead Fade has learnt how to touch and he can kill. In the beginning of episode one he has crossed a line and is now able to touch and we follow him as he gets more and more corporeal and more able to cause damage to human beings, and kill. And we look how humankind responds to this.
“My inspiration for the series came from the sort of books I read as a kid. I grew up not reading comic books but fantasy novels. The novelist that was most important to me was probably Susan Cooper. How she writes, and what interests me, is less the sort of super hero fantasy that seems quite prevalent at the moment, and perhaps more old school – she writes about ordinary people in extraordinary situations as opposed to extraordinary people in ordinary situations.
“What makes The Fades different is that it is a fantasy show rather than a science fiction show. It’s about fairly ordinary people, none of these people act or behave like they’re superheroes. It’s about the world being fantastical. In episode one people have light coming out of their chests, insects crawling out of their mouths and fight spirits that are seemingly not there. The Fades is about the world itself being an extraordinary thing and how you battle it. This old school fantasy element – combined with some pretty original characters – is I hope is what will make people want to watch.”