THE FADES Season One: Now on Blu-ray and DVD
I fell in love at first sight with THE FADES on BBC America, and now the first (and so far, ONLY) season of this quirky supernatural horror series is available as a 2-disc Blu-ray or DVD release from BBC Home Entertainment.
This six-episode series focuses on very confused 17-year-old Brit named Paul (Ian deCaestecker) and how he comes to the painful realization that he is ‘different’ in ways far more complex than just being belittled for being a geek at his local high school. Paul’s been having really scary apocalyptic dreams and begun seeing dead people, or ‘Fades’, in his waking hours. Fades are ghosts of the deceased who have lost their ability to move on after death or “ascend” out of our world and into the hereafter. Now stuck indefinitely on Earth and frustrated by their inability to speak with their loved ones or touch, taste or smell the physical world, the Fades have become plenty mad about their situation. In fact, one very bitter Fade named John (Joseph Dempsie) has found a way to smash through the barrier between the living and the dead and become reborn, complete with an immortal human body. His eventual aim is to create a world full of immortal undead like himself. Unfortunately for ordinary mankind, this ghastly metamorphosis involves the Fades drinking human blood and snacking daily on human flesh.
Paul and his loyal, wisecracking best friend Mac (Daniel Kaluuya) are determined to prevent this hell on earth from happening. Soon Paul is discovering other humans like himself (the “Angelics”) who have banded together to fight the Fades and hopefully save humanity. The Angelic Neil (Johnny Harris) becomes a mentor of sorts, but soon shows that he’s got a lot more going on underneath the surface than Paul truly understands. Throw in a caring but confused single mum, his therapist, one bitchy twin sister, and a burgeoning romance with the girl of his dreams, and Paul suddenly has far more going on in his young life than he knows how to handle. It really all comes down to good vs. evil, and what Paul will do for love. And then, of course, what do you do in the end when nothing turns out quite like you expected?
Unlike American television series where a season can last 20 or more episodes, THE FADES Season One is more like one of our mini-series. It’s just six episodes long, with a total running time of 338 minutes on the 2-disc set. For those who care about gorgeous visual and audio, the episodes on Blu-ray disc are presented in pristine 1080i High Definition and DTS HD-MA sound, which will be a giant leap ahead in quality compared to ordinary broadcast television.
The Blu-ray disc set also contains the type of special features you would naturally expect, like extra scenes, deleted scenes, outtakes, and a couple of very short interviews with Johnny Harris (Neil) and Natalie Dormer (Sarah). Savvy fans already know that many of these deleted scenes and some of the extras are available for viewing online at the BBC America website, so they may be a little disappointed to find no accompanying episode commentaries included on the discs. However, there are additional “Behind the Scenes” segments which explain a little bit more about ‘Fades’ universe, and give a glimpse into the development and look of the Fades, makeup and costume challenges, and writing.
One of the highlights of THE FADES has always been the clever “Previously On” video diary segments presented by Daniel Kaluuya as Mac. Thus it’s a joy to learn that the Blu-ray set contains “Mac Explains”, in which Paul’s hilarious best friend recaps each episode in a similar fashion to his pre-episode video diary. As I’ve said before, Daniel Kaluuya is an absolute marvel onscreen, and if you enjoy his antics this feature alone may be worth picking up the 2-disc set.
No news yet on whether or not THE FADES will be renewed for a Season Two. Fans everywhere will just have to rewatch Season One on disc and wait with baited breath until the good word comes from above, errr…I mean the BBC. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed!