As usual, most of the interesting stuff happened in the dying minutes, with tedious and unconvincing drivel coming before it. Three hours. That's how long this show's had to tell its story so far, but there's only been perhaps 80-minutes of plot. Having perused other reviews online, and even browsed Twitter for immediate audience response last night, I'm clearly in the minority here! I'm a champion of good British SF/fantasy on television, but I just don't see what everyone's so excited about with The Fades. (Then again, most sites reviewing it are naturally biased towards the genre.) For me, it's dreary, slow, unconvincing, has few original ideas (maybe they seem fresh to the target demo?), the dual life of reluctant hero Paul doesn't work, and writer Jack Thorne is incapable of capturing contemporary geek-talk. There are undeniably some fun elements, and the climax of every episode usually contains a few eye-opening events to draw you back for more, but none of that excuses how the majority of each hour's a struggle to sit through. It lacks the flair and excitement its excellent opening titles suggest this show is all about:
Am I alone in thinking The Fades is little more than a half-decent idea, poorly told by someone who likes the genre but doesn't "get it"? Maybe the show's resolution will be good, but even if that proves to be the case, a two-part special feels like the better format for what I've seen so far.
written by Jack Thorne · directed by Farren Blackburn · 5 October 2011 · BBC Three