When the Ghostbusters are busy and can’t catch a last-minute flight to England, who ya gonna call? Truth Seekers! Before the new paranormal comedy series hits Amazon later this month, Nick Frost and most of the core cast stopped by New York Comic Con to discuss the project, which Frost co-created with Simon Pegg, James Serafinowicz, and Nat Saunders. The panel kicked off with the actors recounting some of their personal experiences with the otherworldly.
After breaking up with a former girlfriend years ago, Frost came home to find all of his possessions (save for a single mattress) had been taken by his ex. With her gone, strange things started to happen.
“Me and Simon Pegg ended up sleeping on this single mattress and just watching The X-Files on this weird, TV-video player combo,” said the Shaun of the Dead actor, who plays Gus, a paranormal investigator posing as an internet technician. “But we’d hear the door banging all the time and this bell would ring. And then one day I was laying there, watching TV, and I felt a woman kiss my forehead. As I span ’round, thinking it was Simon mucking about, I was just there in the house on my own.”
Samson Kayo (Gus’s colleague, Elton) connection to the paranormal involves…mermaids? Yep: “My family’s Nigerian and one time, my mom said she saw a mermaid when she was coming back from college,” he said. “She’s so confident, it’s been like 20 years now and she’s still sticking to that story, that I’m starting to believe her.”
“A couple of weeks ago, I mistook a squirrel for the spirit of my grandma,” said Emma D’Arcy, who plays Astrid, another member of the titular group. “The house I live in is quite dark and there was this light on the wall in my kitchen … and it was hovering there and it was really beautiful. There was no reason why that should be reflected or whatever and I felt really moved and I started thinking about my grandma.”
Turns out the light was just a squirrel trying to pilfer food from a bird-feeder.
With help from Elton and Astrid, Gus tries to stop a supernatural event of apocalyptic proportions. Before that, however, he’s just a skeptical ghost hunter with a second-rate YouTube channel. “He’s a cynic, but he also wants to find a truth,” Frost explained. “He lost his wife many years ago and I think he’s trying to either completely wipe out the fact that he will ever find her again or find her again. He’s never really [seen a ghost] … and then he meets Elton and his world completely changes.”
Malcolm McDowell, who portrays Gus’ dad, Richard, plainly stated that his “nosy” character doesn’t believe in ghost stories. “I think he thinks they’re all total nonsense, which is a nice juxtaposition because you can’t have everybody doing the suburban Ghostbusters, as I like to call it,” the Clockwork Orange vet said. “It’s a wonderful relationship, really. [He and Gus] are sort of like an old married couple in a weird way. It was a lot of fun to play, I don’t know how either of us kept straight faces at certain points.”
Susie Wokoma rounds out the ensemble as Elton’s sister, Helen, a massive fan of Doctor Who, who ends up forming a bond with Richard. “I really like characters who are quite lonely,” the actress said. “I really admire people who can create their own universe, but with Helen, when we meet her … she can see that her brother has this new friend and this new job and there’s a want for more, I think. Like Nick said, in terms of comedy and more dramatic things, they live as one and I think that Helen embodies that. That’s what I love, those funny characters, but there’s a really clear, emotional truth to them.”
The panel also featured some exclusive clips from the show, one of which featured a deep cut reference to Kevin McCarthy’s cameo in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It’s pretty awesome. Another clip featured a short appearance from Pegg’s real-world daughter, Matilda. Pegg himself has a small role as Gus’s boss, Dave.
Season 1 of Truth Seekers (comprised of eight episodes) premieres on Prime Video Friday, Oct. 30.
“We’ve written it like a big, three-and-a-half-hour movie, and it’s nice that you get a chance to be able to do that in this day in age with streamers,” Frost said. He concluded with: “I think it was one of the only things that I watched where I didn’t cry because I hated it immediately. I was really proud of what we did and we worked so bloody hard. We left it on the pitch and I want people to just enjoy our enjoyment of each other. It’s not cynical, it’s a fun show and hopefully, you might one or two jumps and be afraid and you might laugh and smile; just reach over and hold the hand of someone you love.”
Written by Josh Weiss
Published October 8, 2020