Truth Seekers

Dept. of Spooks and Scares


Tim and Mike. Shaun and Ed. Chief Inspector Nicholas Angel and PC Danny Butterman. Even Grame and Clive. Over the years Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have given us plenty of classic comedy duos, but while Truth Seekers features the pair, both in front of, and behind, the camera, this gentle mystery comedy puts Nick Frost front and centre.

Frost plays Gus Roberts, full time senior installer for the Smyle internet broadband company, part time paranormal investigator, and host of the Truth Seeker YouTube channel. When he’s joined by new hire Elton John (no, really), a series of mysterious goings on start piling up. Who is Astrid (Emma D’Arcy), the “girl with all the ghosts” who they run into? What’s the deal with Elton, his sister Helen, and their unexplained past? Who are the spirits in plague masks? Why is 100% coverage so important to Smyle and what does it all have to do with Dr. Peter Toynbee (Julian Barratt) and Gus’ dead wife, Emily?


There’s a lot to like about Truth Seekers. Frost is his usual affable self, a continuation of the type of character he’s been playing since Mike in Spaced. In a nice break from the norm, ad Gus’ aficionado of the unknown isn’t depicted as a paranoid weirdo. Unlike say, The Lone Gunmen or Wilson Wilson from Prime’s own Utopia, you’d be more than happy to let Gus into your house fix up your Wi-Fi. The paranormal is more like a hobby for him. A very important hobby. Like an allotment. It’s a very English take on an X-Files style show.

The conceit that spirits mess with Wi-fi is also a clever little way to get Gus and Elton into the action in an uncontrived manner.


The problems only arise when you start to think about what kind of show Truth Seekers is. It’s not quite funny enough to be a comedy. Not scary enough to be a horror, and at the start anyway, it feels a little too lightweight to be a spooky drama. It does pick up a lot more momentum and weight as it approaches its genuinely enjoyable finale, pulling together threads from across its eight episode season, but this just adds to the confused feeling.

The humour throughout is mostly the type to raise a wry grin, but hardly laugh out loud funny. At least one jump scare got me to jump in the finale, though.

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How Long Have You Got?

It’s length is also a little odd. With episode running from 25 to 33 minutes, it’s never long enough to outstay it’s welcome, but a bit too short so that it can feel that things are wrapped up a little too quickly.

Coming back to the other part of the Frost/Pegg Axis of comedy, Simon crops up, in an intentionally horrendous wig, as Gus’s ridiculously cheery boss, Dave. It’s a fun role, but the best performance in the show by far, apart from Frost, has to be Malcom McDowell as Gus’s grumpy old man. His cantankerous outbursts are responsible for the few big laughs I had with the series and his relationship with Elton’s sister Helen (Susan Wokoma from Enola Holmes and Chewing Gum) is incredibly sweet.


He’s joined by guest stars like The Actor Kevin Eldon, Kate Nash, Kelly Macdonald, and even Attack The Block director, Joe Cornish! (But no Dr. Buckles that I could see.)

The word that best sums up Truth Seekers is “gentle.” It’s a gentle comedy, with gentle scares, and a total gent at its centre.

Based upon my appreciation for Pegg and Frost’s previous work, the best sitcom of all time (Spaced) and a movie I love so much it’s on my business cards (Shaun of the Dead), my expectations may have been a slightly too stratospheric, but if you are looking for a gentle watch in the hell that is 2020, maybe this is the show for you.

Truth Seekers
Amazon Prime Video, Season 1, 8 episodes
Creators: Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Nat Saunders, and James Serafinowicz.
Cast: Nick Frost, Samson Kayo, Malcolm McDowell,Susan Wokoma, Emma D’Arcy, Simon Pegg, Julian Barratt, Taj Atwal, Kelly Macdonald, Kate Nash, Joe Cornish, and Kevin Eldon.

All eight episodes of Truth Seekers are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

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