The Dark Herald Recommends: Lockwood & CoThe Dark Herald
This one was nowhere on my radar.
I just saw an interesting thumbnail on Netflix Trending and decided to give it twenty seconds before surfing on.
The opening scene started with tense music setting the tone as a London taxi stopped in front of a private residence. Two teenagers, a boy and a girl get out and are clearly repeating battleplans they have memorized but are going over one last time. They are walking quickly, the camera cuts to a waist-high shot and both kids are wearing web belts with sabers attached.
Okay, the show has earned another twenty seconds.
It is made evident without an exposition dump that they are ghost hunters, and that the ghosts in this world can do a lot worse than just go bump in the night. Also, a neat little bit of passing dialog explains why it’s teenagers hunting the ghosts. You lose the ability to detect ghosts when you get older.
The opening scene ends on an almost literal cliffhanger with the girl hanging onto a stair landing by her fingertips while the boy fights the ghost. Then the opening credits role.
We get a quick overview of this world. Sometime in the 1980s, The Problem began. All manner of ghosts started appearing and killing people. No one has a clue why. Rigid curfews and martial law are established. Only kids can detect them so only kids can fight them. So, gifted teens are more or less drafted into agencies that fight the supernatural and yes they suffer casualties.
Fine, I decided, you guys get me for one episode. I just finished the last one in the first season.
Lockwood and Co clearly and obviously started life as a young adult book series. I wasn’t remotely surprised when I found the novel series on Amazon. Yes, it does feature a girl who is the key to everything but that is acceptable because she has an actual character arc. Admittedly this is on top of the usual tropes of Lucy Carlyle being a poor girl who is suddenly being pursued by two boys who are of much higher social station than she is.
I’m going to give away a lot of the first episode so…
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Lucy is born to a working-class family “up north.” Her drunk of a father abandons the family and her mother basically sells her to a garbage-tier supernatural agency. Her talent is hearing ghosts. Kids have different talents.
Anyway, Lucy runs away from this skeevy agency when the owner gets her team wiped out. She goes to London and applies to the very best and well-funded agency in town. Fipps. The teens that work there are basically rockstar ghosthunters. But she’s undocumented. She left her first agency before she could get certified.
She is for all intents and purposes a runaway. She couldn’t get in with any of the established agencies and she can’t afford to be outside at nightfall. No one can afford to be outside at nightfall.
In desperation, Lucy knocks on the door of a private home in a good neighborhood that is supposedly an agency. The agency consists of only two agents Lockwood and George, she passes a few tests gets into a fight with handsome boy Lockwood and nearly storms out of the house even if it means being outside after nightfall. There is also a curfew but the police are the least worrying thing you’ll find at night in this London.
Lockwood soothes her feelings and convinces Lucy to stay. She is now a member of Lockwood and Company.
There are a few rules for these ghosts. They are stopped by cold iron which is why the agents all use sabers. When agents get into it with each other it is frequently with cold steel, they have something of a dueling culture. Speaking as a swordsman, the swordsmanship isn’t half bad. It’s nice to see old-fashioned fencing.
There are multiple concurrent storylines in Lockwood. Lockwood was thee rockstar agent of the rockstar agency Fipps, but he left with some very ill feelings on both sides. The Lockwood Agency is frequently under negative scrutiny of the authorities.
Lockwood’s parents died under mysterious circumstances. Which is understandable because at the end of the day, the Lockwood & Co. stories are mysteries.
The first season took two of the books and stretched them out over the course of eight episodes. The plots were well constructed, the casting was a bit on the Woke-washed side but the romantic interests were both white which I was beginning to think was illegal. The girls are ass-kickers but it isn’t too far out of the box and ultimately, this is Lucy’s story, not Lockwood’s.
It has the feel of Nigel Kneale-type horror stories, which I admit to being a chump for.
If you still have a Netflix account give it 20 seconds. You probably won’t regret it.
The Dark Herald Recommends with Confidence