Now playing on Netflix
Lockwood and Co has a ghastly problem. They can’t put a stop to the numerous hauntings around London alone. That is, nobody wants to help this supernatural problem-solving agency since they are like the black sheep of the industry. They are not ghostbusters, and nor are they an offshoot organisation similar to the Society for Psychical Research.
In this world wonderfully conceived of by Jonathan Stroud, these ghosts have an agenda. They want to harm the living but I’m wondering if they’re united or just separately acting out. The five books Netflix plans to adapt will show what the plan is. I haven’t read them, but after watching the first season, I feel the need to.
I haven’t been interested in any recent YA style paranormal series for a long time. When this one puts ghosts front and centre, Women in Black style, I had to start watching just to compare how a young British organisation deals with these threats that isn’t like Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.
When considering some of these organisations’ tactics aren’t different from real life investigation, I’m intrigued. As a paranormal case worker, we are supposed to research everything to uncover why a haunting exists. It’s less about getting proof since we already believe, but instead about validating why they are present at specific locations. Afterwards, some may try to attempt to placate it by diplomatic means. And I must say manifestations are very rare!
However, this fictional world takes a bit from what’s real and goes down a different rabbit hole with it. What we see from Lockwood and Co is in how often they fail to understand the needs of a ghost who was once human. They want to talk, but it often means destroying property at the same time. Even in the first episode, the words don’t make sense, and it’s up to the living to figure out what their message truly is. Later on in this series, we learn how these entities are categorised. Its only level two and three spectres are considered intelligent enough for conversation.
When this series is about Lucy Carlyle (Ruby Stokes) attempting to establish a means to understand them, the results are so far mixed. To include a bit of that issue even we real life investigators have is much appreciated; it’s not easy being either a spectre or paranormal sleuth. While everything centres on “The Problem,” where a bunch of people quickly died five decades ago and presumably have returned, the wait to see how the veil gets closed will be long, and might span three seasons.
As for the leader of the group, Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman) has his own ghosts to face, and he’s hiding this fact from his staff. This mystery only deepens as season one progresses, and as for his feelings towards Lucy, there’s certainly some Mulder and Scully type of chemistry going on. Just like in The X-Files, half the series’ point of view is seen through her eyes than his. As for George Karim (Ali Hadji-Heshmati), he’ll get his story eventually and prove his worth. Another puzzling part of this group is that only these three make up the core team. Where are the others?
I suspect this series is designed to get viewers to purchase the books so these lingering questions can get answered sooner than later. There are others who have been members, but as for where they are, I want to know! Anyone impatient to learn the whole story has this option to jump ahead. But thankfully, the Netflix series producers said they’re going to change things up so we won’t get the exact same story.
In the end, the big question is when will Lucy and Lockwood make their relationship formal? The young man clearly has more than a business interest in her. And I doubt the pair can quiet all the restless spirits themselves. They are trouble consultants after all, and the mess they are making isn’t easy to clean up either.
In conclusion, Lockwood and Co will have to team up with their rivals and big brother. That fact is certain after all the introductions made in later episodes, and to balance that between the story of two teenage sleuths having an emotional investment in each other will be quite the task. While on the job, those feelings can be very consequential, since the choice is about who must be saved.
When the weight of a nation is upon them to put an end to these haunting, nobody will give Lockwood and Lucy the alone time they need.
4 Stars out of 5