101 — Pilot

Rin says: First things first, the opening credits.

Love them.

They’re very much a mix of the House/Dexter/True Blood ones, and just the right level of disturbing to be appropriate for the show. The bit with the skin or membrane or whatever is really gross. 8-. The colours are gorgeous though and really sets the mood. I love it when a show invests in a good title sequence, it just elevates a show — because they should serve a purpose other than listing the members of the cast.

Sophy says: This is how we knew the show would be a pants-free viewing experience. Right from the start.

Also, aside from the visual, I love, love, loved the music. There was just something so unabashedly RAWR! about it. These credits really were not concerned with being subtle or coy, and I found myself thinking ‘This is a show that introduces itself with a firm handshake.’ As opposed to those shows that wear black and try to think deep thoughts so as you’d notice.


Moment that makes you most concerned for JT’s mental health

This is worse than that penis monster from Doublemeat Palace.

Rin says: I was pretty freaking horrified at this bit. Just why. WHY?! UNNECESSARY TONGUE IN THE EYE IS UNNECESSARY! I bet JT was sitting back in his chair, giggling with excitement at how disturbed he just made everyone. Well, well done Jack.

Thoroughly disturbed.


It’s like he was so disappointed he couldn’t get that face-removal scene into the pilot that he had to think of something even more upsetting.


Moment that makes you most in awe of JT’s mental awesome

“Good – bad – why do people believe death is somehow fair? Death is random, same as life is. Life has famine, illness, shittiness; death is similarly crap.”

Sophy says: I was so excited about this scene, and not just because it reminded me of my beloved Dead Like Me, with the rooftop/exposition thing. I was excited because I could see that this show was going to be giving us a unique and thoughtful take on heaven and hell and ghosts all that standard horror movie jazz. Just as Neil subverts Paul’s expectations, so the show subverts mine. Because all dog-collars aside, it seems we’re not following the theistic model here; this isn’t about good and evil, it’s not purgatory that these people are stuck in. What they suffer from is perhaps a failure to be born. Or a failure to be born right. It’s like a freak birth defect, perhaps, this inability to ascend. Although… isn’t it not so much an inability, as a lack of opportunity? A simple case of wrong place/wrong time? And isn’t that even more devastating…

The moment when Sarah’s light went out in the woods seemed to me like living your whole life long and never finding the place where you fit. Like realizing suddenly that you’re over, there are no more plans to make or people to meet – for all the running around you’ve been doing you haven’t really gotten very far, and now, just like that, you never ever will. And hey, chances are you’re going to become gnarled and bitter and murderous about it. Those were the feelings I was having.

I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe there’ll be some kind of reward/punishment system waiting for me when I kick the bucket. I tend to think that life after death will just be an absence I can’t fathom from this place of presence. But the idea that life goes on as death, and it’s just as uncertain and unfair? That’s honestly scary on a level beyond loud noises and penis monsters.

Rin says: I love it when TV gives you thoughtful moments that actually make you reflect on your own beliefs and possibilities you never even thought of. It’s ridiculously hard to tackle the afterlife because it’s been done countless times, but LO AND BEHOLD, we have the concept of Fades. When I think about ghosts and how other shows have tackled them, there always seems to be a way that they ~pass through, whether it be from someone helping them to go on, or having it as a ~reward for ~good deeds. But the fact that this is just random, you either do or you don’t? Yeah. No penis monster could be as scary as that.

I’m looking forward to many more moments like these to come.


Best Scene

“Friend? Are you a friend?”

Sophy says: This was a really tough call, with its main rival being the aforementioned scene in the woods when Sarah’s light goes out. But in the end we went with this opening scene in the abandoned shopping centre, because it was beautifully shot with all the yellow light amongst the shadows, and it just set the tone of the show so well – from Mac’s playful banter at the start, to Paul’s inability to run away in spite of his fear, to the tragedy of Sarah and the warrior that is Neil. Oh and you know, all that darn shitty ghost.

And can I just say that escalators should not be seen in the dark. Yeesh.

Rin says: This was pretty intense and the perfect way to throw us in the deep end. When that body fell from the ceiling I was like, okay :-? AND the way it was awkwardly perched on that..fountain thing was perfect too.

I agree with Sophy, this scene set the tone of the show really well. I was expecting the show to be more lighthearted and fun, with a touch of scifi, but I didn’t expect the show to be as serious as this was — bodies, tongues in eyes, escalators leading to hell/heaven — so I was rather pleasantly surprised. It’s a lot more Luther, less Ghost Busters.


Oh, that Mac :-j

“I once told my mum the entire plot of the bible, old and new testament, when we was watching jaws. She was enthralled. Naturally.”

Sophy says: It was so hard to choose just one Mac moment to single out, because quite frankly, he was charming and hilarious the whole episode through, BUT THIS. THIS. Took all the cakes.

Rin says: They really didn’t give Dan an easy role did they? He’s just go-go-go throughout, spurting out line after line after line, and I can imagine it’d be so easy to get a character like Mac wrong. Fortunately for us, Dan is amazing?

We could tell there were going to be many more ‘omg Mac 8-. ‘ moments in the future, hence a category of his own!

Another scene where I laughed out was when they were in the convenience store hiding from Jay, and when she calls them out he pops up with the plunger saying, ‘Found it!’

Sophy says: Oh a character like Mac is so easy to get wrong. Seriously, I’ve hated many a Mac in my time. But see, this Mac’s flights of whimsy are actually cute and clever, and Dan has the kind of easy naturalness that allows him to pull off even the least easy and least natural of lines. So it works. IT REALLY WORKS.


Reasons Lily should be in the opening credits.

“Fuck off, Paul! How we came out of the same egg is a mystery to me.”

Rin says: NO BUT REALLY, WHY ISN’T SHE IN THE OPENING CREDITS? I’m hoping she gets added to the opening credits BY THE NEXT EPISODE. Or else?????

Or am I wrong in assuming she’s part of the main cast? I don’t.


And it’s nice to see that Lily is carrying on the tradition of turning extras gay. Exhibit A — the 2nd cap.

Also, I’m really excited to see how the sibling relationship develops, because as we all know, Jack is kind of good at that. Tony/Effy, anyone??? So yes. Expectations. ;;)


I love the little flourishy gestures she has going on for Anna and the adorable vigor with which she says “Fuck off!” 8-. Not that Naomi was the most overtly friendly of characters, but it is interesting seeing Lily play an outright snippy bitch.

Also I suspect Anna has a WWKFFD poster on her wall. Just saying.


It’s guy-love

“That’s just childish.”

Rin says: HEHE this was so cute. Iain and Dan have done really well to make it seem like these two have been best friends for years. Their chemistry is amazing, and one of the highlights of the show for sure.

Sophy says: OH MY GOD THEY’RE SO CUTE. The kicker for me was how Mac just opened the second packet of chips and carried on about his business. Ffff.


It’s ‘awww’

“I’ve got the taste of your spit in my mouth now.”

Sophy says: This was just SO SWEET. I mean, ‘I’ve got the taste of your spit in my mouth’ is just the most wonderful mix of cute, sexy and wrong. I can’t.

I also really loved the way Sophie delivered the line ‘Think I’m a popstar’. I DON’T KNOW OKAY? There was just something about the way she said it. And also the way she reached out for the cigarette. And also their little faces.

And also, show, you can disguise it with your many-slats, and your fancy green paint but I STILL SEE THIS…


Rin says: Yep, I felt the uproar of BENCHES!! during this scene. I loved this scene and really like where they’re going with Paul/Jay — there’s definite potential with them, and the awkwardness from Paul wasn’t too OTT. I laughed when he said ‘rapist’ and then turned away and mouthed it back in disbelief to himself.


Most traumatising/frightening/why am I watching this again?

Moths do not go there.
Rin can’t handle suspense very well.

Sophy says: Okay so like. When I was a kid I had a recurring nightmare about being locked in a cupboard with a whole lot of moths, and they kept getting in my eyes and flying up my nose and into my mouth, because I couldn’t stop myself screaming. So. Thanks for reawakening the childhood trauma, show.

Also, seriously Professor Snape, if ‘lumos’ is the best you can do right now, you’re screwed.

Rin says: SRSLY. It was like she was roaming the halls of Hogwarts trying to catch Harry out of bed.

But yes. The whole lead up to that moment in the trailer was pretty scary. I had to minimise the window I was watching it in, and thought it was a good time to refresh Twitter and such..


Head In Hands


Rin says: NO BUT SERIOUSLY. I literally squealed! It’s like a little Cast Offs reunion. 8-.

I’m kind of hoping for more cameos from previous shows JT has worked on. I mean, we already know about Joe Dempsie (WHEN HE APPEARS I’M SURE HE’LL BE IN THIS CATEGORY), but maybe there are some more awesome people we haven’t heard about? I’ll take my background Kathryn Prescott now please.

Sophy says: A;DFJS;DLFIJS;DOIFJ;SLDKFJ AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Rophy tend to get very excited when awesome people show-hop. It’s a thing.

Also this scene was so cute. He gave the kid lung cancer so he could impress his girl! Cut-price lung cancer at that! 8-.


Most Rophy

“Would you say everything you’ve ever learned about was from films, Mac?”
“No. Television’s been doing some important work for me recently.”

Sophy says: To our knowledge this is the second time a Dan Kaluuya character has fearlessly stood up for television.

He may be some kind of a TV-Jesus.

Rin says: We left out the last part of Mac’s quote re: internet porn.. cause well. We’re not really into the porn, not so much. No.
BUT THE TV AND FILMS?! YAYAYAYA?! I always feel like my 3rd parent was The Simpsons.


Our pants came off.

Just. The ash. THE ASH.

Sophy says: This was probably the first category and the first choice Rin and I confirmed with each other immediately after watching the episode. It was pretty much a synchronised ‘WE SHOULD HAVE A PANTS-OFF CATEGORY AND IT SHOULD BE SARAH IN THE ASH’. Just like that. Because. Fffffff.

Rin says: Yep. Definitely the most stunning visual of the episode.

In general I liked that whole dream sequence with the volcano, or whatever it was, and it raining ash. Maybe because it reminded me of LOTR and whenever Frodo put on the ring.

Sophy says: SO YEAH. The Fades. It was really, really good. Good enough for rewatching, good enough for us to squeeze it into our busy Rophy schedule. The acting was terrific all round, to the point where I felt the need to mention that fact to Rin, several times throughout the episode. The writing, well, it’s Jack Thorne at the top of his game, isn’t it? And it’s visually gorgeous enough to satisfy even the most sturdily belted of Rins.

I think part of the reason I enjoyed this pilot so much is that it succeeded in its balancing act – the horror, the sweetness, sadness and humour – it’s all there and it all works. It seems like it’s all about ordinary/extraordinary, and that, whilst the shows are very different, reminds me of Buffy.


Rin says: I feel like one of the best things a show can do is make you absolutely clueless as to what will happen next. A lot of shows are pretty predictable these days, but when watching The Fades I found myself fully engrossed in this new world that JT has created. I couldn’t even tweet as much as I would have liked because I was too busy enjoying it.

Rophy says: And Effy Stonem watched the whole episode like this:

19 Responses

  1. polymorph80
    polymorph80 at · Reply


    Guess I’m hitting up the iPlayer tonight.

  2. Bees!
    Bees! at · Reply

    “I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe there’ll be some kind of reward/punishment system waiting for me when I kick the bucket. I tend to think that life after death will just be an absence I can’t fathom from this place of presence. But the idea that life goes on as death, and it’s just as uncertain and unfair? That’s honestly scary on a level beyond loud noises and penis monsters.”

    This is so many things. <3

  3. Lesley
    Lesley at · Reply

    I just love you guys so much. SFM!!!! Thank you for making a great show even better. Where to start…? The Paul and Mac double act…THE tongue *shudder*…Anna from ‘This Life’ as a vicar (bet JT had a giggle over that casting)…the ash…and of course Anna *flail* …”she doesn’t believe in the intermingling of the species” *prays for cast in series 2 to include K Prescott*
    And finally, kudos to JT and his genius writing. Roll on episode 2.

  4. Bees!
    Bees! at · Reply

    I seem appreciate things 10x more after reading a Rophy Cap. Such insight and attention to detail you two! Thank you as always for the great work/time/effort/love

  5. Lesley
    Lesley at · Reply

    oh…and how could I not mention one of the best-ever Rophy lines:
    “And it’s nice to see that Lily is carrying on the tradition of turning extras gay. Exhibit A — the 2nd cap”
    <3 <3 <3

  6. Annie Hollingworth
    Annie Hollingworth at · Reply

    I actually nearly choked on dinner when you mentioned that Lily is still turning extras gay, cos I totally noticed cap 2 before you mentioned it! Win!
    Thanks for recapping so soon, this site kinda feels like its the only place I can go to where people understand the awesome-ness of LL, JT, Dan K and the interconnectivity of all these worlds like Skins and The Fades and Cast-Offs etc etc etc.
    Its really great that here we can talk about and appreciate TV that is (generally) underrated by the masses :D or at least most people don’t (like) to talk about it and squee and flail and analyse and drop their pants as much as I do about them. You are providing a service and it’s free and completely wonderful! I salute you!

    P.s. The Glee caps are amazing and I am equally obsessed with Dianna Agron as I am Lily Loveless; future LL glory shot in The Fades caps plzthxlybye xxx

  7. Lily
    Lily at · Reply

    OMG THE BENCH! I thought I was mental when all that came to mind in that scene was Cassie Cassie Cassie; bring out the vodka + water pistol, and I thought that it was evidence that I’m a bit too attached to Skins, but now I feel better that someone else noticed it too lol.

    ANYWAY, amazing pilot, amazing recap as always Rophy. Let’s see shall we… There should be a BAFTA for opening credit sequences [during which I was shamelessly searching for Miss Loveless’ name], as these were just oh my god amazing. I love Mac. He’s hilarious, and Daniel is incredible. I love their little bromance, and the second chip packet made me laugh so hard my sister came into the room to see what it was that I was doing… and I actually squealed when I saw Will, so now she thinks I’m insane :)

    I love the concept of The Fades themselves; “Good – bad – why do people believe death is somehow fair? Death is random, same as life is. Life has famine, illness, shittiness; death is similarly crap.” I love this take on death, and I’m very intrigued to see this series play out. I could go on, but I’ll end up writing a freaking essay. I’m really excited for the next episode; I haven’t fallen in love with a new show for a while, so hopefully The Fades will continue with its amazingness. ♥

  8. Karen
    Karen at · Reply

    if you want to see an EPIC video of all skins series click here and be prepared to have your brain splattered all over your computer due to this mind blowing epicness of this video! :0


    1. Lily
      Lily at · Reply

      That was a pretty amazing video. Oh the heart of Skins :)

  9. folkpants
    folkpants at · Reply

    I am glad Rophy is recapping the Fades. I’m really enjoying it. Can you guys maybe have a “Best Lily Shot” for each episode? Maybe in addition to “reasons Lily should be in the opening credits.” Cause, you really just can’t have too much Lily, right?

    And Mac is wonderful!

  10. Heather Hogan
    Heather Hogan at · Reply

    You guys. I tried to watch this. But I got so freaked/grossed out ten minutes in that I had to stop. And now I haven’t slept since Monday.

    1. Sophy
      Sophy at · Reply

      I can’t wait for the day I make you and Rin watch Rosemary’s Baby. IN THE DARK. WITH YOUR HANDS TIED BEHIND YOUR BACKS. ♥

  11. folkpants
    folkpants at · Reply

    “Also I suspect Anna has a WWKFFD poster on her wall. Just saying.”

    Also perfect. Was wondering if maybe Meg gave her tips on playing the bitchy twin.

  12. Sanji
    Sanji at · Reply

    A bit late, but I’ve finally managed to watch the pilot and I liked it a lot! I wasn’t sure I was going to, but as usual I should’ve trusted Rophy.
    I can’t believe that is actually Dan Kaluuya. I mean, I thought it was him when I first saw him and recognized his voice, but he looks younger than when he was in Skins. Anyway I’m glad to see him again.

  13. Effybean
    Effybean at · Reply

    I knew after watching this ep that there was going to be a Snape reference in the Rophycap. SHE LOOKED JUST LIKE HIM IN THAT SCENE.

  14. Sil
    Sil at · Reply

    I’m glad to see you’re recapping this series. I’ve really fallen in love with it.

  15. ohwowlovely
    ohwowlovely at · Reply

    I’m gonna need to rewatch this now too!!

    Your comment about The Simpsons being your third reminded me of that time when Homer and Marge asked Maggie to come to her favourite person, and she went to the tv and hugged it lol.

    I think death could be as random as life. I mean death as in, if there is an afterlife.

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