Truth Seekers spoilers follow – including its ending.
Amazon Prime's new comedy horror series Truth Seekers reunites Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the first time on the small screen since classic cult series Spaced.
Produced by the pair, along with co-writers Nat Saunders and James Serafinowicz, Truth Seekers introduces us to 'Smile' broadband engineer Gus (Frost), who lives with his father-in-law Richard (Malcolm McDowell). Since his wife Emily's death, Gus has been investigating the paranormal in his spare time (posting his findings on YouTube, of course).
After Gus's boss at Smile, Dave (Pegg) asks him to train a new assistant named Elton (Kayo), Gus introduces his understandably hesitant protégé to the spookier side of things, from a possessed family pet to a supposedly fake haunted hotel that actually does have the ghost of a soldier lurking in an abandoned World War II radio transmitter in a sealed off room.
It is during their investigations that they meet Astrid (Emma D'Arcy), who has had a disturbing supernatural experience of her own, and the mysterious Jojo74 (Kelly Macdonald), who they find hiding out in an abandoned Happy Eater diner.
Gus and Richard also get to know Elton's agoraphobic sister Helen (Susan Wokoma), who posts horror make-up tutorials online and plans to attend the local Comic-Con in her homemade Dalek costume (though in previous years her condition has meant she has never been able to get further than the venue's car park).
It's actually a visit to the CovColCosCon (Coventry Collectors and Cosplay Convention) that sets up the main story in Truth Seekers. The guest speaker is paranormal conspiracy theorist Dr Peter Toynbee (Julian Barratt), who uses his talk to implant mind-controlling nanobots into the audience's eyes, with Richard among them. Toynbee's scheme is to gather a group of followers together to help him ascend to Eternis during the coming eclipse, which he believes will make him immortal.
Truth Seekers ending, explained
By the season one finale, Toynbee's plan is well under way. He intends to kill all the people who believe they are going to ascend with him to Eternis – those nanobots handily explode your brain at the touch of a button – using the energy that leaves their dying bodies to propel him, and him alone, to immortality.
It turns out he tested his theory 10 years before, murdering Gus's wife at the same abandoned factory where his followers are currently gathering.
Figuring out what is happening, Gus, Astrid, Helen and Elton head to the factory in the Smile van to stop him. Jojo74 phones Gus and warns him not to trust anyone, but he decides to listen to his boss, Dave, who knows what is going on and has his own plan.
It turns out that if Dave rolls out super-speedy Smile 8G broadband, it will serve as insulation against inter-dimensional exchanges, disengage the nanobots and therefore stop Toynbee's ascension. The trouble is, the Smile signal is being jammed by that haunted hotel transmitter, so Elton and Astrid head there to try and unblock it, leaving Gus and Helen to infiltrate Toynbee's gathering and rescue Richard.
It's here that the series' various plot strands come together. Elton has realised that Astrid is actually a ghost herself, and has also come to terms with his own ghostly experience – as a child he saw the ghost of Astrid's mother, a traumatising event that deeply affected him and also led to his sister Helen's agoraphobia.
When Elton and Astrid arrive at the hotel and go to the haunted radio transmitter, they discover it is now being occupied by the ghost of Elara (Taj Atwal), Toynbee's former assistant. Still loyal to her boss even in death, she refuses to unblock the signal, but Astrid goes inside the transmitter and tries to convince her to help them.
Elton mentally overcomes a masked creature that appears, finally accepting he is a conduit between the living and the dead. However, he realises afterwards that while Astrid has been successful in unblocking the signal, she has disappeared from the transmitter.
Over at the factory, Toynbee has started the ceremony, his followers – now also including Helen, who has been captured – powerless in front of him. Gus tries to delay the proceedings, and just as Toynbee slashes his own throat as part of the ritual to ascend to Eternis, the Smile 8G signal surges through, neutralising the nanobots. The ceremony disrupted, the last we see of Toynbee is him bleeding to death as everyone leaves.
That's not quite the end, of course.
Returning to Elton in the Smile van, Gus notices that Astrid isn't with him and Elton explains what has happened. Gus, Elton, Richard and Helen vow to get her back, and drive away from the factory as a team with the radio on, just in case a signal from Astrid's ghost comes through.
Back at the Smile office, Dave is visited by Jojo74 and it becomes apparent that the two have known each other for a long time – just not in their current guises. When Jojo74 – who had given Dave a blue rose, which symbolises mystery and the impossible – comments on Dave's appearance and rather obvious wig, he produces a drawing that may look familiar to space exploration fans.
It's a copy of the real-life engraving on the Pioneer Plaque – one of two that were placed onboard two NASA Pioneer spacecraft in 1972 and 1973 in case they were intercepted by intelligent alien life. The plaques depict nude figures of a naked man and a woman (which explains why Jojo74 comments "at least you wore some clothes this time") alongside symbols that show the craft came from Earth, and how to find its location.
It seems, then, that both Dave and Jojo74 are extra-terrestrial (or "superbeings" as Dave describes them both) and that Jojo74 had been using Toynbee for her own ends. Could Dave be the good alien, on the side of humans, and Jojo74 the bad, as Dave helped Gus and his pals while Jojo74 had other ideas?
It also becomes clear that there may be more to Astrid the ghost, too, with Jojo74 describing her to Dave as "your precious Astrid", who she believes has now finally crossed over. That may not be the case, however, as when Dave and Jojo74 leave the room, the abstract painting behind Dave’s desk starts to swirl, and morphs into a face before saying 'Hello' in a voice that sounds just like Astrid's…
So, what does this mean for season two?
The final scenes certainly leave us with as many questions as answers. While we may learn what happened to Gus's wife, that Astrid is a ghost and that Elton is a conduit for the paranormal, there is still much for the Truth Seekers to uncover if a second season is made.
To begin with, Gus briefly saw the ghost of his wife during Toynbee's aborted ascension, so it is likely that he would want to continue to search for her and try to communicate with her in a second season.
Also, it's reasonable to assume we may not have seen the last of her murderer Toynbee, either. Could he be back to torment Gus from the other side for foiling his plans? And are the nanobites in his followers' eyes completely neutralised, or are they just dormant, ready for someone else to reactivate them?
The Truth Seekers team, meanwhile, also need to find out where Astrid is – especially as in her new position in the painting in Dave's office, she may be able to see and hear what goes on there, including his revealing meeting with Jojo74.
Of course, Gus and his pals have no idea that Dave may not be human, or that he knows the equally otherworldly Jojo74. There's a bigger conspiracy to uncover– with possible a Good Omens-style battle between one being wanting to save humanity (Dave) and the other (Jojo74) possibly wanting to destroy it.
Here's hoping Simon Pegg and Nick Frost return for a second season so we can get some answers…
Truth Seekers is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Digital Spy has launched its first-ever digital magazine with exclusive features, interviews, and videos. Access the latest edition with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy's weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox – and don't forget to join our Watch This Facebook Group for daily TV recommendations and discussions with other readers.
You Might Also Like