Can ghosts be banished using rapiers? Just ask Lockwood & Co., a scrappy teenage firm that specialises in tackling ghosts. The place is London, the year, unknown. But, it has been 50 years since 'the problem'―ghosts walking among humans and killing with their touch.
Only children can see, hear or sense them. And so, the city has teen-run agencies that tackle haunted spaces with adult supervision. Lockwood & Co. is one of these agencies, sans the grown-up oversight.
The show begins with 'Listener' Lucy Carlyle (Ruby Stokes) joining the firm of orphaned Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman) and George Karim (Ali Hadji-Heshmati). She has escaped from a mother who used her powers to make money.
The show is based on a series of Jonathan Stroud books by the same name. Joe Cornish has adapted the initial two―The Screaming Staircase and The Whispering Skull―for the first season. Cinematographers Oliver Curtis, Ben Wheeler and Thomas Townend bring in the noir look and feel.
The young-adult series does not have any dull moments, which is in part helped by the gripping background score. Witty banter between the trio and well-placed jump-scares keep viewers hooked. A twist or reveal at the end of each episode keeps them guessing. Relics, grave-digging, trapping spirits and more, the show is right up the alley for a fantasy fan who likes a touch of noir.
There are rival ghost-hunting agencies and meddling adults. There is great chemistry between Chapman and Stokes. If you feel Stokes looks familiar, it is because she played Francesca in Bridgerton. Hayley Konadu as Flo Bones, a relic woman introduced mid-season, does not fail to impress. Hadji-Heshmati as the quirky researcher is instantly likeable.
The first episode sees the trio being called on by an elderly woman who thinks she might be haunted by the ghost of her husband who died in a fall down the stairs. But on closer inspection, they find out there is a second, more violent spirit haunting the house. All hell breaks loose.
The series has a Harry Potter meets Stranger Things meets Scooby-Doo vibe. There are enough items of intrigue, including a mystery door in the Lockwood home and a talking skull, that would make the audience look forward to coming seasons. The books are meant for children aged nine to 12, but the show should be watched by teens―the younger ones would probably be scared out of their wits.
Come Halloween, if the family is stuck for a show to binge, this is the one to turn on.