Lockwood & Co, review: A spooky adventure with bags of ramshackle British charm

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The fun twist is that only adolescents can detect and combat ghosts, bravely putting themselves on the line – sometimes deadly – to save others. However, not all ghost hunters are on an equal footing. Trapped in a remote northern town, psychic Lucy dreams of the bright lights of London (not that the lights are that bright – the technology in Lockwood is frozen in a pre-smartphone era). When a ghost story excursion goes horribly wrong, she flees south and takes a job with the unorthodox Anthony and his nerdy sidekick, George. The trio work their way into the mystery of a murdered actress (the season spans the first two of Stroud’s five novels).

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Cornish happily plunges into the hokum and world-building, aided by a charismatic cast. There are hints of a romantic spark between Anthony and Lucy. But the real scene stealer is Hadji-Heshmati as George, the mastermind of the operation.

That said, Lockwood & Co would have benefited from more great production values. In an age of House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power, it’s routine for audiences to be amazed by spectacular TV. However, Cornish clearly worked within budget constraints. The shades are rendered in cracking CGI and the show doesn’t even try to portray the stunning view of a London overrun with ghosts every night.

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Cornish has said that his ghosts draw on Victorian ghost photography. Whatever the inspiration, the SFX is more Antiques Roadshow than Avatar. Still, there’s a sense that the creak adds to Lockwood & Co’s appeal. Driven mainly by Stokes’ gutsy performance, it has a sizzling underdog charm. It’s impossible to say if it will be as big a hit as Wednesday. But it certainly has the potential to suck Gen-Zers into its satisfyingly sinister world. Either that or it was canceled in the time it takes to hit pause and turn the kettle on.

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Lockwood & Co can be seen on Netflix on Friday, January 27

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