The Fades

TV review by
Matt Springer, Common Sense Media
The Fades TV Poster Image
Intense BBC sci-fi zombie horror series with teen heroes.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

While the show's overall message is a battle of good versus evil, characters often make iffy choices.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Even heroes on the series frequently engage in questionable behavior when it comes to attitudes toward sexuality and their treatment of others -- for example, near-constant mocking between two friends.


The violence on the show is supernatural, but also intense and occasionally graphic (zombies eating flesh with blood dripping down their faces). Characters engage in fantastic hand-to-hand combat with otherworldly creatures who are out to kill. There is also frequent disturbing imagery associated with an apocalypse.


Two teenage lead characters have a near-constant dialogue around sex and sexuality reflective of their adolescent points of view. Adult characters have consensual casual sex with some minor nudity and underwear shots.


Frequent use of strong language, with words like "f--k" bleeped.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teenagers smoke and attempting to purchase cigarettes; occasional social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this UK sci-fi horror series features intense moments of supernatural imagery, including scenes of zombies eating human flesh. There's a recurring motif of "falling ashes" meant to represent the impending apocalypse. Teen characters smoke, swear ("f--k" is bleeped), and discuss sex and sexuality frequently. Adult characters occasionally engage in sex with some glimpses of underwear.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bytreat02 February 26, 2012


This movie envoles dead people coming back killing humans and eating them. Very strong language, (bleeped out) deaths and frightening pictures, its good but kid... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

As THE FADES opens, Paul (Iain De Caestecker) is a rather unremarkable British teenager with a love of pop culture and a movie-obsessed best friend (Daniel Kaluuya). His life becomes rather more remarkable after a chance encounter in an abandoned mall with Fades, strange otherworldly beings who represent the souls of those who have died but not yet gone on to their eternal reward. They are bent on re-entering the living world and must be stopped. Paul's apocalyptic visions reveal him as the key to a war being waged that will determine the fate of humanity itself.

Is it any good?

The Fades takes the concept of a simple ghost story and spins it into near-convulsions, stirring in a heavy dose of end-of-the-world terror and some classic smart-aleck teenage comedy. There's something very Buffy the Vampire Slayer about the show's approach to horror and episodic television. It's got the same irreverent attitude that Buffy had, but when the rubber hits the road, the threats are very real and the tension is palpable.

Although its demons-vs-angels storyline doesn't deserve many points for originality, there's an honesty to the characters on The Fades that helps the show remain grounded even when its fantastical plots are hurtling headlong toward the end of the world.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's incorporation of sexuality into the show. Is this how real teens talk about sex?

  • What is the appeal of the apocalypse storyline? And why are teens so often tasked with saving the world? What other shows does this one remind you of?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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