Move over Wednesday, there’s another dark thriller in town. Lockwood & Co. is Netflix’s new mystery series that promises supernatural adventure as a team of teenagers solves ghost cases. The series will release on Jan. 27, 2023, and is an adaption of the children’s book series of the same name by Justin Stroud that’s won a slew of awards. There are five books in the series, so if all goes well, this could be just the start of the story.
The series is from the writer and director of Attack the Block Joe Cornish so he’s right at home helming a story about teenage Londoners fighting against impossible threats. He’s just traded extraterrestrials for ghosts. Cornish has had a long fascination with the otherworldly and reportedly told his writer’s room to reveal their scariest ghost-inspired stories to help create the show. He’s passionate about this genre and presenting the culture of the ’80s in Lockwood & Co. the right way.
The book follows Anthony Lockwood, George Cubbins, and Lucy Carlyle, who run a ghost detective agency in London, England, that has a specter problem. In the books, Anthony is the leader and founder of the agency who’s enthusiastic about his work and can be reckless from time to time. George is an excellent researcher and has an inquisitive mind that sometimes gets them into trouble. (George also has a possessed pet skull he keeps in a glass jar that’s featured in a poster for the show.) Lucy is brave and has the supremely powerful psychic gift of hearing and empathy through touch. Together, they seek to protect their city and help those who are in need of their services.
The trailer shows just how adventurous and action-packed Lockwood & Co. is going to be, with a spirit getting sliced in half by a rapier and Anthony and Lucy jumping out of a burning house. It won’t be so easy for this ghost-hunting startup, however, they have competition from corporate agencies who would prefer that the trio leave the ghostbusting to the professionals. They’re called “amateurs” and Inspector Barnes condemns their reckless actions in burning a house to the ground and demands that they “pay up.” Anthony refuses to quit, stating that the big agencies pretend to have things under control and that they need some big cases to prove themselves. Lucy believes they’ll be the most famous agents in the country, and George thinks he’s working with maniacs.
Starring as Anthony Lockwood is Cameron Chapman, in his debut role. Ali Hadji-Hesmati — star of another children’s book-adapted TV series, Alex Rider on Amazon Prime Video — plays George Cubbins. Playing Lucy Carlyle is Ruby Stokes, who played Francesca on Bridgerton. The role has been recast for season three and Hannah Dodd will be portraying Francesca moving forward.
Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans) will be Inspector Barnes, the head of the Department of Psychical Research and Control (DEPRAC), and disapproves of Lockwood & Co.’s unruly ways. Luke Treadaway (Attack the Block) will be The Golden Blade, a mercenary and ruthless villain who keeps to the shadows.
Morven Christie (The Bay) plays Penelope Fittes, the Chairwoman of the Fittes Agency and one of the most powerful women in England. And Ben Crompton (Game of Thrones) plays Julius Winkman, an illegal relics dealer and shopowner of the Bloomsbury Antiques Emporium.
The first season will adapt the first two books in the series, The Screaming Staircase – about Lucy Carlyle escaping to London after a failed paranormal investigation and joining with Anthony and George, and The Whispering Skull – about the skull telling dark secrets that might not all be true.
In an interview with Empire Online, Cornish wants more seasons to fully tell this story. Because it’s a five-book series, the show can go on for a couple more seasons, and he dislikes it when a show doesn’t know how it’s going to end. He commended Stroud’s plotting of his books and the clever world he built.
Unfortunately for Netflix, one never knows how these shows will land. Even popular series like 1899 and Warrior Nun got the axe, so the fate of the show’s future is undetermined until the results come in. If all goes well, Netflix could have another supernatural hit on its hands, a genre the streaming service tends to excel in, so hopefully lightning strikes again.