As anyone even slightly familiar with their work will know, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been friends for decades, long before they began working together professionally, and as a result have many amusing tales of their time together. In fact, their latest series Truth Seekers, about paranormal investigators that was inspired by the pair’s own ghost hunting exploits, recently reminded Pegg of a time when Frost accidentally knocked himself out and he subsequently abandoned his friend, thinking he was pulling a prank.
At a virtual panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con where they were promoting the show and telling stories of their experiences filming it, Pegg described their time exploring the woods of a north London suburb.
“We found the original Highgate tube station in the woods in Highgate. It was like we’d stepped into this completely kind of unknown world and it was creepy. It was like Brigadoon or something, it just appeared. Then Nick knocked himself out and I thought he was just messing around, so I just left him in the wood. He’s never forgiven me for that! I went back home and I ordered some Chinese. I just thought he was pulling the longest game. I was like, ‘Nick is just really committed to this. This is amazing.’ And I opened the door and he was just there all, like, soaking wet and was like, ‘You left me!’”
The ‘tube’ is the local name for the London Underground, a vast subway network that spreads across the entire city and eventually comes out above ground to serve the suburbs and settlements surrounding the UK capital. Operated since 1863 and expanded and upgraded pretty much continually since then, over time dozens of stations have been abandoned and gradually reclaimed by nature, giving them exactly the kind of eldritch atmosphere Simon Pegg describes.
The setup of Truth Seekers sees Frost’s character Gus leading a team of amateur paranormal investigators researching spirit action throughout the UK for their YouTube channel, while Pegg plays the creepy and ludicrously coiffured boss at his day job as a broadband engineer that he uses to scope out potential haunted locations, the intensity of the sightings continually increasing.
There was nothing said about whether or not they returned to feature the station in Truth Seekers itself, but even if not, there are countless sinister abandoned buildings throughout the UK, many of them literal centuries old, and as such there’s more than enough potential to turn the Scepter’d Isle into the Spectered Isle. I’m not sorry.