Truth Seekers season 1 references iconic several movies throughout, but its A Clockwork Orange reference spoiled a major plot twist — here’s how.
WARNING: Spoilers for Truth Seekers season 1
Truth Seekers stars Malcolm McDowell of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange fame; one specific reference to his iconic character ruined a major season 1 twist — here’s how.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s latest horror comedy series on Amazon Prime follows Gus (Frost), a paranormal investigator who is constantly on the hunt for new and exciting discoveries in the realm of the supernatural. After being forcefully assigned a partner by his boss, Dave (Pegg), the two team up to uncover the truth about the visible and invisible world around them. Pegg and Frost are known for their works in the horror comedy genre, such as Shaun Of The Dead and Paul. In Truth Seekers, the two merge their affinity of sci-fi and horror to create a unique, inventive take on paranormal investigations. While the series is filled with countless movie references, the biggest one relates to Gus’s father-in-law Richard, portrayed by Malcolm McDowell.
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Malcolm McDowell is known for his role as Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. It is about a gang of charismatic delinquents with taste for “ultra-violence.” The most memorable scene in the 1971 dystopian movie is when Alex is taken into custody and sentenced to aversion therapy in hopes of rehabilitating him. In Truth Seekers, McDowell’s Richard undergoes an equally as invasive procedure that’s alarmingly familiar. When Alex undergoes his aversion therapy, he’s placed in a straight jacket, tied to a chair, and has his eyelids forcefully separated by a metal device that wraps around his head. As he sits in a theater seat, he is shown violent images in hopes of successfully administering The Ludovico Technique. In Anthony Burgess’ original novel, this fictional technique brainwashes the individual into being completely disgusted by violence to the point of feeling physical pain and nausea. In Truth Seekers, McDowell’s Richard accidentally enters a theater where Dr. Peter Toynbee (Julian Barratt) intends on brainwashing the attendees.
This detail isn’t known until the very end of the episode; Dr. Toynbee’s intentions for brainwashing the audience is actually the biggest reveal of Truth Seekers season 1’s ending. As Richard sits in a theater seat, Dr. Toynbee reads from a piece of paper, supposedly from the show’s version of the Necronomicon. This reading puts everyone in the audience into a trance while disturbing images appear on a projector screen. While it has the appearance of the found tape in The Ring, it is doesn’t kill the viewer in seven days. Instead, it debilitates them so Dr. Toynbee and his associates can go through the audience, use a device to open their eyes, and inject a mind control nanochip that allows for the events in season 1, episode 8, “The Shadow Of The Moon”, to take place. In the end of Kubrick’s movie, Alex is no longer brainwashed; the same goes for Richard in Truth Seekers.
While this is not a direct copy of The Ludovico Technique scene in A Clockwork Orange, it shares uncanny similarities in how they’re administered as well as their purpose. Both of McDowell’s characters are forced to keep their eyes open in hopes of gaining some form of mind control over them, as well as brainwashing. The fact that the Truth Seekers scene is so reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange alludes that Pegg and Frost were attempting to leave a subtle hint, but they actually revealed Dr. Toynbee’s plan and, with it, the ending of season 1.
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