Lockwood and Co: Is the Thriller Show Inspired by a True Story or a Book?

Netflix’s ‘Lockwood and Co’ is a supernatural thriller that follows the story of three teenagers who run a ghost-hunting agency. The protagonist of the story is a girl named Lucy Carlyle, who arrives in London to escape her past, and meets two boys, Lockwood and George. Together, they take on some very difficult cases that lead them to further mysteries regarding their world and the secrets that it contains. Adapted for the screen by Joe Cornish, the series is set in a world that looks like ours but differs from it in a lot of ways. For one, Lucy’s world is infested with ghosts and ghost-hunting is the most important job in their world. If this makes you wonder who came up with this idea and if they were inspired by something from the real world to create this story, then here’s what you need to know.

Lockwood and Co is Based on Jonathan Stroud’s Book Series

Image Credits: Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix

‘Lockwood and Co’ isn’t inspired by a true story but is based on the book series of the same name by Jonathan Stroud. The thought for this story came to Stroud while he was experimenting with an idea about his new novel. In his interviews, he has revealed that he often starts with two characters and creates a conversation between them, which gives him an idea of what his new story could be. After trying to create such a conversation in different scenarios, he ended up with “just a boy and a girl walking up to the door of a house, knocking on the door; they’re going in to deal with a ghost.” Stroud found this premise interesting and he started working out the kinks of the story.

Expressing his love for ghost stories, Stroud said that he loved the ones that were “fairly bleak, harsh” and “give you a proper chill”. He wanted the same thing for his novel, but he was also “interested in embedding it in something wider and more complicated.” In crafting ‘Lockwood and Co’, Stroud took inspiration from the works of M.R. James and his “pretty nasty” ghosts. He also wanted the elements of “adventure and detective” in his story, which he drew from the classics like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His work was also influenced by Edgar Allen Poe, mixing detective and occult together.

It was clear that this was going to be a story about teenagers fighting ghosts. Now, he needed to find out why children would be the ones exposed to such a dangerous task. Why aren’t adults capable of it? He came up with a plot point that rendered adults useless when it comes to fighting ghosts. He further exaggerated the situation by turning it into a global problem. “Then came the idea that the ghosts were everywhere; it wasn’t just a kind of Scooby-Doo thing. It’s a real problem, an epidemic,” the author said.

Image Credits: Parisa Taghizadeh/ Netflix

One of the many things that Stroud needed to establish as a fundamental pillar on which to create his fantastical world was the time period. He played with the idea of giving it a Victorian setting but decided against it in favor of a modern world. “I decided it was essentially modern (trainers, jeans, TVs), but set in a world without today’s zippy telecommunications (ie. no cell phones for getting you out of a tight spot),” he asserted. In the end, the decision turned out to be great because it really gives a makeover to the world, halting it in its step, and showing the audience just how dire things have gotten over the years.

While ‘Lockwood and Co’ is set in a fantasy world, Stroud decided to use real locations in London as he believes that it “gives the magical or supernatural stuff more solidity”. “I use real roads and real buildings. I lived there for almost 10 years, so I know it well. I then overlay the fantastical things – ghosts or genies – on top of it, and watch how they interact,” he revealed. He also turned towards “folklore and established legends” to sketch out the cases that Lockwood, Lucy, and George solve. He mixed all of it together to make his world as realistic as possible.

Read More: Where Was Lockwood and Co Filmed?