Paranormal (TV series)

Paranormal (Arabic: ما وراء الطبيعة‎) is an Egyptian supernatural-horror drama streaming television series based on Ahmed Khaled Tawfik's best-selling supernatural book series 'Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa'. The series first premiered on Netflix on November 5th, 2020. Paranormal is considered Netflix's first original Egyptian Arabic-language series and the third Middle Eastern Netflix original series following Jinn.[1][2]

Paranormal
Paranormal (2020 poster).jpg
ما وراء الطبيعة
Genre
Based onMa Waraa Al Tabiaa novel series
Written byAhmed Khaled Tawfik
Directed byAmr Salama
Majid Al Ansari
Starring
ComposerKhaled Al Kammar
Country of originEgypt
Original languageEgyptian Arabic
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producers
Producers
CinematographyAhmed Bashary
Editors
  • Ahmed Hafez
  • Ahmed Yousry
  • Rami Bakr (Assistant Editor)
Running time46–55 minutes
Production companyFilmclinic
DistributorNetflix Streaming Services
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture formatHigh-definition video
Audio formatDigital system
Original release5 November 2020 (2020-11-05)
External links
Website

Directed by Amr Salama and joined by Majid Al Ansari, late author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik's book series comes to life in this adaptation, starring Ahmed Amin, Reem Abd El Kader, Samma Ibrahim, Razane Jammal, and Aya Samaha.[3][4] It seemed as though the show received a lot of turnout on the first days of its release, as it quickly made its way up the ranks to becoming the number one most watched show in the ‘Top Ten in Egypt Today’ list. In fact, Paranormal is still ranked as number one in Egypt up until today and is even ranked amongst the top ten most watched shows in several countries across the world.[5]

The first season of the series had received an approval rating - average audience score - of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes (review aggregator) and an average rating of 8.5/10.[6]

SynopsisEdit

Set in the late 1960s, Egypt. Refaat Ismail, a skeptical Egyptian hematologist at the university of Cairo with dark sense of humor, who considers himself unlucky, meets Maggie, a friend of his youth while studying in Scotland. Dr. Refaat finds himself plunged into a series of supernatural events as he attempts to unravel the mysteries behind each unique and unusual case in a world full of mysterious events that he himself experiences, or ones that are narrated to him.[7] As a counter to his scientific work, Refaat is faced with a world where logic and scientific reason are replaced with local mythology and global folk tales, battling numerous health problems with a ready supply of medicines rattling in his pockets as he goes.[8]

Dr. Refaat, whose world slowly turns upside down after he starts to question his strong scientific convictions after experiencing a series of paranormal activities as he enters his 40s, along with his university colleague Maggie, both enter the paranormal world and try to save their loved ones from the immense danger that surrounds them.[9]

In the first season, the Egyptian professor's journey of doubt is presented in a series of six episodes, each centered around one of the famous urban legends mentioned in the Paranormal books novel series. Each episode is a standalone story, but all are interconnected through one common, a recurring element in the first season: The Khadrawy House.[10]

Refaat invents his own laws in an attempt to make sense of the unexplainable things going on around him. His ongoing state of denial does get a bit much at points, though his need to rely on science over superstition, and gradual acceptance that somethings can’t be easily explained is a key part of the tension.[11]

Cast and charactersEdit

  • Ahmed Amin as Refaat Ismail, a cynical Egyptian hematologist, and an elderly professor residing in Cairo that narrates his experiences with paranormal activities which he refuses to believe. Skinny, bald and suffers from many diseases and problems including but not limited to: peptic ulcers, narrowing of the arteries, asthma, pneumonia, joint pain, anxiety, pessimism. Misfortunes.
  • Reem Abd El Kader as Shiraz Elkhadrawy, the girl Refaat loved during his childhood, only to discover that she was a ghost. She stalks his old friends and their families to lead him to what she wants.
  • Samma Ibrahim as Raeefa Ismail, Refaat's older sister and Talaat's wife.
  • Razane Jammal as Maggie Mckillop, Refaat's university colleague from Scotland, whom he happens to still have feelings for, when she came back to Egypt for a visit.
  • Aya Samaha as Huwaida Abdel Moniem, Refaat's ex-fiancée, whom he is breaking up with due to a sharp disagreement. A low-intelligence girl that encounters many problems during her acquaintance with Rifaat, and indirectly participates in a paranormal event in the myth of the Gathoum.
  • Rushdi Al Shami as Reda Ismail Refaat's older brother.
  • Batea Khalil as Talaat, Raeefa's husband.
  • Abdelsamee Abdallah as Kamal
  • Adam Wahdan as Taha (kid)
  • Fatima AlBanawi as Nargis
  • Heba El Dessouky as Tayseer/Samah/The Naiad

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

News of Paranormal first came to light in the summer of 2020. For context, 'Paranormal' is the biggest-selling fictional series of books in the Arab world, with more than 15 million copies sold by the author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik. Paranormal is Netflix's first foray into Egyptian drama. Being brought to life and produced by both Mohamed Hefzy and Amr Salama.[12]

"Staying true to the books, 'Paranormal', filmed in Egypt will see an all-Egyptian crew, that will reflects Netflix’s commitment to creating authentic Egyptian content for global audiences to enjoy. The series will also bring to life the supernatural, using powerful post production and visual effects (VFX) techniques to complement cast performances." - Amr Salama, producer and director.

Egyptian actor and writer Ahmed Amin plays the lead role of Refaat Ismail.

"Put simply, Dr. Refaat Ismail is an anti-hero. An ordinary and frail man, he resonated with readers because he was unlike the usual trope of a hero in Arabic literature. “He doesn’t have any typical hero characteristics,” explains Amin. “He has a dark sense of humour, is very sarcastic and, ultimately, is very lonely person. He would never consider himself a hero, and – most importantly – doesn’t consider himself a believer in the paranormal.” - Ahmed Amin, lead role.

Upcoming seasonsEdit

As for next seasons, season 2 of Paranormal is looking like a possibility after the series made its debut on Netflix on November 5. Netflix has been keen to feature more Arab content which gives hope that the series will be renewed for a second season in 2022. Although, with the coronavirus pandemic bringing production to a halt for many series, there is no confirmed date for when the creators of the series will be able to start filming for season two.[13]

EpisodesEdit

Season 1Edit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"The Myth of the House"Amr SalamaAmr SalamaNovember 5, 2020 (2020-11-05)
2"The Myth of the Curse of the Pharaoh"Majid Al AnsariMahmoud EzzatNovember 5, 2020 (2020-11-05)
3"The Myth of the Guardian of The Cave"Majid Al AnsariDina MaherNovember 5, 2020 (2020-11-05)
4"The Myth of the Naiad"Majid Al AnsariOmar KhaledNovember 5, 2020 (2020-11-05)
5"The Myth of the Incubus"Amr SalamaMahmoud EzzatNovember 5, 2020 (2020-11-05)
6"The Myth of the House: The Return"Amr SalamaDina MaherNovember 5, 2020 (2020-11-05)

Episode 1Edit

Refaat's old flame Maggie returns from Scotland, and he reluctantly invites her to a party in honor of his birthday. A sighting exacerbates the tension.[14]

Episode 2Edit

After a supposedly cursed mummy is autopsied, a black cloud looms over Cairo. Refaat refuses to believe they're linked — until a loved one is affected.[15]

Episode 3Edit

When all fails, Refaat and Maggie search for a cure in the Libyan Desert. Joined by their ex-colleague, they must first get past a mythical creature.[16]

Episode 4Edit

After an alarming tarot reading, Refaat visits his hometown to resolve a family emergency. As he jumps to the rescue, an alluring voice hypnotizes him.[17]

Episode 5Edit

Overcome with grief, Refaat's health deteriorates. Convinced that Shiraz is behind all tragedies, he chases her around a haunted maze in his dreams.[18]

Episode 6Edit

Refaat uses his brain's faculties to decipher the real story behind Shiraz's death, taking him back to where it all began.The third tarot card is shown.[19]

Release dateEdit

Paranormal was released on 5 November 2020 on Netflix.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Netflix airs its first Egyptian original series". Al-Monitor.
  2. ^ Vivarelli, Nick. "Netflix Steps Up Middle East Production With Third Arabic Original 'Paranormal'". Variety.
  3. ^ "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Paranormal' On Netflix, An Egyptian Thriller Where A Sad Sack Professor Gets Roped Into Rooting Out Ghosts And Spirits". Decider.
  4. ^ "Paranormal – Netflix Review". Heaven of Horror.
  5. ^ "The 'Paranormal' Experience: Season One Review of Netflix's First Egyptian Original Series". Egyptian Streets.
  6. ^ Paranormal, Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ^ "ما وراء الطبيعة: تفاعل كبير عبر مواقع التواصل وجدل حول "خطأ تاريخي"". BBC (in Arabic). 6 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Netflix show 'Paranormal' brings iconic character Dr Refaat Ismail to life". Esquire.
  9. ^ "Netflix's Paranormal Review: Sucked In From Episode One". Mama's Geeky.
  10. ^ "Paranormal S1 | Official Trailer | Arabic with English Subtitles". IMDb.
  11. ^ "Paranormal Review: Netflix's First Egyptian Horror Show is Weird but Addictive". Den of Geek.
  12. ^ "Ahmed Amin to play Refaat Ismail in 1st Egyptian series on Netflix". EgyptToday.
  13. ^ Palmer, Katie. "Paranormal season 2 Netflix release date: Will there be another series?". Express.co.uk.
  14. ^ Paranormal - Season 1 Episode 1
  15. ^ Paranormal - Season 1 Episode 2
  16. ^ Paranormal - Season 1 Episode 3
  17. ^ Paranormal - Season 1 Episode 4
  18. ^ Paranormal - Season 1 Episode 5
  19. ^ Paranormal - Season 1 Episode 6

External linksEdit