|ما وراء الطبيعة|
|Based on||Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa novel series|
|Written by||Ahmed Khaled Tawfik|
|Directed by||Amr Salama |
Majid Al Ansari
|Composer||Khaled Al Kammar|
|Country of origin||Egypt|
|Original language||Egyptian Arabic|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||46–55 minutes|
|Distributor||Netflix Streaming Services|
|Picture format||High-definition video|
|Audio format||Digital system|
|Original release||5 November 2020|
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.
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. 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. The series managed to become the first Egyptian program to reach Netflix's Worldwide Top 10 charts, peaking at #7 (though it lasted on the top 10 for only 8 days).
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.
This is 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. 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.
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.
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 Ma Wara' al-Tabi'a novel series. Each episode is a standalone story, but all are interconnected through one common recurring element in the first season: The Khadrawy House.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"The Myth of the House"||Amr Salama||Amr Salama||November 5, 2020|
|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.|
|2||"The Myth of the Curse of the Pharaoh"||Majid Al Ansari||Mahmoud Ezzat||November 5, 2020|
|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.|
|3||"The Myth of the Guardian of The Cave"||Majid Al Ansari||Dina Maher||November 5, 2020|
|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.|
|4||"The Myth of the Naiad"||Majid Al Ansari||Omar Khaled||November 5, 2020|
|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.|
|5||"The Myth of the Incubus"||Amr Salama||Mahmoud Ezzat||November 5, 2020|
|Overcome with grief, Refaat's health deteriorates. Convinced that Shiraz is behind all tragedies, he chases her around a haunted maze in his dreams.|
|6||"The Myth of the House: The Return"||Amr Salama||Dina Maher||November 5, 2020|
|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.|
Paranormal was released on 5 November 2020 on Netflix.