Sunday, 5 February 2012

Being Human Returns

My mum texted me yesterday with a reminder; the new series of Being Human starts tomorrow.

(SPOILER ALERT for Series 1, 2 and 3)

I have watched Being Human from the beginning.  A colleague at work used to tell me how he had watched it being filmed while he was out walking his dog.  A friend who works at the NHS in Bristol got a tour of the abandoned parts of the buildings for her new job induction and was shown the underground rooms that George was locked into when he turned.  She even saw the long, claw marks still left in the walls.

Being Human is something that Britain is typically not very good at; supernatural dramas.  A vampire (Mitchell) and a werewolf (George) are trying hard to lead normal lives.  They move to Bristol and rent a house that happens to be haunted by a ghost (Annie).  Unlike other British attempts, however, Being Human worked.  It was fantastically written and acted.  It had depth and humour.  It was easy to empathise with all three characters, including the dark, brooding and very dangerous Mitchell and his underground vampire world.

The three work hard to blend into society and at times are very successful.  Each have their own dilemmas; Mitchell’s dark past haunts him and old vampire acquaintances attempt to lure him back, not to mention the blood lust that he tries to bury.  George has to find somewhere safe to turn every month, without drawing attention to himself and without injuring, turning or killing anyone.  Oh, and somewhere he had can wake up in the morning stark naked without embarrassment.  Annie has the problem of no one but the supernaturally inclined being able to see her, along with her unfinished business and the mystery of what lies beyond.

Each character is built up and developed through the programme leaving you feeling very close to each of them towards the end of each series.    Naturally vampires and werewolves historically do not get on with one another and no one has any respect for ghosts so these three people living together in harmony is something of a phenomenon.  

I admit, at first I felt that something was missing.  Annie’s potential was never quite reached, Mitchell was always annoyingly teetering on the edge and George seemed to fix his small problems and was closer to a normal life than all of them.

In series 2, Nina was introduced.  A doctor at the hospital where George and Mitchell worked, Nina and George began a relationship.  Unfortunately Nina gets too close to George one full moon and is caught by one of his claws.  One of George’s worst nightmares becomes a reality; he has turned someone he loves.   Suddenly George’s life becomes a lot more complicated, throwing him back into the difficult lives shared with Mitchell and Annie.

Series 3 is set in Wales and is a very powerful series.  Nina becomes the first pregnant werewolf and George must protect her.  Mitchell is suffering from his past and blood lust, spiralling out of control and Annie is brought back to us from the beyond and brings us some hope for Mitchell.  The end of series 3 is full of anticipation.  I admit I shed some tears and gasped at points.  It left me very excited for series 4.

I don’t mean to give too much away, but, well, Mitchell dies at the end of series 3 (hence my gasps and tears).  To soothe the pain, it helps to know it was because actor Aidan Turner is off to film The Hobbit.  This is, therefore, forgivable.  However, Russell Tovey (George) and Sinead Keenan (Nina) have also now left the series, leaving only our beloved Annie left.

Series 4 sees Annie set up home with a new werewolf and vampire and I don’t mean to be cynical but I just can’t allow myself to have high hopes.  The idea that a very successful programme should lose three of its main characters and continue running leaves a red alarm flashing and bleeping in my head.

Being Human has been successful though, incredibly so.  It has led to a book series, a children’s spin off ‘Becoming Human’ and, the ultimate praise, America has remade it as their own!  Don’t get me started on why we have to take America’s shows but they have to remake ours, usually (only with the exception of The Office which would have been brilliant in Britain if it hadn’t contained Ricky Gervais) with disastrous results.

Series 4 of Being Human begins tonight, 5th February at 9pm on BBC3.  I will be recording it and then letting my heart decide whether to give this new angle a chance or not.

1 comment:

  1. the office was brilliant

    recording tonight myself