Monday, January 26, 2009
Last year I stumbled by accident on a pilot episode for a series called Being Human. Only being a dickhead, I didn't realise it was a pilot and wasted a week scouring the airwaves to try and find an elusive and non existent part 2. Given that Spouse and I are both big horror/fantasy fans, we couldn't have stumbled across a programme we were going to like more. The plot (if you haven't seen it) features a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost flatsharing in Bristol. It was properly dark, properly funny, and featured three engaging characters. I haven't been so entranced by a new series of anything, ooh, forever...
I was therefore delighted to discover it was going to be made into a series, but slightly disconcerted to find out that two of the orginal trio (Guy Flanagan who played the vampire, Mitchell and Andrea Riseborough who played the ghost Annie) had been replaced. Also gone was the malevolent head of the vampires, Adrian Lester, which was a shame I thought as he was shaping up well as a character.
However, having watched episode one last night, I was really pleased that if anything I enjoyed it more. Russell Tovey as George really carries off the horror of turning into something you don't want ot be. Mitchell as played by Aidan Turner, feels a lot more dangerous and you get the sense he is grappling hard not to succumb to his bloodlust. The moment when George the werewolf discovers that the colleague whose memorial service he's just attended is in fact a vampire created by Mitchell was spinechilling, particularly when he also realises that Mitchell may have designs on the girl they both fancy. I liked the tension of George not being sure he can trust Mitchell, and yet Mitchell is the one who protects and helps George overcome the difficulties inherent in his condition.
There were also some really touching moments in this. Annie's shock at seeing what happens to George when he transforms; George's irritation towards Annie's obsessive tea making transforming to tenderness when she realises the loss of her fiance once again; George's realisation at the end that by allowing the girlfriend to die Mitchell has actually saved her.
The ending was heartrending as you really felt Mitchell's pain. Thanks to Medium Rob I was introduced to a great song last week, Hurt by Johnny Cash, and it was used here to fabulous effect. (In fact I like it so much I think I may have to steal it for the soundtrack for the new book).
By the end of this episode I felt all three characters had really grown and understood one another more. It was great.
I also liked Jason Fleming's Herrick - the head vampire, who somehow seems more menacing played as a policeman. Not quite so sure yet about Lenora Crichlow's Annie, but Andrea Riseborough is a tough act to follow, so maybe she'll get better.
But still, it looks like I've got something to keep me occupied for the next few Sundays. After the disappointment of Demons which is much sillier (and not in a good, silly Primeval/Dr Who kind of way) then I thought after episode one, that is a relief. My only problem now is persuading the two big ones that they really aren't quite old enough to watch this...