Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Impressions: Being Human Season 1

titleOkay, so there has only been 1 episode of Being Human from this first season, but unlike US series that have 22 episodes to play with (when allowed a full run) UK series tend to aim at six episodes. So, for those who don’t know, this is a new UK series, on BBC 3 about a house share with a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost (who was the house owner before she died).

I must admit to some trepidation as I really enjoyed the Pilot Episode of this. To discover that, whilst set after the events of the pilot, the series was not going to take anything that occurred in there as cannon, that the main actors who play the ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) and the vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner) had changed – though the actor playing George the werewolf was still Russell Tovey – and that the comedy factor was being reduced… well it set my expectation hackles up, to say the least.

Lenora Crichlow as AnnieWas it as good as the pilot… not yet, though the acting was strong, it missed some of the humour. There were still some comedy moments – mainly set around George – but this had a sense of the sentimental that ran under the surface of the episode. So far that has not damaged the set up – I actually enjoyed the Johnny Cash version of Hurt being on the soundtrack – but it might damage it in the future if the writer, Toby Whithouse, is not careful.

Russell Tovey as GeorgeThere was an incongruous moment, set up as black comedy, when George was having his ‘monthly’. The isolation room in the hospital basement, which he established in the pilot, had workmen in it (no, the concept of workmen hard at it at night wasn’t the incongruous bit). Mitchell drives him to a random bit of country and we see a slapstick moment where the woods are absolutely brimming full of folks. Mitchell takes him back to the house. The wolf tears the downstairs to shreds, whilst Mitchell and Annie sit on the doorstep. Mitchell seemed afraid, though that is not our incongruous moment – he may have been afraid that he would have to hurt his friend or perhaps it was because he was weak through lack of feeding as Mitchell is on the wagon. No it was that the wolf couldn’t get through a window or door to go on the rampage through the town.

Aidan Turner as MitchellBe that as it may, my expectations are now raised, and whilst it could fall to the maudlin I hope it will prove, over its run, more than worthwhile. Certainly it is better than the other UK series at the moment, Demons, which at the time of this first impression is 4 episodes in and this surpassed it by an order of magnitude – hardly surprising as to say that Demons has disappointed would be a huge understatement.

The pilot seems to have an imdb but not the series at the time of writing.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. This introduction (or rather re-introduction) struck me as being slightly awkward. On the one hand it attempts to dispense with the pilot but on the other it wants to carry on storylines featured there, such as Lauren.

I'll be happier next Sunday when we can put such discrepencies behind us.

I have to say I do miss Andrea Riseborough as Annie.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Simon - I know what you mean. There is a rejection of the pilot and yet certain events were almost reliant on a knowlege of the pilot.

I think Lenora Crichlow could be a stronger actress in some respects but it will all depend on the direction they take the character in as Riseborough suits certain character directions that much more.

I was impressed by Aidan Turner - though we lost the Withnail aspect we gained a wider range, one feels... we'll see, as I said in the piece my expectations are now raised which could, in itself, prove misguided.