Monday, March 11, 2013

Being Human – season 5 - review

Director: various

First aired: 2013

Contains spoilers

So Being Human (UK) comes to an end (the BBC announcers assertion on the 6th episode’s introduction that it would be the last ever episode conveniently ignoring the superior US version).

The series starts without any of the original cast. The housemates are now vampire Hal (Damien Molony), werewolf Tom (Michael Socha) and ghost Alex (Kate Bracken). They still live in Barry, Wales and this is where things go wrong.

Colin Hoult as Crumb
As Hal fell from the blood wagon in the last series, Alex and Tom have been forcing him to go cold turkey, strapped into a chair. As such Tom and Hal lose their jobs in a greasy spoon café and have to get new jobs. They end up working at the grand hotel. Just before his interview Hal is approached by Mr Rook (Steven Robertson) – one of the men in grey from the last series, civil servants whose job is to keep the supernatural hidden. Having refused Rook’s offer to take over the vampires of the UK, Hal has a street side conflict with an office worker Ian (Colin Hoult), reveals his vampire side and causes the man to be run over – to save his life he turns him.

the devil lives in Barry
Through episode one we see scenes from the past when the vampires and werewolves were constantly at war. Hal and werewolf Lady Catherine (Victoria Ross) realise that the devil is causing them to fight – their species were both created by him, it seems, and a vampire’s lack of reflection is called Old Nick’s Wink (all of a sudden). Their conflict feeds the devil. To destroy the devil they perform a ritual, with a ghost, where the devil is pulled into a human – a lunatic, conveniently masked – but Hal’s inherent selfishness makes it go wrong. The devil escapes but is trapped inside the lunatic's body. He now lives in the grand hotel as the wheelchair bound Captain Hatch (Philip Davis). This is where it lost me… conveniently the devil lives in Barry.

Steven Robertson as Rook
As Rook’s department closes due to budget cuts – and sorry, whilst I appreciated the commentary on ridiculous budget cuts I couldn’t buy the idea that an ultra-secret service would be axed like that – he gets drawn into Hatch’s plans. It seems that conflict between vampires and werewolves could power him up again… but we have just had two seasons of vampire/werewolf conflict in Barry, much more than happens in this season to be honest. Again it didn’t fit. We career towards an Armageddon end game, with Hatch causing all and sundry to commit suicide but if the over-all premise of the series struck an off-kilter note then what about the performances?

Kathryn Prescott as Natasha
Kate Bracken as Alex brought a breath of fresh air to the cast as the tom-boyish Alex. Supporting cast member Philip Davis was excellent as Hatch and in episode 5 we meet a reluctant operative of the men in grey named Natasha (Kathryn Prescott) who was superbly acted and wasted by only being in one episode. However other performances were not so good. Probably the worst offender was Colin Hoult whose character Ian becomes the vampire Crumb – possibly a comedy character, this was pantomime and, frankly, the BBC at its worst.

men with sticks and ropes
Lore came and went. Hal kisses Alex at one point their reaction ignoring the fact that such contact is either impossible or difficult for ghosts. His fall from the wagon with bottled blood forgets that we established in the first season that bottled blood is no good. We meet the men with sticks and ropes at long last but it turns out that they are ‘Hatch’s boys’. It is then suggested that ghosts, like vampires and werewolves, are creatures from the devil and this misses all the point of the last four seasons.

Alex escapes the grave
Individual characters kept my interest but the overall story and lore slips left me cold. I am actually rather glad the series has come to an end and look forward to seeing season 3 of the US series instead. 4 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Simon Dyda said...

The only thing I'll remember about this season is the origami wolf at the end. And that's only because I'm a Blade Runner fan.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

I know what you mean - i never mentioned it in review for spoiler reasons ;)