Being Human creator Toby Whithouse has revealed that it was not his decision to kill off John Mitchell on last night’s series finale.
Writing on the show’s official BBC website, the writer explained that actor Aidan Turner asked if his character John Mitchell could die as part of the spectacular episode.
Turner has landed a role in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and will play Kíli the Dwarf in the Hollywood blockbuster. Viewers took to Twitter in their thousands last night as his Being Human character died and writing after the show aired, Whithouse admitted that he had always known one of his major stars would leave.
“From the first moment we met Aidan, we knew we were really only borrowing him from global superstardom. The same goes for all our cast. You can’t have actors as good as Aidan and Russell [Tovey] and Lenora [Crichlow] and Sinead [Keenan] and Jason [Segel] and not expect someone else to notice.
“I guess it really hit me back when we were doing series two, and perhaps unconsciously I shifted the stories in a way that paved Mitchell’s exit. I thought it’d be better to have him go out in a scripted satisfying way, rather than lose him between series and open up with the rest of our heroes standing over a grave, with one of them saying ‘Wow, who’d have guessed Mitchell was SO allergic to bee stings…’
He added: “The consequences of the Box Tunnel Massacre were always going to be the cause of his demise, but whether that happened at the end of series three or series 33 was never defined.”
On alternative solutions he had planned, so that Turner could work around his new movie role, Whithouse added:
“Perhaps, we thought, Wyndham could dispatch him back to Bolivia and maybe (though we had to concede it was pretty unlikely given what Aidan’s schedule would be for the next 3 years) we could get Mitchell back for an episode of series 7…?” he wrote. “But y’see, that Turner fella is smart. He knew that ending, while leaving the door open for him to return one day, would be ultimately unsatisfying. And so it was his decision – and with his encouragement – that we ended Mitchell’s story there.”
In praise of the actors skills. Toby concluded:
“Watching him mature as an actor has been one of the great pleasures of working on this show. And aside from his skill and professionalism and talent, he’s also a ridiculously nice and funny guy, and… Actually, damn him. Seriously. I’m glad he’s dead. So let’s raise a glass to Aidan Turner. It’s been a blast.”