Being Human: We interrupt this story arc for some light comedy…

by Gerard McGarry

Being Human - The Graveyard Shift spoiler image

So, the writers of Being Human anticipated that legions of you would be grumbling about the loss of most of the original cast and the introduction of Hal. As fans of the show, it must be reassuring to know that all those months ago, they wrote an episode focussing on that very issue.

Essentially, The Graveyard Shift takes a bit of time out from the grim Warchild story arc to develop the relationships between Annie, Hal and Tom. What are the essential ingredients in deepening the bond between the flatmates? Well, Being Human has effectively used flashbacks in the past to give us new insights into its characters. So, flashback to Hal’s bloody past. Check. Next throw in some bonding time where the housemates’ trust is challenged and they face a common enemy together. Oh, and some weird kinky ghost-vampire-memory-sex stuff with Ron Weasley’s dad.

In many ways, The Graveyard Shift was a weirdly disjointed episode of Being Human. We’ve got strained scenes between Tom and Hal, which really only work because the two characters are completely uncomfortable with each other. I mean, Tom’s keeping a sharpened stake ‘just in case’. We’ve got the strange introduction of moonstruck Goth girl Michaela, who thinks she’s dark and mysterious until she meets Tom and Hal. And the pervy scene where Regus tries to latch on to Annie’s sex memories for a cheap thrill.

None of this should really work, but the episode lays the comedy side of things on pretty thick. There’s Hal and Tom trying to chat up Michaela and Tom’s classic “I like your tights, they remind me of bumble bees. I like bees.” line. Or clever little touches like Mark Williams – a star of the Harry Potter movies – wearing a Team Edward t-shirt, a veritable pop culture orgasm. Or Regus trying to relive Annie’s ‘first time’ until he realised he was playing the part Annie in the memory.

Actually, Mark Williams was the funniest thing in tonight’s episode. Nice to see his character explored a little further too, his reasons for wanting revenge on the vampires explained more clearly. And of course, he got the lion’s share of the gags in tonight. When we were all shouting at Annie through the telly for taking the baby out in public (twice!!!), Regus was the one who called her out. And what better little touch at the end where he hoovered up his dead vampire friends and left to have freaky sex with Michaela? Bravo, Mark Williams, we salute you sir.

But let’s not leave out the main trio – Hal proved he’s on the side of the good guys by double-crossing and then staking Fergus. That should put Tom’s mind to rest about his allegiances. I get the distinct impression there’s a burgeoning bromance between Tom and Hal. They’re moving from outright hostility to grudging respect to ‘watching Antiques Roadshow together’ pretty quickly, and it’s a dynamic I’m growing to like. Plus, Tom’s so much more masculine that George was, which means they stand more of a chance in a fight when the Old Ones show up.

Annie. Well, Annie was completely stupid tonight. Taking the child out once was bad enough, but she did it again after she’d been warned off by Regus (sorry, just remembered his “wooden enema” line). Luckily, Fergus is out of the picture now, but how long before the next vamp shows up to kill the warchild? Still, in that final battle with Fergus and his vampires, Annie, Tom and Hal did a fine job of slaughtering their enemies. Everybody got a kill, including Annie. And she also did that cool poltergeist trick with the knife.

Next week, something creepy is about to cross over from the spirit world. And it’s not Eve, it’s a creepy dude from the 70s. Any guesses as to what that’s about?