You know, this episode of Being Human could have gone horribly wrong. Not only had we lost Mitchell (Aidan Turner) at the end of Series 3, but our last vision of the Honolulu Heights housemates was George, Annie and Nina standing shoulder to shoulder against new vampire antagonist Wyndham.
By the time the opening credits rolled on the Series 4 premiere of Being Human, Wyndham was the shortest-lived baddie in vampire history and Nina had been brutally bludgeoned to death (off-screen). And by the time the episode ended George, the always wonderful Russell Tovey, had gone through his door to the afterlife.
Which, when you think about it, was a bigger character massacre than the Box Tunnel 20 incident. All that’s left is Annie (Lenora Critchlow), Tom (Michael Socha) and Splodge, er…George’s baby daughter who he eventually got around to naming Eve. Very biblical, I’m sure you’ll agree.
So, where does a series like Being Human go after such extensive cast changes? You re-tool, you shift your focus and you survive. To be fair though, the shift in focus is like taking a turn down a side street and unexpectedly ending up on a motorway: Toby Whithouse keeps the drama in Honolulu Heights, but blows out the formerly slow-moving plot by introducing a post-apocalyptic future in which vampires rule the earth and there’s a Terminator-style resistance on the brink of extinction. To this he adds some deep vampiric mythology in the form of a prediction that the human child of two werewolves will wipe out the vampire species.
In many ways, this grandiose sci-fi storyline might fit better with the American version of Being Human. It’s got that kind of bonkers cinematic scope that you expect from a US import, not such a grounded cult British show. But I think for that reason it works. Being Human had been lumbering along in a three-supernaturals-against-the-world way for quite some time. And though that was enjoyable to watch, the show was in serious danger of repeating itself. This way, Whithouse & Co have committed themselves to a more ambitious story arc and quite possibly ensured the show survives the loss of three original characters.
What I Loved
- The twin timelines – the prevailing theory is that the girl from 2037 is George and Nina’s daughter, all grown up and leading the resistance. The John Connor of this particular storyline. Of course, the main point of intrigue is – if this is Eve, then what in that prediction led her to die and try to go back and kill herself? Or have we missed a clue and it’s something else entirely?
- George’s exit. Tricking himself into a transformation to save his child. Not realising that his body wouldn’t recover. He looked like such a wretched beast as he bowed out, and then we got the rather peaceful ghost-George for a few short seconds. Goodbye, Russell Tovey, you’ve left a lasting impression on this series!
- The emergence of a new vampire, werewolf and ghost trio – three very old hands who’ve been at this much longer than George, Annie and Mitchell ever were. And a hint from Hal that when a ghost loses her familiars, she turns to vapour. Is this something Annie should be worried about?
- The fact that George hadn’t even bothered to name the baby and Annie calling it “Splodge” in an attempt to get him to snap out of his depression – a nice touch Annie still mothering her friend.