Before the latest season of Being Human returned there were rumours of certain actors leaving the show - this did not fill me with hope for the shows return. There is always a niggling feeling - can a show continue after a major cast change?
When the show finally did dawn our screens once again it felt like we had been left out of a massive chunk of our characters' story.
Things all go a bit ‘Terminator’ as we start with a flash-forward to a bleak future where vamps rule and small bands of resisting humans try to survive and fight back, with little success. Back to current time and Nina’s dead, her death only to be mentioned in passing conversation. George is a wreck, trying to protect his unnamed baby from the army of vamps which want to kill her. All the while Annie is trying to keep him sane, then the rugged and slightly simple Tom returns, whose continuing and very unsubtle hints that he needs somewhere to stay are hilarious (find him familiar? He’s the brother to Lauren Socha who plays Kelly in Misfits - its the eyebrows!)
We are taken to Southend-On-Sea and a small hairdressers containing another trinity of the supernatural - one vampire, one werewolf and a ghost all living together, again - how likely is that? Once more it feels like we’ve been left out of part of the story, who are Hal/Leo/Pearl and how did they come to live together?
Back in Wales the vampires are plotting to kill George and/or his baby as a present to the ‘old ones’ thanks to a prophecy found by the ‘vampire recorder’ played Mark Williams - a wonderful comic relief. The baby is supposed to be the Chosen One who will bring the end to all vampires. A new face in the not-so merry band of vampires is the dry and witty Cutler, whose performance reminds me of Andrew Scott’s recent portrayal of Moriarty in Sherlock.
Random quibble, since when did werewolf blood become toxic to vampires? Bit of a quick change in the series lore, something like that would have cropped up previously surely?
On the plus side Russell Tovey’s swan song performance in the opening episode is brilliant, the forced transformation to save his daughter and of course the tear-jerking exit, he will be missed for sure.
Without a moment to grieve we’re onto the next couple of episodes which bring the new trinity to Honolulu Heights, after the brief intro in episode one we now get to sink our teeth into the new characters. Damien Molony who plays Hal really starts to shine as we start to discover more of his character. He has a daily routines and little set of rules (no Kia-Ora anyone?) which help keep him sane and I just loved the idea him having to resist the small temptations (not knocking over dominos) in order to help resist the much bigger ones. Wonderful details like this really help separate him from old moody Mitchell.
Pearl and Leo on the other hand are kind of left by the wayside, not really given much to do other than to help setup Hal become the new resident vampire. Annie and Pearl have a small ghost rivalry when they meet, this was a bit annoying as it’s just used to lead us to Leo and Pearl's love for each other. Which in itself is set up and resolved rather quickly. They cram all of these new characters into the first episode, only to get rid of them in the next!
Moving on, the best thing about the series so far is definitely the conflicted relationship between Hal and Tom. One being an OCD vamp with what seems to be a privileged past (Lord Harry?!) and the other a vampire-hating werewolf who used to live in a van. Pushing them together into a menial cafe job, watching them become sort of friends slowly, all while they argue over how to chop lettuce and pick up girls! Part of me wishes they would create an entire series just for the two of them!
Overall a difficult start to the series, with way too many changes and new characters to fit in, but by the third episode I think you will start to relax and come to like the new dynamic. It’s not the same and it may not be perfect but I’m now looking forward to the rest of the series, even if it is only for more of Tom/Hal bickering!
Stefan Harkins was suitably creeped out by a ghost called Kirby...