Review of Being Human ‘Eve of the War’
Despite fears that the show would not be same after the departure of Aidan Turner, who played Mitchell the vampire, this year ‘Being Human’ has raised the bar far higher than anything it has done before.
The question is where to start? First there is London in the year 2037 where a battle rages between the resistance and the vampires. Then there is the vampire, werewolf and ghost who have managed to live together undisturbed and in harmony. Finally, there is Eve, the baby born of werewolves who is going to be killed by a woman from the future in order to save the world.
Creator and writer Toby Whithouse has reset the clock to year zero with this brilliant reinvention of his show. The look and feel of ‘Being Human’ is different and the storytelling has taken on an epic quality. As a whole, the series is more together with the new premise established from the start. Never before has the series gone forward in time but now there is a subplot reminiscent of ‘The Terminator’ and a sense of momentum. The old setup of three supernatural beings cohabiting in a house and attempting to integrate with society was initially quite original but it only had so much mileage.
This week though, Whithouse has excelled in his writing by building upon the mythology of ‘Being Human’. By developing the show he has made it stand out in the vast vampire and supernatural genre and has put a new twist on it. Every decade there is a renewed interest in vampires with more and more films and television programmes being produced and adding to the huge body of work within the genre. In the nineties there was Joss Whedon’s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel’, Anne Rice’s novels particularly ‘Interview with the Vampire’ and ‘Queen of the Damned’, and ‘Blade’ which was loosely based on the Marvel comic books of the same name. There was also 1992’s ‘Dracula’ with Gary Oldman as the infamous count and Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker, the latter of whom gave such a wooden performance that he made a stake look more believable. In the noughties there was an even greater explosion in the market with the ‘Twilight’ franchise, ‘True Blood’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Underworld’ – all of which have continued into this decade. There is even an American version of ‘Being Human’ that draws upon elements of the original British show but has deliberately tried to create something new and different. Despite the fact that the market appears to be oversaturated it seems that audiences are insatiable in their appetite for vampires. Therefore, in order to stand out, the story has to be kept fresh and original while avoiding clichés.
‘Eve of the War’ has shown how the look and feel of ‘Being Human’ has now changed and it is a change for the better. The acting and comedy were always brilliant but finally the production values match the script. Russell Tovey gave a touching last performance as George the werewolf before bowing out to join his murdered girlfriend Nina in the afterlife. Annie the ghost (Lenora Crichlow) is now the only member of the original trio, while Michael Socha has been promoted to a full time character as werewolf Tom and Damien Molony has been drafted in to play Hal, the resident vampire. It will be interesting to watch how the new dynamic between the characters will work.
Next week the three threads of story that ran parallel in ‘Eve of the War’ will begin to fuse together as the next chapter unfolds. Whether or not the rest of the series can match the first episode is yet to be seen but there is a sense of pace to the series which suggests the potential for greater things to come.
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Image credit: BBCTagged in: being human, Russell Tovey, vampire, werewolf
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