Review of Being Human ‘A Spectre Calls’
Possibly the best episode of the series so far, this week exposed the vulnerabilities of the supernatural trio when they were visited by a supposedly friendly ghost.
For the first time in this series viewers were shown just how reliant Annie, Hal and Tom are upon one another and what really lies beneath the surface of each character. Annie’s coping mechanism involves creating rotas and trying to ignore the fact that she has lost her friends and her lover. Hal too uses routine to forget about Pearl and Leo, as well as Radio 4 to stop him from going on a killing rampage. Meanwhile Tom simply needs the others to keep him grounded. However, the ease with which Kirby (James Lance) manipulated all of them highlighted how susceptible they are to malignant forces.
Out of the three of them, Kirby’s machinations upon Tom were the most painful to watch because of his innocence and the way in which he was so easily led. Prior to this episode not much was known about Tom’s past aside from the sketchy details of his unconventional upbringing with McNair. However, it was not clear just how different his life was compared to most people. He has never had the chance to do things that ordinary people take for granted and it made his story even more sad. Michael Socha wonderfully portrayed Tom’s softer side, revealing that his character is still quite naive and needs to be nurtured.
In some respects Tom is the beating heart of the series. His desire to attain some semblance of normality and live like an ordinary person harks back to the show’s original concept of supernatural beings trying to coexist peacefully with humans and be like them. His yearning reminds viewers that although the focus of ‘Being Human’ has shifted, the original idea is still there.
‘A Spectre Calls’ was a strong character-driven episode that moved the series along. Those who say that ‘Being Human’ has lost the plot, with the introduction of the vampire scrolls storyline, should be able to see from this week that the key component of character is still crucial to the programme. Added to this, there was an underlying sense of intrigue surrounding Kirby which kept the episode exciting. He came across as creepy but it wasn’t until the end that the audience discovered the truth about his ‘mission’. As guessed, he was working for the woman from the future who it seems cannot return to the land of the living. Lance gave an enthralling performance as Kirby, playing the role of nice but evil perfectly. He was a whimsically dressed and less scary version of the Child Catcher from ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. Nevertheless he was sinister in his own special way.
‘Being Human’ is now midway through its fourth series and finally it feels like the show has settled. The mystery is building and there is more to the story than just the mythology of the vampire scrolls and the War Child. For instance, why is Hal so interested in the Box Tunnel murders and finding out if there has been a cover up? Does he want to expose vampires to the world? Then there is Cutler. Why did he help Tom and what is he up to? Kirby’s appearance at the Honolulu Heights also raises the question of whether or not ghosts can travel through time. It would seem so given Kirby’s presence. Could the woman from the future eventually come through the door? The number of questions only seems to be growing.
Next week sees the return of cheeky teen vampire Adam (Craig Roberts). This time he has an older lady friend with him and the press seems to be after them. Has Adam found some sort of fame that he is holding back on? Tune in to have some questions answered and plenty more added to the list.
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Image credit: BBCTagged in: being human, james lance, vampires
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