It was six years ago today…

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Well hello. Long time etc. etc.

Hang on a minute while I pull off the dust sheets and run around with the vacuum. Open the windows will you?  Give the blog a bit of a blow through.

I can’t quite bring myself to close this blog permanently although I don’t feel the need to write about Being Human that often nowadays.  I’m quite sure that occasionally there will be thoughts and this is a good outlet as I can’t see anyone rolling their eyes at me!

series one

Today I do have thoughts as it’s six years ago today when the first episode of the first series was aired on BBCThree.  It was a Sunday, a fairly mild day for winter, a bit damp and the day before the new moon.

Here’s a thing.  Can we really look back at that first episode and see it as we did then?

“Maybe… we find each other”

tri S1E1George and Annie making tentative steps towards friendship, picking their way through the mugs of cold tea?

Mitchell coping – sort of – not really – with the help of pizza and cereal?

“…and she was mine”

Owen the grieving finance – it all sounded so innocent and so touching then.

herrick and cara“You’re a shark – be a shark”

Herrick, tidying up after Mitchell, charming Cara (or canteen girl as she was known then) and generally talking a reasonable amount of sense.

lauren sunglasses“A-positive?  A bit Jacob’s Creek-y for me”

Ah Seth, bless his dim little cotton socks.  He changed the wine choices of a fandom!

Doomed Becca.

Lost, vengeful, confused Lauren.

“OK, I’m new to this, but aren’t you suppose to weep or scream or wee yourself?”

Of course we can’t see it new now.  Everything – the house, the people, the passing strangers, it’s all coloured by what we know is still to come.  We know their ends so we can’t help seeing the path and we – or maybe just me – still wishes they applied a little more common sense from time to time. Yes Mitchell, that means you!

Nowadays I think more about what Being Human brought with it.  For me as well as being one of my favourite TV series it gave me opportunity – there are two books out there with my name on and I still write.  Will I write another TV book?  Maybe but it’s hard to find anything I want to watch as often and in as much detail as I did BH. I wore out a set of S1-3 DVDs!

But most importantly the Being Human fandom brought people – groups of friends that go far beyond the influence of a TV show.  Transatlantic, cross European meet ups.  Theatre trips.  Excursions to the cold, wet yet scenic glories of Barry Island.  Bristol BH pub crawls.  Knicker-wetting laughter.  Mutual support and encouragement.  Captain Fringe.  General insanity.  Panda sex.  A quote for every occasion.  A full on gospel chorus every time someone goes to IKEA…

BFFs

That’s the true legacy of Being Human.

Thanks Toby.

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For a change – the US Promo for series one…

 

of flesh & blood I’m made…

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Recently I found myself pondering about the humans in Being Human.  There’s a natural tendency to focus on the supernaturals – the vampires, the ghosts and the werewolves – not to mention the Brucie bonus beings of zombies, the odd succubus, demons, the Devil himself, TMWSaTMWR (wBBFoTBBW) and whatever Saul and Lia were.  It’s easy to forget the humans.

But isn’t that what it’s all about?  Being human?  Isn’t it time to ponder on those mortal women and men (and occasionally children) that Mitchell et al so aspired to be like?

Human characters were at their best and their worst in series one and two.  Once we were full pelt into Mitchell’s decline and fall, vampire prophesies of a bleak future (and a baby) and the icing on the cake – The Devil in Barry (and a cardigan) it inevitably meant that supernatural problems took centre stage.

owen and janeyIn series one the original threesome tinkered with a number of humans, probably more so than in any other series.  They all got a share and memorable almost the throng were Becca, Fleur, Bernie, Owen, Cara, Nina, Josie, Billy and Janey.   Let’s be honest, it didn’t generally end well.  The final results – dead, frazzled/doomed, undead, doo-fucking-lally, undead, wolfified, dead, dead and – actually that’s a good point.  What did happen to Janey?  Does she still have her feet?  And her tan?

beccaThey all taught our threesome something – Becca’s death was tragic, more so that Mitchell ‘saved’ her to George’s initial horror but later understanding.  He needed to know the monster. The clever thing about Owen was not that he got away with murder, more that he showed us that Being Human humans weren’t always going to be nice.  It would have been an easy distinction – them and us – but initially smiling, still slightly grieving, apparently good egg Owen was a bad hat of the first order.

Nina – the little nurse with the giant-sized strop spent series one as human but as she became a werewolf in the final episode I’ll pass by this time.  This is about the humans who were only being human.

And then there was Josie.  Oh yes Josie.  The best of the best.  I’ll come back to her…

The series two humans who had dealings with Mitchell may have wished they hadn’t and he messily finished off Quinn the coroner and Wilson the dodgy copper.  The main opposition of Kemp, Lucy, Lloyd and (innocent victim) Hennessy ended up respectively – dead (sort of), dead, probably dead and dead.  Is it fair to blame Mitchell for all of those?  He did munch his way through the bible boys as well and I think we could say he was pretty damn culpable in the other cases too.

And anyway, that bloody tartan hat makes him full-time culpable for anything and everything…

lucy kemp and noticeboardOf course you could say it was only the Old Testament style justice that Kemp and the Gang deserved – in a blood drenched, kind of ironic way.  Like Owen, Kemp and Lucy were the villains but so cleverly written and played that it wasn’t until episode seven that I realised Kemp was far from the understandable zealot created by the tragic loss of his wife and child and that actually, he was insane.  Lucy wavered after she’d had a fiddle with Mitchell but ultimately condoned genocide.  And Lloyd?  Just a perv…  As George reminded us – not everything about being human is nice.

The humans that had the various pleasures of meeting Annie and George didn’t do so badly.  Annie in particular and unsurprisingly was fond of a happy ending.  She reunited sweet (and only slightly weird) Hugh with Fatima Whitbread Kirsty, gave her mother closure and the magnificently moustachioed Alan Cortez hope.  George did batter his boss but managed not to scratch, claw or otherwise lacerate new love Sam and evil child Molly and while it all went rather horribly wrong did we ever expect anything else?  No.  I think we were all shouting “Rebound!” at the TV.  Or possibly “You TOBOGGAN??!”

annie and alan cortez-horzOnce we get to Barry in series three the human influence dwindles dramatically.  There was Bob in episode one who ended up incarcerated with George for a spot of dogging that was beyond any of Swansea’s specialities, Adam’s parents, Number 7, ‘lovely bra’ Sadie and the empathetic Bazzer but none of these did much more than help edge the story along – and for a change none were damned or saved or even offered a biscuit by our trio.  (Although Sadie nearly got more than a cookie from Mitchell…)  George’s parents and his mum’s ill-advised gym teacher BF were just comic relief, although nicely done.  The touching return of George to their lives (even though they’d thought him dead and concluded he was insane) was tempered by the fact that he apparently never saw them again.  Tenacious Nancy, the slightly irritating detective won an empty victory over Mitchell.  Determined to bring him down – despite her vampire boss – and ultimately with Annie’s help he was ready for his close up while Herrick munched on the victor.  Yes indeed Uncle Billy, you had pulled…

Herrick and Nancy E7None of this shows us much about the main characters except to serve as a warning to watch who you pick up in bars – avoid the peach schnapps drinkers – and that men wearing pjs during the (most beautiful) day may have something to hide…

The single most memorable human character in series three was Wendy, Community Psychiatric Nurse  *holds up ID badge*.  I’ve rhapsodised about this character so often that I won’t bore you with it all again.  I’ll just make two points.

PICTURE SHOWS: NICOLA WALKER AS WENDYQ1: Could The Longest Day have worked without Wendy being there?

A: Yes. Probably.

Q2: Would it have been such an amazing, epic, incredible episode without her?  Without the human centre around which our supernaturals revolved in ever decreasing circles, talking too much and too little and setting themselves up for the inevitable heartache and fall that Herrick would bring to them?  Without the real life problems of sandwiches in laptops, paperwork, pagans and ley lines and the Red Bull wearing off?  Without someone being human?

A: No.

Great swathes of series four pass by with barely a glimpse of a real live human.  The screaming catch of the day at Stokers, a social worker solely there to invite Fergus into HH, the doomed doctor who was doubting of Tom and Hal’s romance (how could he?!) and Pete, the equally doomed vampire-hunting journalist who bit off rather more than he could chew with Cutler.  As did the coroner.  (Delete filthy joke.) (Snigger.)rachel cutler

One of the humans with an ostensibly small role but a disproportionate impact was Rachel Cutler.  Wife of Crispy Nick she was captured, killed and bled almost dry by Hal when Cutler refused to do the deed himself. At least he got a drink out of it…  The death of Rachel at the hands of his creator – to prove a point, to set him free, to win a bet, whatever the motive – informed Cutler’s future in a way Hal could never have predicted.  Rachel said all of 24 words but lives on in many a fanfic, filling in the background that we never knew.  All we really know for sure was who she was married to which makes it all the more interesting that her death cast such a long shadow.  As a human death should.

Rather like Nina we first met Alex as a human, a somewhat flirty and forthright human but also like Nina her story is as a supernatural.

And then at the end of the series a new human – Mr Rook.  Quietly threatening, politely menacing and an unknown quantity.  On first acquaintance he’s maybe human, maybe not.  We had to wait and see.

mr rookMr Rook turned out in series five to be that rare beast – a regular human character, the first since Kemp and Lucy.  He was rare in another way too – a human with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the supernatural world.  The cover up man.  The man with a mission to keep humanity safe.  And sadly a mission that corrupted when the wheels fell off his political handcart.  He turned to murder, feeding vampires with their own families, sticking a pen in the eye of a witness, sending his almost daughter to be a vamp snack, confessing his sins-slash-problems to a sex line.  As you do.  Another role model then…  No wonder Mitchell despaired!

Even fewer humans in the final series – unless you count the multitudinous corpses that the devil – sorry – The Devil left cluttering up the highways and byways of Cardiff.  Not to mention Hal’s (and Tom’s) somewhat smaller offering.  No worries boys – size isn’t everything.

bodies S5We did see writerer Toby Whithouse as Alistair the Home Secretary.  I’m assuming he was human – he’s a politician, it isn’t necessarily the case – and he did seem to be controlled rather erratically by a very much non-bespoke suit.  Do we have a name for that?  Oh yes.  Primark.  Who else?  Patsy survived a couple of episodes before disposing of herself on The Devil’s command.  She stands out for all the wrong reasons – she came over as a snide and slightly nasty dig – and that made her unbelievable as a human character compared to those who came before her.  Although perhaps that’s more a reflection on the less layered, more slapstick style of series five – very BBCThree in fact.

toby HomeSecThe only other two humans left that stick in my mind from series five were both pretty well done – thankfully!  Natasha showed us a fully rounded person – wanting to please her rescuer and her new paramour Tom and eventually managing to please neither.  No stranger to the supernatural world after her upbringing, her treatment of Hal with a mixture of contempt, morbid fascination and pity rang true.  Alex’s dad, only seen in The Devil’s temptation could be counted as human – he was, clearly, but the only time we saw him was in a false world so does it count?  Did The Devil or Alex’s memory alter him to the Father she wanted or was that really him?  We have no way of knowing.

So we come to the end and the $64,000 question. Or in Mitchell’s case the plate of hobnobs and a cuppa question.

Were Mitchell and the others right to want to be human?  Did they have shining examples to look up to or were they always going to be on a hiding to nothing?  Well, yes and no.  Mostly no.

We saw the best and worst of the human world – murderers, zealots, the wilfully and naturally ignorant, the good and the strong.  We saw people we liked even though we probably shouldn’t have, people we hated and people we could imagine loving, people we wanted to be with – for a pint or for a laugh or for life.  We saw real people.

These were not shining stars.  Paragons of virtue.  Wanting to be human isn’t that simple.  Human like Owen?  Like Kemp?  Like Rook?

josiePersonally I believe that to deny your essential nature will never result in happiness – Herrick had it right when he said that unforgettable line “You’re a shark – be a shark“.  Of all the humans we saw I think Josie – Clare Higgins’ Josie – was a pretty good role model.  She wasn’t perfect but she had an inner strength and a real empathy with Mitchell’s predicament.  She didn’t want to make him human, she wasn’t going to pretend he was or even could be human.  What she was prepared to do was to use her own human mortality to enable him to not only be what he was but to be the best of what he was.

Isn’t that all any of us can hope for?  To be the best of what we are – and to recognise what we are and not dream of the impossible.  Why would you want to be human when humans can be cruel and unforgiving – but then so can vampires and werewolves and ghosts.  And vampires and werewolves and ghosts can be kind and supportive too.

Be what you are.  But be the best version of who you are.

Maybe that is truly Being Human.

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The post title comes – of course – from the Human League song I’m Only Human – which has proved to the most tenacious earworm I’ve had for quite some time!  Have a listen…  In fact have my earworm!  You’re welcome.

still crazy after all these years…

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It’s 2014.

Happy New Year!

(Insert obligatory exclamations about where did the time go etc. etc.)

Another new year but this year is different to the five before it in that there will be no new series of Being Human to look forward to.

(Small sob)

placesThe fanbase is still there, still strong, still obsessed faithful!  Probably still arguing over who was Mitchell’s true love (Josie), had Herrick really lost his memory (no, well, sort of), were they really human (No!) (NO!) and exactly how old was Ivan?!  The answer to that one is: it depends…  If you believe series two he’s 237 but if you believe Toby – and why wouldn’t we* – he’s over 400 as he said here.

* He has been known to be a touch misleading…

ivan flashbackThere is still tutting over toxic werewolf blood, summoning/banishing/imprisoning/whatever the devil rituals, off stage deaths (Oh, Pineapples…) and whatever happened to Arthur the archivist?  (OK, maybe that one’s just me.)  There are still damp gussets galore over Mitchell and Hal… although not mine.  That won’t surprise you much but to be honest I’ll keep the state of my gusset to myself thanks.

If none of the above makes sense to you – welcome!  Now go back and catch up.  I’ll wait.

origami werewolfPeople are still visiting this little blog – for which I am very grateful and always slightly surprised – but now Being Human is over there won’t be regular updates.  However – if, or more likely when, something occurs to me (which I’m pretty sure it will) I’ll still post.  If you’re interested do follow and you’ll get a notification as and when there’s anything new. (Sales pitch over – as you were.)

In fact to whet your appetite there is a new post brewing at the moment – I’ve been thinking about the Being Human humans…

Watch this space.

Not literally.  You can go and sit down somewhere comfy.

Be seeing you!

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It seems timely to go right back to the beginning – and the three prequels for our original trio…  (Not forgetting Herrick’s first appearance of course!)

my best bits… my all time favourite episode

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Choices, choices…

I’ve chosen my favourite episode from each series and now I have to pick my favourite out of those five.  And no, I can’t change my mind about them now.  Not even if I ask myself very nicely.

Of course there are so many scenes and characters and sub-plots that I’ve had to leave out and what might be good would be to put together my favourite episode that never was, made up of all the very best bits.  Except it would make no sense at all and be several hours long. In that light it’s not such a great idea, so let’s junk Plan B and go back to where I started.

Where was I?

series 1to5 imagesIn case you’ve forgotten – and frankly, I need a reminder myself – here are the runners and riders – linked to the posts where I kind of/sort of justified the choices.

Series one – Bad Moon Rising

Series two – The Looking Glass

Series three – The Longest Day

Series four – Making History

Series five – The Last Broadcast

This is tough.  Or is it?

Should I do reverse order?  Yes? Oh all right then!  Anything to make life harder…   Although I’ve already thought of a snag. These are my favourite episodes from each series so although I’m going to put The Last Broadcast in fifth place it wouldn’t come fifth if I chose my over all, anything goes top five. Are you with me?  No, me neither but having done the excuses lets move on with the announcement of the favourite episode out of the five I chose, one from each series, not the overall top five episodes winners and losers.  Or something something something…

Although the winner would have still won however I worked it out.  Clever that…Hatch broadcast-horzIn case you missed it in the excitement, fifth is 5.06 The Last Broadcast.

Equal third (yes I can have a tie) are 1.06 Bad Moon Rising and 2.05 Through the Looking Glass.

Second and the proud recipient of a rather lovely satin sash and a small tiara – 4.07 Making History.  I’d give the sash to Cutler but I’m not at all convinced he’d wear it.  The tiara however…

cutler and hal from car bootThis episode edged out The Looking Glass because of The Looking Glass. Both flashback heavy, cutting back and forth, old loves and new ones – OK that’s possibly stretching it a bit but wait!  Making History took that premise and built on it and they built good!  Yes Cutler is my second favourite character and I do love a man who can dig a decent grave but the whole episode had a depth and quality of image and setting that made it distinct in the whole series.  Sharp colour in the present day, unremitting grey in the future and warm sepia tones in the 1950’s giving a glow of nostalgia to what was a particularly twisted relationship.  In fact I think Cutler/Hal beats the tied-to-a-bookcase courtship of Josie and Mitchell into a cocked trilby!  The locations were also perfectly chosen, ending in the glacial white night club, the complete opposite to a classic gothic horror cellar.  And that cellar, practical and prosaic, not a scrap of gothic just a rather useful cage of fresh mixers perfect for draining a fresh corpse…

I like it.  A lot.

And first?  Which gets the bouquet of roses, shiny shiny sash and the big crown?  Frankly if you’re asking that you haven’t been paying attention!

It really isn’t a hard choice to make.  There is one episode that for me sums up everything that is wonderful about Being Human – the writing, the characters, the setting.  It’s an hour of television that stands up to almost anything you care to put against it.

3.05 The Longest Day – written by Sarah Phelps, directed by Philip Johns.

Yes, it’s a Herrick centred episode.  Are you surprised?  Really?

wendy and annie and muralIt’s not just about Herrick though, Wendy, the community psychiatric nurse was one of the most fully realised one episode guests ever.  She wasn’t supernatural and she wasn’t outright funny nor was she tragic but somehow Sarah Phelps and Nicola Walker made her all that and more.  I read that the part was written especially for Nicola and it fitted her like a bespoke gown – paired with some eminently sensible shoes.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what made Wendy wonderful.  Obviously the combination of great writing and great performance but I think it was the tiny details and the almost throwaway lines.  “Tena Lady moment!”, the sandwich in the laptop, the way she presented her ID badge, “My mother would love you!” and the phone call on the loo.  The actual loo.  It all added up to something rather special in the most perfectly understated way.  In fact that’s probably the key to the episode – dark and twisted events, dark and twisted people, but perfectly, totally believable.  Unusually for me I didn’t question a single motive in the whole hour! Not even Nina’s!

This was Herrick’s return – we last saw him muddy and in the all together (bar some strategically clinging compost) in a snowy field someone unspecified as Cara and Daisy bled all over his uneasy resting place.  Since then he’s rediscovered his voice, found a suit but not his memory and finally given ever-loving Cara the slip.

herrick_in_atticIt’s an immaculate performance from Jason Watkins (more so after his bath) and even now after many watches I’m still not sure if Herrick was faking it or not.  Mostly I think he was but maybe not from the beginning and to be honest I’m not really convinced either way!  There were so many nuances to what he did throughout the episode, the terror in the hospital and the confusion in Honolulu Heights, his total blanking of Mitchell.  Do we believe his horror when he realises he had no reflection or the way he clinically disposes of Cara.  She’s outlived her usefulness now hasn’t she?  Or was he really sacred of what she wanted with him?  But then there’s the way he draws in George, kind words and congratulations – what he might have expected from Mitchell but didn’t get, his friend being to enmeshed in his own downfall to care enough.  Counter that with the way he speaks to Annie and that terribly knowing smile when she leaves him alone in the attic.  And the train set.  And the Victor.  I could go on!

PICTURE SHOWS: REBECCA COOPER AS CARAOne very striking part of The Longest Day was the strength of writing for the female cast. Obviously Wendy was a new character but Sarah Phelps brought something new to all of them.  Cara became a fully realised person – not the slightly simple canteen worker or the killing crazed mad-vamp of series two.  She finally showed who she was and her determination to care for her Dark Lord, even to the extent of following him to the enemy camp was touching.  When he was so finally nasty to her it broke her heart – and mine too, just a little bit.  “Well then. You are nothing.”  Could he have said anything any crueller?

nina shaving herrickNina’s black and white morality showed a few tinges of grey and her insistence of nurturing the confused, amnesic Uncle Billy despite the horrors it was bound to bring showed a strength she was going to need.  She’d never trusted Mitchell but this episode showed her his true colours and the realisation of what he really was literally turned her stomach.  Her call to the hotline (and I’m still convinced that was Lia’s voice) was the final piece removed from the Honolulu House Jenga – it’s all about to topple.

annie and herrickAnnie also found strength that had nothing to do with bringing the house down around their ears.  Her journey through the episode from ditzy Annie, poring over Nina’s scan and cooking celebratory Eton Mess through to the guts to challenge Herrick and to deal with Mitchell’s vileness and rejection.  To me it was clear she disapproved of Nina’s treatment of Wendy and her frustration at not being able to do more to comfort her than move the tissues into reach was palpable.  And nicely balanced with her disgust at the state of her car!

george mitchell stake atticGeorge was – mostly – the voice of reason, once he’d got over the understandable shock of seeing the man he’d torn to pieces crawling about in front of him.  Mitchell was the voice of – well, it tempting to say madness.  It’s the point at which his downwards trajectory really start to pick up speed and his instinctive reaction to stake Herrick is curious. Was it a natural abhorrence for something he thought could never happen, Herrick resurrected?  Had he been relishing his freedom from Herrick’s web just a little too much?  George started to side with his friend but Nina made him see he was acceding to murder and it was almost enough to tun him against Mitchell.  Or would he really have cast him out?  If he’d know just what was due to happen next he may have done.  Having Herrick ensconced in the attic started a chain of decisions that were downright idiotic, even by Mitchell’s standards!  He put them all at risk, that bumbling confused man in the pjs – and then he sat back and let them tighten their own nooses.  A string of coincidence or pure evil?  Well, what do you think?!

If I wish for one thing, if I could time travel back I’d have liked Sarah Phelps to have written more for Being Human.  The episode that springs to mind is 4.06 Puppy Love – I’d love to have seen what she could have done with Cutler and I just know she’d have made characters like Golda and Allison more rounded.  Oh well.  It was not to be.

I’ve probably said all this before – and probably will again but even beyond Being Human this is a very special hour of television.  I reviewed it here when it first came out and then went back over it in more detail when I wrote my book A Guide to Being Human but even after all that watching which left it engraved in my brain forever I can still watch it and see something new or something that makes me go “Ahhh…” or even “Oh!” (and occasionally “WTF??!”)

herrick in hospitalOh! And final thought – the brilliant Bazza and his undoubted diagnostic expertise in all matters psychological.  “Doo-twatting-lally.”  Nail on the head there mate!

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Here’s the ‘Behind the Scenes’ clip from the BBC Blog – and as a bonus Dirge by Death in Vegas.  It’s such a brilliant choice, the building tension is perfectly set off by the music.

And after all, it’s going to be the most perfect day.

my best bits… favourite episode from series five

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The last series.  Ever.  At all.  (Probably.) (Probably definitely.)

Same house, same vampire, same werewolf, same swirly carpet. New ghost.  New stains on said swirly carpet.  The Cafe on the Corner is no more (long live Fanny and her Rest Stop) and instead we have the Barry not-so-Grand Hotel. God only knows what Trip Advisor makes of it!

“Clean, reasonably priced, slight smell of brimstone. Service rather variable.”

New baddie, in fact a capital letters Big Bad, assorted new vamps/ghosts/werewolves and some things we always knew we’d never see.  Or so Toby ‘Pants On Fire’ Whithouse said.  And no.  Not Damien Molony’s nipples, although they were unduly prominent throughout the six (yes a whole six) episodes..

Being Human series 5This is a tough one to think through – if you read my reviews you probably realise this isn’t my favourite series although there was much to like. And some to like a lot.  And too much that I didn’t like as much…  But that’s a discussion I’ll have with myself on another day and in another post.  So I’m not thinking about the parts I struggled with but just the good stuff, the bits that made me laugh and wonder and ponder and that felt like ‘my’ Being Human.

So… in the oh so traditional no particular order…

Rook finding new uses for the humble pen.  Eye eye…

Whispering in their ear to persuade people to kill themselves in increasingly horrible ways.  Nice skill.  I’m very, very slightly jealous of that…

The Devil on the battlefield drinking a nice cup of tea from his flask while seated in a deckchair.  How terribly British.  Shame he didn’t have a knotted hankie on his head.  Although I suppose it gets caught in his horns.

toby HomeSecToby (PoF) Whithouse (not Tony Whitehouse as my spellchecker seem determined to insist) himself as the Home Secretary – although the suit did seem keen to take all the limelight! Maybe not the tour de force of an acting performance that we’d expect but as he’d always said he wouldn’t be in it it did made me smile.  And I really wish he had waved at the camera.

Some great value guests.  Ricky Grover’s Bobby was funny and sad and touching and gone too soon, Kathryn Prescott was straight in with a wonderful portrayal of lonely Natasha, desperate to impress her rescuer Rook, that had all the depth that was missing from other characters like… No.  I said I wasn’t going there.  Alex’s dad in the final episode was a bitter-sweet turn by Gordon Kennedy and brought a lot of background to Alex’s character – but perhaps too little too late.  Lots of good stuff there to get your teeth into – as opposed to those who got their teeth into the scenery…

Learning Victorian slang – dollymop and flapdragon. Rude!

MWSAMWRThe Men with Sticks and the Men with Ropes – my first thought was is everyone behind the doors an ex-soap star? I thought they all moved to Newcastle but it’s clearly just a code for Purgatory.  And wouldn’t it be fab if your door opened to the Easties Duff Duff Duffs…

I’ve always been curious about TMWSaTMWR (WBBFOTBBW) (to be pedantic) but Toby said he’d never show them as they are far scarier in our imagination.  He was right but even without being utterly terrifying I liked Martin Hancock’s brief appearance as The Leader.  (Insert your own spider and web jokes here) (Why should I do all the work?) I could have done without the swirly whirly picture stuff though – did someone get a new effects programme for their birthday? The Leader was more chilling without them and good writing and acting makes the effects superfluous.  Save the money – it could have paid to put a tuck in the Home Secretary’s suit…

Hal alex barry sea frontThe scene between Alex and Hal in the Barry Island bandstand which confirmed to me that Kate Bracken is one of the most promising finds amongst the BH alumni.

Nice use of lots of bits of Tredegar House as a location – although Lady Mary and Alex chatting in Herrick’s 1933 Paris hotel room was a little disconcerting to the sharp-eyed.  Location wise this was the best – the hotel was suitably naff and nasty and not unlike so many others and HH is just HH but nothing else really stood out as intriguing this year.  Hal was undoubtedly horrified at how dreadfully common it all was.  Although Tom took Natasha to Cutler’s smart, gothic/modern restaurant.  Which is also where the trio went for supper in THAT extra scene. So presumably they either get a cracking discount or it’s the only joint in town…  I wonder if they had the Shiraz or the Merlot?

Hatch broadcastThe Devil’s monologues and speeches.  All of them.  Wonderfully done by the marvellous Phil Daniels and extra special kudos for the final one over the emergency broadcast channels.  Probably up there with my favourite speeches in all five series of Being Human.  I agree with him as well – we humans really do fuck stuff up big style.  And speaking of which – speeches not fuck ups – this one was the push for me to make this series’ choice.

In the end it wasn’t a hard choice to make.  It had to be the last one and to be totally honest because it was the last one.  To be fair it had some cracking moments and sadly some right clunkers.  It also had me throwing things at the TV during the fake sunshine happy-ever-after interlude.  But I got over that when the bleak realisation dawned.  Yes I know – I’m happier when it’s dark!  It wasn’t such a bad end to a show that I did – and still do – love.  Even though this series tested that love to the limits.  However, given that I am notoriously commitment phobic in every way that counts I suppose five series might always have been pushing the faith a bit!

origami werewolfIf only it weren’t for that damned DVD extra.

But that’s a whole different story for another time…

In the meantime one more post in this series – my best bit of all the best bits. Or all the best bits that count in these blogs anyway!

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The series five trailer – well, the first series five trailer before what we all know was finally and formally confirmed that it would be the last one.  Another, revised trailer swiftly followed – which – of course – made it all better. A little like putting a novelty Mr Men sticking plaster on the remains of an amputated limb…

my best bits… favourite episode from series four

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Series four.  More changes but still in Barry Island, still in Honolulu Heights and it appears someone has managed to get the bits of dead policemen and powdered Mitchell out of the swirly carpet.  And the McNair shaped stain off the attic floor.  There’s no Mitchell, no Herrick, no Nina and barely any George.  And Pineapples was chunked between series – which is marginally unforgivable.  And there’s a baby.  Damn.  That’s never a good sign…

series four

I think that it’s fair to say that The Eve of the War came as a bit of a shock to some.  It was very different and brought us a whole new cast of characters – not all of whom made it into episode two.  It took us to the future, to the Age of the Vampires as promised by Wyndam and some timey-wimey stuff that still gives me indigestion.  We also got prophesies (with added nipple), a new vampire HQ and a new vampire.  A bad vampire.  Excellent.  (I don’t yay.)

It won’t be a great surprise to anyone that I liked Cutler.  Quite a lot.  Evil or at least probably evil, morally ambiguous, devious, a great line in sarcastic remarks and a bit pretty.  What’s not to love?  In the first episode he was pretty nasty but he had me from the moment he walked towards Stokers with that tiny, almost imperceptible, head toss at the sign.  You just knew that inside he was tutting.  He got most of the series’ best lines – but not all in the best episodes.

cutler at stokersI’m still sticking to my plan to write these five posts without re-watching or looking things up or checking details. (BTW – please tell me if I do get something tragically wrong!)  What’s interesting about series four is that I’m not remembering it by episode, but by guest character and incident.  I may ponder more on this but I wonder if it’s a reflection on which parts of the overall story arc I felt most invested in.

There were – as is usually the case with Being Human – some cracking guest stars and non-regular characters.  I did rather like Fergus (which meant he was instantly doomed).  Regus I grew to love – especially once he sported his Team Edward T-shirt and his lunch fought back. Kirby was suitably creepy despite it still being a little vague quite how Future Eve got him back through someone else’s door.  In fact he was probably the creepiest of all the various creatures to appear in Being Human. (And that’s creepy for the right reasons, as opposed to skin creeping characters like Lloyd the tissue wielding techie)

golda fergus michaela allisonI’m quite fond of Golda (UK Operations) with her concubines and limousines and human skin Filofax cover and especially her dislike of bunting.  Wise woman.  Human, cage, prosecco – what else do you need for a party?  Michaela and Allison were a little too caricatured for my taste but they did what they needed to well enough and shifted the plot along nicely.  In contrast Yvonne the succubus was a damn good turn by Selena Griffiths and yet again shows the depth of acting talent Being Human was always so good – and so lucky – at drawing in.

old ones last supperAfter all the hype the Old Ones rather sadly turned out to be all mouth and well-tailored trousers.  A fang short of a munch.  All that promise, all that impending threat and then – they’re here and they’re hungry.  Sadly that was about it and they damp squibbed through the last episode before being splattered into a haze of bargain vegetable oil.  Mr Snow is allowed to be a dishonourable exception, mainly for the flashback in which he literally took some poor sod’s guts for garters.  Oh, and for that conversation with a frantically blustering CutlerNickCutler  Such languid condescension, the poor boy wasn’t even deemed worthy of the energy it would take to be annoyed.  Also special mention of the scene in the corner of the Cafe on the Corner with Hal.  I’ve been watching you.  Mr Snow has obviously watching reruns of The Prisoner on his bed-sheet sized TV…

I have two episodes heading for a photo finish at the moment with Eve of the War giving them a decent chase in third.  I loved that first episode despite all the clunking and howlers. Toxic werewolf blood anyone?  It was just so… ballsy!  Other than that I’m trying to decide between Making History and The War Child.

cutler burning 7The War Child had kick-ass Annie (at last) and medium to rare vampire as we found out what happens when they enter uninvited.  CrispyNickCutler.  Hasn’t that poor carpet suffered enough? Is there enough Shake ‘n’ Vac in the world?  (Or maybe some of that special undead stain remover Shake ‘n’ Vamp?) (Or its sister product just for dust – Stake ‘n’ Vac?) (Enough!)  It left us dangling on tenterhooks – if that’s even possible – with the teasingly tantalising glimpse of Mr Rook, the man in grey, and his archive…

Not to mention the absolute pièce de résistance – Toby blew up a baby!

annie eve and hal postersMaking History had flashbacks (I do love a flashback) and we got to see where Cutler came from. In vampire terms that is, not the actual gooseberry bush…    The cutting between the present and 1950 was beautifully done – and showed what had been learned from The Looking Glass.  Much like The Looking Glass it was also packed chock full of other plot.  Annie went to the future with Eve and saw the horrors that might be in store, Alex went on a date with Hal and saw the horrors etc etc – and Tom went to dinner.  With Merlot.  And with Cutler.  That scene was so well structured, Cutler surgically tearing into Tom’s confidence, tying his tie as if it were a noose and leaving him in pieces.  It was also brimming with fabulous lines – mostly Cutler’s – and every setting was perfectly chosen.  It was particularly well filmed – the cold grey light of the future, the slight sepia tint of the past, all contrasting beautifully with the clean bright colours of the bars and restaurants of the present.

I almost ended up tossing a coin but I went with my instincts and it’s going to be Making History.  Not in small part due to doomed Rachel’s very few words that have spawned a thousand fanfics and – let’s face it – a man who can dig a good grave without taking his waistcoat or tie off has to be useful to have around for something!  Although he does need a bit of a scrub down…

*tests bath water temperature with elbow and lathers up large fluffy sponge expectantly*

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So that’s my vote for my best series four episode – what’s yours?

The series four trailer – and a different feel to the promos from the first three with more action and less of the horror and darkness.  And now we know it concealed much more than it revealed!

my best bits… favourite episode from series three

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Series three  Another eight episodes.  In Wales.  To be precise in Barry Island…  Pretty much everything has changed – George and Nina are almost, sort of a proper couple, albeit with occasionally – let’s say robust – nocturnal activities, Annie’s been to purgatory and back and Mitchell?  Ah yes Mitchell.  The Box Tunnel massacre has left him with nowhere to go and it overshadows the whole series.  This is Mitchell’s decline and fall.  Not to mention that Peter Jackson was murmuring seductively from the sidelines while waving a pointy hat and furry boots at Aidan Turner!

series threeThis is probably the darkest of all five series and I have to say I think it suffers slightly from being so totally focussed on Mitchell’s plight and his ongoing attempts to paint himself into a smaller and smaller corner.  Despite that it still has good stories for George and Nina and some great guest characters – and Annie was there too, suffering from lack of plot syndrome. Again.  Such a shame and such a waste as when she got the chance to shine she probably shone brighter than any of them.

It’s another series when I know which is my favourite straight away – it’s an instinctive answer although there is much that is good about them all.

In episode one Annie was in purgatory, George was in a quandary, Nina was in Ann Summers and Mitchell was in the clutches of perky Mary Poppins-esque Lia.  Lacey Turner’s Lia was wonderful – flirty and flinty by turns, keeping Mitchell on his toes and pushing him and Annie together as part of her cunning plan.  And what was she?  A Gatekeeper?  I still think she was more than just a victim out for revenge – she had more power than that.  Plus I rather like the idea that the PTB behind the doors are entirely composed of former soap stars! (see also The Leader of TMWSaTMWR)

PICTURE SHOW:  Lia (Lacey Turner)

There were plenty of other great guests and great moments in series three.  One of the very best was Sasha, the very Being Human style zombie.  It was another dull thud of a lesson of the week but the character was a riot and as well as being vile and funny and smelly and oozing she was touching and sad.  There was the fight in The Pack when Tom, McNair and Mitchell disposed of a cage fights worth of vampires and still found time for the odd sardonic quip.  The McNairs generally – and McNair senior in particular with his philosophy on life, shopping and sex education.  Richard and Emma’s vampire orgy was entertaining – thought a little Abigail’s Party – and I thought the solution to their blood needs with No. 7 (plus 1-6 in the garden) was rather neat!  We also got to meet the dysfunctional Sands family – poor old George, even without the wolf did he really stand much hope of being normal?!  There was tenacious (annoying!) Nancy and the musings as to whether she’d return as a vampire and the rather shouty and slimy Cooper.

BEING HUMAN 3 EP 3The penultimate episode – Though the Heavens fall– was amazing and probably the best build up to the climax of a series of them all.  In fact it stands up well to many series with bigger budgets and grander ambitions.  The Wolf Shaped Bullet has heart stopping moments – Herrick with Mitchell in the cage, the moment Mitchell leaves Annie in the cell after she’d pledged eternity to him, Tom burying McNair, Nina almost dying and Lia’s machinations finally unravelled by Annie with a little help from a pink TV.  It had Herrick’s end – this time finally – and after one last beautiful sunrise.  It also brought us the twice seen never forgotten Wyndam – the blue eyed, sharp suited wrath of god.  Pineapples himself!  I might have been tempted by the final episode as my favourite but the last-minute reblocking to allow Mitchell to head for Hobbit-land did show and ended up compromising it just too much.  I’d love to have seen the planned version which left Mitchell’s story open.

edgar wyndhamBut neither of these are my favourite.  Have you guessed yet?

It’s The Longest Day.  How could it be any other?

I know what you’re thinking – it’s another Herrick centred episode.  Yes it is but this is my choice for much, much more than that.  The writing is the best seen in all five series – and yes, I’m including Toby Whithouse’s in that. (So shoot me.)  Once George gets the rambling. wide-eyed Uncle Billy out of the hospital the rest of the episode takes place entirely in Honolulu Heights and the enclosed and almost claustrophobic feel are a part of the story.  The lighting and direction are beautifully matched to the unfolding events and the dialogue is perfect for all the main characters.  There is depth to Nina’s black and white morality and Annie has a chance to shine.  Even Cara is a fully rounded sympathetic character.  Wendy the community psychiatric nurse is a triumph – written especially for Nicola Walker by Sarah Phelps – we know her the moment she walks into the house.  It’s an acting tour de force and matched by Jason Watkins as the confused amnesiac vampire – or is he?  I still think not – there’s enough of that ancient evil showing through to make us wonder.

wendy and annie and muralThe whole episode is as theatrical as a TV show can be and I love it!  And for once without qualification. Not even a minor Tena Lady moment.

And remember – it’s going to be the most beautiful day.

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So that’s my choice from series three – what’s yours?

I can’t keep it in.  Remember this?  The trailer for series three…

my best bits – favourite episode of series two

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It’s on to 2010 and series two and an extra two episodes to think about with eight instead of six.

Surprisingly this is one I haven’t had to think too hard about.  There is so much to enjoy in this one – I chose it as my favourite series after all – but I just can’t get past one episode that just leaps out as my favourite.

Which one?  Wait and see!

series twoThis series had the most embedded series arc of all of them.  All the characters played their part in the tale of Lucy and Kemp and their dastardly plans.  Mitchell was targeted, seduced and narrowly avoided being blown up by them, Nina was convinced they could cure her, George was less so but in desperation went to try and Annie realised that she could never move on and asked Kemp for help.  Even though he didn’t think to bring a door.  Silly man.  Mind you he provided help in spades later on,  even after she changed her mind.

Over and above the main arc series two brought us sub-plots and stories that could sit alone but they all very cleverly tied into the main thread.  We saw our first proper vampire couple – unless you count Cara and Herrick at the end of S1 – the wonderful Ivan and Daisy.  Ivan with his car, his twitter account, his swans; Daisy with her tea dress, enthusiastically friendly nature (ahem) and apparent lack of undercrackers.  Sadly Cure and Contagion was the only time we saw them together – such a waste, they could have rampaged hand in hand all over every episode and I’d have been very happy!

ivan and daisy4

It seemed that Annie was going to get all the best plots at the beginning – visible, solid, well just a bit squishy – she got a job and a bloke.  Ah yes, Saul.  What was Saul?  Dead but not a ghost, a minion of the PTB behind the door.  And Terry Wogan.  And then there was Hugh – the life that Annie should have had – gentle kindness and understanding, Fatima Whitbread and hope.

I have a soft spot for Lucy and her clever manipulation of Mitchell and really liked the way that Mitchell was played against type as a bumbling suitor.  Deadly furniture indeed!  From the genius of Trevor to the tales of poo…  It was never going to end well.  There was a lovely moment with Lucy and Mitchell talking on a bench dedicated to Lauren.  Memories.

We also met Carl and his gay, human lover Dan – well, technically his dead, gay, human lover Dan.  Dan’s death also gave us one of the best/worst vampire jokes in Being Human.  “Count Spectacular!”  “Mince of Darkness!”

Serve God Love Me and Mend was a great Annie episode – and despite the early promise of this series they are few and far between.  It showed us what a fabulous character she is by actually giving her something really good to do.  She got another go in Educating Creature when Sykes saved her from the MWSaMWR and went on to teach her about doors and auras.  Not that we ever saw any of that again…  It had such potential – Sykes was a marvellous idea but the less than subtle way it hammered home Annie’s lesson of the week doesn’t put this at the top of my list.

Dismissed.

sykes and annie

I can’t not mention the Box Tunnel Massacre – bloody retribution on a commuter train. But was it Daisy’s idea or Mitchell’s?  I’m not sure he’d have done something quite so bloody and so impossible to come back from without Daisy and her need for revenge. I’m just glad I don’t do his laundry – even Vanish isn’t going to get those sheets clean!  And didn’t props and make up have fun with the bodies?!

All God’s Children was darkly claustrophobic with almost all of it taking place inside the Facility, a real life building that was almost a character in it’s own right.  The creeping menace of Mitchell stalking the corridors, George finding the message from Tully, Annie’s answer phone tape and her being torn out of the world.  The almost sequel in the cottage when Lucy appeared and Kemp followed, when Annie managed to pop out of purgatory and if that wasn’t enough there was yet another final final scene.

Herrick!   Resurrected!

04 The Facility

So what was my favourite?  I could say it was hard to choose – and to be honest there are great parts to every episode in my favourite series but the choice was easy this time.

The Looking Glass

herrick 1969 uniform

And not just because of Herrick!  The way it pulled together the past and the present – it wasn’t always subtle but the inter-cutting of Mitchell trying to recreate what he had with Josie with Lucy was so clever.  There was also the care and amusement of dead babies, the library books, discovering that tea is barbaric and that George probably could eat a whole cat.  It was also the start of Mitchell really falling apart, he knows he needs the system – needs Wilson – but he can’t and won’t pay the price of doing his dirty work and Wilson’s death is just the beginning of the fall.

And OK. I admit it.  It is mostly about Herrick!  A Herrick in a rather sharp suit, a luxurious amount of hair and some cracking speeches – just as we’d expect.  It was the beginning of his policeman disguise and he’s a fan of Lewis Carroll.  Alice, handcuffs and smiling evil – what more could a girl dream of?!

herrick 1969

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That’s my no-brainer choice of best episode of series two – how about you?  Which one would you chose?

And the series two trailer told us it was time for Annie, George and Mitchell to face their demons…

my best bits… favourite episode of series one

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Now the dust has settled and I’ve had time to ponder the end of series five and THAT extra scene it feels like time to go back to the beginning.

(Oh yes.  THAT ending.  THAT extra scene.  Harrumph.  I can see I’ll have to come back to that.)

Having made myself choose a favourite series I’ve gone one step further in the search for the next best bit – my favourite episode.  This is going to be fun, given that there are 37 including the pilot and I have no idea where to start to narrow them down.  Not a clue.

(It was series two – are you not keeping up?)

OK.  Here’s a plan.  A short-ish blog to choose my favourite episode from each series and then a final choice from them of my absolute best ever episode.  OK with you?  No?  Well, to be honest I’m in charge round here so that’s what I’m doing!

Let’s just go with the flow.  (Who leads the flow?)  (No one. It’s a flow.)

Anyway…

series one

Series one, six episodes and immediately I have a problem.  Yes another one.  How do I choose between Tully and Gilbert?  Between Josie and Bernie?  Between werewolf problems and vampire problems and ghost problems?  Do I pick the one with the best lines or try to take a scientific view?

I’m doing this from memory – if I do a rewatch or even read my own book I’m going to find so many little treasures that I’d forgotten about so to go on what has lodged in my tiny mind seems to be the way to go!  So what does stand out?  Herrick certainly had most of the best lines, while George got a good serving of angst and Mitchell wavered back and forth between the vampires and the humans. I see a theme developing there…

lauren and mitchellI loved Lauren and was so sorry she didn’t get to be the vampire she might have been.  She stood up to Herrick – not many did – and with a bit less angst and soooo sooorry-ness from Mitchell the two of them could have ruled the vampires.  She also had some cracking lines – who can forget her riposte to Seth’s “Aow” as he turned to smoke?*  And on the subject of great lines (so many!) I really – really – want to use Nina’s put down of George’s Tully-inspired attempt to ask her out.**  Yes all of it.  Word for word.

I loved Ghost Town and Gilbert is one of my favourite one-show guest characters and – of course – his was the first door we saw, the first resolved UFB.  And this was the episode in which we found out that Owen killed Annie, that Mitchell and Annie sort of kissed (‘It’s like being attacked by an ironing board’) and when George rather memorably (and rather vigorously) proved to Nina his premature ejaculation issues were – well, somewhat less serious and rather less premature than she may have thought!

gilbert3

But then there’s episode five – Where the Wild Things Are.  It had Annie’s door, the wonderful Josie – all the memories in that simple gesture of remembering exactly how she drinks her coffee – and Owen being driven entirely mad and the policeman needing a different form.  Ending with Mitchell bleeding in the hall, Herrick demanding to be let in, George pleading with Annie to go (and letting out a tiny bit of wee) and Annie in a state over pretty much all of it!  It set quite a standard for penultimate episodes.

annie door george and micthell

But the last episode – Sarky Mark and his wry humour, Josie sacrificing herself for Mitchell, Herrick so very sure he was going to win – and not just Top Trumps – and we see a hint of the power that takes Annie through four more series to save the world.  And that final showdown.  George does what he’d always dreaded and he does it for love.  Bad Moon Rising had everything – pathos, humour, darkness, horror, Brecht, Nanna and not one but two very clever cliffhangers.  And Herrick in bits on the cellar floor… but not before some wonderful final speeches that gave me the title of this blog.

george herrick mitchell cellar

Maybe I should roll a dice? Randomly pick a number?

No. I’ve decided.

Although I’d like to choose more than one my favourite episode from series one has to be episode six – Bad Moon Rising.  That’s what my heart is telling me so all analysis is off.  And I have to choose it for no other reason than Josie’s death made me cry – and nothing else in Being Human ever has.

josie mitchell hospital

*   “Well, he won’t be staring at my tits when he speaks to me anymore”

**   Nope. Not typing all that.  Go watch it!

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So that’s my choice from series one – what’s yours?

I’d forgotten how much I loved this trailer for the very first series…

my best bits… favourite Being Human series?

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Now that Being Human is at an end (sigh) I’m in the mood for reflection. It’s been an amazing five years and – although I’m very sad to see it go – I AM glad it’s ended when the reaction is still so strong and there are still people passionate about it. So many shows drag themselves through one or two series too many and the end comes as a merciful release. At least that didn’t happen to Being Human.

The thought of watching it from behind my zimmer frame as the thirteenth supernatural trinity tries to save the world (again) is just too much like Last of the Summer Vampires to contemplate!  (I bet there still wouldn’t have been a decent strong female vampire character though… although the idea of werewolf Nina Batty with her wrinkly furry stockings does appeal!)

I suspect I still have things to ponder so there are likely to be more posts here but while I digest and process and yes, ponder, here goes with a few quickies about favourites – favourite episodes, series, character, guests and whatever else comes to mind! Any requests?

And I’m starting with a tough one – one which I’m really struggling to answer. Which is my favourite series?

series oneSeries one – There Goes the Neighbourhood – introduced us not only to Mitchell, Annie and George but also to the supernatural lore that held their world together.  We saw doors to the afterlife, a vampire trying to give up blood and others who very definitely weren’t.  We learned about ghosts and their unfinished business and how werewolves are killed from the inside out every month when they transform in agony.

It brought us Herrick – my boy Herrick, the little love – and Seth, Lauren and Nina, wonderful regular characters.  The other guests were overall probably the best of all five series – Gilbert, Tully, Josie and – of course – Sarky Mark!  Who else?  Lovely/evil Owen and tango-tanned Janey, Bernie and Fleur – Toby certainly packed them in over those first six episodes!

We rooted for Annie when she drove Owen mad – especially as he’d fooled us all by seeming to be so very lovely, we cringed with George as he likened Becca to a polo and wept with Mitchell over Josie.  We admired the mad hats on the pitchfork weilding mob – and I bet none of them brought jam afterwards.  We saw just how Herrick manipulated Mitchell and how he used Lauren to the detriment of brown duvet man.  And at the end George did the one thing he feared  the most and he did it for Mitchell.  He killed Herrick.

Surely now it was all over?

Well, what do you think?!

series twoSeries two – God Loves, Man Kills – probably came the closest to fulfilling the original premise – being human. It was the only series where the threat came from humanity and in Lucy and  Kemp, and also Hennessey and Lloyd it gave us rounded and convincing human characters – an increasing rarity. I might come back to that – favourite human character…  Nina was almost a regular and this is the series that brought us the pre-titles flashback – which I really love.  Who else?  Sykes – such a great ghost! – and all the randomly dressed theatre ghosts including Robyn the usherette, the second best moustache from Alan Cortez and an attempt at a proper grown up relationship for George with the possibly only slightly desperate Sam. Oh and Molly.  That child was not normal…

Series two has some wonderful stories and lovely detail – Annie was visible for a while before Saul – what WAS Saul? – and to have sweet Hugh and his Fatima Whitbread fetish whipped away was so sad.  We finally saw just how dark Mitchell’s heart could get – with just a little help and encouragement from Daisy.  And lets never forget the wonderful Ivan, and his car and his taste in music and his inimitable, elegant languor…

And how could anyone forget the best episode of the series – The Looking Glass.  Lucy finally gets her end away, we see how Mitchell met Josie and Herrick returned!  In a dapper brocade waistcoat, a suspicious amount of hair and a tidy way with a pair of handcuffs…

I’m not helping myself choose here!

series threeSeries three – The Wolf Shaped Bullet – was probably the darkest of all five series, not that that is a bad thing.  The first series from Wales, away from the iconic pink house and into Honolulu Heights.  Nina is a fully fledged regular and Anne and Mitchell… well, you know how I feel about that.  We also got the magnificent McNairs – and when we watched Tom eat his Knickerbocker Glory and promise to take a nap and have a proper tea how could we have imagined where his story would take us?

Nina got pregnant, George got to say ‘what’ a lot, Annie got soppy and Mitchell got… well, grubbier. (Sorry M-fans, sooooo soooorrrrry…)  More great guests – Vincent, Adam – filthy, pervy Adam – Sasha the zombie WAG, Richard and Emma and no. 7 (and 1-6 ‘resting’ in the garden) and the rather lovely Wendy the social worker.  And Cara was back!

And so was Herrick – resurrected and confused. Or was he?  I think not, he was chilling, funny and deadly in turns – and all in stripy pjs and a flowery shirt.  You have to admire that!  And as befits him, he got all the best tunes.  Dirge, History Repeating Itself – just so very Herrick.

And in the end?  Herrick gone, a fleeting glimpse of a potential super vampire villain in the steely blue-eyed Wyndam and then Mitchell was dust.  But it’s OK, it’s because George loved him…

And breathe.

series fourSeries four – The War Child – was a challenge.  No Mitchell, Nina and Wyndam disposed of between series and only one episode for George before he kicked the bucket and a few vampire arses, leaving just Annie from the original threesome.  We got new vampire Hal with his braces and dominoes, baby Eve and adult future Eve and some timey-whimey stuff that I’m not even going to try to explain.  We also had nipple encrusted prophecies – and no, I’m not going to try to explain them either! We found ourselves a great new baddie – the amoral, self-interested, sarky, snarky Cutler with his grand plans and too short sleeves.  Focus groups – now why did my boy Herrick never think of that?!

More great guests – Griffin and his Thursday fajitas, Pearl and Leo and their fifty-years on hold romance, the return of Adam with a succubus in tow, Fergus – a street smart version of Seth, Allison the trainee barrister werewolf and Regus.  Lovely Regus the Vampire Recorder, sex memory pilferer with his extraordinary T-shirt collection!  You have to love a vampire in a Team Edward shirt…  I have a rather soft spot for Golda (and her human skin filofax – I want one) and investigative supernatural reporter Pete.  (AKA a quick munch…)

The Old Ones arrived, led by the elegantly wasted away Mr Snow but before they could pluck Barry apart Annie blew them apart with a vat or two of old chip fat.  Collateral damage included a vaporised baby Eve thereby saving the world and bringing Annie that one final door.

That’s one hell of a bit of unfinished business!

Being Human series 5Series five – The Trinity – was the final one and was written as such so expectations were high for a grand and great send off.  To cap it all the Big Bad for the series was the devil – actually The Devil.  Albeit in a wheelchair, a cardigan and a bit of a state…  The new trinity was established with the addition of Alex, feisty, sparky, killed by Cutler (Hal drank her blood – not sure anyone ever mentioned that) and with the potential to be a pretty decent female lead! For a while until the lovelorn, motherly stuff kicked in.  Hal took his shirt off a lot.  Tom meanwhile wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills in search of some sort of plot…

Along with Captain Hatch/Old Scratch/Old Nick/add your own devil name we had Mr Rook.  Head of the Department that keeps us safe and supernaturals’ secret – and a victim of Government budget cuts.  Poor Dominic went a bit mad and until the end it was never quite clear whose side he was on.  His own maybe…

More guests – good ones in wolf-mountain Bobby, Alex’s dad and Lady Catherine, decent enough ones in Lady Mary and Larry and just plain damned bloody awful ones in Crumb and Alan.  Dire. Dreadful.  (No I didn’t like them. Sorry, wasn’t that clear?)  There were also indescribably amazing guests in a selection of bloggers – darlings, you were wonderful! Mwah! Mwah! The ideas were epic, the execution less so but we did finally see two of the things that Toby said we’d never see – the Men With Sticks and The Men With Ropes and Toby himself doing acting.  I think the suit was trying for its own BAFTA but at least he didn’t wave to the camera…

Did they save the world again?  The jury’s out on that one.  As is the jury on whether they are really human or trapped by The Devil in an alternative universe.

My money’s on the bleak, dark ending – but that won’t surprise anyone!

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Decision time.

Which is my favourite series?

It’s a tough one, as I love all of them for different reasons.

But if I must pick one of the five I think for overall strength of story, diverse and wonderfully nuanced characters, depth and subtly of writing and well, everything that makes Being Human what it is I’m going to have to go for series two – “God Loves, Man kills”

Although I reserve the right to change my mind according to mood, phase of the moon and whether my shoes hurt – or just because really!

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That’s just my view – what’s your opinion?

Come on – let’s have your vote for your favourite series!