A story set over 24 hours, a very intense episode with little of the trademark humour, lots of shakey-cam and extreme close-ups - it's Being Human
attempting the format-breaker in "The Longest Day" by Sarah Phelps, directed by Philip John.
- One thing about this episode's intensity: It did veer off into hysteria a couple of times, which for me prevented it from being quite the classic I suspect a lot of people will think it was.
- So it's the long-awaited return of Jason Watkins, although in a way that's a red herring (or red Herrick) for what the episode is really about, widening the gap between Mitchell and the rest of the housemates and of course revealing him to Nina as the Box Tunnel murderer.
- That notwithstanding, Herrick's return is well-handled and interesting, with the question still far from answered at the end, of how much of his madness and amnesia he's actually faking.
- But Jason Watkins' arse does not make up for lack of Russell Tovey's arse. In fact we now need two more appearances from Russell Tovey's arse to make up for Jason Watkins' arse.
- The exciting opening to the episode was marred a bit by Rubbish Wig Man's performance. Characters who are actually meant to be a bit vile are all well and good but when they're played by notverygood actors there's just nothing worse. Good job he was only in two scenes.
- As well as Herrick's return we of course also got Cara's, in what turned out to be her final appearance (barring flashbacks.) The scenes of her quoting Uncle Billy's purple prose and then being viciously rejected by him were among my favourite of the episode, partly because they felt like such a clear reference to the Twilight
brand of paranormal romance that's so big at the moment: These two who, without wanting to be rude, don't exactly look like the beautiful vampire cliché, spouting this kind of mystical romantic gubbins and then having it thrown out again. It felt like a bit of a reminder that Being Human
may have vampires and werewolves but it's very much its own world.
- Series 3 hasn't been as easy to classify into episodes dealing with a particular character as the previous two; but in many ways this was a Nina episode. I like how the intergration of her character into the main cast hasn't just been cosmetic, she really comes across as a person in her own right and now she has more screentime we're learning more about her. She's prepared to take some pretty harsh steps like ruthlessly exploiting Wendy's weak spot to turn her into a gibbering wreck. And then of course there's the call to the hotline at the end. (From her mobile. Traceable. Well, I guess she can't always
be the clever one.)
- The aforementioned treatment of Wendy leads to Annie identifying with her in a really nice underplayed scene; Annie's been marginalised this series but of course that's the point, she's very much returned to being the ghost, on the outside looking in.
- Which of course leads us to one of the best things in the episode, a guest appearance from one of my favourite actresses, Nicola Walker as harrassed social worker Wendy. In this very dark episode she's the only one to provide any humour, which she does brilliantly ("I mean they call themselves Druids but I recognised quite a few of them from B&Q." And the sandwich!) while at the same time being a hugely sympathetic character who through no fault of her own gets put through the ringer, while also putting across a bit of social commentary about the treatment of social services in the press. It's hard to think of anyone more perfect to balance all these elements effortlessly.
- Meanwhile Mitchell is just awful. I mean I know there's no longer any secret about the fact that he's the long-rumoured Big Bad "from within" and right now that wolf-shaped bullet can't get here soon enough. I liked how Herrick's resurrection from last year takes on an additional significance now with it being part of Mitchell's obsession with surviving. And how George's argument for keeping Herrick alive is essentially the one Mitchell's been keeping himself alive with for years, of the possibility of forgiveness.
- More guest star excitement next week - James Fleet! Whom I'm seeing on stage tomorrow! Oh shit, and I've just remembered who he's playing, and who it now turns out from the preview is dead! But I won't say in case you don't know and don't want spoiling. And that. Ask me if you want to know.
How was "The Longest Day" for you?
Me love you long time - Brilliant
I like a nice long one - Good
Long John Silver - Something was missing
So long and thanks for all the fish - Go away, rubbish episode
A la la la la long, a la la la la long long le-long long long (oh yeah)