So BBC Three put the 8 short webisodes of Becoming Human
into a 50-minute special as an epilogue to Being Human
's third series; so I guess I'll similarly use it as an epilogue to my reviews: Becoming Human
by Brian Dooley, Jamie Matheson and John Jackson, directed by Alex Kalymnios.
- If you think about it Being Human
really lends itself to spinoffs, what with most episodes focusing on a guest-star of the week. Obviously what everyone really
wants to see is Gilbert and Lia's Adventures in the Afterlife
but until someone figures that out, Adam from "Adam's Family" is about as good a candidate as you could have. I still can't tell if he was genuinely spun off or whether the spinoff was created first, and Adam slotted into the parent show as a result, but either way it worked out OK for both shows.
- Leila Mimmack and Josh Brown are good but Craig Roberts does rather display his "next big thing" credentials and steal the show. It helps that he's got the best lines of course. "Are you pubic yet?" His pop-culture references being stuck in the '80s still doesn't make much sense¹ but it remains a good gag.
- The story is pretty simple but it works in introducing the setup - funnily enough I've always said "murder mystery" is a good first episode for a genre series as it introduces a new world within a familiar narrative framework². Of course here the fantasy universe doesn't need introducing but it's still a good way to get us into a new series.
- It's lighter than Being Human
and not as complex but it's a nice enough extra. Tonight's omnibus worked better for me than the webisodes - the first of those was about 10 minutes long but the 4-5 minute length of the rest meant that by the time you'd settled into the story it was over.
- There's obvious ambitions to have this commissioned as a proper TV series. Fair enough, I'll watch it if that happens. If it had appeared a couple of years ago I'd have been worried about it being groomed to replace the parent show. But we've already got a fourth series of Being Human
announced, which is more than I'd ever hoped for back when we were signing petitions to get the first 6 episodes made. So given I wouldn't be surprised if next year's series is the last, there might as well be something in the background to take over if the main show's cast decide they've had enough. (As opposed to the BBC Three execs cancelling the parent show in favour of the spin-off because it's teenage and therefore more futuremodern.)
¹ unlike Buffy
vampires tend to move with the times, so wouldn't one stuck in his teens be more
obsessed with the latest fad, not less? It's a nice way to show he's been isolated all these years but then that's even more reason to wonder why he hasn't watched any telly since Rentaghost
² I was most recently discussing this after the "how not to do an Episode 1" instruction manual that was the premiere of Outcasts
What's the verdict on Becoming Human?
School's out: Excellent
Rock school: Pretty good
School nurse: Get me away from this thing!