Oh, I'm not happy about this whole thing of Being Human
clashing with Upstairs, Downstairs
. I mean Being Human
's the one with all the repeats so it has to be the one I leave for later, and it's not like it killed me waiting until the next day to watch the episode. But although I had no intention of actually watching the 1am repeat as it went out, it didn't make falling asleep any easier, knowing that I could
if I stayed up a bit longer. "The Graveyard Shift" by Jamie Mathieson, directed by Philip John.
- So we start with Hal with his shirt off and covered in blood. And I've been splashed by enough stage blood to know that it's syrup. So we have Damien Molony topless and covered in syrup. I think we can agree this is a good thing. Let's just pretend the lopsided moustache didn't happen.
- The tied-up servant girl looked a lot like Dorota from Gossip Girl
. So now I think this poor family have been in service for centuries. I'm not sure which of the two has it worst.
- The cast-change really has reinvigorated the series, and I'm already hoping we get a Series 5, something I wasn't so keen on before because of the inevitable law of diminishing returns. Let's face it, three
series was more than we'd ever hoped for when we were campaigning to get the pilot turned into a series, let alone four or five. But the new leads already feel settled in and hopefully won't be itching to leave any time soon. It's more BBC Three's seemingly random recommissioning process I'm worried about, whereby a show being a big hit for a few years running is deemed reason to cancel it. (I think it's meant to balance out the whole Two Pints Of Lager
thing where it ran for seven hundred years despite nobody ever having knowingly watched it.)
- What's really back is the Series 1 feel. In the last two episodes Being Human
has turned back into a rather joyous, entertaining show with a tendency to blind-side you with unexpectedly dark twists. As opposed to a mostly-bleak show with the odd joke in, as it was threatening to become last year (I don't agree that it actually became
that, but I'm sure others think it did cross that line.)
- Annie's unique style of shoplifting was a clever touch. And I like that she told the child of two werewolves the story of the three little wolves and the big bad pig.
- It feels right to have Annie be the last to accept Tom and Hal as the new "family." Not just because she would naturally feel loyal to Mitchell, George and Nina but it works structurally as well; the classic "they hate each other/grow to like each other" is a simple and effective way to get the audience used to the Tom/Hal dynamic while Annie for the most part gets her own storyline, with a funny-as-ever Mark Williams.
- Which is a good example of the return to a better balance between light and dark: Regus demanding a form of sexual assault on Annie's memories is really rather unpleasant and a reminder that the comedy vampire is still a vampire; but it's then undercut with a very funny (and completely logical) twist.
- So will Hal badly burn his arm one week, revealing himself as the potential nemesis? Or maybe even Tom would be more interesting, because I'm not sure they'd go there. Or maybe it's what we're meant to think all along, i.e. that one of the Old Ones will return with the telltale scar.
- Molony is still good in this episode, his reactions to the job and to Tom are very funny. I do wish the pre-publicity hadn't so casually given away that Hal was an Old One though, it could have carried some real weight if this was the first time we had it confirmed. I think the publicity's been a bit lax with this overall this year. Sinead Keenan's non-appearance was only announced at the last minute so surely they could have kept it secret a bit longer and given us a huge shock at the start of Episode 1. Tovey's reduced involvement was pretty obvious from his Twitter but they still needn't have confirmed it.
- This episode is the first one to really live up to something I'd been hoping they'd explore: Just how much of a contradiction in terms Tom's unusual childhood has left him. He's the manchild, the ruthless vampire killer who doesn't so much treat women with respect as conform to a Tudor ideal of courtly love. And, as is confirmed this week, is still a virgin - surely setup to a storyline later this series.
- Though still a lot of ensemble stuff, it's Socha who steals it again. Lots of moments but I think this one wins:
- The Michaela/Regus story nicely ties up both their story threads. I'm not sure letting a potential new Ivan & Daisy loose is the wisest idea, but they're funny so hopefully we'll see them again. "Have you heard her poetry? It's really good, it nearly rhymes and everything."
- I love that they're not just acknowledging Twilight
, they just won't let it go. Regus' "Team Edward" shirt is the best gag yet: "I assume you're taking the piss?" "Well they started it."
- Nice little nod to the Real Hustle
running gag, it makes for an affectionate way of saying that we've moved on from Mitchell and George, and this is the new vampire/werewolf pairing now. And The Antiques Roadshow
is a nicely apt choice for two men not quite of their own time.