When you think about it, just the idea of ‘being human’ is hard enough for the average individual. Imagine how difficult it is for your average vampire, ghost and/or werewolf. Now, put them all in a flat in Wales and it becomes almost ‘humanly’ impossible to imagine.
If you’re not familiar with Being Human, it’s not quite the Gavin and Stacey boy meets girl story that has tended to populate much of British television over the years. When you first hear the premise of Being Human, that being one of “ok, a group of twenty-somethings share a flat in Bristol and try to pass themselves off as ‘normal’, and, oh yeah, one’s a vampire, one’s a werewolf and the third one’s a ghost”, you tend to think of a pitch right out of The Player.
The brilliant Toby Whithouse creation that is Being Human started out almost 15 years ago as a series that bordered on equal parts comedy, equal parts horror drama. Aidan Turner (Mitchell, the vampire), Russell Tovey (George, the werewolf) and Lenora Crichlow (Annie, the insecure Ghost), made up the original cast of the BBC3 supernatural series.
You’ll immediately recognize Turner from Poldark and Lenora from Doctor Who. Tovey will be a familiar face to public television viewers from the Emmy Award-winning series, Little Dorrit, in addition to Doctor Who, Ashes to Ashes, the Agatha Christie Miss Marple series and from the “Hounds of Baskerville” episode of Sherlock.
Alongside recent rumors and efforts to bring back the likes of Fawlty Towers and Blackadder from the dead, there have been numerous rumors over the years about bringing back Being Human. After all, in a show filled with ghosts, zombies and vampires why would you let a little detail like the deaths of their respective characters rule out a possible return?
No one understands the thinest of lines you would have to tightrope walk when discussing a possible Being Human re-boot than creator, Toby Whithouse. In a recent interview with Radio Times, it’s clear that Whithouse is cautious about returning to the same characters and worlds just for nostalgia’s sake, and definitely understands the importance of keeping things fresh and reinventing in order to keep audiences on the edges of their seats.
While the focus on retooling and redefining was at the heart of what kept Being Human on the airwaves for five seasons, ensuring that the show kept moving forward by expanding the world beyond the first trio, I would still love to see the original Being Human band get back together.
“With the new iterations of the characters, we made them the polar opposites. Where Mitchell had this smouldering fallen rock star persona, we gave Hal OCD, making him tight and rigid and controlled. George was someone who was very fastidious, compartmentalising his life, so then Tom became utterly at home with his animal side and it was the human side he struggled with,” said Whithouse.
As the series progressed beyond series 3, new cast members Michael Socha (werewolf) and Damien Molony (vampire) were added along with Kate Bracken as Alex, ‘the new ghost’ when the original cast moved on to other ventures such as Turner being cast in that little known Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit and then there was that little series, Poldark, that ran for 5 series on BBC1 and PBS.
Throughout the series, Turner and Tovey as vampire and werewolf battled the odds to ‘be human’ and Lenora Crichlow’s ghost desperately tried to ‘fulfill her purpose on Earth’ so she can pass on into the afterlife. The great Phil Davis joined the cast for series 5 as Captain Hatch. Phil Davis is one of those brilliant actors that you may or may not know the name, but you’ll definitely know his body of work (i.e. Poldark, Sherlock, Whitechapel, Case Histories, Silk).
One can only think of the evil that was Herrick (Jason Watkins) as show producers describe his character, “…Hatch embodies the worst in humanity – he’s bitter, manipulative, obsequious and cruel. And beneath his decrepit exterior there lies within him a dark and toxic secret that could rattle your soul with fear.” After Being Human, Davis would go on to be reunited several years later with Turner in Poldark.
Should Whithouse ever come up with what he thinks is a satisfactory ‘pitch’ to the BBC for a possible Being Human re-boot, I’m all in, especially if you can get the original band back together. Just a reminder, original cast or not…steer clear of Phil Davis if you see him coming…