Being Human: Eve of the War
Season 4 Episode 1
Writer: Toby Whithouse
Director: Philip John
A bit spoilery, so don’t read if you don’t wanna know!
I’ll admit to a certain amount of trepidation as I sat down to watch the 4th Season premiere episode of BEING HUMAN UK. It was bad enough knowing that vamp Mitchell (Aidan Turner) and she-wolf Nina (Sinead Keenan) would not be returning to the show this year, but then learning during the hiatus that angst-ridden werewolf George (Russell Tovey) was coming back only for one episode was crushing news. All these departures leave only our girl Annie (Lenora Crichlow) as the last ghost standing, as it were. Now, I do love our Annie, she’s one feisty spirit and Crichlow plays her with a quirky, befuddled charm that always provokes a smile. But the prospect of one of my favorite shows remaining a hit with so many of the original cast members gone seemed an almost too-immense challenge.
Apparently exec producer and writer Toby Whithouse thought so as well, for he’s decided to bring back sad-eyed werewolf Tom (Michael Socha), one of last season’s best recurring characters, and add a new stand-offish vamp named Hal (Damien Moloney) to the cast, and in this way retain the original premise of a supernatural trio living together and trying to pass for human.
It was especially wise that new addition Tom and his 500-year-old past were really only hinted at in the premiere, because this first episode was slated to be George’s last and needed to focus on our beloved wereguy. We discover the new papa still reeling from Nina’s tragic offscreen death, so much so that he still has yet to give their three-week old baby daughter a name. Nina’s carefully crafted storyline certainly deserved more than this kind of sendoff, but without Keenan available for even a quick cameo the producers could only use exposition and make the best of a tough situation. At least George’s halting description of her horrific demise at the hands of a vampire gang was both heartfelt and heart-wringing.
The end of George’s story
George’s own sad farewell comes in the last moments of the episode, and is far more appropriate: brutal, mad and tearful all at once. Poor dear George, he’s gone off to be with his Nina now. *sniffle* (Excuse me for just a moment while I go look for the tissues…) I think that his friends Annie and Tom cried almost as much as I did!
Beyond ending George’s story, introducing new vamp and wolf replacements, and the fact that “The Old Ones” are still on their sluggish way from who knows where, all bets seem to now be off with continuity. This episode is chock full of an almost overabundance of new plot developments that I can only hope will be tied together somehow over the course of the season. Amongst these are a 2037 future storyline concerning an overwhelmed anti-vamp resistance movement, the revelation of an ancient vampire prophecy about a human “War Child” destined to save the world by somehow wiping out all vamps, hitherto unknown facts about the toxicity of werewolf blood (who knew?), and a young Blackberry-toting vampire with a deliciously snarky sense of humor named Cutler (Andrew Gower) who shows real promise as a new Big Bad in the making.
In fact, there were so many new characters and story threads introduced that I’m not exactly sure where BEING HUMAN is heading now! To quote creator Toby Whithouse in an NME interview, “We saw series four as an opportunity: we could invent new characters, expand the show in different directions, create new worlds and monsters and heroes, and add new layers to the overarching Being Human mythology.”
One thing’s for sure, by slamming us with numerous plots there was very little time for viewers to think about those who went missing. As much as I loved the original trio and their vibe and will miss Russell Tovey as George in particular, I do think that some fresh blood would not go amiss in this show. Mitchell’s arc was well-played out to its conclusion last season, and George’s story was pretty much wrapped up in this ep, which leaves the door wide open for just about anything Toby and his writers can think of. This pleases me because one of the things I like best about BEING HUMAN is that it always full of such wonderful surprises. I hope it remains so!