Being Human's 10 best episodic characters

Feature Caroline Preece 15 Oct 2012 - 12:00

Caroline counts down Being Human's top ten episodic characters. Find out if your favourite made the cut below...

This feature contains Being Human spoilers.

British shows have a great track record when it comes to having fantastic guest stars, but Being Human is among the best at taking well-known actors and inserting them seamlessly in their slightly off-centre world, or making unknown performers into fan favourites through great writing and imaginative character creation. This list includes both types of supporting players, those who made their episode all the more brilliant, and those who have taken on a whole new life within the fan community.

Villains, heroes and love interests all pop in and out of Being Human to help or hinder our main cast and, with all of the changes that have happened to the show over the last four series, the quality of its guest slots hasn’t wavered. Here’s our list of ten of the greatest guest stars Being Human has offered so far, though there are many more we could have included... 

10. Graham (Tony Maudsley) - Type 4 

One of things Being Human does brilliantly is turn seemingly throwaway characters or figures of fun into genuine threats. Graham, a stalker-ish fan obsessed with Mitchell, is one such character, emerging first as a humorous side-story in the series three episode Type 4 but then, with the box tunnel massacre still hanging over Mitchell’s head, things soon turn nasty.

Initially blackmailing the object of his admiration in order to stay at the house, Mitchell throws him out when he sees him flirting with Annie. Dubbed a pathetic wannabe, Graham styles himself entirely after his hero, and the harsh rejection causes him to stage his very own train massacre, vowing to become a legend in his own right. He’s one of Being Human’s great ambiguous characters, as sad as he is dangerous, and all the more threatening for that combination. 

9. Kirby (James Lance) The Graveyard Shift & A Spectre Calls 

Alfie Kirby, like so many of the show’s villains, splits fan opinion right down the middle but, in a fourth series populated by some of the biggest baddies of the show, he still manages to stand out. Telling Annie he’s been sent from the afterlife by Nina to help look after baby Eve, he also marks the moment when every exasperated viewer gave up on Annie’s common sense.

It’s revealed later that Kirby was a serial killer of five women, but was mowed down by a random car while trying to befriend his last family. His role in the show is one of the best simply for the effect he has on the residents of the fresh fourth series household. Grooming insecurities in a fragile Tom, blackmailing Hal for his past atrocities and reminding Annie that her connection to the world is fading, he’s one of the few villains who genuinely almost won. 

8. Tully (Dean Lennox Kelly) – Flotsam and Jetsam & Tully 

Chosen more for his role in George’s character development rather than the part itself, werewolf Tully is the earliest example of a great guest role on this list. Without Tully’s presence in episodes one and two, for example, the audience might never have realised the toll George’s state as a werewolf took on his human side, and the character presents us with the alternative attitude right from the off.

A different show might also have dragged the mystery of George’s maker out for multiple seasons (and the US version features a nicely done expanded role for the character), but Being Human chose to reveal the relationship between the two tentative companions early on, and the next time we hear from Tully is his written warning in series two’s religious facility. He’s actually unlikeable for the most part but, importantly, still comes through for George in the end. 

7. Regus (Mark Williams) – Eve of the War & The Graveyard Shift 

What other show would have a vampire don a ‘Team Edward’ t-shirt? The weird honour was geek-favourite Mark Williams’, as if he needed to court any more favour among fans. Williams plays Regus in the show’s fourth series, another ambiguous character playing for both sides of the eternal battle. A vampire scholar, Regus is the one who actually finds the prophecy about Eve, happy that the vampire race could finally be wiped out.

The character plays a huge role in helping George save his daughter in the premiere, and returns for a second episode when he turns a mortally wounded Michaela into an undead companion for himself. This makes him one of the few guest characters to completely gain the trust of the house through helping Eve, as well as survive to live another day. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a return in the future. 

6. Allison (Ellie Kendrick) – Puppy Love 

Romantic interests are historically given a hard time on Being Human, with anyone the core group comes to care about meeting a sticky end more often than not. Allison, however, a potential girlfriend for Tom in series four, proved so popular with viewers after her appearance that she’s been tipped to appear again next year.

Arriving at the same time as Alex, the Heights’ newest ghostly resident, Allison’s relative naivety and attraction to Tom fits right into the group. When she gets a taste for vampire hunting, however, Tom reluctantly rejects her in fear that his lifestyle in unsuitable. We know not everyone can be happily loved up on a show like Being Human, but we can still hope can’t we? 

5. Bernie (Mykola Allen) – Another Fine Mess 

One of the stand-out storylines of the first series was undoubtedly that of Bernie, the bullied child Mitchell tries to befriend. Lending him a vampire snuff film instead of his Laurel and Hardy DVD by mistake, the rest of the street brand Mitchell (and George by association) paedophiles, and the chaos that ensues lands Bernie in the hospital after being hit by a car.

Told that the boy will never recover from his coma, Mitchell turns Bernie into a vampire. It’s still unknown what happened to the family, but the performance from young Mykola Allen is a huge part of what makes the episode so great. His chilling final line, a simple ‘I’m hungry’ to his mother, brings home the true horrors of what Mitchell might have set into motion, and forms part of one of the show’s strongest episodes. 

4. Lia (Lacey Turner) – Lia & The Wolf-Shaped Bullet 

Lacey Turner now seems like a permanent fixture on geek TV, but her turn as Lia in Being Human was one of the first post-Eastenders roles that proved to a cynical audience that she could play make-believe with the best of them. Her part in the third series might have ended up seeming more tedious than satisfying, but it was her appearance in the premiere that planted the seeds for things to come.

Lia’s promise to Mitchell of a wolf-shaped bullet was both intriguing and disturbing for long-time fans of the show, since from here on out the cosy safety of the house was no more. Appearing again in the finale, the prophecy was revealed to be a fake, but Turner’s performance just about sells it. Her character is as tragic as she is tricky, and she’s remembered as one of the show’s great guest stars for that reason. 

3. Gilbert (Alex Price) – Ghost Town 

As Tully was the first important influence on George, and Herrick our entry point into Mitchell’s world, Gilbert  transitioned Annie into her new existence and made an enduring mark on the show. Introduced by her housemates at an 80s club night, she and Gilbert formed a connection that pushed Annie into accepting her death and making the most of her remaining time.

He also became her first love interest, protective of her when interacting with Owen and declaring his affection just before walking through his door to the afterlife. The character is even mentioned again in the third series, as Annie tells Lia to look for Gilbert in the afterlife, and he’s one of those characters who appear once but stick permanently to the mythology of the series. 

2. Adam (Craig Roberts) – Adam’s Family & Hold the Front Page 

Considering the success that Craig Roberts has found since appearing in Being Human, and the existence of spin-off show Becoming Human, you might expect Adam to take the top spot, but he’s been beaten just by a whisker. That said, Adam is quite rightly many fans’ all-time favourite guest star, and a prime candidate to become a regular before movie stardom sadly made that less likely.

Appearing first in the third series, Mitchell finds him and brings him back to the house where he becomes a pseudo-son for George and Nina. Eventually deciding to leave and make his own way, the character returned in series four accompanied by an older woman and whole load of trouble. Appearing in Becoming Human in-between episodes, he even has his own werewolf and ghost companions, but it’s unknown whether we’ll ever see the trio on another adventure. 

1. Mr. Snow (Mark Gatiss) – Making History & The War Child 

"These eyes have looked upon Pharaohs and the son of the carpenter. And now they must look at you proudly showing me your idea like a child with a hand full of its own excrement."

Mark Gatiss’ place at the top of this list might have something to do with how much we love the actor, but no one can deny the power his character, Mr Snow, conveyed during just two episodes at the end of series four. The oldest known vampire to appear on the show, he also provides a nice reality check for a group of characters quite used to winning their various battles.

Blown up by Annie as she attempts to save a stolen Eve, we can safely assume that Mr Snow, along with his various flunkies, are in widely scattered pieces, but the great thing about fantasy television is that you can’t rule out anyone’s return. Creepy and one of the series’ most genuinely threatening arch-villains, Gatiss’ return would make a lot of fans exceedingly happy.

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