This review contains spoilers. Read our spoiler-free review, here.
5.1 The Trinity
There’s a big shake-up in the Being Human cast this year, as we all know, and the biggest test for this fifth series premiere was always going to be proving that the current trio, Hal, Tom and Alex, could live up to the legacy left by Mitchell, George and Annie. We had a soft reboot last season, but some fans seemed far from won over, so we had to wait and see what Toby Whithouse and his writers would be able to do with an entirely new supernatural trinity living in Honolulu Heights.
Just from watching this premiere, the signs are good, but it’s also clear that this incarnation of Being Human isn’t interested in courting the same audience that tuned in for series one. Fans who complained that the show’s ideas had gotten too grand for the humble beginnings of a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost trying to live normal lives, definitely haven’t been catered to for example, as we’re going even bigger for this new series. Starting with a flashback that makes full use of Hal’s status as king of the vampires, this series will probably see his story granted more focus, as a threat from his past appears in modern day Wales.
Yes, the devil himself will be a player this year, as a botched attempt to end the civil war between werewolves and vampires in the past have led to him taking residence in a human vessel ever since. For unknown reasons, he’s been staying in the Barry Grand Hotel, which is the very establishment in which Hal and Tom find new jobs. Before that, though, we pick up exactly where we left off with Hal tied up in the living room until Alex’s blood passes out of his system. His pleas to have supervised release while he runs around with the hoover were hilarious, and brought back some of the charm of early conversations between George and Mitchell on The Real Hustle.
When they do finally untie him, his day doesn’t go exactly to plan and an innocent passerby ends up being turned into a vampire. The fact that the man’s car accident comes moments after Alex has heaped all of her frustration onto him obviously makes Hal predisposed to turning Crumb instead of leaving him to die, but it turns out it was the wrong decision. This new member of the undead is trouble, specifically, he’s a David Brent-character who gets given superpowers. The ‘victim who takes revenge on those who bullied him’ isn’t anything new, but it really works here. There’s a real sense of danger with Crumb, and I can’t wait to see what the cleaners have in store for him.
It looks as if the government cutbacks are affecting every department, even the ones we didn’t know existed, and the cleaners are told to pack up and shove off by the end of the month. Dismayed that this means monsters will be left to run riot in the world, they try to recruit Hal as their vampire representative. This organisation seems like they have the best intentions, but I can see plenty of potential for them to step over the line this series. How far will they go to keep their role alive? I’d guess that people like them exist in every country in the world, so they only have to concern themselves with the UK – how bad would it actually get if they weren’t around to clean up the messes?
Running beside all of this, there’s plenty of development for our central characters and, by the end of the hour, Hal, Tom and Alex have solidified their place apart from the original cast. While it’s a little strange to see them swanning around the home of our other beloved characters, the amount of chemistry between them means that it’s easy to accept them in their own right. Hal and Tom still have that light and easy camaraderie, with Alex’s initial rejection of Tom’s gentlemanly ways proving to us also that she’s a capable and no-nonsense woman worlds away from how Annie was.
So, with the initial handling of a brand new cast dynamic dealt with and a new arch-villain thrown into the mix, series five of Being Human is well underway. If they wanted to go bigger and better, then you can’t get much bigger than the devil himself, and the focus on the hotel means that the popular cafe scenes that were a highlight of series four could be expanded. There’s still a way to go before doubters are silenced but, as a premiere to a new version of the show, my guess is that few will be left outright disappointed.
Come back tomorrow for our spoiler-filled chat with the man behind Captain Hatch, Phil Davis.
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