Sunday, 5 February 2012

Review: Being Human 4.1: Eve of the War

Eve. In 2037. They went there. And it's awesome.
A lot of change happened since Series Three of the rather troubling comedy-drama Being Human. That series took it so far from its original comedy roots that it's often difficult to know how to approach the series. Series Four is now faced with the evacuation of three-quarters of the cast, with vampire Aiden Turner having left at the end of Series Three and werewolves George and Nina tleaving too. The question on everyone's lips is whether Being Human can survive this near-catastophic change, or whether it can stay the course.
     Funnily enough, whereas previous premiers in the series have been quick to establish a new formula, this episode managed to deal with all of the previous themes of the series while setting up this series' arc. Previously it felt like the characters fought against common sense to establish their main character groups, but Eve of the War took a very, very different path that was almost like its cousin The Fades.
     There were a lot of sudden cast changes in between the series, but not of the sort that Being Human is alien to. Nina (Sinead Keenan) is suddenly dead, five-minute character Wyndam (Lee Ingleby) is dead and everyone has been affected as a result. George (Russell Tovey, who's being a bit more sedate) is resigned to sitting in front of his daughter's cot with a stake, and Annie is tired and depressed, despite help from werewolf friend Tom (Michael Socha). The Vampires, waiting for the Old Ones to arrive and begin a mass invasion, kidnap the baby believing that it's the first Organic Werewolf.
Griffin leads the Vampires.
     The full-moon arrives, and the baby doesn't change. Vampire leader Griffin, the one responsible for Nina's assassination, locks up George as a consolation - before the local historian, the Vampire Recorder (Mark Williams), realises that the child is the War Child - a human messiah, born of werewolves, who will kill all of the Vampires. Sacred to his prophecy, he helps Annie and Tom save the baby as George triggers a half-transformation to break out of his cell. He kills Griffin, but they soon realise that the half-transformtion has fucked up George's internal organs. He dies, but not before naming his daughter Eve.
      One part of the episode that was distinctly exciting for me was a side of the plot set in the future of 2037 - a world where Vampires rule and Humanity is a resistance movement serving under Eve.When Eve finds the manuscript to the final part of the Vampire prophecy, she asks to be killed and then she heads into the Afterlife, announcing her intention to kill the War Child. And, finally, in Southhampton, our new Vampire Hal worried with his ghost friend Pearl about his long-time werewolf buddy. He survives his penultimate transformation, but they realise that something has to change.
     When I expected Being Human to have changed, I didn't really expect this complete turnaround of themes and ideas. Since Series One, the series has been about humanity; the original brief had very human character with problems like drug abuse and agoraphobia. Where there the Vampiric prophecies were treated like the doctrines of madmen, Here they are embraced as part of the series' fabric, and that's fine. It really is. But I'm really hoping that the series can still portray human characters like it usually should do.
Eve isn't a werewolf at all.
     Am I sure about the futuristic elements of the premier? Not really. But they were incredibly fun, and I would have loved it if we could have spent more time there. It's not really a logical place for Being Human to go, but any nods towards a more Sci-fi-oriented show is music to my ears. It added to an atmosphere that managed to build upon layers and layers of dark atmosphere that have been increasing since Series Two.
    Eve of the War had the balls not to rush into finding somewhere comfortable for the series to go. It may be claimed that it was just killing off old characters so we could get some frash blood in, but even so it was executed in a way that left me wanting more. The series' new direction may be slightly shakey, but so far I'm confidant that if it can pull this off, it will become one of the most revolutionary shows on TV. If it can't, then at least we have new actors to cushion the blow.

Thanks.

P.S. Playing a particularly dickish recurring character is Dexter from Survivors.

2 comments:

  1. The actress for Eve in 2037 is uncredited. I'm sure I recognize her, but just can't get it. Anyone?

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    Replies
    1. It's relatively new actress Gina Bramhill. She's listed simply as "Woman" in the credits.

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