October 23 to 29, 2010
Being Human (New Zealand TV Channel Prime, 9.30pm). Too old for Twilight and The Vampire Diaries? Haven’t quite filled the yawning gap where True Blood used to be? Have we got a supernatural deal for you! Awesome series Being Humanbegins this week. Yes, we’re calling it: it’s awesome. British sci-fi at its best, which is to say that it does not need expensive computer-generated effects and flashy gimmickry; it has a great script, great acting and, like that other brilliant British sci-fi series Misfits, is clever, clever, clever.
The series is, as advertised, about being human. Which, of course, means there is a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost sharing a grotty flat in Bristol. Series creator Toby Whithouse has so baldly stated the raison d’être of science fiction – that it is a metaphor for examining the human condition – it’s a wonder no one has thought of it before.
At its heart, the series is about people trying to live a normal life and come to terms with their various conditions. George (Russell Tovey) is a kind and gentle guy who happened to be attacked by a werewolf. The monthly change is something over which he has no control and, as Whithouse explained in the documentary Being Human Unearthed (which was total spoilery, thank you, Prime), he uses the werewolf curse to opt out of life.
Mitchell (Aidan Turner) was turned into a vampire during World War I and is pretty fed up with who he has become. His vampirism is equated to a drug addiction and, over the course of series one, “he is being tempted back into his old ways by his fellow addicts”, says Whithouse. Finally, Annie (Lenora Crichlow), who is “somebody who has lost her confidence”. Being dead and a ghost also don’t help.So there you have it – your latest supernatural obsession! Satisfaction guaranteed! (Batteries not included.)