Well thank goodness for small mercies. After the crazy and somewhat unfathomable decision to commission the dubious (i.e. terrible and inept) Phoo Action for a full series about 30 seconds after its pilot finished, Danny Cohen, controller of BBC3 seems to have seen some sense. Yes, rejoice ladies and gentleman, Being Human, the flat share comedy drama about a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire, has been given the go ahead for a full series with creator, Toby Whithouse, on board as writer.
I am so pleased about this. Being Human has been one of the few dramas this year, outside The Fixer and He Kills Coppers, to engage me as a viewer. The notion of a flat share between a trio of supernatural creatures almost seems a little obvious, but Whithouse’s pilot script pulled it off with some style and originality. It was also blessed with some great performances, particularly Russell Tovey as reluctant werewolf George and Andrea Riseborough as sweet-natured ghost Annie.
Now if I were the kind of TV blogger who liked teaching TV production types how to suck eggs, I’d say that the series should pull back on the overt vampire gubbins running through the pilot. Guy Flanagan as Mitchell had a certain charm, but the depiction of a vampire society that hangs around in nightclubs wearing sharp suits, drinking wine and being painfully gauche is about as hackneyed as it gets. Oooh look! Vampires are edgy and sexy. I know, after decades of films, books, comics and TV shows, an original approach to a horror staple is difficult to distil, but Ultraviolet did it reasonably well (although the sharp suits remained). I wouldn’t go as far as recasting Flanagan, but this is one element of Being Human that could do with a rethink.
That lone gripe aside, I am looking forward to six new episodes of what will hopefully be a fun, witty and occasionally shocking piece of TV drama. Forget the down with the kids vibe of Phoo Action, this is where BBC3 should be looking for some real success.