Being Human: 402 “1955” Review
As good as Being Human’s fourth series opener was, it also came with a fair bit of baggage; not only dealing with Nina and George’s departures, but also having to introduce a host of new characters and the “War child” story arc. With most of that out of the way though, Being Human returns to a much simpler, more character-focussed tale.
Being Human 1955 picks up in Southend-on-Sea with Hal and his housemates, Leo and Pearl. Leo is gravely ill but a message from beyond the grave promises him salvation at Honolulu Heights. And so the scene is set for the two “families” of characters to meet.
Meanwhile, back in camp evil, the vampire ranks have been thrown into disarray since the death of Griffin. Cutler (Andrew Gower) and Fergus (Anthony Flanagan) are both at each other’s necks fighting over leadership.
This is a much lighter episode and something of a reboot for the show; it’s primary goal being to establish the new trio of Tom, Hal and Annie as the werewolf, vampire and ghost respectively. It results in a particularly sharp and witty script, though it’s not without some dark and emotional drama.
A lot of humour comes from Lenora Crichlow’s Annie playing the mother figure of the house and baby Eve. Her scenes where she tries to keep Tom (Michael Socha) out of trouble are a particular highlight – “Thou shalt not hide stakes in my shrubbery!” It’s also a ball seeing her compare notes with the other ghost Pearl (Tamla Kari) who has been doing Annie’s “job” far much longer than her.
When Tom isn’t being mothered by Annie, he spends much of this one bickering with Hal and desperately trying not to stake him. Watching this pair at loggerheads is a hell of a lot of fun and allows Socha to deliver some very funny lines. You’re seeing the beginnings of a great relationship with these two.
It has to be said, Damien Molony steals the episode with his portrayal of Hal. Molony had little time to shine in the opener, but here he proves why he is such an excellent choice for the new lead vampire. The scene where he speaks about what it’s really like to kill someone is chilling and a particular standout. He also gives a whole a new meaning to a game of Dominoes. It will be thrilling to watch how Hal develops over the course of the series.
Credit also goes to the two guest stars here. Louis Mahoney does a great job as the elderly, dying Leo, and so too does Tamla Kari as Pearl who share some poignant scenes later on.
The biggest surprise, perhaps, is that by the end of the episode, Mitchell and George’s absences aren’t being felt. It just feels like a natural continuation of what came before. Being Human has already proven it can survive the big cast changes. Result.
Being Human 1955 airs at 9pm on Sunday 12th February on BBC3.