Brits do it best

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - TIM MARTAIN

BE­ING Hu­man might be miss­ing a cou­ple of ma­jor and much- loved char­ac­ters this sea­son but the Bri­tish orig­i­nal is still far su­pe­rior to its ap­palling Amer­i­can cousin.

Re­turn­ing for its fourth sea­son, this Bri­tish drama se­ries about su­per­nat­u­ral en­ti­ties try­ing to live nor­mal lives is still mas­ter­fully writ­ten and acted.

Mitchell the vampire met a sad demise at the end of last sea­son, his emo­tional final scenes a fit­ting trib­ute to the char­ac­ter and a heart­felt demon­stra­tion of how much he meant to his house­mates, An­nie the ghost ( Lenora Crichlow) and Ge­orge the were­wolf ( Rus­sell Tovey).

We also saw the tragic de­par­ture of Ge­orge’s wolfy girl­friend Nina ( Sinead Keenan), leav­ing heart­bro­ken Ge­orge with a lit­tle cub, Eve, to care for on his own.

In the af­ter­math of all this tragedy, An­nie and Ge­orge re­treat to their home, an old B& B in a quiet sea­side town, to re­cover and find a way to move on. But, of course, all will not be so sim­ple. Fol­low­ing the death of Mc­nair, were­wolf Tom moves in with An­nie and Ge­orge to help raise Eve.

Mean­while, the vam­pires are mo­bil­is­ing for some kind of apoc­a­lyp­tic takeover of the world and they seem to think Eve will play a role.

And we are in­tro­duced to an­other su­per­nat­u­ral trio of house­mates with dis­tinct sim­i­lar­i­ties to those we know.

There are big changes ahead in this fourth sea­son, which may alien­ate some fans in the same way as Mitchell’s death an­noyed many long- time fol­low­ers of the show. The show’s great­est strength re­mains its ded­i­ca­tion to cre­at­ing be­liev­able and sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ters, de­spite their ob­vi­ous dif­fer­ences.

The ti­tle says it all: they might be dead, un­dead or prone to howl­ing at full moons, but these char­ac­ters want noth­ing more than to just be hu­man, or at least as close to it as they can be.

Their daily strug­gles, while out­wardly mun­dane, are am­pli­fied ver­sions of what most of us en­counter and prob­a­bly cope with more eas­ily.

When also faced with big­ger chal­lenges like, say, an im­mi­nent vampire war on hu­man­ity, they re­alise how small and vul­ner­a­ble they still are.

The out­pour­ing of grief and outrage from fans fol­low­ing Mitchell’s death is proof of just how good a job the writ­ers and cast have done of giv­ing us char­ac­ters

Hu­man. A new sea­son of this US re- in­ven­tion pre­miered re­cently on Eleven. This se­ries was pro­duced es­sen­tially be­cause Amer­i­can au­di­ences were reluc­tant to suf­fer through the mix­ture of English ac­cents in the BBC se­ries. So the premise and char­ac­ters were slav­ishly re- cre­ated with Amer­i­can ac­cents.

De­spite the much glossier fin­ish of the Amer­i­can se­ries and its ob­vi­ous sub­servience to the ba­sic story es­tab­lished by the orig­i­nal, its thin char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion, dis­ap­point­ing lack of orig­i­nal­ity and over- reliance on spe­cial ef­fects at the ex­pense of good writ­ing leave it sadly lack­ing.

We miss you, Mitchell.

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