Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Review: Being Human Series Five - The Trinity

With a shorter run of episodes than the last few years, you would expect this new series of Being Human to cut back on the multiple plots and side-plots but writer Toby Whithouse again shows his dexterity at handling his show by stuffing this opening episode full of different story threads. Apart from our own heroes' problems, we are introduced to a host of characters; dullard but dangerous vampire Ian Cram or ‘Crumb’, the inhabitants of the sleepy yet oddly sinister Barry Grand Hotel and we get to see more of Mr Rook and his Men in Grey organisation after their cameo at the end of last year’s finale. Add in a series of flashbacks concerning Hal in league with the leader of the werewolves, Lady Catherine, and ‘necromancer’ ghost Emil in 1918 and you have quite a packed episode. While having scope and breath of storytelling is no bad thing (it's one reason why BH is such a great show), dealing with setting up all these series-starters does mean the episode doesn't get a time to do much else. There’s little room for, say, the series-finale level of excitement that last year’s opener managed (although I'm fine with that if it means we don’t have a main character leave as in that case). However, now that all these story-plates are spinning on their series-sticks (this metaphor’s getting a bit laboured, isn't it?) it will be interesting to see how things develop.

As the episode is called ‘The Trinity’, you’d expect it to perhaps focus on Hal, Tom and Alex coming together as a group. Although this isn't really the case (just as Tom and Hal’s growing friendship last year, the trio’s gelling as a whole may be on an on-going thing) there are some nice moments for our heroes. Hal gets most of the action as we follow him trying harder than ever to shirk his blood cravings as he enters another bad phase. That said, there’s some touching scenes involving the usually nonchalant Alex’s emotions coming to the fore as she realises the weight of what being a ghost means; that she can’t do anything from kissing someone to eating chocolate or change her shoes. Tom gets little to do on his own but we do get to see him and Alex bond after he starts to annoy her feisty soul with his old-fashioned, overly-polite, ways of treating women. Overall, it shows great promise from the new trinity over the next few episodes.

By the looks of things, the show might always be this busy with the both the Men in Grey and Captain Hatch seemingly sharing the status as main antagonists for the series. Without giving anything away – the devil’s in the detail, you know - veteran villain actor Phil Davis has the potential to be a great nemesis for our heroes and, although they don't really meet, from what we see of him here he can go from foul-mouthed vitriol to conniving politeness to downright creepy. It’s difficult to see at the moment how Hatch and everyone will fit together but, on the whole, this episode has done the tough job of starting up the series again as well as being funny and ambitious alongside - just like the best of Being Human.

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