Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Being Human is Back!

This week, BBC3's supernatural comedy-drama about a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire, Being Human howls/bites or floats its ways back to our screens this week for a fifth series. The biggest issue for many surrounding it is that it is the first series to contain a main cast totally different from the line-up of the first series. The original housemates, Annie (Lenora Crichlow), George (Russell Tovey) and Mitchell (Aiden Turner, seen on the big screen recently for his portrayal as Kili the Dwarf in The Hobbit) having been succeeded by Alex (Kate Bracken), Tom (Michael Socha) and Hal (Damien Molony). The other change is that the series has been snipped from eight episodes to six, like the first series. While others are apprehensive, for a number of reasons, I'm highly anticipating the series; I think it could be the best since Series One. 
Although I loved the original 'trinity' back in their day, I think a new friendship at the heart of the show could really reinvigorate it; and, all three new leads have been in the show before. Hal and Tom were leads in last year's series, their budding friendship, being the crux of most episodes while Alex became familiar with viewers at the end of that series. As those who saw last series know, Alex' transition into ghosthood is arguably Hal's fault so their friendship may be a little spiky - especially as, according to the series finale, Hal is entering one of his 'bad moods' when he gets his ... cravings back. However things will shape up, what we have seen of the trio together so far I think is extremely promising. 
The shift in structure could also be a good turn for the series. With just six episodes, the writers will really have to streamline the overarching plots that creator Toby Whithouse is fond of which may help the focus of the show. Also, I really like the idea of that our heroes run a hotel, as is the premise of this new series. As nearly every episode revolves around a fellow supernatural visiting their house anyway so to make that part of the plot makes perfect sense. 
Plus, this series will also give us Phil Davis as Captain Hatch, an embittered old military man with a hatred for supernaturals. Mr Davis has some big shoes to fill as Being Human has had some great villains over the past four years. Series Two's deranged, misguided priest Kemp, the idealistic Cutler, the delicious evil king of the vampires Mr Snow (Mark Gatiss can always be relied upon to play a good villain). However, the ultimate Being Human villain is Series One and Three's main antagonist William Herrick, a dedicated, vicious vampire intent on vampire insurrection. Jason Watkins (who's to guest star in a Neil Gaiman-penned episode of Doctor Who later this year) pitches Herrick exactly right; somewhere between full-on quipping, hissing villainy to a believable human being (or near enough) with extraordinary ambition. The show has never let me down on the villain front, though, so I've high hopes for what Davis will deliver, as he has previously played villains in my two other favourite television series, Doctor Who and Sherlock

Obviously, I'd recommend you tune into BBC3 this Sunday to catch the first episode of the series, 'The Trinity', but if you're still not convinced have a butcher's at the trailer below. Farewell. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Doctor Who at 50: Coming Soon...

The Doctor and Clara have a peak at what's coming up...
Here we are; in Doctor Who's anniversary year. With details firmly under wraps all we have for the near future is the fifty-second trailer from the end of The Snowmen (a wonderful Christmas special, by the way, that properly introduced us to Jenna-Louise Coleman's character while also giving us a mystery to chew on) to whet our appetites for what we're going to be treated to this year. To get you salivating further, here's eight intriguing images from the trailer (one from each episode) that give us some clues for what's in store...Geronimo!

First of all, the good news for fans of the Great (Lizard Woman) Detective and her loyal companion is that Madame Vastra and Jenny are returning - twice! They are sure to appear in Mark Gatiss' Victorian-set tale (more on that later) and it's thought that they will also be in Steven Moffat's Series Seven finale! Since they great fun in the recent Christmas Special, any return from these two is very welcome.

This spectral visitor in what seems an old mansion suggests that one of our episodes is going to be a good old-fashioned haunted  house story. Presumably this is the spooky story that Moffat has previously hinted at written by Luther writer Neil Cross. Going by other clips in the trailer, this episode guest stars Scottish actor Dougray Scott and sees Clara walking in the dark with a candle. I'm already getting goosebumps...

Mark Gatiss' second episode this year is, if you piece bits of the trailer together, a (presumably historical) story set in a submarine in either the Antarctic or Arctic. Its rumoured (or at least hoped) that fan-favourite monsters the Ice Warriors will make a return in this episode, the first time since 1974! As it is the fiftieth anniversary it would be excellent to have at least one old enemy like that return, so let's hope the rumours are true. 

This shot of the Doctor sonicking down a corridor must be from the only episode that we definitely know the title of so far - Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS - and what a title it is! As glimpsed in this trailer, the episode, written by Sherlock writer Steve Thompson, guest stars Ashley Walters as one of a spacey salvage team who helps the Doctor and Clara in their so far undisclosed troubles. Whatever its actually about, with that title it's bound to be tons of fun.

It's thought that this is from Steven Moffat's season opener, an 'urban thriller', which also features actress Celia Imrie as, we're guessing, a villain - going by her sinister way of saying 'she's pretty' in the trailer. Not much at all is known of this one, apart from it being set in London and featuring the Doctor and his companion riding a motorbike - previously done by the Seventh and Eighth Doctors. The monks from the trailer are apparently also from this one - though it's anyone's guess how they fit in.

Going by the Victorianesque fashions, these faceless foes are going to feature in Gatiss' Victorian episode in which Vastra and Jenny are reappearing - as well the guest cast including mother and daughter Dame Diana Rigg (of The Avengers and Bond Girl fame) and Rachel Stirling. Set in a favourite period of the show at the moment with some exciting actors, this episode has a lot of things to look forward to.

There a lot of odd aliens around this trailer and one can guess several of them are going to appear in Neil  Cross' episode set on an alien planet. There's that thing with the horns in the market place clip, the Hoix-like thing behind glass after Clara and these bald-headed creatures with gasmask-resembling faces. As this is Neil Cross' first work on Doctor Who - as well as the haunted house episode - its hard to know what to expect .

And, finally, one of the most anticipated episodes of this year (read about me anticipating my anticipation here) is the return of the Cybermen - in an episode written by fantasy author Neil Gaiman! As this trailer revealed, we also have new Cybermen. Moffat and Gaiman have set that they wanted to make the Cybermen silent and scary again after the steel soldiers of the past few years. Just look at the way that Cyberman's head shakes - I love them already.

Before we go, to check I haven't made any of these images up in a hilarious January practical joke - watch the trailer yourself below.

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