TV Preview: Being Human, Series Two, Episode Six

Please note that this preview doesn’t include any major spoilers, but if you’d rather know nothing about the episode then come back after you’ve watched it.

After last week’s glorious return of Herrick to the series, one of the reasons the flashbacks which open each episode are proving to be more than just gimmicks, this time we glimpse some of the back story of the mysterious Kemp.

Sticking to my promise not to spoil these episodes I won’t go into detail here, but it’s an introduction which more than explains Kemp’s hatred towards vampire kind, even if the details of the lead up to the events are left unclear.

In the present, Mitchell is still struggling with his addiction to blood, Lucy seemingly his only hope if he’s going to continue to abstain. Lucy, of course, is torn between caring for Mitchell and following Kemp’s cause.

It’s a shame that while every other character seems to get some light shed on their actions, Lucy remains something of a mystery. Then again, it’s arguable that we’re being fed too much information of the others and that there’s something to be said for keeping us in the dark.

Continue reading

Advertisements

TV Preview: Being Human, Series Two, Episode Five

Please note that this preview doesn’t include spoilers, but if you’d rather know nothing about the episode then come back after you’ve watched it.

“It’s the library books isn’t it?”

Another week, another flashback and another shock ending which threatens to send Being Human off in another direction from the one we were expecting 55 minutes previously. Can this series lay claim to being the most surprising on British television today? Almost certainly.

It’s London, 1969, and we’re first introduced to…ah, but that would be telling. Typical of Being Human, there’s nothing typical about its opening salvo, a pre-credits sequence which is both shocking and hilarious, as is the programme’s wont.

The past is tied indelibly to the present in Being Human, this episode entwining the two as Mitchell recalls events from one night in the Sixties.

Back in 2010, Ian Puleston-Davies’ turn as Herrick-lite, Wilson, continues to impress, though the absence of Jason Watkins is still felt even with the new band of adversaries faced by Mitchell, Annie and George.

This week Wilson wants to recruit Mitchell to carry out a little job for him, one which goes against the new vampire code that demands that no blood is shed on his watch. This may seem a ludicrous turn of events but it’s given enough conviction from Aidan Turner that there seems nothing unusual with the idea.

Continue reading

TV Preview: Being Human, Series Two, Episode Two

Annie

Please note that this preview doesn’t include spoilers, but if you’d rather know nothing about the episode then come back after you’ve watched it.

“I wanted to be a normal girl, kissing a normal boy. I wanted to escape, just for a second.”

If there’s one thing you can be certain about with Being Human it’s that you can never be certain about anything.

Over just seven episodes we’ve so far learnt much about Mitchell, George and Annie and their predicament, the how’s and why’s of how they each arrived in a house in Bristol laid out via flashbacks and dialogue in parts hilarious and heartbreaking.

In episode one of this new series we saw Annie branching out further from the house, taking a job at a pub just a few feet down the road. As with most elements of this series, humour and drama would inevitably ensue – remember her job interview? – but with this episode things take a turn which nobody saw coming…and it’s as ridiculous and terrifying as it should be.

Elsewhere, the vampire community are still reeling from the departure of Herrick from the scene, a hole having been created which it’s going to take some time to fill. The appearance of figures of Mitchell’s past forces him back into a life he wants to leave behind, and it’s a different side to the character on show.

Continue reading

Being Human Revisited: the live blog

Being Human

I love BBC Three’s Being Human. That’s probably an important disclaimer for this particular blog post so let’s get it out of the way first. I watched the pilot back in February 2008, instantly falling in love with the story of a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf sharing a house in Bristol.

Screened as part of a season which saw six pilots made for the channel, the intention being to turn at least one into a fully fledged series, Being Human may have stood out as one of the most original but it almost fell at the first hurdle. The Powers That Be decided to commission comic book action fantasy-thingy Phoo Action instead and Being Human was dead…or would have been if the fans hadn’t got involved.

Long before Twitter was the force for social good it is (we can debate that one another time), fans set up an online petition calling for Being Human to be given another chance. The short version of the ensuing saga is that they won, Phoo Action high-kicked into oblivion and we now have series two about to start on BBC Three tomorrow night.

I’ve now decided to watch it all again. Starting with the pilot (which isn’t in the DVD set), I’ll run through the series, watching the series first six episodes shown on TV last year.

My comments won’t be the most in-depth on the Internet – it is live after all – but I’ll do my best to capture some of the feeling of the series as it develops. This may stretch into tomorrow depending on other commitments, but I’ll make sure I finish it all by 9.30pm Sunday night. Promise.

There’s no real plan to this live blog other than that. I’ll link off to a few other sites, drop in the odd YouTube clip and trailer if it’s relevant and generally go a bit OTT on the series. Feel free to leave comments if you’d like and follow me on Twitter for the odd interlude and to find out when I’ll be starting each episode…oh, and watch out for spoilers folks…

Here’s a look at the original trailer for the pilot:

Continue reading

DVD Review: How Not to Live Your Life

How Not to Live Your Life

*****

Back for a second series of embarrassment and strange situations, Dan Clark’s How Not to Live Your Life continues to be one of the more unique comedies on British TV while still hidden away on BBC3.

Heartbroken after the departure of his housemate and not-so-secret crush, Abby, Don Danbury (Clark) still shares his home with friend and (almost) carer Eddie (David Armand) while trying to navigate the pitfalls of modern life.

When a beautiful new lodger arrives in the shape of student Sam (Laura Haddock), Don starts to realise that perhaps Abby wasn’t the most important thing in his life, while events continue to move into odder and odder territory.

As the season goes on it’s clear there’s more progression than in the first series, Don’s relationship with Sam frequently allowing for moments of emotion in among the jokes.

Continue reading

The Return of Minder

Minder

Shane Richie as Archie Daley on Channel Five

It’s been all over the UK press recently that Minder, the classic 70s and 80s TV series starring George Cole as Arthur Daley and Dennis Waterman as Terry, is making a comeback.

Only this time we have Shane Richie as Arthur’s nephew Archie and Lex Shrapnel as his minder, Jamie.

I wrote a while back that I grew up watching Minder, at least in its latter years, and I loved its brilliant mix of drama and humour set among the seedy backstreets of London.

Even in its final few years, when Terry went to Australia, to be replaced by Gary Webster as Arthur’s nephew Ray, I would tune in to see what scam was being perpetrated this week.

A few years back I picked up the first series on Australian DVD, complete with a couple of George Cole commentaries, and admired the grit of the series and the clever plots, as well as the interaction between the leads.

Sadly it all ended in 1994, Arthur hanging his hat up for good and perhaps spending a few more evenings with ‘er indoors as he grew old disgracefully.

I have mixed feelings about the new show, even though I’ve not seen it yet (it’s due to start in February I believe). A review on the Guardian website this week was pretty evenhanded about the first episode, though they couldn’t quite work out who the audience is going to be for the series: the fans will think it’s a bad idea while the kids won’t think its cool enough.

I’ve read that the Winchester Club will make an appearance and it would be great to see the return of Arthur for a one-off appearance, or even Mr Chisholm (Patrick Malahide).

The makers have said they’d love to get Waterman or Cole back for series two, but we’ll have to wait and see whether this can run for as many years as the original or if it’ll be a flash in the pan. I truly hope this can do some justice to the classic series and that they don’t spoil the memory.

I’ll add a review to the blog following the first episode, in the meantime here’s a short trailer for Channel Five with some Minder clips followed by the revamped theme tune from Glasgow band the Attic Lights – I really hope that Richie’s annoying tie straightening gimmick seen in the music video isn’t going to be his “trademark” in the series:

Photo copyright Channel Five

Meta4orce Exclusive Part Three: Animation and Interactive team interviews

Meta4orce

In the third and final part of my exclusive series of interviews with the team behind the new BBC interactive sci-fi series Meta4orce, I speak to the Animation and Interactive team.

Jonathan Melville: Can you tell me a bit about your backgrounds?

John Denton (Creative Director): I’ve been working in the digital design field throughout my career, and the last 7 years of that has been here at Bloc.

Ron Ganbar (Animation Supervisor): I’ve been working in post production since 1996, on everything from commercials to feature films. Over the last couple of years I’ve worked on some high-end feature films such as Sunshine and Elizabeth – the Golden Age and also on animation shorts.

What has it been like working on the series? Is there a buzz surrounding it?

Ron Ganbar (Animation Supervisor): It’s been a lot of hard work! I knew that Alex Norris (who I worked with many times before) was starting to work on this exciting BBC Two series and I was booked to head up the animation team.

It was a daunting task as the time frame and budget we had were both tight, but we found a way of tackling the script and since then it was challenge after challenge, but I’m extremely happy with the results. Alex kept pushing us and we kept delivering as much as we could.

John Denton (Creative Director): Meta4orce has been a very different experience for us here at Bloc. We have had to work very closely with both the writer and the director in order to make sure the interactive experience is intrinsically interwoven with the story.

In terms of buzz – absolutely! We were all super-chuffed to get this job. I almost think if we’d known too much about what we were actually planning to achieve we might have all bricked it from the start as it turned to be a gargantuan task. Sometimes it really is better to just not know!

Continue reading