BBC3’s supernatural drama returns soon but the fourth series brings quite big changes to the series we’ve grown so fond of. Three key cast members will not be returning for this fourth series. Russell Tovey announced recently that he’d be leaving the show and Aiden Turner (another key to the show’s great success) has decided not to return for series 4. This makes for distressing reading for any Being Human fan but when the new cast was announced we had faith a series like this had the resilience required to remain must-see viewing. Though changes in casts are always difficult for the viewer to adjust to they also throw up problems for the people who make the show. Creator Toby Whitehouse talks about the chance to see the departures as a opportunity for the series to revitalize itself.
“We saw Series 4 as an opportunity: we could invent new characters, expand the show in different directions, create new worlds and monsters and heroes, and add new layers to the overarching Being Human mythology. Suddenly Series 4 was a genuinely thrilling prospect.
But the essential DNA of show remains the same.
Though key characters have decided to leave the series (hang up their fangs and what have you) we’ve confidence in the producers and minds that have kept us interested over the last few years will manage to achieve the same with new faces.
Creator Toby Whitehorse certainly seems pleased the work of his new young cast. As ever, “Being Human lives or dies on the strength of the characters and the cast, and that’s why I think this series is our strongest yet.
Damien Molony joins the team as Hal. Hand on heart, I think he’s one of the most exciting and versatile actors of his generation. Watching his performance grow over the filming was a joy.
Then there’s Michael Socha. Promoted from semi-regular to lead. If you thought he was good in series 3, wait till you see what he does in series 4. Michael will break your heart this year.”
Fans who have watched since episode 1 back in 2007 will be happy to know not everything is going to be different. Lenora Crichlow will be one of the few Being Human regulars to return for the new run. With her friends gone Annie takes on the role as matriarch but finds she has the fate of the world in her hands. Lenora says “Annie has changed. She is forced to move on and forced to grow up. She’s also forced to be very maternal as she’s left holding the baby. It’s a huge arc for Annie yet again. Each series Annie, not through willing, more through necessity, has to really challenge herself which is always a good emphasis on growth. She also has new people in her home that she has to reassure, make comfortable and adjust to – so she’s kind of like mother hen this series, and a has a lot and lot of responsibility. Whereas before, and certainly in series one, it was much more like the others were responsible for her. By this series Annie’s sense of duty and responsibility is what drives her.
Last year’s series saw Michael Socha (brother of Misfits star Lauren Socha) debut as werewolf Tom whose only goal in life is to kill vampires.Tom takes a more frontline role in the upcoming forth series learning to live more like a human and trying to put his past behind him Michael admits to being quite surprised when he was told of plans for series 4. When they first told me I was going to be a lead role in this series I couldn’t believe it! It was hard work but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my first big lead role and I absolutely love playing Tom…we’re both energetic and both absolute hate vampires. I’ve also never had the opportunity to play anything but a human, so now I’m a werewolf I feel I’ve been let loose. I can scream my head off whenever I like!
The newest arrival though is Hal played by Damien Molony. Hal has been a vampire for over 500 years and the temptation for blood and carnage still rules his every waking thought. Since meeting best friends Leo (a werewolf) and Pearl (a ghost) in 1955, Hal has managed to stay off the blood by sticking to a rigid structure and keeping away from all people. Coming to Honolulu Heights is a huge disruption for Hal. And he doesn’t cope well with disruption. At first, Hal – the stand-offish, posh vampire – and Tom – the common, feral werewolf – find themselves at loggerheads, but once a mutual respect is gained, we see this odd couple become close. Damien told the BBC more about how he secured the role as the newest member of the cast. I got the part when the casting director came to my drama centre showcase last February and she brought me in to read for the part of Hal. I was doing a play up in Leeds at the time so I was back and forth on the train the entire time. I met Michael at the recall and they put us together, up against a wall, to see what the two of us looked like together and I didn’t realise how short Michael was at the time! It took me back! I got a call from my agent 3 days later just before I was about to go on stage and she told me they had offered me the part!
The new series which will begin soon on BBC3 is comprised of eight episodes. Although it remains to be seen how the new series will gel without two of its main stars there’s enough scope left in the premise of Being Human to make this fourth series just as exciting and interesting as the previous three. Roll on Series 4!
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Pics and interviews courtesy of the BBC.