Ever since Annie, the last standing original character, bowed out in a blaze of fire and glory at the end of the last season, Being Human fans have been in a bit of a quandary.
Where does the show go from here? From the murder of the fabulously evil Herrick (twice) to the Box Tunnel Massacre and the destruction of the Old Ones the show has got more and more bombastic with each series finale having to top the next.
So what Big Bad could possibly top the ‘royal family’ of vampires? The Devil himself obviously.
This new plot strand certainly shows promise and scenes in the show are genuinely quite frightening (squeamish viewers should be wary of a Joker esque silencing of a witness by the mysterious cleaners introduced at the end of the last series, towards the end of the episode)but you have to wonder whether Being Human can survive for another series after this? Because how could you possibly top the devil?
Which is a shame because this really was a return to form after the slightly disjointed and humdrum fourth series. The new trinity, Hal, Tom and Kate found their rhythm after a slightly slow start. New ghost Alex, played by Kate Bracken, while being rather annoyingly repetitive about her death in the first twenty minutes, pulls off an impressively distraught performance as she when realises her family as moving on without her. Her longing for the life she’s left behind and a tender bonding moment between her and the lonely werewolf Tom formed a surprisingly emotion resonance amongst all the mayhem.
Her tense relationship with Hal is certainly intriguing. The complications arising from being roommates, aborted lovers and Hal being implicated in her murder adds an interesting dimension to the typical romantic comedy subplot. And the chemistry between the two leads is far more believable than it ever was between Annie and Mitchell.
But it is important to remember this is not the same show I started watching in 2009 about a vampire, werewolf and a ghost living together in Bristol. It has all the same elements, the same dynamic between the leads, the same ‘us against the world’ mentality, the same quirky humour, the same oddball location and cast of supporting characters but it just doesn’t feel the same.
That does not necessarily mean this is a bad thing but it seems to be taking itself down a far more extrovert and fantastical Doctor Who route than the supernatural kitchen sink comedy it started out as.
This new format looks promising but it needs to break out on its own and lose some of the previous hang ups. There are some brilliant touches like the supernatural civil service department which cleans up the mess ‘monsters’ make like an upper class Torchwood.
Similarly the fascinating backstory of how vampires were born out of a pact with the devil, a war between the vampires and the werewolves causing the First World War and other little tidbits to keep the Being Human fandom happy.
So in all Being Human series five has potential as something new and exciting. But if you are looking for a return to the glory days of Mitchell, Annie and George sitting drinking cold cups of tea and whining about vampires you’d better bow out now. If this is to be the final series, which I think it could be, Hal, Tom, Alex and the Antichrist look set to really make the show go out with a bang.