Being Human: 401 “Eve of the War” Review
After the death of Mitchell in Being Human’s third series finale and the announcement of Russell Tovey’s imminent departure, it’s fair to say that Series 4 of has a bit of work to do. Not only does it have to re-establish the shows’ original premise of a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire trying to live a normal life together, but it also has to win over a portion of the audience that may be wondering if the show is worth continuing with the majority of the original cast either on the way out or dead. Fortunately, the opener proves there’s plenty of life in Being Human yet.
Eve of the War crams in a lot over the course of its one hour duration, jumping back and forth between several characters, beginning with a trip into London, 2037. Here we’re introduced to a small group of resistance fighters living in a world where the vampires have seemingly taken over.
Back in the present, Annie (Lenora Crichlow) and George (Russell Tovey) are still living in Honolulu Heights, though there’s been some changes since the events of Series 3. George is a broken man and a struggling father after the (off-screen) loss of Nina – a bit of a disappointing end for Sinead Keenan’s character it has to be said. Annie is trying to hold the place together and look after George’s baby girl, who might just hold the key to everything. Meanwhile, young werewolf Tom (Michael Socha) is still on the scene; working in a café by day and staking vampires by night. Socha proving a wise addition to the full time cast.
Then there’s Damien Molony’s Hal, a vampire living a life paralleling that of the original Being Human gang. He shares residence with ghost Pearl (Tamla Kari) and elderly werewolf Leo (Louis Mahoney), whose days are coming to an end. Hal doesn’t actually feature a great deal or cross paths with the any of the other characters, but he makes a memorable impression as the posh newcomer in his brief screentime.
The episode also introduces a new group of evil vampires who are preparing for the Old Ones arrival. There’s the new leader and Herrick-alike cop Griffin played by (Alex Jennings); cop lackey Fergus (Anthony Flanagan); Regus, a “Vampire Recorder” played by comedian Mark Williams; and Andrew Gower as the quirky Cutler. Gower doesn’t get a lot to do yet, but is clearly being set up for bigger things. Mark Williams’ character is played for laughs and although there are a couple of humorous scenes, he seems a little at odds with the rest of the drama.
Overall though, this is an incredibly dark, tense and emotional episode to kick start the series, feeling more like a finale at times. It’s too early to tell if the new gang will work as well as the original did, but the signs are strong based on the performances here.
Eve of the War certainly sets the scene for an intriguing series to come and definitely left this reviewer wanting more. Bring on episode 2.