This week Syfy debuted its U.S. version of the very successful BBC series, Being Human. If you like vampires, werewolves and ghosts, then this series just might be for you!
To start you off with an overview of the series, here are some of the cast describing their roles and how the characters fit into the premise of the show:
Spoiler Alert: The following is a complete recap/review of Being Human, Episode 101 (There Goes the Neighborhood: Part 1). If you have not yet seen this episode and prefer to watch it without spoilers, stop reading now and go to Syfy.com where you can watch the full episode online. You can also watch it for free on iTunes, and Part 1 is scheduled to air just prior to Part 2 on the Syfy Channel, Monday, January 24, at 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please check your local listings.
And now, on with the show!
For me, the introductory sequence was brilliantly crafted. It introduces two of the main characters, helps us to understand why they care about “being human,” and sets up what will become a central thematic element to the two-part pilot.
A man is walking, first through the city, then outside the city, into the woods. The moon, a full white disc, hangs low in the sky. It is not yet dark, but soon will be. As he goes deeper into the woods, the looks worried. Finally he stops. There is nothing here in this place, deep in the woods. He removes his jacket, then piece by piece, the rest of his clothes. As we watch the man, walking, removing his clothes, we hear a voice saying:
“We’re all hiding something, aren’t we? From the moment we wake, look in that mirror, all we do is spin our little lies. Suck in that gut. Color that hair. Twist off that wedding ring. And why not? What’s the penalty? What are the consequences, really? ‘I’m only human,’ you say, and all is forgiven. But what if some cruel twist of fate makes you something else? Something other? Who forgives you then?”
A young man is seeing his date home. He is telling her about something Byron [George Gordon (Lord) Byron, 1816] wrote about Prometheus. (In Greek mythology, Prometheus was a Titan, one of the elder gods that were overthrown by Zeus and the rest of the Olympians. Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. As punishment, Zeus had Prometheus bound to a rock, where an eagle ate out his liver every day. The next day, his liver would grow back and the eagle would eat it out again.) The young man says:
“The wretched gift Eternity
Was thine—and thou hast borne it well.” (Byron)
“Making death a victory….That breathing, living thing taking its last breath—it’s gorgeous.”
Strange conversation on a date, but she seems charmed by him.
+ + + + +
In the woods, the man stands naked in the dark. We hear:
“Every human spends a night or two on the dark side and regrets it. But what if you only exist on the dark side?”
He screams in pain. His body begins to transform. He is a werewolf.
+ + + + +
The girl invites her date to come in. We hear:
“We just want the same things that you do—a chance at life, at love. We’re not so different in that way.”
The young man follows her in. She is pretty and sweet, and she wants him to make love to her. She takes him to her bed. And in the height of passion he bites. He is a vampire.
“And so we try. And sometimes fail. But when you’re something ‘other,’ a monster, the consequences are worse. Much worse. You wake up from your nightmares. We don’t.”
+ + + + +
In the morning, the werewolf in the woods is a man again, lying naked and bloody beside the ravaged carcass of a deer. The young woman is dead, her date having turned out to be a vampire with poor self-control.
And so begins the new Syfy series, Being Human, a show about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost, sharing an apartment and trying to live normal “lives.” The series stars Sam Witwer (Smallville, Battlestar Gallactica) as Aiden the vampire, Sam Huntington (Superman Returns, Fanboys) as Josh the werewolf, and Meaghan Rath as Sally the ghost.
Filthy and naked from his night in the woods, Josh makes his way back to town and steals the only clothes he can find—a lovely dress! Sam Huntington looks absolutely adorable in this form-fitting number.
Aiden waits for Josh with some fresh clothes, a bottle of water, and a towel. Apparently this is a routine they have practiced for a long time. While he waits, Aiden flashes back to the night before and how he called someone to help deal with the body of the murdered girl, how a truck came and took her away in a cardboard box.
But it is morning now, Josh is in the car, he is cleaned up, and it is time to go to work. Aiden and Josh work at the Suffolk County Hospital in Boston. Aiden is a nurse. Josh might be an orderly, but I am not sure about that yet. In the locker room, Aiden asks Josh about getting an apartment together so they can try to live like normal people. Josh doesn’t seem to think it would work.
As they go out into the hallway they meet Cara (Bianca Bellange). She was called in to take the place of another nurse (Rebecca, played by Sarah Allen (Warehouse 13, Murdoch Mysteries]). Rebecca is our murdered girl, Aiden’s date-cum-victim from the night before.
Later, Aiden sees someone familiar going into one of the treatment rooms. It is Marcus (Vincent LeClerc), another vampire who seems to know Aiden very well. Marcus is there to “recruit” one of the patients as part of a plan to turn more people in positions of power. He refers to someone named Bishop who is giving the orders (we will meet him a little later).
Aiden meets Josh outside during their lunch break. Of course Aiden doesn’t eat, but Josh has something in a paper bag. Josh has been sitting on the bench watching the people go by and looking very sad. He asks Aiden if he was serious about trying to be normal. He says, “I used to think this curse was what happened to me once a month, then I realized this is the curse. Every day, sitting on a bench, watching people walk by, eating sandwiches, making plans, being…what I used to be.” It is a very serious, heartfelt moment, and Josh’s expression is anguished.
Aiden: Of course I don’t cook.
Josh: You don’t eat.
Aiden: And I don’t clean.
Josh: I have OCD.
Aiden: And my credit’s crap. Just putting that out there.
One month later, they find the perfect place. It is a little run down but Josh loves it. The owner, Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta), tells them his fiancé died in the house. Danny seems very anxious to have them move in. He offers them whatever furniture is inside, says he will come by on weekends to continue the repairs, and by the way, he won’t need a credit check. Since Aiden has terrible credit, that was a big selling point. They move right in.
True to his word, Aiden sits back while Josh does all the cleaning up. Finally, after a hard day of moving in, the guys are in the kitchen when Josh sees a shadow moving fast toward the stairs. Yikes! There is someone in the house! Josh wants to call 911 but Aiden reminds him that that are, after all, dangerous supernatural beings.
Upstairs, they find Sally, the ghost of the landlord’s fiancé, and she is thrilled that they can actually see and hear her. She has been basically alone for the last six months, since she died. Sally doesn’t know how she died, exactly, she just went to sleep one night and the next morning she was dead. Josh is not exactly thrilled to have “Sally the Peeper Ghost” in their apartment, But Sally explains that as much as she wants to leave—and she has tried—she can’t.
On their way to work, Aiden leads Josh into what appears to be the basement of an older part of the hospital. He has found an isolated cell-like room where Josh can spend his full moon transformations without fear of harming anyone.
Aiden breaks the door handle so it can only be opened from the outside. That little detail handled, it’s back to work. As Josh goes about his business in the hospital corridors, he suddenly picks up a familiar scent. He follows the scent and is stunned to see his sister, Emily (Alison Louder), at the hospital. Emily had no idea Josh was there; she was at the hospital with her girlfriend, who has broken her arm.
At first, Josh hides from Emily. He has not been in contact with his family for two years, since he became a werewolf. But he loves and misses his sister and so, finally, he reveals himself to her. Of course, Emily wants to know why he disappeared. He doesn’t tell her the truth, but tells her that he loves her and they leave it at that for now.
Meanwhile, Aiden is struggling with memories of his night with Rebecca, the nurse that he killed. There is a missing persons flyer on the wall in the corridor. Talking with Cara the replacement nurse, he finds out that the police are at the hospital again, “recanvassing,” searching for clues to what might have happened to Rebecca.
The police interview Aiden at the hospital. One of the officers appears to be very suspicious of Aiden and pushes the interview hard. But his partner, the other police officer, turns out to be Bishop (Mark Pellegrino), Aiden’s maker. Bishop does some mind-control thing and his partner is suddenly no longer suspicious and leaves to wait in the car.
Bishop says he is glad that Aiden is “back,” but Aiden assures him that he is not back, that what happened with Rebecca was a mistake. Aiden does need Bishop’s help, though, to stop any investigation into Aiden’s possible guilt with regard to Rebecca’s disappearance. Bishop mocks Aiden’s “blood bank diet” but promises to help with the investigation. After all, Aiden and Bishop have been vampires together for 200 years.
Once outside the hospital, Aiden is haunted by his guilt over Rebecca and his memories of one particular event he shared with Bishop, a ghastly massacre at a wedding reception. He calls Rebecca’s mother from a pay phone and tells her Rebecca is dead.
At home, Sally talks to Aiden about being stuck in the apartment, unable to move on. She tells him that she tried to leave but was afraid of what might happen if she stepped through the door. What if she would just disappear? What if she never saw her fiancé again?
His work day over, Josh puts on his jacket and heads for the door. Emily sees him leaving and calls out to him but he has his earphones on and doesn’t hear her. She follows him.
Bishop stops Aiden in the street and convinces him to get in the car. He says it is about Rebecca, but that is a lie. Bishop takes Aiden back to the nest, where Bishop and the other vampires live, where Aiden used to live. Aiden is reluctant, but eventually goes inside. The place is like a brothel, with curtained-off ‘rooms,’ each with a beautiful woman standing invitingly outside. Aiden goes into one of these rooms and the woman cuts herself, offering him her blood. Now the place is more like a drug den because Aiden’s face when he tastes the blood is like someone completely given over to that kind of experience. He sees Bishop watching through a gap in the curtains.
Josh arrives at his underground safe room, but suddenly Emily is there too. He tries to convince her to leave but she refuses. He tries to push her out the door but she slams it shut. She is locked in with him! She has no idea what a terrible and dangerous thing she has just done.
Josh, panicking now, tries desperately to reach Aiden on his cell phone. But Aiden’s phone is in his jacket pocket, the jacket that he took off when he entered the nest. Aiden is otherwise occupied in the little curtained room. Desperate now, Josh calls the house phone and calls out to Sally through the answering machine. He begs her to somehow find him, or find Aiden, to do something, or he will surely kill his sister. Sally goes to the door but her hands pass through the doorknob and is trapped in the house!
Josh starts to transform. What a cliffhanger!
I think Josh will somehow be prevented from killing his sister, but I don’t know how that will be managed. I think Aiden may come to his senses, maybe because he sees Bishop watching him through the gap in the curtains. I don’t know if Sally will be able to leave the house just yet. She still doesn’t know how she died, and I think that is probably going to be a major story element. What do you think?
Here is the teaser for Part 2:
I am really looking forward to Part 2 so I can see what happens next!
I hope you have enjoyed the review of the pilot of Being Human. Check your local listings for air times.
Being Human returns on Syfy this evening at 9 PM EST / PST. Do not miss the exciting conclusion to this two part season opener! Well that’s all for now, scifi fans. Stay tuned for the Part 2 recap/review to be posted later in the week.
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