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BEING HUMAN series 3
TV. BBC3.

Being Human series 3Being Human long seemed like something of an embarrassment for the BBC - a hugely popular show that they felt a little bit ashamed of. Originally shown as one of three pilots of BBC3, the show was rejected in favour of the godawful and instantly forgotten Phoo Action. A determined online campaign finally paid off when a series was commissioned, though only with cast changes, and the BBC hyped it as a 'comedy' series - a horror show being clearly beneath them, especially given the sterling reputation BBC3 has for quality comedy (basically, BBC3 + comedy = the entire nation switching channels). Despite all this, the show quickly built a following, and after a hit and miss opening series, got into its stride with an increasingly dark second. The pressure, therefore, is on for this new series - rumours that it would cut back on the grim stuff to go more for humour to appeal to the channel's fuckwit demographic, not to mention the challenge of a US remake, had some of us worrying that it had shot its load already.

First episodes are always a difficult thing to make a judgement on, of course, and it took the last series a couple of shows to get into its stride. And this opening show was a mixed bag, but thankfully had more positive elements than negative ones. There didn't seem to be much more humour than usual, and the cliffhanger from the last series - with ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) being dragged to Purgatory while vampire Mitchell Aidan Turner) and werewolves George (Russell Tovey) and Nina (Sinead Keenan) fled their Bristol home after Very Bad Things happened - is nicely tied up here, while setting the scene for the story to come. As Mitchell heads to Purgatory to rescue Annie, he's confronted with his victims of the past by Lia (Lacey Turner), a spirit guide who is a lot less flirty and friendly than she seems, and who foretells his death at the hands of a werewolf. And werewolves are to the fore here, as the sub-story follows Robson Green and Michael Socha, father and son lycanthropes who are hunted by vampires, headed by Paul Kaye, who run a underground arena where humans and werewolves are pitted against each other.

How all this will pan out remains to be seen. But so far, a fairly solid start to the series. If only the BBC would take it out of its own Purgatory and show it on a real channel...

DAVID FLINT

 

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