Monday, 5 March 2012

BEING HUMAN, 4.5 – "Hold the Front Page"

Monday, 5 March 2012

Adam (Craig Roberts), the fortysomething vampire trapped in the body of a teenager, makes his return after an appearance last series. I like Roberts delivery and sleepy-eyed demeanour, but don't see what's so irresistibly charming about Adam's puerile sense of humour and David Brent-isms. I suspect he's more hilarious if you're a teenager yourself watching a contemporary make innuendos and vulgar gestures to the grown-ups. In "Hold The Front Page", Adam returned to Honolulu Heights with his headmistress/lover Yvonne Bradshaw (Selina Griffiths) in tow, having fled the attentions of the press over their controversial relationship.

As Adam and Yvonne hunkered down with the press on their doorstep, which isn't an ideal situation considering Annie (Lenora Crichlow), Hal (Damien Molony) and Tom (Michael Socha) are trying to keep a low profile, it later became clear that Yvonne is a Succubus (a half-demon who can enter the dreams of men and make them fall helplessly in love with her). Cue Tom getting a nocturnal visit from Yvonne dressed as a sexy barrister talking Latin (surprisingly!), and Hal getting a Hammer Horror-style erotic visitation (unsurprisingly!), and eventually the three men were squabbling for the affections of improbable sex magnet Yvonne. Meanwhile, journalist Pete (Sacha Dhawan) made a startling discovery while trying to get a photo of Craig: the boy's image is impossible to capture. This led him to the realization that vampires exist and local solicitor Cutler (Andrew Gower) may be able to answer some of his questions...

I quite liked this episode, mainly because the idea of Adam and Yvonne finding a strange kind of genuine love was a nice idea. They each have their problems in life, but together they bring out the best in each other and can co-exist very nicely. The only real flaw is wondering how on earth someone like Yvonne fell in love with a crude little prick like Adam, which just didn't seem very likely. She kept saying he's kind and has other good qualities, but none of that really comes across from the audience's perspective. Or am I missing something about the appeal of Adam, speaking as a man in his early-thirties? Roberts was far more oddly alluring in the movie Submarine, if you ask me.

As usual for this series, I find myself more interested in the storyline away from the main characters. Cutler's plan to expose werewolves to the world is nonsensical and unbelievable, but Gower's careful performance pleases me immensely (although that sequence where he was made to snarl and gnash his teeth at a cross painted on a door was a little embarrassing). More could have been done with the storyline of a hack uncovering the truth about vampires, but it felt very rushed and wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped for—despite them bolting on the idea that Pete's family was killed by vampires. The big test for series 4 will be seeing if they can make next week's episode work, with werewolves exposed to the world and Tom turned into Public Enemy No1.

Overall, "Hold The Front Page" was a decent episode, but I wasn't particularly struck by it. I didn't find it that funny, either, mainly because I find Adam more creepy than amusing—although his attempt to compete with Hal's poetry with a vile limerick earned the episode's biggest laugh from me. I just hope the show gets back to developing some of the ideas from the premiere—many of which haven't been mentioned since, like the future-world where vampires have run amuck, or the identity of the female ghost who keeps appearing to coerce people into killing Eve.

What did you make of "Hold The Front Page? A satisfying standalone that felt more like the Being Human of old, or another inconsequential hour with a few nice moments to enjoy?


  • Why wasn't everyone very suspicious of the fact Yvonne could see Annie the ghost? That's always meant the viewer was a supernatural, so they should have been very suspicious of her from the start, but for some strange reason nobody seemed concerned about that.
  • Selina Griffiths (Cranford) is the daughter of actress Annette Crosby, who played Richard Wilson's long-suffering wife in One Foot In The Grave. The similarities in their voice is particularly noticeable.
  • Why is Tom building a swimming pool in the back garden?
  • The transformation of Hal continues. Last week his clothes had modernised considerably, and now his hairstyle seemed sexier. By the end of this series, maybe he'll be wearing a black leather jacket and his transformation into Mitchell will be complete?
  • We had zombies last series, now there's a Succubus. It stands to reason that demons must exist in the Being Human universe, if one's needed to create a Succubus—right? Is this show going down the True Blood path? When do the witches and fairies turn up?
  • Succubi. Has someone on Being Human seen Syfy's Lost Girl, which partners Being Human USA in the American schedule?
written by Tom Grieves / directed by Philip John / 4 March 2012 / BBC Three