Thursday, 7 February 2013

BBC stakes BEING HUMAN dead

Thursday, 7 February 2013
BBC Three's highly successful supernatural drama Being Human has been cancelled by the BBC, after five series of 37 episodes and one popular North American remake. A few novels have even been published. That's an impressive feat for a relatively low-budget TV show that started life as a backdoor 2008 pilot, which only Russell Tovey survived when it became a full-blown series. The show even shed actors after three years, leading to a new trio of characters headlining the current final series.

Being Human's creator Toby Whithouse has written a blog about the demise of the show, which echoes much of my own thoughts. I think its time was up. The idea just isn't as fresh as it once was; and while I think the new characters have plenty of positives, you can't shake the feeling the show ended once the original line-up were gone. Indeed, part of me thinks Being Human sort of ended once Lenora Crichlow was the only leftover face from series 1. Everything since has been a strange kind of canonical reboot.

Rob Pursey, Touchpaper's executive producer, has said "working on Being Human has been a truly great experience. From the first one-hour pilot, all the way through to this climactic series, we've been given real creative freedom and encouragement. It's a credit to BBC Three that such an unusual idea has been allowed to flourish and evolve in its own unique way. I'd like to take the chance to thank Toby [Whithouse] for his incredible writing and storytelling; the other screenwriters who've made the series their own; the three producers who've nurtured the show; and the many directors who've helped us establish the show's unique tone. Being Human has also opened the door to new acting talent, including some incredibly exciting younger actors, which is a legacy we all feel proud of. We will miss Being Human, but feel inspired that there is a place for series like this on British television."

Zai Bennett, the Controller of BBC, added how "Being Human has been a fantastic and faithful friend to BBC Three. It’s featured some truly exceptional actors and storylines through the years and I’d like to thank Toby and the production team for their vision and passion. However, all good things come to an end and at BBC Three we’re committed to breaking new shows and new talent and who better to pass that baton on than Toby."

So, fair's fair. The show was past its prime and it will make way for a hopefully worthy successor. BBC Three have already announced a comedy panel show hosted by Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw, so... yeah.

Is it too early to start a rumour that Whithouse is now available to take over as Doctor Who showrunner when Steven Moffat perhaps decides to step down after the 50th anniversary? Would there be much point in Moffat continuing with Who after that momentous occasion? Whithouse's shepherding of Being Human through five tumultuous years makes him one of a few British writers that may be up for the challenge. He already writes occasional Who episodes, much like Moffat did when Russell T. Davies was executive producer. Consider that rumour started.