Being Human is now a genuine smash hit for the BBC. It’s been renewed for a fourth series, adapted into a US version and even had a guest appearance from Robson Green. So it’s time for the next consequence of telly success: the spin-off show.
Namely Becoming Human, featuring teen vampire Adam, from the second episode of this year’s Being Human series, returning to school and encountering a new-yet-familiar posse. So will it be a rubbish version of the parent show? A rubbish version of Buffy? Could it even not be rubbish?
Originally broadcast as eight web episodes, then a single omnibus edition on BBC3 recently, Becoming Human is positioning itself as a hormonal equivalent of Being Human, right down to the slavish reproduction of the vampire/ghost/werewolf set-up.
But it’s a bit more fun than the original, which I can appreciate. Being Human can go too gothic for my tastes, whereas this is about the right level of silly. If anything, I think they could afford to be a bit funnier with it, but the jokes are here and most of them are even amusing.
If you must have a comparison, they appear to be shooting for a supernatural version of Skins, with the constant hormonal musing and swearing. But minus the sheer level of hedonism; I doubt we’re seeing that on the BBC any time soon.
I was particularly impressed by the fact it looks like a proper TV show. I go into these web-based spin-offs with lowered expectations, but the special effects are about as good as the parent series, although the story does avoid having to use them too often.
Also surprising was Craig Roberts as Adam, whom I found annoying in his Being Human appearance, putting me off checking out his spin-off for a while. But I am forced to admit that he was pretty good here, leading the action with a nice mix of lightness and brooding.
So, when assembled into a single fifty-minute blob, what we have here is a pilot episode, I suppose. And should they make more, whether in the form of a proper series or another little internet run, I would probably watch it. And I’m as surprised as you are, as I wasn’t sure a Being Human product could be any good without Russell Tovey. Did anyone else check this out? Were you pleasantly surprised as well?