‘Being Human’: Series 4 Episode 1 spoiler-free review

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So intense is the first episode of Being Human‘s new series that there’s a lot we’re not allowed to talk about, so excuse us if we creep around the actual plot and some (magnificent) performances with greater delicacy than a vampire in a house of mirrors. Frankly, to tell you anything in the way of plot would be to shatter an hour of teeth-grinding suspense and horror.

Whether you’re an old fan or a curious newcomer, you’ll be thrown into the deep end. For Eve of the War is a bold opener; one which doesn’t invite you gently back into the world of Being Human but drags you by the shoulders, kicking and screaming, and forces you to stare at just how dark things are. Just how dark things will become. It’s uncompromisingly bleak, and utterly brilliant.

If you’re worried about missing Aidan Turner, don’t. You’ll be too busy wringing your hands and gawping. The change in cast leads to a feeling that ‘anything can happen’, which is unusual for an opening episode but works wonderfully with the horror and the vampires’ audacious plans.

So, with the cast changes does Series 4 still feel like Being Human?

Oh yes. More frantic and threatening than you may expect it to be, but it’s definitely the show you love. That’s partly down to the lovely Lenora Crichlow as Annie, whose motherly nature causes her to be the character around whom all others orbit, but also Toby Whithouse’s strong writing, which makes us feel like we’ve known even brand new characters for three series already.

Werewolf Tom (Michael Socha, brother of Misfits star Lauren) is a fantastic full-time addition, and sure to win many fans (and probably a few awards) with both his brutality and his humour: “Even McNair gave me a name, and he ate my parents.”

Prowling around with a wax jacket full of stakes, and desperately trying to fit in, there’s something strangely loveable about him; he’s like a puppy with the ability to kill on command. Dare we say it, you may even end up liking him more than George.

Such is the importance of a certain piece of plotting that newcomer Hal (Damian Molony) doesn’t get a great deal of screen-time here, but for an unknown actor with a big leather jacket to fill Molony has startling gravitas onscreen.

Toby Whithouse believes him to be ‘one of the most exciting and versatile actors of his generation’, and he’s not lying. Hal smoulders like Mitchell, but he’s a much more self-assured bloodsucker. It’s going to be a real treat to see his arc across the series.

Talking of arcs, if you weren’t keen on the ‘wolf-shaped bullet’ prophecy of Series 3 then you may not like the even larger prophecy looming over Series 4, concerning George and Nina’s baby. It does, however, have a rather interesting wrinkle to it. It’s not something we can talk about here, but it’ll no doubt have the forums ablaze with speculation after the episode is over.

It’s clear that this is going to be Being Human‘s most ambitious series yet. Right from the first second the stakes are high: stories are still being told, fates are still winding together, plots are still being twisted.

The future in the Being Human world looks grim, but for the show itself, things have never looked better.

Airs at 9pm on Sunday 5th February 2012 on BBC Three.

> Order the Series 4 DVD on Amazon.

Are you looking forward to Series 4? Let us know below…