By Arturo R. García
Based on a few glimpses, what stands out most about a North American adaptation of British horror dramedy Being Human is its’ brazenness: the original show is barely about to start its’ third series, and we’re already getting a remake, which starts tonight on Syfy in the U.S. and the Space network in Canada.
(An aside here for fans of the original BH: Season 3 kicks off on BBC3 on Jan. 27, but “The Annie Broadcasts,” a series of monologues where Annie (Lenora Crichlow) explains what she’s been going through since the events of last year, are available online. From this point on, I’ll try to keep the spoilers at a minimum for newcomers.)
For new viewers: this new BH, a Canadian production, looks like it will retain the premise of the original: a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf share a home and attempt to hang on to as much of their humanity as possible while dealing with their respective “conditions.” But let’s take a look at some of the initial similarities – and differences – between Syfy’s version and its’ predecessor.
First, meet the original series’ vampire, John Mitchell (Aidan Turner):
And here’s his American counterpart, Aidan (har har), played by Sam Witwer:
Unfortunately, the urge to distinguish Aidan from Mitchell seems to have led the revival’s creative team to Cullenize him:
(Not that Edward Sparklehands was all that original. But we already knew that, didn’t we, BTVS fans?)
It looks like the new show will adopt two of the original series’ first storylines: the emergence of a vampire cadre actively seeking dominance over humanity and Aidan’s relationship with a woman he “turns,” breaking his pledge not to “drink live.” So we’ll see how that plays out.
Also retained: the casting of a POC as the show’s ghostly figure. Where the original had Crichlow, the remake has Canadian actress Meaghan Rath stepping in as Sally. Based on this clip, Sally shows signs of being less introverted when we meet her than Annie was:
Assuming it doesn’t tank from the outset, it’ll be interesting to see if the new BH also adopts the original’s lack of resistance to interracial relationships: throughout the show, both Mitchell and Annie are shown involved with both POC and white love interests. It appears Aidan’s initial love interest will be a white woman. Also of note (though curiously not mentioned on Syfy’s site): the remake will depart from the original in that it will add a regular gay character, the sister of Josh, the resident werewolf.
Diversity issues aside, the series’ most crucial change might be switching from what’s depicted as a sleepy, gloomy town in the original – specifically, Bristol in the first two seasons – to what appears to be a major city, Boston, in the revival. The original setting worked to the series’ advantage because it added to the main characters’ isolation; they almost never hung out in large groups or in social centers; the notable exceptions, the vampire gatherings and George and Mitchell’s rampage scenes in Series 2, had specific (and truly scary) consequences.
So, if you watched the original series, what are your expectations for the new incarnation, if any?
Top image courtesy of ScreenRant