The British (Television Adaptations) Are (Still) Coming (And Won’t Bloody Stop!): A Look at Syfy’s Being Human

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

  • Anonymous

    Well, Aiyo, you don’t say where you’re from. Since everyone is referring to Brit TV, I’m guessin you’re in the UK??
    Anyway, I am only TOO happy to watch british TV. Always have been! Though about the only place we could get it when I was younger was on PBS. Black Adder, Red Dwarf, Dr.Who come to mind.
    I really do wish we had more choices available to us. Especially for those who never have the means to travel to other countries, it would give them a little insight into other cultures.
    The U.S. is of course the historical child of the U.K. (even though it was pretty much stolen from the native americans; If anyone deserves reparations, it’s native americans) But even so, common language aside; I love the cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Even Canada, so close to the U.S. and similar in so many ways, has a very different feel to it. I feel like CA is much more the land of the free than the U.S. has become. Sad but true.

  • Anonymous

    I much prefer the original british series. THank God for BBC america! I wish we had more british programming available to us in the U.S. And I found the original cast more appealing, and not because of their accents (though I love UK accents). AND Aidan Turner/John Mitchell, is so much better looking than the new guy on U.S> series.
    Maybe A LITTLE of subject, but I suppose the reason that WW I resonates so strongly in europe is all the bombing of there countries and massive death of civilians. At least here in the U.S., though we suffered many casualties (soldiers), the fact that our homeland was untouched, leaving our civilians unharmed would explain a lot of why we aren’t currently as affected by it. That and the fact that we’ve barely had a decade go by where we weren’t warring on some nation or other. I love my country, but the government needs an overhaul.