Monday, 5 March 2012
Being Human - Series 4 Episode 5 - Hold The Front Page - Review
What's the Story?
47 year old teenage vampire Adam (Craig Roberts) returns to Honolulu Heights, seeking sanctuary from the media after running away with girls school headmistress, Yvonne Bradshaw (Selina Griffiths). Of course, things have changed somewhat in his absence and it soon becomes apparent that there may be more to Yvonne than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Cutler is stepping up his plan to 'out' the werewolves.
What's the Verdict?
Puerile and crude, on paper, I shouldn't like Adam. And yet, there is just something so likeable about Craig Roberts' portrayal of the sex-obsessed perennial teenager, that his reappearance in Series Four is completely welcome. Although last seen in online spin-off 'Becoming Human', things have changed considerably since Adam's last appearance in the main show, as George and Nina waved him off at the train station. It makes sense then, that George and Nina are the first people that he asks for on his return and he does seem genuinely sad to find them gone. It may have been nice to have more of a reaction from Adam to their deaths, but with a lot to do in the episode, the small moment that passed between Adam and Annie was appropriately sombre.
The first half of 'Hold The Front Page' was played mainly for laughs however and I did find it very funny. Adam could easily be too much, but his delivery is spot on and schoolmistress Yvonne was so prim and proper that they made an unlikely and therefore entertaining pairing. Hal's bewildered reaction to Adam was perfect and probably reflected the reactions of any audience members that hadn't seen Adam before. Similarly, Annie's acknowledgement that yes he may be 'a twat' but she'll miss him, summed up my personal reaction to the character. I think Adam would be too much as a full time cast member, but with only occasional appearances he fits in well and adds a lot of humour without becoming too overbearing.
This episode also further expanded the Being Human universe, technically introducing two new 'Types' of supernatural creature, the succubus and the demon. The 'succubus' idea is not new of course but it was nice that she was not acting deliberately and with Yvonne being completely oblivious to the reasons why men (including Brad Pitt and er..Kriss Akabusi) became so enamoured by her, I did feel sorry for her when she realised that it was down to 'a spell'. The moment where she confronted the reporters was one of the stand-outs of the episode and I thought that Selina Griffiths did a good job with the character, although she is so distractingly similar to her mother (Annette Crosbie from One Foot in the Grave if you were wondering why she was familiar)!
The dream sequences in the episode were generally used effectively, with a nice bit of continuity by making Tom's dream woman a barrister. The moment where Hal killed Tom came out of nowhere, I kept thinking 'surely not' and thought it must be a dream and yet with the lack of effects the scene went on just long enough for me to start to question it.
The latter half of the episode adopted a more serious tone and with Yvonne's insistence that Adam was 'sweet and kind', it was good to see some evidence of this in his scene through the door. Though they make an extremely odd couple, after this scene you can't help but hope that they will be happy together.
A problem with the episode however was that, with the trio supposedly alert to danger, it seemed incongruous that they would not further question why Yvonne could see Annie straight away. As an audience member, we knew that there was something more to her as soon as she shook Annie's hand and yet despite a couple of throwaway remarks to show that this had not been forgotten, you couldn't help but wonder why the characters themselves were not reacting more to this.
Our main characters continue to grow however, we learn further snippets about Hal's dark past with every episode and Annie's admission that since killing Kirby she has wanted to kill again, is very interesting. A departure from the typical nature of Annie's personality, it makes sense given what she has gone through and could easily bring her closer to Hal (though not in a romantic sense - I don't think for one moment that that will happen so soon after Mitchell).
However, as entertaining as the stand-alone story elements generally are, I can't help but find my interest piqued more by the main story arc and Cutler's ongoing plan to out the werewolves to the world. It looks like it will be next week that this story really starts kicking off and Cutler is sure to have a big part to play towards the end of series four.
A harder choice for me this week as there were lots of good scenes without there being a stand out unforgettable moment. Yvonne confronting the reporters was nicely played and moving, as was Adam and Yvonne's conversation through the front door. Hal's second dream began amusingly with his rather more smooth attempts at seduction than Tom's approach and provided a genuine shock when he so easily dispatched of Tom. My favourite scene however, was probably Hal and Annie's conversation as they waved Adam and Yvonne off. As described above, this scene provides some interesting talking points with regards to Annie's character and they are definitely both taking on the 'parenting' roles of the house, forming a stronger bond between themselves as they do so. As Hal starts to believe in himself more, Annie is putting more trust in him too, whether she is right to do this of course remains to be seen.
Annie - 'Go on let him in. It's definitely not the nemesis. He's way too much of a knob for that'.
Adam - 'Alright Littlest Hobo, drop.'
Adam - ' 'Why else wouldn't I want my photo taken, why would I deprive the world of this *points at face*'
Tom - 'Trust me and my guns'
Adam - 'Listen Fred Basset I will take you down'.
Annie - 'Bloody stairs, not allowed to do anything spooky in case we freak Yvonne out'.
Hal - 'Is it me, or is there something very strange about her?'
Annie - 'Besides the fact that she's completely delusional? All that stuff about, "Kriss Akabusi chased me around Morrisons". Please. You know when I was sixteen a photographer told me I was pretty enough to be in a catalogue. Yeah, a catalogue Hal. You don't hear me going on about it'.
Hal - 'I've only been here a few weeks, you've already told me twice'.
Adam - 'Just because we're a bit rubbish and we're cursed because of what we are, doesn't mean we can't be happy'
Annie - 'Oh Adam. You little twat. I'm really gonna miss him'.
Cutler - 'Thomas, you're about to become very very famous'.
QuestionsToms swimming pool gets another mention, Is this going to have some significance in later episodes? The discovery of how Cutler has escaped Pete's room leads Hal to wonder aloud whether the vampire had 'heard my story'...could Hal be Cutler's maker? We know from the first episode it is someone significant but are yet to find out who. Could he have once told Cutler this story? Will Tom make the mistake of trusting Cutler and how will the world react to werewolves? How will Annie cope with her newfound 'urge' to kill? What will happen when the Old Ones turn up after their very long boat trip?! Also, I thought Hal didn't sing?! Now we've seen a succubus will we see a 'beautiful and cruel' demon? What other creatures are there?
Watch Being Human, Sundays 9pm BBC3 to find out! Check out www.bbc.co.uk/beinghuman for exclusive web content and chat, @bbcbeinghuman on Twitter and myself @LikeTheMonth_ Comments welcome on the blog as ever!