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William Herrick
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 “William Herrick.  Born 1843.  Made vampire in 1890.  You survived a werewolf attack”

Mitchell summed him up fairly well but there’s a lot more to Herrick than that.  When we first meet him he’s running the Bristol vampires and he has ambition.  Tactical recruitment, food stocks, PR – a veritable undead spin doctor.  But where did Herrick come from?

We knew very little about him until half way through series three when his origins were revealed but it’s easier – although less dramatic – to go in chronological order.

Born in 1843 he became a vampire in 1890 at the age of 47 when he was a legal clerk – an ambitious legal clerk so no change there then!  In an unfilmed scene (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/herricks_recruitment.pdf) written by Sarah Phelps that had been considered as a flashback to “The Longest Day” he was selling a poor innocent young girl to a brothel, an orphan whose guardian had unfortunately perished.  Despite negotiating a good price the payback was more than Herrick could ever have dreamed off as the girl was Hetty – one of the Old Ones - and she recruited him.

The next confirmed sighting was in the trenches of the Great War and now Herrick had Seth in tow.  Did he recruit Seth?  We don’t know – I suspect he may have done but that’s not canon.  He came across Mitchell and Mitchell did a deal with Herrick to recruit him and let his men walk away.  Right.  Like Herrick really did that!  Again – not canon – but do you think they didn’t munch through the lot? 

 By 1933 Herrick was in Paris with baby vampire Mitchell who had already blotted his copybook and got a thump in the jaw for his trouble.  Herrick talked of the Old Ones and how they recruit an heir – was he considering Mitchell as his heir or was he too much of a liability, even then.  He’d recruited the girl in the silk undies who was draped over the chaise – against Herrick’s instructions – and  made a joke that was still amusing Herrick 70 years later.

1969 found Mitchell and Herrick partying in London – two dead girls, some Fairy Liquid and Herrick wondering where he’d left the car.  This is where he first found his policeman guise and he looked very pleased with his ‘borrowed’ uniform, despite that tiny trace of blood on the shirt collar. 

20 years prior to series three and Herrick had a ringmasters outfit and cage fights - and very dapper he looked too!  McNair had just knifed Alan the werewolf and was subjected to one of Herrick’s speeches all about how lucky he was.  And look at the cage venue – all balloons, streamers and glitter.  You can’t deny our William had a sense of occasion!

By series one Herrick was running Bristol and planning to run the world.  His creed was a simple one – the vampires had been idiots to let the humans take the world and it was time they got it back.  He was pulling Mitchell’s strings – he was in, he was out, he was in – it was like the Okey Cokey!  When he realised Mitchell really wasn’t going to work with him he tried to stake him and was foiled by Josie who had seen though Herrick’s sweet talk of progress. “No one gets left behind”.  Not put off Herrick and Mitchell arranged a final showdown – but it was the cusp of the full moon and George got there first.  He did what he feared most and he tore Herrick apart – after a selection of rather sumptuous speeches and a good helping of Brecht.  Oh, and along the time the cunning Herrick had recruited an heir in mad Cara, canteen girl.  Now that was forward thinking...

In The Looking Glass we caught a glimpse of Herrick and Mitchell in 1969 and heard more of Herrick’s philosophy – for him becoming a vampire is liberating, it takes the human personality and sets it free.  Recruitment – once you’re over the first few munches – washes away all those tedious, inconvenient human morals and scruples.

There’s no more of Herrick – after all he’s been shredded by George – and we’re at the end of S2 after the breathtaking rampage through the facility, Annie forced into purgatory and Lucy’s death.  But there’s one last scene – a snow covered field, Cara and Daisy bleeding themselves dry into the snow.  Why?  Because there he is, rising from the ground – Herrick! 

He’s back... He needs a good brush down with a fluffy duster but he’s back!

It’s not until over half way through S3 that we catch up with resurrected Herrick – he’s raving, amnesiac and temporarily ensconced in the psych ward of Barry Hospital.  “Doo-****ting-lalley” as Baz, his empathetic nurse remarks.

Sensibly (yeah, right!) Nina and George bring him home allowing Uncle Billy to get his slippered feet firmly under the HH table.  Cara comes looking for her Dark Lord but Herrick is so utterly, terrifyingly cruel she stakes herself.  And now Mitchell has only one option.  He works very hard to bring back the real Herrick (No, nothing could possibly go wrong there) just to find out how he survived George's attack and therefore how he could survive his own promised WSB.  Herrick neatly divides the household – and in the process pushes Nina to report Mitchell to the Box Tunnell Incident Line.  Although you could say Mitchell brought pretty much everything on himself Herrick was pushing from behind at the top of the slippery slope.

Finally he munched detective Nancy and was fully back – clear eyed, devious and after revenge.  He stabbed Nina to hurt George and rescued and then caged Mitchell to further twist the knife.  When he and Mitchell left together he had visions of his vampire world coming together with his recruit – the son he never had – at his side. 

Or did he?  Mitchell staked him, after one last beautiful sunrise but Herrick smiled.  He was expecting it.

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Maybe I’m biased (OK, I AM biased!) but Herrick is the kind of character that makes Being Human what it is.  A twist on the classic evil vampire with world domination plans – cheerful genial evil – you really would ask this particular policemen the time.  And series three Herrick is a masterclass in understated but amazing acting.  Just watch his face in E7 just before he stabs Nina.  Every tiny piece of the arguments for and against plays out in his eyes.  It’s quite astonishing.

And didn’t Herrick have so many of the best lines?  So many that you can actually use n RL... or is that just me?! 

So don’t ever forget - “You’re a shark, be a shark!”



-- Edited by aquamarine_jo on Saturday 23rd of March 2013 06:57:48 PM

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Eek. That really wasn't meant to be War and Peace!
But how do you edit Herrick? He will insist on having his say...

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I think you mean series 2 here, Aqua?
"There’s no more of Herrick – after all he’s been shredded by George – and we’re at the end of S3 after the breathtaking rampage through the facility, "

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Apart from that, great profile :D and indeed, how does one edit Herrick? He might bite your head off for leaving out crucial things ;)

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0positiv wrote:

I think you mean series 2 here, Aqua?
"There’s no more of Herrick – after all he’s been shredded by George – and we’re at the end of S3 after the breathtaking rampage through the facility, "


I did - thank you!

I've corrected it now, I am such a rubbish proof reader!



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I love Herrick - he is my favourite baddie from the entire five series. He even beats Mr Snow. And I agree - he has most of the best lines. Maybe Seth has nearly as many classics as him, I dunno.

When George comes to him in the funeral parlour in episode 6 of series 1, and says about letting Mitchell off, and that nobody would know, and Herrick says "I'd know!". He's a perfect baddie - he recognises George's act as brave, but has absolutely no doubts about the superiority of vampires, and is single-minded and ruthless and absolutely certain in his beliefs and ideologies.
He is absolutely inexorable, but has a fascinating sparkle within himself!
Basically - he rules amongst all baddie vampires!!

And he also happened to say my favourite ever BH quote - see below

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Wow jo!! Brilliant! Thanks so much for writing this!

My favourite herrick moment was when he stabbed nina in the kitchen....i was SO shocked when that happened and it was just pure evil! Brilliant character xx

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I have so many favourite Herrick moments but one I always come back to is in series one at the end of "Another fine mess" when Mitchell comes back to BEdwards and says "I'm in"

Herrick doesn't speak but there's a little smile that says it all - he was waiting for him, he had no doubt at all about Mitchell coming back...

 



-- Edited by aquamarine_jo on Saturday 23rd of March 2013 10:30:21 PM

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As a little addition from the being human you tube channel-



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I'm with Brookesey as a Herrick fan, I think that was how she and I first clicked! I just love his quotes and do feel that his presence and sarcasm/humour was sadly missed when he was proper dead. Love his "Shark" and "Tectonic plates" speeches, but also the scene when he's chatting to Cara in the canteen before he recruits her.... and Mitchell asks "what was that?".... he replies "just manners"... the saddest thing for me was the fact Jason Watkins filmed an episode of Call the Midwife at Chatham Dockyard last year, and I work next door. If I had known I would have been there for a photo opportunity- they can keep Jude Law, Russell Crowe, Robert Downey Jnr, Hugh Jackman..... Herrick would have made my day! ;)

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Herrick "Despotic ginger ....ole as the corrupt chief constable called him, irritated the heck out of me and I never understood why Nina and George saved Mitch staking him. That said, i guess thats how a good villaian should be.

@Friendly ghost - I loved his turn on "....Midwife" but was thinking of his pain being so close to religion as a Vicar, some vamps will do anythink to pay the rent..

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*Just throwing a quote into the melting pot*

Mitchell "I don't expect you to understand."
Herrick "You're right, I don't, it's mental! You're a shark, be a shark!"

My favourite BH quote ever!

*finds big wooden spoon and stirs quote-pot energetically*

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@ Friendly ghost - yes, I remember you bemoaning the fact that you had missed your chance with Mr Watkins at the time! You could always have shouted something inane after him from your office window if you'd realised, a la moi and Damo!

hopefully, with this forum running and all of us stalkers across the country, this sort of mishap will not happen again!!

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hadn't realized that Herrick was in The Golden Compass till I caught some of it last night. he opened the door and invited the girl in with that same grin, you just knew something bad was going to happen to her.

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I liked Herrick :D . . . and i agree with Su, when he stabbed Nina. I was just. . . baffled.

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@Mrsbarrowboy - LOL, I must have missed that bit in The Golden Compass - I haven't seen it all the way through! Jason Watkins, a la William Herrick, pops up all over the place - he was in Miranda too. We were rolling about laughing at that episode.

When he says "Be seeing you," - it makes all the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!!

Best baddie ever!

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Definitely the best baddie ever! Those little smiles..... and the cool way he hung up his coat in the cellar before being attacked by George!

"you're a shark, be a shark"

Jason Watkins is an amazing actor to carry a character like that...

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Jason Watkins is in Doctor Who next week. Should be fabulous.

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I've been rewatching Life On Mars for the first time in years and was surprised to see Jason make a brief but very funny appearance in series 2!!

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I bought DVDs for Life on Mars a few months ago, and I totally squeed when I saw him in that! And was also really glad to see Lee Ingleby doing that sweet/evil thing.



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