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LAUREN: VILLAIN OR VICTIM

Ah, Lauren...  Where do we begin?

 

Maybe it's his sense of pity.  Maybe it's his duty to protect her.  Or maybe it's just pure, simple lust.  Whatever the reason, no matter how much Mitchell tries he just can't seem to get away from Lauren. 

 

She says Herrick is controlling her.  George and Annie say she's bad news.  But what doyou think?  Today we're asking "Lauren... Victim or Villain?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/lauren_victim_or_villain.html



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TOBY'S BLOG: VAMPIRE PHOTOS EXPLAINED

 

 

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Toby Whithouse, the creator of Being Human is back to answer more of your queries.  If you missed previous blogs, check them out here or here.  But this week, it's that pesky subject of vampire ID badges.  Over to Toby for more...

 

Ok, so a mixed bag of notes and queries this week...

 

PriorMarcus asked about vampires on cameras. I think this raises a bigger point about the world of Being Human...

 

Firstly, some eagle eyed viewers might have noticed that Mitchell actually wears a photo ID at the hospital. What the Art Department did, was take a photo in black and white of Aiden in First World War-ish clothes, the cut out the face and use that as his ID. The presumption is that when asked for a photo, he gave them a photo he had from his pre-vampire days.

 

As for the CCTV, I think it's only an issue if someone is looking directly at him and directly at a corridor or room that he's actually in, at the same time. It wouldn't necessarily occur to anyone watching the footage that they've never seen a specific cleaner on there.

 

But yes, with Herrick it's much more difficult. Obviously security camera footage is a relatively new invention, but as Mitchell says in episode 1, vampires have existed for tens of thousand of years, they've become supremely skilled at covering their tracks. There are vampires strategically placed in all jobs and institutions. Consequently Herrick is never acting on his own. Using the example of CCTV footage being used in a court case, it would be the easiest thing in the world for them to arrange for the footage to go missing, a witness to be intimidated or for the case to collapse before it went to court.

 

One thing I've always insisted on with this show is that it's taking place in our world. I absolutely adore Doctor Who, but one thing I specifically wanted to do to contrast with that show was to keep this very much our world. In the Doctor Who world, the population know aliens exist. They get invaded every Christmas. But in the Being Human world very few people know of the existence of these creatures. Consequently, when people see someone not appearing on a CCTV camera, their first thought wouldn't necessarily be "He must be a vampire". And if they did think that, they wouldn't necessarily tell anyone. One of the many tools vampire's employ to stay hidden, is people's scepticism.

 

PsionicP3 asked how much time I spent on set.

Not as much as I wanted. But I was still writing the scripts while they were filming. But I'd be sent a DVD every day of the previous day's filming. It was such a joy watch the show gradually take shape. The advantage of this is summed up by Sinead Keenan, who plays Nina. I was never really sure what to do with that character and we were contemplating writing her out by the end of the series. But watching Sinead's terrific performance take shape every day made us realise we'd be crazy to let her go, and because I was still writing the last episodes meant I still had time to shift the climax accordingly.

 

Right, that's your lot for this week. Next week... Why can't Annie change her clothes, and what does Mitchell have on his Ipod.

 

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/tobys_blog_vampire_photos_expl.html



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 EPISODE FOUR

 

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My friends, this is our darkest hour. 

 

The world of Being Human is tumbling out of control and it's hard to know where it will all end...  Mitchell has bitten a human...  George is on the cusp of revealing all to Nina... Annie is intent on revenge on murderous Owen...  And Herrick is once again up to his usual tricks.  Surely he can't bring Mitchell back into the vampire fold... can he?

 

I'm sorry to say this, but it looks like the unthinkable might just be about to happen. 

 

Get everything off your chest about episode four right here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/episode_four_have_your_say.html



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DOUBLE KNOCKDOWN

Ok, as far as stunts go, this one was a biggie...  Two people both hit by the same speeding car.  To make it even more complicated, one of those people is a child who's going to get hit head-on.  Oh, and one more thing... it'll be hard enough for the collision to be fatal.

 

As you can see, it's not your average stunt.  To find out how it was done, we've gone behind the scenes to reveal all.  You might even recognise a few familiar faces from the last stunt we looked at...

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/the_double_knockdown.html



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TOBY'S BLOG: COSTUMES IPODS AND BLOOD 

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New to BH? Watch out, this post contains spoilers from series one...

 

 

 

Toby Whithouse, the creator of Being Human (and all round legend, yes?), is back to answer more of your queries once again.  If you missed his previous entries, you can find them herehere and here

 

Right. Settle down. Lots to get through.

 

Why can't Annie change her clothes?

I discussed setting the rules for the supernatural characters in a previous blog, but with Annie it was much more complicated. The rules for ghosts differ wildly from film to film and book to book. But it meant we could have a little more license. Though, as with the others, the bottom line had to be what makes a good story. So we made her invisible to everyone but other supernaturals (until episode 4 that is) and made her able to manipulate objects because otherwise she wouldn't be able to 'participate' in the world which would make her a very dull character to write and watch.

Regarding her clothes, we wanted to show how her death has, in a way, frozen her in time. And keeping her in the same clothes (although you'll notice how they change slightly, depending on her mood) as that was a good visual way of expressing that. I always imagined her like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, still in her wedding dress from decades before. Annie is trapped, she can't move on, she can't complete her journey. Everything about her, including her clothes, is stuck.

 

What does Mitchell have on his ipod? Haha. Everything. I'm 38, not that much younger than Mitchell and I've got a very eclectic taste in music. On my ipod is Ella Fitzgerald, Muse, the Ting Tings, the Rolling Stones, The The, Editors, Elbow, Elvis Costello and Vivaldi. I reckon his would be pretty similar!

 

Vampires and blood. Yes, SharonTheHarper, you're absolutely right. The analogy we use for blood in Being Human is drugs. We're saying the hunger is for blood is psychological. Mitchell will discuss it further in ep 6, but essentially the craving is something he could in theory overcome. I always thought this was an interesting way of approaching it, as it meant Mitchell could renounce blood without starving to death, but it allowed enough struggle to make the battle interesting.

 

If Being Human is re-commissioned, are we tempted to build in a hook for the next series?

Well, the whole of series 1 has already been filmed, so it'd be too late to put in a hook for series 2 now. So it's just as well I wrote one! And I think you will all absolutely love it...

 

Did I crib werewolf lore from 'The Buffy Chronicles'? No. I read heaps of books on the subject, but not that one. In fact (and I'm aware I risk having my sci-fi fan credentials revoked when I say this) I've never actually seen an episode of Buffy. There. I feel so much better now I've got that off my chest.

 

Oh and PauulP. Thank you for pointing out the contradictions between the pilot and the series. Haha! I hadn't noticed them. All I can say is, I'm really pleased we've got such attentive fans, who watch my show with such scrutiny. 

(Presses button on intercom. "Release the hounds...")

 

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/tobys_blog.html



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THE MUSIC OF BEING HUMAN: GILBERT FUN

 

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New to BH? Watch out, this post contains spoilers from series one...

 

In this latest look at the music that makes Being Human special, Alex Pillai, director of episodes 3 & 4, tells us how he and his team created the unique sound of 'Gilbert Fun'.  Over to you Alex...

 

 

In the character of Gilbert (Alex Price) I was given a gift to direct - anyone who lived through the 80's will recognise him immediately as the kind of opinionated, politicised, music-fascist who could bring a party down with his morbid self-absorption. 

 

His character is stuck in time, arrested in his emotional development, and stuck on the tunes of era in which he died.  Like a record stuck in a groove, he has to move on - and it isn't until he discovers the ability to love that he is finally released from his limbo here on Earth.

 

But Gilbert is no simple 80's wraith - he is from Manchester, the home of the new wave that was kick-started by the appearance of The Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hallon June 4th 1976. Musically, Gilbert carries The Smiths  with him as if he has just walked out of the Salford Lads Club into the 'Winter of Discontent'

 

The track 'Girlfriend in a Coma', is quintessential Smiths - miserable, deep, and charming.  It naturally had to be played as Gilbert walks Annie back to the house in the rain after their first date.  It's not a romantic song, and yet is so bursting with love that it expresses Gilbert's painful emotional state.  Initially this scene had some dialogue on it, but as soon as the music went on, out came the dialogue.

 

Music by Marc Almond was also a natural choice for this episode and Marc and the Mambas'  'In My Room' has that wonderful self-absorption that could have only been taken seriously back in the 80's.  Alex Price was so good at improvising bizarre dance moves to the louche keyboard playing and lyrics of his music.  Thus 'Torch', by Almond's band Soft Cell, drives George mad with frustration when he is trying to prepare a dinner for Nina, and Gilbert is gyrating like a loon to it in the background. At the 80's night disco - the opening track is 'Tainted Love' as George, Mitchell and Annie stagger into the club

 

With such a preponderance of music from Gilbert's ghostly 'Walkman', and a composed soundtrack by Richard Wells, I decided that any contemporary music would be discordant, and so myself, the editor Paul Endacott, and producer Matt Bouch, decided to find tracks from Gilbert's era to evince the mood of the story.

 

Thus we have "Ghost Town" by The Specials as Gilbert is walking to the house, bringing with it a whiff Jerry Dammers' original meaning - a mournful hymn to a landscape of closed factories and mass unemployment from the early 80's.  The link with The Specials is continued with the used of "Tunnel of Love", from the band made of ex-Specials, Fun Boy Three, as Gilbert demonstrates to Annie the dubious meaning of "Gilbert fun".

 

To accompany this virtual compilation album of 'Hits of the 80's', our composer Richard Wells had to weave his own music - carrying through an emotional theme that comes to its heart-breaking climax when Gilbert passes through the door to his Death. 

 

The only non-80's track in here is a song to accompany the montage of Annie helping Owen around the house.  I had always envisaged this as having a soft and gentle track, and 'Little Garcon' by Canadian Indie band Born Ruffians absolutely captures the wistful tone with which Annie follows Owen around like a lost puppy.  .

 

The episode is strangely lopsided in its use of music tracks form the 80's - as the story becomes more serious, and Gilbert's emotional attachment to Annie grows, the ghostly echoes of his 'Walkman' die away, and the music of Richard Wells takes over - taking us into the dark place where Owen killed Annie, and the end of Gilbert's journey.  By discovering that he loves Annie, Gilbert's needle has been jogged out its groove, and he can finally move on.

 

Episode 3

Track & Artist

'Tainted Love' - Soft Cell

'High Tension Line' - The Fall

'A Promise' - Echo and the Bunnymen

'Girlfriend in a Coma' - The Smiths

'Ghost Town' - The Specials

'In My Room' - Marc and the Mambas

'The Tunnel of Love' - Fun Boy Three

'Little Garcon' - Born Ruffians

'Love will tear us apart' - Joy Division

'Torch' - Soft Cell

'A Promise' - Echo and the Bunnymen

'Reward' - The Teardrop Explodes

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/the_music_of_being_human_gilbe.html



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LENORA'S VIDEO DIARY

For the past few weeks we've been taking you behind the scenes of every aspect of BeingHuman...  But today we've got something really special.

 

You see, today it's not us taking you behind the scenes, but the woman behind everyone's favourite ghost - Being Human star Lenora Crichlow.

 

Armed with nothing but a handicam, Lenora was asked to document what life was like on the Being Human set... and this is what came back. 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/lenoras_video_diary.html



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THE MUSIC OF BEING HUMAN: THE DARKEST SOUNDS YET

 

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In the latest in our series looking at the music of Being Human, Alex Pillai, the director of episodes 3 & 4, tells us how he took the show to its darkest place yet...

 

Mitchell, in attempting to reject his vampiric side, and recapture his human nature, inadvertently rouses the hostility of the local neighbourhood, and causes the death of a child.

 

Though funny in parts, Brian Dooley's script is suffused with Mitchell's doomed yearning. Even whilst planning the episode, it was not clear how this contemporary music track would fit into such a painful vision.

 

Luckily we have been blessed with the gifted composer, Richard Wells.  He immediately caught onto the clashing emotions within the piece, and produced an original soundtrack that evokes both yearning and fear. 

 

Listen to the complicated time-keeping of the guitar on the track over the crowd rioting outside the house - it is both melodic, and yet dissonant.  Similarly, Richard was able to perfectly capture Fleur's elation on seeing her resurrected son again at the train station - mixing joy with her terrible fear.  As poets would tell us, the perfect Horror is that which mixes attraction and repulsion, and Richard Wells' music for this scene, shot at TempleMeads station, has both these strands, pulling emotionally in opposite directions.

 

In editing such a sensitive piece as episode 4, where a child's welfare is at the heart of the issue, the control of tone was an essential part of my work, so that the story would be palatable.  With that in mind, I decided to keep other people's music out of the episode, so as not to dilute either Brian Dooley's voice, my own, or that of Richard Wells.

 

The exceptions to this are the opening and closing sequences, where we are with Mitchell's solitude and despair.  These are universal moments - we've all had that existential' waiting in the rain with a cigarette' moment (even if you've never smoked!). 

 

I have been a long time fan of Brixton-based Alabama Three.  Their mix of guitars and vocals always seems to evoke the gothic darkness of the Louisiana bayou, home of Anne Rice's vampires.  When we put 'Don't call the Doctor' on the opening, the music just seemed to be coming out of Mitchell's head - when Larry Love, Alabama's lead vocalist, tells us "I'm in a lonely place", that is exactly what Mitchell is feeling.

 

Mitchell's defeated trudge to rejoin Herrick at the end of the episode has the hopeless air of someone who has partied too hard, and is washed out and washed up.  'Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlife', again from the 'La Peste' album (2000) by Alabama Three, creates a neat musical loop with the opening - Mitchell has tried, and failed, to be human.

 

 

Episode 4

Track & Artist

 

'Don't call the Doctor' - Alabama Three

'Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlife' - Alabama Three

'Barbie Girl' (on radio) - Aqua

'Dr. Kettering's Death' (on TV) - from the soundtrack of 'Ghost of Frankenstein' (1942) by Hans J. Salter

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/the_music_of_being_human_the_d.html

 



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EPISODE 5: HAVE YOUR SAY

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Excuse me a moment... *picks jaw up off floor*  

 

I knew Owen was a nasty piece of work but blimey...  And Lauren, did you really think she would do that...?  What about George and the chair... Annie and the door... Herrick and the plan... Mitchell and the... well, the everything.  Quick, someone pass me a strong cup of coffee and a slap round the face, I'm losing it here.

 

But what did you think?  Let it all out here and have your say on episode five.  And be honest now, what were you screaming at the TV...?  You're lying if you tell me you weren't.

 

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/beinghuman/2009/02/episode_five_have_your_say_cop.html

 

Reading the comments on this post is making me smile and cry at the same time. little did they know there was four more series of amazingness to come before it was prematurely cut short :(



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