THE rather wonderful Being Human returns for a third BBC3 series tonight.
With a brilliant opening episode featuring Mitchell’s quest to rescue Annie from purgatory.
Plus a move to Wales, the arrival of Robson Green and Michael Sorcha, an impressive guest appearance by Lacey Turner and just the odd twist in the tale.
Also screened on the BBC HD channel.
I met up with Russell Tovey, Sinead Keenan and Michael last October to discuss the new series.
Below is my feature, published this week in the Manchester Evening News.
Being Human is not to everyone’s taste.
But it certainly returns on top form, with the promise that this series could be the best yet.
BEING Human star Russell Tovey made sure Robson Green felt right at home when he joined the cast of the hit drama.
“We’d sing Robson and Jerome songs on set,” laughs Russell. “He was a fan of the show and had always wanted to be in it.”
Being Human (BBC3, Sunday, 9pm) returns for a third series featuring the adventures of supernatural friends trying to live normal lives.
“The first series was lighter, the second was darker and this is a combination of the two,” explains Russell, back as werewolf George.
Former Wire In The Blood star Robson leaves Extreme Fishing behind for a while to transform into werewolf McNair, the father of Tom, played by This Is England ’86 actor Michael Socha.
Ex-EastEnder Lacey Turner appears in this week’s first episode as “sweet and sparky” Lia, with Spooks actress Nicola Walker turning up later in the series as social worker Wendy and the Vicar of Dibley’s James Fleet arriving as George’s father.
“We’ve always been really spoiled with the guest actors that come in because they’ve been top class. And this year, it’s even more so,” adds Russell.
“Nicola was amazing and very funny. She’s involved in the rediscovery of Herrick storyline as a social worker who ends up being assigned to Herrick’s case. So we all become linked and she’s unaware of the fact that we’re all supernatural beings.”
As the new series begins, ghost Annie (Lenora Crichlow) is trying to escape from purgatory while George and partner Nina (Sinead Keenan) plus vampire Mitchell (Aidan Turner) have fled their shared house in Bristol.
They end up renting a new home in Barry Island, Wales. “That seemed like the appropriate safe haven for supernaturals,” smiles Russell. “It’s called Honolulu Heights and was an old bed and breakfast place, so it’s massive – and quite eerie.”
In fact, some members of the cast and crew insist that their new interior set, built in an old bus depot, is haunted in real life.
During filming there were reports of odd things being seen on TV monitors and things falling from shelves as if they had a life of their own. “Someone must have died on the buses,” explains Russell.
For once, werewolf George and Nina find themselves in a good place as they make a fresh start.
But, as you would expect, there are complications ahead. Which is where McNair and son Tom come in, providing a wider perspective.
Incoming Michael explains: “Tom has been kept away from normal society by his dad. They live in the woods and fight vampires.
“I was a bit worried about meeting Robson because I’ve watched him in loads of programmes ever since I was a kid and my mum really fancies him. So I hoped he wouldn’t be a disappointment. But he’s a wonderful guy. He brings an amazing energy to the set. He’s like a little kid.”
Sinead adds: “Robson Green was my first TV crush. I was about 10 or 11. I think the first time I met him I actually blushed in the make-up truck. He came in specifically to say hello and I did get a little hot and bothered, I have to confess.”
Being Human was also a cult hit in America long before it was even screened there, thanks to fans watching episodes via the internet, with cast members attending the annual Comic-Con event in San Diego, California.
“Myself, Lenora and Aidan had been in 2009 and Sinead came for the first time last year. It was incredible. The show hadn’t even aired yet but out there they have a thing for illegally downloading, which is quite fashionable for sci-fi fans. So they had all done that,” says Russell.
“We were actually on a panel which is before Doctor Who and Torchwood and there were 5000 people there – I got them all to do the Mexican wave. Then we were doing a signing and there’s people dressed up like wolves and vampires and quoting lines. It was amazing.”
Having faced threats from the supernatural and then the human, the threat in series three is from within and leads to a dramatic climax at the end of this year’s eight episodes.
“It took two days to film the last scene. It was a long two days and very emotional. But it’s a great scene,” reveals Russell.